Why I hate drawing people from life

Want to know a little secret? Unless I’m working with a professional figure drawing model, I don’t like drawing people from life. It feels like such a waste of time to me, and I don’t like drawing anything that can’t stay still long enough for me to get everything down. Really, I’d much rather draw from photos of people in dynamic poses than do a bunch of doodles of people standing in practically the same posture as they wait to order coffee or whatever. That crap gets boring for me after a while.

Sometimes, I’ll give people watching/sketching a shot, as you can see in the first image. It’s the only page from my little session at Volcano Tea yesterday that I feel okay enough to post here. A large majority of the time, though, I’m having a fun time drawing the scenery around me. The page of the EAT dining room in North Hollywood on Saturday afternoon was a party to ink. Even the waitress was all, “Are you drawing this?” as she gestured to the space around us before going, “That’s amazing!” You know, I’m not going to let compliments like that get to my head, but it was flattering.

It works out, though. I still struggle with perspective, so these background drawings make for great practice.

About Kristina Bustamante

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