Figure Drawing for Illustration: Drawing People, Faces & Scenes | Leah Goren | Skillshare

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Figure Drawing for Illustration: Drawing People, Faces & Scenes

teacher avatar Leah Goren, Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Gesture Drawing


    • 4.

      Figure Drawing


    • 5.

      Drawing Portraits


    • 6.

      Using Gouache in Portraiture


    • 7.

      Sketching People


    • 8.

      Illustrating a Person


    • 9.

      Painting Subjects in Scenes


    • 10.

      Painting Backgrounds


    • 11.



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About This Class

Have you felt intimidated by the idea of adding people and portraits to your drawings? Want to overcome that perfectionism with simple tips and exercises that will get you drawing people in no time? Join Leah Goren in her latest class on Drawing Portraits and Figures to level up your illustrations!

Adding people to your drawings can really enhance the overall image by giving it a story, motion, emotion, and so much more. Join Leah as she shares everything you need to know to begin exploring your own unique approach to drawing people and faces! In this class we will be learning how to draw people in a way that’s geared toward illustration. At the end of the class you should feel confident drawing bodies and faces and know how to use them in your work. 

Key lessons include:

  • Exploring inspiration images
  • Finding samples to draw
  • Drawing figures in time constraints
  • Drawing portraits in time constraints
  • Using gouache in your drawings
  • Tying people with faces into scenes

Drawing people, and especially faces, can be a challenge, especially if you’re a beginner and aren’t sure where to start. This class will help you work through a few exercises that will offer tons of practice drawing the figure and faces in different ways. With this approach, there is no one right way, and instead you’ll get really creative, try a lot of things, and find your own personal style.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Leah Goren



Leah Goren is an illustrator and surface pattern designer living in Southern California. She graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2012 with a BFA in Illustration. Her work spans from surface pattern and product design for clients like Anthropologie and Loeffler Randall, to book covers for publishers including Penguin Random House and Macmillan, to live drawing at events for Kate Spade and Nike.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Leah Goran and I'm an illustrator. I work on a variety of projects including book covers, textiles, product packaging and more. I'm teaching figure drawing and portrait drawing with them being towards illustration. This is something I incorporate in my work all the time, but I want to share it with my students. Will be starting with more traditional figure drawing exercises. We're going to start with some really quick gestures followed by a longer observational drawings. Then after that, we're gonna be focusing on portrait drawing. And then in the last two exercises, we're going to put it all together and use our figure and portrait drawing skills to make illustrations. People by themselves. And then in a foreseen, I really loved seeing student work for my classes. But every once in awhile there's somebody who does a really nice piece. And then they tried to put a person in it and they're not quite sure how to draw it, or sometimes they leave the face blank. And this is something that I really want to help with. I draw people and faces into my own work all the time. And I hope that after you take this class, you're more comfortable and confident doing it in your own work. As a beginner, I don't want you to shy away from a particular subject because you're worried you might not be able to draw it. After taking this class, you'll be able to approach anything with competence for more seasoned artists. This is a great skill to practice. Having a signature way that you dropped people in places can really make recognizable as. I'm excited to teach this class because for me the figure is a central part of almost every piece. It's what makes the piece exciting and interesting. And I want to be able to share that scale with you. I can't wait to see what you create. Let's get drying. 2. Inspiration: Before we begin the art portion of the class, I'm going to flip through my sketchbook, just show the way that I approached Dr. people will also look through some books of artists that I liked for inspiration. In this first piece, I'm drawing from life. And it doesn't always turn out exactly the way I wanted. Things that I'm looking at tend to move or maybe I just didn't capture it accurately. But if I don't like how it turns out, I just flipped to the next page and then start the pose again. And maybe I'll get lucky and I'll be able to finish the full piece for this, that the clothing, in this case it's a bathing suit, really helps form the figure. Probably my favorite part here is the shape of the bathing suit and then the rest of the figure around it. Like, I have to say, it's not like a spectacular drawing on its own. It's more about the way that it fits in with the rest of the piece that it's painted similarly to the background. And all the shapes and colors kind of fit together. And it works as a finished piece, even though this figure or this face is not like the most beautiful face I've ever painted, but that's okay. You can do as much or as little as you'd like. And when I show some examples from other artists, you'll see even these are professional people and sometimes their drawings are really abstract or really scratchy and it's still captures the figure and it still captures a mood and an expression. But of course, if you want to, you can spend more time observing and rendering and getting something to be more naturalistic. Here's an example of one that is what I'm talking about like a blank face. Like I could not get this face and I ended up kind of like messing up the paper. So I was just like, I can't do this. I'm going to keep going. The hair was all weird to this. This was this was not a good one. But it's okay. Like this is a day that I was just sitting around for a while and painting in my living room and cannot get this person in here. So I ended up painting the room with nobody in it. And then doing, I mean, this is the same, the same setting, but a few different options. So here's no people. That's not what we're talking about today, but of course you can do that if you want to. This was the same room, same person, but there's I didn't end up painting the room into it at all. And then this is a mixture of the two, but you know, it's not the same day because he shaved his head and bleach it as you can tell. And I would say for what we're focusing on today, this is probably a more successful example because it has the person, it has a setting and it all feels like a cohesive finished piece. So those were a few of my pieces and now we'll take a look at some work by other artists. I thought I would start with David Hockney because he is a master of portraits and he approaches things in many different ways. So he has some incredibly beautiful portraits and I just selected a few to look at. These are pretty realistic, but I think they're really interesting because the faces are very rendered. But then there's so many areas that are really sketchy and loose and the contrast between the two is really nice. These are some other pieces that are also by him that you can see are much different. There's just contour outlines, very observational drawings. And I really like these two. You can get a successful drawing like this through careful observation. If you look at the way he's drawing, there's tiny little lines and the folds of the clothes and the hair. And I think just chasing the figure with your eyes and seeing how best you can translate all those details onto paper is going to make the drawing more interesting and more successful. Contour means just the outline. So there's nothing filled in here. It's really just one line that's tracing the whole outside of the figure. There is no reason that these are clearly finished pieces if you want to draw this way and our exercises, you certainly can. I'm not teaching how to draw one way in particular, it's more like a jumping off point to get a feel for the figure and then decide how you want your pieces to look in your style. I thought these two are interesting next to each other because it's the same subject. She's wearing different clothing, so it's I mean, you can see from the caption that's a different year entirely, but it's the same person and she's drawn two completely different ways. And I think that's interesting because a lot of what I'm talking about is finding your style and finding one way that you're always going to draw somebody so that your work is recognizable, which often is important for illustrators. But then again, there's really no rules. And if you want to do a contour drawing one day and then do something that's super rendered the next, that's totally fine and you should definitely do it. The next book we're going to look at is by Julia Rothman. She's a friend of mine. And I picked this book because it is fully illustrated. So since we're focusing on illustration and talking about it, we're going to see how somebody who works as a professional illustrator draws people on their own and also into scenes. So here is one of the portraits by Julia. Her approach is that she is painting the background colors first and then she's going in and adding the detail with a black pen. And I think that's successful because it mixes the software painterly style with the spider detail on top of it. I think as a beginner, this is a style that you can get a lot of inspiration from, using some flat color in the background and mixing it with a more detailed line. This is a really nice page. There's so much action in it. And it shows a bunch of people engaged in a bunch of different activities and bodies moving all sorts of ways, running on bikes, sunbathing, roller skating. And I think this is really good inspiration for some of the exercises we're gonna be doing. Because towards the end we're going to be drawing, illustrating people engaged in different activities. This book is called a 100 girls on cheap paper, which the content is exactly what the title is. Really fun one to flip through because it's just drawing after drawing of different women. I like these because they're, for the most part, they're all really loose and experimental feeling. And I think that's a good energy to bring into our drawing today. Especially if you're a beginner and you're exploring drawing faces for the first time. So we'll just look at a few different drawings in this book. I really like this one. I think it's really beautiful. It is painted, this says it's painted in gouache, but I think you could get the same effect in gouache or watercolor or black ink. And I really like how it's used. Much blacker and some areas and a lighter wash and others to get the shadow. And I think it's so beautiful because it looks really effortless. A lot of it is really blobby and painted really quickly. Yet you're, you're really getting the shadows and the form of the face and seeing exactly how this person looks, even in a way where it's so quick and loose. This painting right here, I wanted to show because it's really kind of experimental feeling. It's really blobby. And she's kind of scratching out the outline of the figure, feeling it out as she goes. You can't even see the face here, but yet it's still really nice in its own way. And it's a good example of how you can just feel free to use whatever medium you're using and not worry too much about your drawing ending up looking really realistic. I picked this piece, I really like this one. I think that the composition is interesting. The choice to cut it off right at the lip. I think. I don't know. I haven't mean I've never seen anyone do that. It's really unexpected. And I think the mix of mediums is really nice too. There's this black more inky section mixed with the pink red. And again, it has a mixture of areas that feel more realistic the way that the eyes are looking at you. The bottom of the nose, the lips are really popping out with some sections that are very loose, very brushy, a lot more abstract, particularly in the cheeks and the hair. So those are a few different artists that I like. And hopefully this can help inspire your work for the rest of the class. 3. Gesture Drawing: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to draw the full figure will warm up, get a feel for different movement and poses and hone our observational skills. For this class, I'm going to be using just regular paper. This is printer paper, but you can use a sketchbook, really. Any paper you have around. I recommend using something that's not very precious, which is why I just have a stack of printer paper and you have reference photos for different poses. I printed a bunch out. There's some ballet poses and a bunch of athletic sportswear poses that will work well for this because you can see the figure. I thought these ones were really nice that are ballet dancing photos because they show the full figure and the pose is really dynamic. And then for the rest of them, I pulled these pictures that are just of sportswear in different poses. Most of these are from this brand called girlfriends, which it's not really relevant. But in case you want to look it up and find the same kind of poses. It's good because the clothing is really close to the body, so you can really see the body. And a lot of the poses are more dynamic. Show a bunch of movement here. If you don't want to use photos from the Internet, you can definitely take your own photos, particularly if you have specific poses that you want to do. You can use your phone camera, or I also like the photo booth camera on a Mac computer. So we're going to start with gestures, set a timer for one minute and try and capture the pose as quickly as you can. It will probably just be a few lines to start. Do a few pages of these, and then we'll do the same thing with two-minute drawings. So we're starting a timer for one minute and doing the first drawing. And I didn't know it doesn't really matter what color I use right now. But I'm just going to start with this pose it's closest to me right here. So I'm really just kind of doing a, making a lot of lines and trying to capture the feel of it on paper. And it really is not going to look like much. But as I keep going, I can start to refine the way that I'm shoveling the figure. When you do this, it might not even really look like a person and that's totally okay. So again, not like a finished piece. It looks a little bit crazy, but it captures the pose and it has a lot of energy. And I think the important thing is just like having lines that are moving through the whole body. Okay, so now I'm going to keep going and move on to this next pose here. This pose is nice because it's really just like this nice diagonal line. So I want to make sure as I'm getting started, That's like the first thing I get down, It's just this line like with the body and with the arm. And from there, I can kinda work out how the rest of it is going. You don't need to be like putting the Heron like I am now, but this is the next step. And I don't know. It's like it's nice. Have, you know, make the drawing slightly more finished. I have a little bit of darkness there, but if you're not getting as much detail as I am, That's fine. Don't move at your own pace and don't compare yourself to what I'm doing. I just did a few of the one-minute poses, but I would recommend, I mean, do as many as you want, but I think you can spend ten minutes on this and do ten of them. If you want to spend 20 minutes and do 20, I would keep going until you feel like you're able to capture the body well. 4. Figure Drawing: For these, I'm going to start using two colors so that I can get my gesture down quickly in the background. And then I can go in with another color on top and start adding some detail. And again, you don't have to do this, but I'm doing this because I know I'm going to have a little bit of extra time and having two colors in there is going to help me capture some of the detail. Again. I know this is going to have a little bit more detail, but I'm just making a lot of lines to try to. It's really like filling out the whole body. And just like feeling out where things are going and not assuming that any one line I make is going to be in the right place, you can always start to move things around. Then I'm kinda starting to make a little bit of an outline like tentatively once I think that I have built it up enough to know or that outline, the lungs. Start. Let's see how much time I have. 50 seconds. I'm going to start to get some of this in here. You don't need to be drawing the clothing, but I like how it starts to build the feeling of the body on here. It's really helpful to have these reference images and to stick to them fairly closely. I mean, you can definitely use your imagination and change things, especially when it cut. I mean, I'll talk about this later in the, once we get more into illustration, It's fun to change the clothes or change the haircut and personalize it and make it your own, especially so that you're not copying any photo exactly. But there's definitely a lot of details that are so specific that you can't really make them up in your mind. And I think having photos for those is, we'll end up making your drawings look a lot more realistic. You can see with this two-minute pose, I had time to get a little bit more detail in. It's still a really sketchy drawing. I started drawing the face in here. Definitely don't have to, but as you can see, it's really just a few lines and definitely doesn't look like the model, but that's okay. Now we're gonna move on to a three-minute pose. With this extra minute. You're knowing from the beginning that you're going to have more time. But I still want you to start same way. A lot of energy, lot of lines. See how much you can get in there quickly. And I'm doing this poster here. But because you know that you have more time once you get to a point where you want to start adding more detail, That's the time that you can slow down and spend a little bit more time, even if it's just thirty-seconds, doing some careful observation. You kinda have to trick your brain a little bit into thinking that like it's an emergency, like thinking like I gotta do this quickly even though you know that you don't have to. Because otherwise you might get really caught up in details that you don't need to be God up with from the get-go. Okay. So I feel like this is a pretty good foundation. Now I'm going to start to go in here. I like to do the hair because it's a big, solid shape. I suppose it depends on the person. Some people don't have hair, but kinda like grounds the figure right there and immediately it makes it look like a slightly more finished drawing. For these, if you were in a real figure drawing class, you would probably be using nude models, but you're not. So if you want to draw the clothing of whatever image you're using, you definitely can. And kinda like the hair. I like how it adds a shape to it and it actually helps form the figure really well, just the way that this bra or these pants hug the body. You can see clearly here, I spent, I don't know, you're basically choosing how you want to spend your time. And here I chose to spend my time blocking out these dark shapes because I thought that that would help form it as a more finished drawing. Whereas here I just spent a little bit of time putting this darker line on just to add a little bit more detail so that it wasn't just this like super sketchy red background drawing. I could've spent a differently I could've like I could have made the details be a little bit different with my extra minute, but I think this works how it turned out. So now we're gonna move on to the last pose, which is a seven-minute drawing. This is your time is now being more than doubled. So you know that you can spend more time carefully observing the figure and seeing what details that you want to include. I would still definitely start quickly, get the energy, you get the full figure down. And then from there you couldn't get into the nitty-gritty. Another thing you might want to start doing because you know, you have more time. If you're not sure about exact proportions or where you should be drawing things, you can use your pencil or your brush to measure angles. So I can put this here and I can see that this is the angle between the knees, for instance. And now I can keep it there and move it onto my paper and see how well I captured that. And now I can see, okay, well maybe this needs to come out a little bit more here and it can start to edit that, fit it in there. You can do that with a lot of things like this arm here, this angle of the arm is like this. Like okay, I got that pretty well. That can be particularly helpful if poses are a little bit more complicated and not, not like a super straightforward way that you're used to seeing the body. So now I kinda got like a more detailed sketch going with this base layer. And I think again, I want to start with the hair. I'm tempted to check on how much time I have left, but I'm not gonna do it. This pose is kinda cool with the hair here because look at that space, how it forms the back of the body to, again, you don't have to be drawing faces here if you don't want to like, it's perfectly fine to save that for the next exercise. If you're not sure of it yet, but I didn't know like you can give it a shot. You can also approach the faces like the same way that you're approaching the gesture, like the bottom layer sketch. And just like start to feel it out. I'm doing this like real sketchy. If you get into like, like I'm doing a contour line now, if you get in there and observe and realize that like you didn't put this gesture line, the red lines and the right place like That's okay, you can just ignore it. I'm gonna cut this ankle and a lot more and just pretend like that wasn't there. Maybe I'll go in there and just like darken up a couple little areas of the face. And you know, to be honest, like the three-minute in the seven dry 7% drawings don't look like significantly different. The main difference is I was able to spend a little bit more time considering what I wanted to draw and the way I wanted to draw it. Like especially in the face and the clothes like here. I was really just kinda like trying to fit it in there and like scrolling this in. And then here I was able to think about the outline. I was doing a bit more and because it's a little bit more well-considered, sometimes the faster drawings might have more of the look and feel and energy of what you want to go for in your work. So just because you have more time doesn't mean you necessarily need to use it. I think it's helpful to do all of these and then decide what you like and decide what works best for your work. So now that we're warmed up in the next lesson, we're going to dive right into portrait drawing. 5. Drawing Portraits: In this lesson, we're gonna get comfortable drawing faces for most people, this is the hardest part. Remember, there are so many different styles you can draw it and no one way is right? This lesson is all about experimentation. So don't be afraid if your faces don't look super realistic. So the first step in getting started is to decide what photos you want to work from in drawing portraits, it's a lot easier to find more options versus drawing the full figure we were looking for a certain kind of pose. It's helpful to find people with different facial structures, different looks. Maybe they're pointing their face in a different way, like profile side three-quarters up and down, just so that you can learn how to draw all of that. We're going to start gesturally with two colors of pencil like we did in the last exercise, filling out the form of the face and then we're going to start refining it from there. Okay, So I think you're going to start by working with this face for no real particular reason. It seems like might be a nice one to draw. And I'm really just doing a, a light background sketch of it. And this is probably like the classic thing that you see where there's like a line down the center and then a line where the eyes are. I don't know, like real technical way of describing that are doing that but it's still in doing the sketch. It's still something that I'm going to do in order to know where these features are gonna be placed and make sure everything is generally symmetrical. Then the nose I kind of like block in like a triangle and go from there. So I'm really just looking at this. And I mean, I can even trace my pencil light over this photo and I can see how this kind of curves down here. And I'm just going to emulate that lightly onto my paper. And then I mean, it's really all about observation. I can see how the face curves here and comes in right here. So I'm going to try to do that little area where it comes in and then it goes out on the cheek. So again, I'm using the same feeling as I did with these gestures where I'm not assuming that any one line is in the right place. And instead I'm making like a lot of lines to fill it out. If it doesn't end up looking like the person, that's fine. Unless you're doing an illustration where you have to be getting a likeness. For the most part. You can use the image as reference, but just go from there. It gets really as detailed as you want to make it. If you are more concerned with getting a better likeness or getting, getting a more natural look. You're probably going to want to spend more time blocking things out and making sure they're in the right place before you really commit to any one line. But if you're not concerned with that, like you can just go for it. Later on. I'm showing this as a foundation right now. But later on, you can skip the sketch entirely and just go from observation and just draw it really quickly. Or you could skip the sketch and go from observation and spend a lot of time getting any little detail down. So what I'm trying to do right now is just show you what your options are that for me that like maybe this is good enough for right now. Maybe I want to start like putting her shirt in or maybe not. You can also use the angle thing again, like I can see that the strap is on this angle like this. It's a pretty sharp angle. So if I can capture that, That's awesome. Now. I'm going to just go in there. And yeah, you're not on any particular time limit right now. So maybe I would want to make this quick or maybe I wouldn't. If you want, you can try doing is timed and see how that affects your final drawing. As I go, I'm making choices on what it feels important to include and what it isn't. So clearly like. These nostrils are dark and that's a part that is integral to capturing the face. So like I might not choose to include this curve of the nose or the shading around the eyes. But that's, that's something that's really important in making this look like a face. So I'm going to make sure that like that's one of the first things that I put in there before I move on. In capturing the energy or the feel, you're, you're ensuring that you don't get too caught up in one detail, which can definitely throw off the proportions of the whole piece. If you're trying to get things generally proportional, if you're not, that's a different story, but it's like I'm get I'm getting the whole face down at the same time and getting everything generally in the right place so that when I do go into the details, I know that when I'm spending a lot of time observing that i and drawing all the curves of it that I'm putting it in the right place and I'm not going to have to worry about like erasing it or going back in to me. Like this is generally done for like a warm-up kind of drawing like this isn't really a totally finished piece, but it's showing pretty much like all the information that it needs to show to register the face. And I chose to include some things and not include other things. And I'm going to move on to the next one. So now for this next one, I'm going to do something that feels very similar, but we're going to try to make it look a little bit more finished. And in order to make it look more finished, I'm going to drop the background sketch so that we don't end up with like these lines that are going all the way through the face because for the most part of finished drawing or illustration is not going to have that. So in order to do that, I'm gonna get out a very light pencil. This is five h, which is about as light as it gets. And I'm also going to have an eraser. This is a kneaded eraser, which I like because it doesn't make any what are they called? Eraser shreds go everywhere, but you can use any type of eraser. And really, I'm just gonna do exactly the same thing. But knowing that when I'm done, I can erase this full background sketch and it's gonna be like it was never even there. So I'm going to jot this person right here and I'll put it down here because I think that'll work for me. I'm sorry if I'm moving things. So this pencil is like super light and you can see how it's all just going to be gone when I erase it. It's not only a light pencil, but i'm, I'm using it with a really light touch. And that's really all you need. You just want to be able to see these lines that you're putting down. And doing the same thing where like I'm just making tons of lines. Personally. Like I feel like this is kinda like a cool look just to have in your sketch book. Or you can post it and show people here, practice sketches. I like how the two colors look together a lot. I mean, it's nice to see a bit of the process. If anything, I'm a little bit more hesitant in using the pencil because I'm like, well what if it doesn't erase all the way? And then you can see a little bit of it. So honestly, as I'm doing this, I don't know how correct my proportions are. I didn't check. I'm really just feeling it out. I don't think the sketch that I made really looks that much like this woman. For me, that's not a priority. I know I'm teaching you how to draw portraits, so maybe I should be telling you exactly how to get it right. And I'm not, but if that is something you are more concerned with, you can go back to that finding angles with your pencil. So I can I can take an angle from the eye to the mouth on her and then move it onto my page and be like, Okay, Did I get that in the right place? Because the closer you are to getting those angles, the more it's going to end up looking like her. And just observing the shape of everything like what is the shape of this upper lip here? No. I feel like for me I've done enough lines here. I'm just looking for a successful face. It looks like her great if it doesn't. Okay. So now I'm going to move on and let's just use the blue one this time. And again, I'm going to start with the hair. You don't have to for whatever reason for me, it feels natural because it's a big shape. And it's also helping get the outline like it's getting her her hair is going around the side of her face and around her shoulders so I can observe that line and get it in there and know that once that's in there, that's like a big part of the face that's sculpted out of there. You really could be using any medium for this one. I typically like, I'm not a colored pencil person. I'm just using it for this because using pencils is going to give you a lot more control over the drawing. Then using a brush, you definitely use a brush. I would probably be doing this exact same thing with a brush, which we'll do next. Because like erasing lines under colored pencils, a little leg, no one's going to erase. But they're like it's all going away. And now we just have this blue drawings. Now that I did that I can see like is there anything I want to touch up, like, might be nice if it was a little bit more solid. Really doesn't look like her, but that's okay. Honestly, I think I prefer this the first one, but it might just be that I liked the way that I drew that face more than I drew this phase. I think this looks a lot less like her, which like I said, it doesn't really matter, but for me I'm like, okay, well, I probably would want to try that one again and see if I can do this particular drawing a little bit better. And I think that's fine. Like I keep saying, If you don't like one, just move on to the other one because faces are hard and not everyone is going to turn out exactly perfect. Sometimes the drugs that are supposed to be warm-ups are the ones that can end up having the most energy and feeling in them. So as you go, you try to keep that energy alive in your drawings and you might end up liking this one. 6. Using Gouache in Portraiture: So for the last portion of this exercise, I'm going to draw the same person three different ways and show you how using a sketch or not using a sketch or dry quicker or slower can affect the style of your piece. So I'm going to use the string right here. And I'm going to start by doing this one. We're gonna move on to the gouache now, which is something we're end up using for the illustration portion of this class. And again, you don't have to use gouache. Gouache is something I'm using because that's what I use for my work. And I've also done a class on painting with gouache. So if you've already taken that class, this is a great way to build on it. But use any materials you have on hand or any materials that you're comfortable working with. So I'm going to draw from this one and I'm going to again gonna do the same stylised sketch here to get started. Kind of like always. Do this nose sketch in the same shape. It's ends up being this like triangle, the flat top. But that's just to get where it's placed. And then of course to go from there I can observe the way that the nose actually looks. You can erase your sketch. This is the, probably the first time I've done that, but that's the point of the sketch is that it's not right. It's just a sketch. Can go in there and change it. I made the nose sort of like asymmetrical. That's not how I wanted it. Okay. It's probably good enough. So again, I'm just starting with the hair here. You've got a fun shape on this one. This is working out well or better than I thought. Actually. The type of paper you use is also really going to affect how your drawing looks. See, I can kinda like, use the brush to really make this look like hair. Towards the end. Remember, you can also paint these as quickly. Paint or draw as quickly or as slowly as you want. For me. And this is kind of like an in-between, like I'm taking my time but I'm not getting too caught up in anything. And at this point, you're really just like following your sketch and like filling in the map that you already made for yourself. While also still doing some more observation. Because my drawing itself is small in scale. And my brush is, I mean, this is a small brush, but the point is not that fine. That's also going to affect how my drawing looks like. I can't really get too much detail at this scale with this brush. So I know that if I want to get more detail, I should really scale it up. Or if I want to work this small, I need like a really fine brush to get in there. But that's okay because this is going to be my style for this piece. I can compare this to the last drawing that I did, which is essentially the exact same process. We did a pencil sketch, and then we drew on top of it, we drew our final line on top of that sketch. And you can see they have a completely different look like the colored pencil is way different than how bold this painted line is. So you can see doing the same thing, different ways. We will have a completely different result on what style you're drawing is. So I recommend trying it all and seeing what you like. This one we're gonna do our same sketch. I'm gonna do the same person this time so that we can really see how these different approaches can change the final result of your piece. So I'm doing the same sketch again. And who knows, maybe it'll look different from the last sketch. That's all right, it looks kinda like her. Let's move on. And now using this sketch as reference, I'm going to, I'm going to just have a lot of energy and the way I'm painting, I'm gonna go quick. I'm going to recall the way we first started out when we're just drawing a couple of lines to get the full figure. And I'm going to use this sketch knowing that it's going to help me with proportions, but see what fun I can have stylistically in getting the face down. So for me, that's going to mean thicker lines, looser lines, faster and more energy. And maybe I'll like how the piece turned out. So I'm really just like not having a ton of regard for how I'm painting here. You're going to have some nice accidental moments. See her bangs already got too long, but that's okay. Alright. So that's it took like what was that like ten seconds. But for me, personally, I just like this a lot more than this because I think like the way that I'm feeling while I'm doing the drawing, that I'm just having fun with it and kinda just like making a shape. And like I said, knowing it's in the right place, but it's like a free loose shape. I think that, that feeling comes across in the final piece and makes it more interesting to look at. Okay, so now the fun part with no sketch, I'm gonna do this one more time. I've already drawn her twice. I'd say I sort of know how she was and but we'll see how this one turns out. So I'm really just going for it. If you want. You can like I keep saying be slower or quicker with it. Maybe like certain areas I want to be slower. Like where I'm observing how the hair fits around the face here. Okay. So that's what that's what no sketch. It didn't turn out too much differently than the other pieces. But this is also a pose. It's pretty straightforward. It's really just straight on symmetrical. You might find that if you're drawing without a sketch and it's a little bit of a different pose, like if I had done this one where she's turning her head, it might have had a different result when you start to drive the different elements of the face, like the eyes, nose, and mouth. Think about how much detail you want to include and how much detail you don't. When you're drawing the eyes, do you want to draw the pupils, eyelids, eyelashes, or do you like how it looks better when you're just drawing the eye as a dot, either one is fine and it's all up to you and what your personal style is. The more time you spend observing, the more realistically you can make your drawings. I personally like drawing faster and more loosely as you can see here. But you could definitely spend more time and see what you can achieve. For these portraits. You can try a lot of different things using different mediums, drawing in different sizes using a sketch or no sketch, and spending more or less time. In this lesson, we spent a lot of time determining how we want to draw faces. And that'll help us choose a style for the next exercise. Pick your favorite and see how we can translate that into your illustration. 7. Sketching People: In this lesson, we're going to put together our new skills, drawing the figure and portraits into an illustration of a person or people for supplies, I'm going to start working in my sketchbook now. So I have paper that's a little bit better quality. And then I have my paints and palate and everything right here. So these are the photos I'm gonna be working from for the next two exercises. I chose vintage sixties and seventies photos of girls skateboarding that I just found on the Internet. So this time they can be more casual photos. You're not necessarily looking for somebody who's just going to model. It can be something that you're more interested in. Maybe it's photos of your friends or maybe it's photos of people engaged in activity that you might be interested in, like, I have skateboarding or it could be surfing or playing tennis. So in this exercise, we're starting to blend the first two that we did already. We're using the energy of the gestural figure and combining it with what we learned about focusing on the face. I'm just going to put some colors in my palette as I get started so that I have that all laid out and I'm ready to paint. Colors are definitely all up to you. I'm going to keep a limited palette just because we're, I'm just getting started painting the figure right now. And I don't want to get into anything too complicated with too many colors. And I'm going to get started with this photo right here because it's a simple pose, but it's dynamic and it's also just the one that's closest to me. So it's going to be easiest to look at as I start drawing. I'm picking colors randomly. But I think I'll just stick to three colors right now. I'm just getting my sketch in here to get an outline of the body before I start painting it in. And again, you can spend as much time or as little time on this as you like. The important thing is to just make sure you get the pose down so that when you start drawing, when you start filling it in, it feels like something that could maybe exist in real life. Instead of these shorts, I'm going to put hello skirt on her. And just starting to erase some of the extra lines as I go so that when I'm drawing, I don't have too many lines on here. You might find as you're drawing close and not just focusing on the shape of the body that your drawings turnout little bit differently. But we're really just focusing on what the shapes are, whether it's the body or clothing that they're wearing. And when I feel like I've got my sketch and a pretty good place, I'm going to start to just pre erase some of these lines so that they're not in my way. And also when I paint on top of them, they're not as likely to show through. So for this one, I'm going to start with just a nice contour line. And contour is just the outside. I'm just going to trace all the lines on the outside with my brush. Maybe filling in a couple of areas like the hair I'm going to fill in, but I think that's it. Even though I have my sketch, I'm still going back and looking at this photo while I'm drawing because things might change as I'm drawing hands or another things that are pretty tricky. And they're going to take some practice and it's probably a whole another class on how to draw hands. So say for now, just do your best and you'll get better at it. Alright, so I think I'm going to stop there. This was a pretty quick, simple drawing. It doesn't look like the photo, but like I said, I didn't want it to look exactly like the photo, but it captures the pose and it adds a little of my own style to it. Okay, so now I'm finished with my drawing and the last step is to erase all the pencil line. Make sure you wait until it's dry because I didn't and I smudge a little weren't there? 8. Illustrating a Person: Right now I'm gonna do the same drawing again, but I'm going to further the style a little bit. I'm going to use some more colors. I'm going to fill it in and make it feel a little bit more finished. So I'm doing the same sketch, again. Spending as much time or as little time as I want, I'm going to try to do it quickly, especially because I already have a feel for this pose. Alright, so I finished my sketch and now I'm going to start painting it in, rather than being focused on the line that's around the outside, I'm going to be focused on the inside filling all these in as solid shapes. So first, I'm starting here with the skin, which is going to be pretty much everything you see except for the close and then the skateboard at the bottom. I'm still focusing on the outline, but in a different way this time. I'm kinda painting the outline and then filling it in. So I'm gonna go ahead and fill in these shapes with the same color. Alright, that's color one. Now I'm going to move on to color too. Now I'm thinking about where I'm gonna put these colors before I get started because once they go down, that's it. So I guess maybe I'll do this yellow second down here. Spending my time observing the edges of the shapes that I'm putting down rather than drawing this contour line. I know that that is the edge of the solid shape. But within that, I am, I think I'm still painting a little bit loosely. I'm not always super concerned about what the shape is like here around the feet. It's, you know, it's getting a little messier where these shapes start to overlap. But again, it's just trying things and seeing what you like. And what this close, this gives me an opportunity to be a little bit more gestural here, like there's this ruffle on the sleeves so I can kinda do that quickly. It alike, capture the feel of what a ruffle would be like. But then maybe slowing down a little bit around the neck line and getting that line to be more crisp. So I'm just gonna go ahead and fill in these shapes with the second color. Now, I'm going to use this for the details. So we have the face, the hair is going to be a shape, but I want the hair to be the same color as the face. Just for a little continuity. That she has blue hair, that's the colors can be imaginary. Now, I can't really see where my sketch was under there, but you can see it a little bit. I'm going to just try to wing it. And I have this other drawing next to me that I can refer to it as well. And you can see there's a little bit of Washington as in here. I could have gotten rid of that by using less water. Again, we talk about that in the gouache class, but you can experiment with more or less amounts of water and see what effect that you like best. So here are two drawings, both based on the same photo. We started both of them in the same way. And we discovered how we can take the fundamentals of figure drawing and create two very different illustrative looks. So now you can look at the photos that you've gathered, pick one of your favorites and try drawing the figure in a few different illustration styles. In the next lesson, we're going to put everything together and create a full Illustrated scene. 9. Painting Subjects in Scenes: Alright, you've fully mastered drawing people at this point. Your drawings look great on their own, but let's take it all the way and incorporate your drugs into a full scene or whatever finished illustration looks like to you. So again, you're going to gather your photos, decide what you want to draw from. I'm going to use the same photos as I did before. Taking the posts from one. I'm using a background from another to make a full scene. If you want to, you can do a few quick sketches on scratch paper to determine what you want your composition to be. This can be helpful, not just if you're a beginner, but if you want to think through things before you get started, alright, so again, I'm going to start with a sketch. If you'd like starting with a sketch at this point, dive right into it. If you don't like the sketches, you've probably know why now you don't have to. But I'm going to take two of these people from the photos and put them together into one image. Okay, I'm, I'm gonna start with my people first because they are going to be in the foreground of the piece. They're going to be the focal point. I wanna make sure that they have the most detail and then I'm gonna get to the background later. I mean, I would say since this isn't my sketchbook, I'm not being precious about it. All of this, even though I'm creating a finished piece now, I'm still considering this fun practice, but definitely if you are considering having your piece stand alone on its own, really be like one nice finished piece you can think about like the borders around it. Or you can think about exactly where you're placing these figures before you start drawing. Generally the way I'd like everyone to be thinking about this as like we're just having fun drawing and it's all like practice drawings. And if we get something good, that's awesome, but we don't necessarily have to be too precious about the way these drawings are fitting on the page or are fitting into your sketch book or anything like that. I like doing it this way because it allows you to create your own composition. It allows you to come up with something that's original, that's not just copying or re-interpreting a photo. You can be a little bit more creative with the way you're, with what you're choosing to include or what you're choosing to leave out. Sam, making decisions as I go right now, then I think I'm going to put her next to her and maybe a little bit larger so that she's even coming in front of her. When I'm putting these two figures next to each other, I'm looking for to that feels like they might exist on the same plane. They would naturally fit next to each other. They might be the same scale versus a drawing like this. This one is even more dynamic. It's a little more close up. I think it could work with any of the other drawings, but in that case, I would have to think a little bit more about how I'm composing the scene. And there might be a little bit more left to the imagination. And that's a little tricky for me right now. You can also think about how your figures might overlap. If you're only using one photo. That's probably not something that you need to consider, but because I'm putting these two people next to each other and this girl has her arms outstretched. I'm gonna make her arm becoming behind her. I think. Before I start drawing, I'm going to think about, I'm gonna be using this background. Just think about like the ground line a little bit and where I want that to be. First I'm drawing the figures and then I'm going to fit the background around them. So once I have the figures in there, I can adjust the background accordingly. Whether I'm going to zoom in or out and see how well it fits with these people. Alright, so before I do anything in the background, I'm just gonna go ahead and get started on my people here. And again, I'm taking some creative liberties. This photo, this girl has a cast, which is cute, but I'm just going to draw her arm because it's easier. She also has these tall socks on, but I'm going to skip that because maybe I want it to be a little bit more modern. I'm doing the same style that I used in the last piece that we did. And I'm just doing one color at a time and I'm referencing the photo and I'm using my sketch as a guide line and I'm just starting to fill in each section. The advantage of doing the sketch first is once you have that down, you have more freedom to start playing around with the other elements on top of it. So I'm gonna go ahead and apply the skin tone layer first. I'm doing it this way because it gives me the best foundation for the body. Most of what we're seeing, head, arms, and legs as all in the skin color. And from there, I'm going to put in the other big areas, starting with the close. Now I'm going to start on the detail because I'm not super concerned about the individual features of these two figures. I'm just going to use the same colors for all, for both of them. If you're focused more on like having it, the people look more like individuals. You might want them to have their own hair colors or like completely different hairstyles. I'm not doing that right now just because I want to simplify it. And I only really feel like using this one color, which is definitely a style choice. You can definitely play around more with hair color, hairstyle, using different colors and textures around the face of the person you're trying. And I'm drawing these spaces like pretty super simplified to. You can also put more detail into it. So I think if you wanted to try something completely different, if you're from person to person, if you're drawing more than one person next to each other, by all means go for it. But I think in getting these two people to feel like their existing in the same piece, it's helpful to be approaching both of the faces in the same way. Now before I do the background, I'm going to erase out some of these pencil lines from my sketch so that it doesn't get in my way. And giving us a once-over to see if maybe there's anything else I want to add to it. Like, maybe I want to tie this brown color in somewhere else by adding some buttons or your pants. That's cool. 10. Painting Backgrounds: Okay, so I wrapped up the people. I'm happy with how they look. And now we're gonna move on to filling in the rest of the piece. I'm going to start with the foreground and work my way back. But however, it makes most sense to you logically to start sketching, you can feel free to do it. I'm just starting with this line that's going across on the diagonal to have a plane for the ground. This is really an exercise in figure drawing. So the background is not necessarily what you need to focus on today, but we're thinking about it in order to figure out how to work these people into your regular work. There, there's a sidewalk and then I'm putting this line where the grass is gonna go and I'm gonna kinda work out like a border for this piece so that I know where I'm going to paint it. I don't want to do like too far into my sketchbook. And above them to then there's, I like this tree that's in the corner because it adds an extra little bit. So I'm gonna put that then. Um, I think I want, my figures are already pretty loose and since I want them to feel like they're in the foreground, I'm, I'm gonna go pretty loose with the background. There are some other people in here. And I think that could be a really fun thing to draw small and loosen the background. But I'm not gonna do that today because I just think it might take away from these people a little bit. Instead, I'm going to just go super graphic, just a couple of different colors and fill it in so that you can, you can tell what you're looking at. You can tell that it's background, but there's nothing that's really too specific. So I'm going to just start blocking these colors onto here based on the sketch that I've done for myself. And really just getting it all in here. Right? So you've got this color down. Now this next one is gonna be pretty big. I'm just paying attention really to like how I'm doing the outlines and that's it. And I'm also like forced to move really quickly because I don't want my paint to dry, so I gotta just keep going. I'm going to use this same brown for the tree to tie these figures in with the background. So there's another thing that's like them That's using the same color. Might kinda go out on a lemon. Do like some imaginary bushes right here. Because that seems like a good idea. I don't know. And don't feel pressured to follow the photo exactly if you are working abstractly or having some ideas, feel free to go out on a limb and add something from your imagination. If you accidentally like, paint over your figure a little bit as you're putting in the background. That's okay. Just want everybody to know that. Like I went over that arm a little bit right there, but not going to affect the overall look of my piece. And there you have it. Finished illustration with your two fingers in them. We're able to reference these photos, but change enough stuff that this piece is entirely our own. And I'm going to put the last touches on it by just erasing the last remnants of the sketch so that the whole thing looks totally effortless. For this full scene, I went off of the style that we use during the people drawing. But you can definitely do this exercise in any style using any medium. The goal here is to figure out how you can take portraits and figures and integrate them into your other work. Even though I chose to draw a senior. And you can get as imaginative with this as you'd like. Think about what your work usually it looks like and what you usually like to draw. Say you like to draw landscapes lot. How can you add a person into your landscape? Or maybe if you only like to draw flowers, how can you make a floral that also has a person or a face in it? Maybe it's a person who's holding a bouquet of flowers. The more you can tailor the project to your interests here, the better. 11. Conclusion: Congrats everyone, you've made it this far. I hope you had fun working through these projects that are now able to add faces and figures into your work at competence. We warmed up by drawing quickly and then we slowed it down and use more careful observation and hope you learned that anyone can drop people and faces. You just need to practice to find your own personal style. If you take away anything from this class, not even specific to figure drawing, It's not be afraid of failure. I hope that you learned you can be loose mentally and also in the way that you draw when you're learning or trying to discover your style, the best thing you can do is make a ton of drawings and a ton of different ways. You're bound to make at least a few that you like and you'll definitely learn something unexpected along the way. Don't forget to upload your projects and check out what other students are doing to thank you so much for taking the class. I really appreciate you spending this time with me. If you have any questions or feedback, just let me know.