Last Week: Sketching people every day

February 11, 2019 | 6 Comments

Last week I suddenly realized that I am actually sketching people every day* and if I skip a day, I really miss it. This is a big deal for me because, for many years, I didn’t have the confidence to sketch people, mainly because I had never gotten around to getting serious about developing my skills.

Two years ago I started having fortnightly accountability session with Chris Haldane specifically to work on drawing people. This was a turning point for me as I finally started doing consistent research into the human figure which is needed to be able to draw it properly. The oneweek100people challenges were also good for getting me more comfortable with openly sketching people in public but the real breakthrough was sketching at the seanwes conference in Oct 2017. It was during this week that I worked out a way to sketch people that I was happy with – that matched the other work in my sketchbooks. But when I came back home my people sketching dropped off again.

I’m not exactly sure why I suddenly have been able to stick with sketching people regularly for the last few months. Maybe, it’s just been the right time in my creative journey to do so. I also think that hanging out with Suhita Shirodkar in November – seeing her everyday sketchbooks and a few discussions we had about drawing people – really helped as well. Suhita and also Lynne Chapman have been a huge inspiration and a great encouragement to me over the years.

I still have a long way to go – so much still to learn about anatomy and ways of sketching people my own way, but I have gotten over ‘the hump’ and now can more easily accept the good with the bad. What’s ‘the hump’? It’s hard to put in words, but I believe there is a steep incline in the early days of doing anything new where you have to work super hard developing your skills (practice and research). You also have to fight frustration and discouragement constantly but after a while things start to become easier. Once you are past this point, you are over the hump. You still need to work hard, but there is a degree of comfort and acceptance of where you are at.

As for my sketches this week… I’m not overly excited about my people sketches this week, but I have started my research at night again, so hope to see some improvement soon. But that is just one piece in a nice varied week. So this collection is a good record of what I got up to – including some pigment play, and a day trip to Terrigal.

*Note: Every day = Monday – Saturday for me as I don’t sketch on Sundays.

So, how did your sketching go this week? Did you work on any area of your sketching which is a challenge for you?



  • Nachtmijmers says:

    I love how loose your sketches are, they give off a great impression without being that precisely detailed. Seeing that helps me to stop worrying about not having every detail in my work too. I hope I’ll be able to one day get over that hump too and sketch people freely.
    Do you cut out pieces of blue lined paper or do you draw those blue lines yourself in your journals?

  • Wendy O'Callaghan says:

    Hi Liz what a stunning thoughtful post this is. i love the sketch people challenge people my pet hate. I also love the colour mixing. I adore those pinks. Many thanks for brightening up my day. I hope you weren’t affected by the storm Keep posting

  • Myriam says:

    Hi Liz!

    I would like to know the nib you’ re using to write the text on your sketche’s pages? It stands out so well!

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