If you have always wondered how to sketch people, we bring you a simple way to bring out the artist in you. Read on to know the procedure of sketching people, along with some much-required tips.

How To Sketch People

Sketch is a visual means of communication, which is inspired by life. It is not the replica of a person, but the representation of his/her features, with the minutest of details being incorporated. Sketching sharpens the inborn talent of drawing and painting. It helps in promoting the observation ability of an artist. The art is based on deep consideration of the minute details of the subject. And when it comes to sketching a person, you need to see his/her body language in totality and draw accordingly. You need not define the sketch from every perspective, like drawing; rather bring out the basic essence. We bring you some easy steps and tips on how to sketch people, in the lines below.
Sketching People
Things Required
  • Spiral-bound Sketch Pad
  • Graphite Drawing Pencils
  • Pink Eraser
  • Charcoal Pencils (optional)
  • Gum Erasers (optional) 
  • Choose the materials for your sketch. Make yourself ready with a spiral-bound sketch pad, a set of graphite drawing pencils and pink erasers. Even charcoal pencils, along with the gum erasers, can serve the purpose.
  • Start with sketching the basic structure of the picture. Think about the forms in a general basic shape. For instance, think of shaping the head as a tapering oval. You can assume limbs as tapering rectangles and the hips and torso in the shape of polygons.
  • Draw the basic shape on paper. Find out the longest line lying along the outside edge of the shape. Draw a line starting from the shortest line and the largest form towards the shortest line and the smallest detail.
  • You need to make arching curves to form the lines along the edges of limbs, torso and face. Make the curves in a long and shallow form, which should gradually turn into shorter arcs.
  • Always draw these sketches in light lines, so that it is easier to rub them for any required corrections.
  • When you are confident that you have got the exact shape, draw heavier lines on the lighter sketch. Erase the lines coming out of the curves and also the extraneous lines.
  • Now that the main body frame is ready, you need to draw the inner details.
  • Start with drawing the eyes. Make an outline of the eyes inside the face, ensuring that both the eyes are placed in proportion to each other.
  • Draw the eyebrows over the eyes, followed by the pupils and irises. Shade the eyelids i.e. the part of eyes that is under the eyebrows. In case the shading is overdone, use the eraser to lighten it, so that it blends well with the entire sketch.
  • Make an outline of the nose, below the eyes. Add curves at the bottom and middle part of the nose. On both the sides, make nostrils, followed by the bottom. Shade the nose in such a manner that the tip is light in comparison to its other parts. This will give the effect of light shining on the nose.
  • Now, it is the turn to draw the mouth. Sketch the lips below the nose. Make the upper lip a little darker than the lower one. Do not forget to draw the trench between the nose and the upper lip. Draw subtle lines in the lips to make them look real.
  • Form soft or hard lines around the mouth, to reflect the smile of the person.
  • Draw inwards curves around the eyes and when it comes to cheek bones, make outward curves. Shade the entire face properly, taking care that you do not overdo it.
  • Sketch hair the same way as you did with the eyelashes. The length and form of hair will depend on the person you are sketching.
  • Draw faint lines in the portion where light is shining, whereas you will need darker and closer lines in places of shadow. Always use downward strokes for hair.
  • While sketching ears, pay particular attention to the curves present inside the ears.
  • Draw neck and collars below the face. Add some accessories, but be careful not to overdo them. The facial features should remain in focus and the accessories drawn decisively.
  • Once you have completed the sketch, make a border of both the face and the body dark. This will help in making the features of the person candid and clear.

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