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What I'm Reading

Today, I focus on another aspect of my art: drawing. Sketching People by Lynne Chapman is part of the Urban Sketching series.

Urban Sketchers, for those who don't know, is a group of people who meet to draw and sketch in urban areas. There are many groups around the world (including one here in Seoul), but one only has to sketch in an urban setting to be an urban sketcher.

Living in Korea, I feel that most of the places I can sketch are fairly urban. Seoul is ranked 16th in population size (before NYC at 24, which is the 1st US city on the list).

I love the concept of sketching, and want to improve my drawing abilities (hence doing Inktober this past month). I found that I didn't know how to sketch people. Places are static, and I felt that I had a good handle on them, but people ... ah people. That was another subject.

I looked at a variety of books before settling on this one. Mainly because this book is more like a mentor giving me her secrets and less a teacher telling me what to do. There are four parts: Getting Started, Sketching Out in the Big, Wide World, Different Styles and Approaches, and People Move! Each part divides further down into two page spreads focusing on something specific such as hands, nose, feet or how to draw clothing. Chapman also talks a little bit about how she shifted her focus onto people.

In the Different Styles and Approaches part, Chapman shows the reader how others approach sketching or even journaling. This is invaluable because showing how others do the same thing, you can decide which approach you want to try. I was especially drawn to the little text vignettes, and want to include more text in my own sketches.

Sketching People is best for those who already know how to draw, but don't feel very confident in their abilities. It's a self-study book, and if you're looking for a project (do this, this and that), you'll have to look elsewhere. This book works best as a companion.


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