Sketching People: An Urban Sketcher’s Manual to Drawing Figures and Faces
There’s a chapter on choosing a sketchbook, and a chapter on pencils and pens and paintbrushes, there are chapters on technique for lighting, for drawing heads and hands and feet, all the requisite chapters for a how-to-draw book. What makes this book so useful are the chapters on more nebulous concepts, like how to choose a subject, or what to do when people notice you drawing.
In my quest to become a better artist I’ve leafed through dozens of how-to-draw books, some of them quite good, most dry and bland, all preaching the same (true) mantra—practice, practice, practice. What Chapman’s book does that makes it so helpful is that, instead of saying, “One day you might be able to do this, and maybe people will take you seriously,” Chapman makes you, the artist, feel like a confident member of an envied community. She notes that almost everyone wishes they could draw, so the very idea that you’re doing it at all makes you seem incredible.
Like any how-to book, you’ll get out of it what you put in. If you think reading this book will immediately turn you into Michelangelo, you’ll be curing Chapman’s name, but if you’re willing to put the time and effort in, this is a great guide.
Barron’s Educational Series