beach drawing

It came as a sudden insight that drawing people is skill to be learned and developed.  It is not magic … miracle or mystery.  Until now my sketches of our own species have been haphazard at best.  On holiday I have been studying a more structured approach. I have thought more about the anatomical structures under the skin and looked harder for how these affect the shadows and reflected light.

By and large, my models were my children.  They are fairly tolerant but they do wriggle a lot.  These first two of my daughter have all the right elements, eyes, nose, hair etc, but … they do not exactly look like the real person.

201304 holiday sketches (7) 1

201304 holiday sketches (2)

The lines on the top of the second sketch are of my son.  Here are more.  I have been accused of making him look like an ogre in the first sketch as he contorted his features squinting in the sun.  He was folding himself up in a chair here.

201304 holiday sketches (6)

Here are more beach pictures, including my daughter on the right.

201304 holiday sketches (4)

201304 holiday sketches (3)

Lastly, I started drawing a mundane view of the boulevard and sea behind but became captivated by the lady patiently awaiting custom, usually pre-teen girls who can persuade their parents to pay for them to have their hair painfully braided and beaded.

201304 holiday sketches

I wonder where these women have come from and how they are living while we are on holiday.  I have seen similar enterprises around the Mediterranean and Canary Islands suggesting that this must surely be something like a direct selling franchise.  How much of the money are they are able to keep?  Is this a sustainable business model for them or, instead, is it they who are they the customers for a central trader  selling beads, boards and passage to tourist destinations?

9 responses to “beach drawing

  1. You’re getting lots of detail down on the paper to say they are wriggly children, I’m impressed! but I do like the simple line drawing on the second pic down best, very expressive. I’m drawn to the board in the braiders picture – particularly the figure with the ‘tache – a photo-fit? Hope you are having/had good holiday.

    • That’s really funny – no not a tache!. I think it was a young lady with her hair pulled back and looking down. What looks like her hirsute upper lip was actually her eyebrows!
      For the more detailed drawings, they did stay pretty still for ten minutes or so and I continued to work on the sketches after they had moved on, changing thicker 5B lines to finer B ones. The others were put down as lines in a minute or so and they were not aware of being drawn.

    • I might add that half burying my daughter in sand, modelling a mermaid’s tail, drawing scales on it and shaping the flukes all contributed to her being willing to stay still for a while.

      • I will remember that tip. Even the cat I started drawing in the garden at the weekend got up and put itself behind a bush so I couldn’t see it anymore – what’s the matter with people? – I’d love someone to bother to draw me!

  2. Hope you are enjoying the sun! I like your people pics. For a long time I found drawing people hard. Now, as I try less to make them accurate representations, the more like the people they look.

    • Back in the UK and work tomorrow!
      I started trying to draw the person I know but the lines and tones were jumbled, shapes distorted. My idea now is to try to get the basics of structure, light and shade and accept these drawings will be stilted and lacking personality. I think with time and practice this will become looser and more expressive of the real person. Its so unlike drawing birds where individuality matters less.

  3. You have an awesome start on people, Kestrelart. I had a great drawing instructor when I began drawing and she told me to start by drawing something I never believed I’d do well. I chose people. Thus began my lifelong journey in art. Until she actually helped me to “see” what I needed to see, my drawings of people were distorted and never a likeness. It was a combination of that “seeing” and practice and combining it with measurement. There are good guidelines in portrait books for dimensions of the human face at various ages in portrait drawing books. The anatomy helps as far as knowing how long things are on the body in relation to other parts; like arms, legs, torsos etc. Best advice? Draw them anytime you get a chance. I stuck with “line” drawings, at first and studied and drew a lot of cross contour and continuous line drawings of people in order to feel the form and ins and outs of the human body. Good drawings.

    • Thanks. I was looking again at your blog. Great pictures.
      This drawing thing – life long challenge. Looking out these cartoons i found long years of attempts at watercolours – no shape, technique, tone or depth. It was only after many years things started to improve. I guess I started to approach painting more systematically and analytically.

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