YOU can learn how to draw people, and we can help you!
Why? Because, we don't subscribe to the idea of actually learning how to draw people....confused?
Learning to draw people simply means learning to draw the shapes that make up those people, and then learning how they all fit together. That means learning a bit about drawing proportions in general.
A great sample to prove that you can learn to how to draw people is the classic 'drawing upside down' technique.
Let's say that you want to draw a person from a magazine cover as a sample. Try turning the magazine upside down! Observing an image upside down makes it easier to see what is 'really there'...in other words, it forces you to learn to see shapes instead of the 'thing' you are drawing.
We are big proponents of the grid technique when learning to draw, especially when you combine the grid with the 'upside down image. This means, that with enough practice drawing with a grid, we can begin to 'see' any object as a shape which can be further broken down into smaller shapes, so on and so forth.
How To Draw People: Think Shapes!
To illustrate the point, let's start with a 'simple' shape of a person, rather than a detailed photograph of a person.
Most people get so caught up in the details of what they think they see (a person), they forget the very basic shapes that make up any drawing...especially that of a person.
We'll want to start with a very basic outline, a 'shape' of a person because that's how we learn to draw....mastering simple shapes FIRST is the key to more intriquet drawings down the road.
If we were to ask the average person to 'draw' this person's silouette to the left, you might see a variety of resulting drawings.
He might immediately break the drawing into his concept of a person and draw the head, then the neck, then the shoulders, etc, rather than drawing the exact shape seen above!
How To Draw People: Think Upside Down!
However, consider the following. What if we were to turn the image upside down?
Now, the burden of drawing a 'person' is no longer weighing on our minds. Do you think you could draw this shape instead? Do you think it would help to focus on the shape itself rather than focusing on this shape as a person?
Intersting to consider! Now that we are focusing on this shape alone, what might be the most way to go about drawing a random shape?
How To Draw People: Think Upside Down Shapes!
That's right.....rather than one shape, think of at least FOUR shapes. In other words, learn to think in quadrants when you see a shape.
We call this the 'Crosshair' technique, because it allows an image to quickly be broken down into more managable chunks.
Learning to see a shape in the form of a crosshair will immediatley allow you to 'break down' the shape from one area into four smaller ones.
Drawing any image can be intimidating, but no so when you focus on one smaller section at a time!
How To Draw People: Breaking Down With Crosshair
Now that we've broken the shape into 4 smaller shapes, we can focus on 1 'quadrant' at a time.
In this instance, we are going to focus on the upper left quadrant of our sample shape.
When we learn to see and focus on the smaller 'section' of a shape, the section becomes its own miniture drawing.
This miniture drawing suddenly doesn't look so difficult....at least, not as difficult as the original. If the thought of drawing this shape still makes your skin crawl, apply the crosshair technique again to break the new shape into four smaller shapes!
How To Draw People: Crosshair Over And Over!
Taking quadrant one of our original drawing and applying the crosshair technique simply gives us a set of four smaller drawings to focus on.
Looking now at quadrant one of THIS shape makes life even easier!
Just remember, every object that we attempt to draw, can be turned upside down to scramble our perception of the person we see in our head....it can now be viewed as a basic shape!
If the shape still feels to complicated to draw, we can 'crosshair' the shape into four smaller shapes and focus on those 'mini-drawings'. Still not simple enough? Break the smaller shape into four smaller shapes.
On and on it goes.....we'll be adding samples using photographs soon so be sure to check back. Learning how to draw people is nothing more than learning to see the people you are drawing in a new way!