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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Badrock

A book Review: Sketching people – An urban Sketcher’s guide to people and faces

NAME OF BOOK: Sketching people – An urban Sketcher’s guide to people and faces AUTHOR: Lynne Chapman

The beauty lies in this book, that the artist is learning how to draw what they actually see, and how the subject fits in the environment rather than learning about body proportions in the traditional sense. This book differs from the traditional ‘how to draw people’ in that there is no reference to proportioning out your subjects. Usually, you will find in most books, how to draw the head and where to face the facial features, or how to better understand that a body is traditionally 8 head lengths in height. She draws the focus of your craft on creating the shape of people in their clothes She starts off with the basic figure shaping then graduates the skill level throughout the book. The pictures are not acutely detailed, making it easy to adapt her style. She also applies her colours in the same fashion, large, loose strokes of colours overlaying to create shadows and highlights. As the book progresses, she focuses on how to use colours to create emotion in the art. If you are looking to better your understanding of perspective when it comes to clothing and accessories, this book will put your skills at an advantage. Another prominent factor about her books, is she also focuses on how to draw clothing and accessories such as glasses, coats, pants, facial hair from all different angles and lights. Which is fantastic if you are looking to better understand perspective. For me, personally, her art style is quite different from my own, and I struggle to ‘let go’ and sketch loosely when it comes to people. I feel like sometimes I might be cheating if I hold back from adding every bit of detail. So, I have a lot to learn in that regard should I want to evolve my art style. I would say the approach for this is directed to advanced artists who already have the basic understanding of body proportions so that the artist can enjoy the loose sketching style with confidence and pleasure. I enjoyed reading his book for a point of reference and have happily adapted one of her main resounding messages. Practice every day!

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