Draw people in a landscape

Landscapes with people how to draw them

I love to draw and sketch outdoors and my favorite subject is the landscape. A landscape picture changes a lot when you add the human figure. Often paintings and drawings require figures. Learn here some tricks how to depict people in clothes as they appear every day,moving around on the streets or in the landscape. Be prepared when someone shows up in your landscapes drawing on a sunny morning like the guy with the hunters hat in mine. He has not been there on the previous days, but suddenly he showed up and walked through my picture in a minute.

I want to pass on some of the skills which might help to get those figures into the landscape easier and I want to propose some easy exercises which might help you to be prepared when someone steps into your drawing ! Most important: do not hesitate, start drawing people today !

There is also a list of the best rated books on drawing people or the human figure. Drawing People: How to Portray the Clothed Figure helps you to improve your skills in drawing people as they apear everyday in their clothing.

The proportions of a human figure

Some very basic facts about the proportions of the human body
There are a few easy to remember guidlines about the proportions of the human figure that help to draw people. Click on the images for enlarged views.

A fact that is often ignored is that the head of a human is only about 1/8 of the full body length or 1/4 of the upper half. Of course individual measures deviate from this rule.
how to draw people – proportions of the human body
The eyes are located in the middle of a frontal view of the head. The distance between eyebrowns, tip of the nose and chin are almost equal. Looked at a head from the side it fits into the shape of a square.

It is a good exercise to draw figures in different positions from imagination using the basic knowledge of the proportions of the human body.

Figure Studies in the public

drawing people in public places
Drawing people in public places is thrilling for many reasons and not easy to do. I admire sketchers who are able to capture people in movement. In the beginning it might be helpful to choosea place where people do not walk by, but stop standing or sit. I used the situation in a museum for some studies of visitors and staff. Usually I start with the head and work down my way over shoulders to the feet of the person.

Also sketching at the busstop or at the train station is a good choice as you will find people who do not move around that fast.

I always have a sketchbook with me because waiting lounges in hospitals and other maybe more pleasant public places are great for drawing and sketching people. Waiting time goes by much faster.

How to draw people in a landscape with watercolor

This video demonstrates how the draw or paint simple figure shapes to represent people in a landscape with watercolor

More proposals for studies of the human figure

It is not necessary to go out into the public to draw people.
For exercise purposes you might consider also:

drawing from photographs – your family album
drawing from a TV film or a video

Especially drawing from video is great because you can stop and repeat a sequence that you like.

Learn how to draw a female body with the proportions

video tutorial
This is agreat tdemonstratioon haow to draw a femal teenager body with the right proportions. It start already with an important feature for drawing kids. The teenager bodey is about 6 heads high, whereas the adult body is about 8 heads high. The younger the child the bigger is the head compared to the body.

How to Draw Female Body Proportions: Teenager to Kid, Manga Style

Art supplies for figure drawing

anatomical models for drawing studies at home
Anatomical models can be very helpful for studies on the human body. The limbs can be moved and fixed on almost any position and the model can be drawn from various viewpoints.

So how does it work to draw people in a landscape ?

After some time spent with life studies you will develop a good eye and memory for the position that a human has taken in the scenery in front of you. Even if you could not finsish the specific figure you will be able to reconstruct the situation later. I often only mark the position of the heads and “hang the bodies” later. You can even complete the drawings at home or continue after you have moved to another place. For example the person you started to draw was sitting on a bench,but now stands up and walks away. You can wait until someone else will sit down or you move to another place where people are still sitting on a bench.

Before I place a figure in an empty landscape I sometimes do some trial drawings in the sketchbook to make sure I get he right size and proportions. Then I might use a transparent paper laid over the sketch to trace an exact copy of the draft. Then I can move the draft on transparent paper over the landscape study until I find the right position.

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