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Drawing People: A new program from The Joy of Drawing

Updated: Jul 31

With our new 3-step program you will be drawing people in no time even if you are a total beginner...

If you want to be successful in drawing everyday situations - learning to draw the human figure is a must. Why is it then, that some folks shy away from learning to draw people?

Well, there are several reasons and, if you can relate to any of the following phrases - read on!

  • ‘I love drawing but when it comes to sketching people i just give up’

  • ‘Too much effort to learn for not a great return’

  • ‘I never seem to be able to get the proportions correct’

  • ‘It is really hard to capture people in real life, i am not fast enough to draw them’

  • ‘Some of the body parts, like hands and feet, are very challenging to draw’

If any of this sounds familiar - we can help….

The Figure Drawing Studio Trap

One of the aspects that can be off putting is the traditional “Figure Drawing” studio experience, usually drawing figures in the nude in a contrived studio setting, which can be totally unrelated to real life. Often the other students have been attending for years, thus making the new student feel self conscious. Sessions frequently start with 2 minute poses that hardly give you time to pick up your pencil, but are somehow supposed to “loosen you up”. Great for experienced artists, but very difficult for the beginner artist.

We believe in a gentler touch and a scaffolded approach that will enable you as the student to achieve amazing results in a relatively short time.

Our goal is to show you how to draw the people around you - in your home, your family, in the local coffee bar or restaurant. Real people living real lives: it could be your significant other with feet up on the couch, your children lying on the floor - so many memories to capture, not forgetting when you are on your travels!

Our 3-Step Program to Ensure Your Success...

In the past two years, Katy and I have simplified the process of teaching beginning students how to draw people into three simple steps.

Step One: A short 30 minute YouTube demonstration, along with worksheets, that you can download and learn the basics, including:

  • The use of stick figures or gestures to capture the basics of the pose.

  • Basic proportion skills.

Step Two: A 90 minute ONLINE workshop using photos of the same pose in different settings and from different views.

  • You will learn a step by step “how to” approach drawing one pose in different positions.

  • How to use the light to make the figure look more 3D and how to understand where the light and shadows will fall.

  • Master related perspectives and foreshortening that can be hard for the beginner.

Note: This workshop is always recorded so if you cannot attend online in person, you will receive the video recording along with any related materials. The recorded video is then available in our Figure Drawing Instructional Video Library for purchase.

Step Three: The final step is a LIVE uninstructed session where you join in person or via Zoom. Our models will assume the pose from different directions, giving you time to study and draw the pose for yourself, without interruption or interference, in a safe and helpful space.

  • We are there to help IF ASKED, but the main goal is to give you the chance to practice and time to draw, draw, draw!

  • Longer poses are provided, at first, to learn the pose, followed by shorter poses to encourage you to draw faster as one needs to do to capture that pose in real life..

  • The whole class is live streamed for those unable to attend in person, and the recordings are sent to everyone who registers, in person or online.

  • The video recording of the live figure poses will also be available through our recorded video library should you come to it later in the day and want to go through the three step process without the one month gap between each step.

By the time you have completed the lessons, you will be able to pick up your sketchbook and start drawing people as you see them. You will have the resource of the three video recordings to refer to if needed and you will then be ready to move onto the next type of pose.

"This was a great session..."

Feedback from our last in-person live model session

"This was a great session and I felt confident after watching the video first and then attending the live-streamed drawing studio with real models! Sonia Murray

Jean's lovely drawing from her very first live drawing session!

"Thank you for this live drawing session. Fantastic addition to your workshops!: Robyn Setzen

Guidance and feedback

It will be essential to have some gentle guidance and encouragement on this journey to draw people, this will be enabled by joining our ‘Drawing People’ Google Classroom. (You will receive an invitation once you have registered for your first class with instructions on how to upload your work.)

  • You will be able to upload your work privately for only the instructor to review and comment and suggest amendments where necessary.

  • Another wonderful aspect of the ‘Drawing People’ Google Classroom is for sharing with your fellow students, which we do encourage, when you are ready to do so.

Our Library of Instructional Videos

To help you on this journey you have an added resource of our extensive library of Figure Drawing instructional videos taken from the many workshops we have given over the past year or more. This allows you learn about drawing the standing figure if you picked up the series from a later pose. In other words, there are lots of ways to learn.

Here is the website link where you can find these instructional videos. Scroll down to FIGURE DRAWING INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS where you can see all of the available videos. Over the coming year we will be going back over these basic poses with the three step approach outlined above, but that doesn’t hold you back from doing the original all-in-one workshop online!

Let's Get Started!

Our new series kicks off with the RECLINING FIGURE as our subject. This is a fun pose and often seen when sitting on a beach or outside in the garden or when your friend or partner puts up his or her feet on the sofa, or lies down on the floor or the bed.

Step One is to study the 30 minute instructional video I just made which you will find at the start of the Figure Drawing Instructional Video section of our Classes page which is linked here.

This is followed by the ONLINE WORKSHOP scheduled for Monday, August 14 from 1.30-3pm

Here is the link to register. And as always you will receive a recording of the workshop afterwards in case you can't make it live.

Then the reclining figure In person and live streamed session is scheduled for Monday, September 18th from 2-3.30pm at the Atherton Arts Committee Studio, in the Main Building of Holbrook Palmer Park, in Atherton. Registration available HERE.

Starting in October we will cover the Standing Figure with the same three steps of Instructional video, Online Workshop, and then Live Session. Throughout 2024 we will continue this program and cover the seated figure as well as drawing heads and faces, hands and feet and finally the moving figure.

Join our community and save...

If you would like to try us out, you can take advantage of our $4.99 community membership. Each new member will receive one FREE workshop, online or in person

  • Members also receive a free e-book of The Joy of Drawing A Beginner’s Manual which we frequently refer to in the lessons and videos.

  • There you can learn basic skills including how to estimate proportions that are essential to learning to draw people.

  • The book comes with QR codes that give you free access to YouTube videos for every exercise in the book. There are TWO versions of these videos, one for traditional drawing and the other for iPad artists using the Procreate app.

  • The book also comes with a QR code giving you free access to a downloadable workbook you can print on any black and white printer (as many times as you like) which walks you through each exercise with illustrations and steps.

You can also request the hard copy book at your library or purchase your own copy on Amazon HERE.

If you managed to read this far we can tell you ARE interested in joining our community and we welcome you! Take advantage of one of our offers and we will see you in class!

All the best and Happy Drawing

Caroline and Katy

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