New Drawing: Checking His Playlist

May 28, 2019

I was waiting for a friend in Austin, near campus, and spotted this guy across the street. The picture on the left is an example of how I quickly lay out the drawing space to correctly grid the placement of features of the figure I’m going to be drawing. I don’t actually use grid lines, just dots where the lines intersect, but I’m showing a grid here for clarity.

I figure out an alignment of grid boxes based on the overall shape of the figure. Here it’s a simple verticle group of 8 squares, which is usually plenty. I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting the halfway point between extremes when looking at the model, but on small measures I can use my pencil held out in front of me. That grid drawing with the figure took me about 30 seconds or so. It’s on 8.5 x 11″ paper. I then used that to scale it up to a larger sheet on the right that’s 11 x 17″.

The guy was a good (unaware) model, only moving once with his head and right arm, but they all went back into position long enough for me to roughly block out the darkest shapes, and get a feel for the folds in his clothing. After about a minute or two it doesn’t matter if he moves. I finished most of the shading later at home.


  1. Very nice result. Did you snap a photo for reference for home or did you shade from memory/experience?

    • I didn’t shoot any pics. I just made outline shapes for the shaded areas, using darker lines for darker areas. You don’t want to waste too much time shading, since you never know when they may move or leave.

      • All the more impressive. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Fascinating! Thanks for explaining your process. Do you ever post hyperlapse (hi-speed) videos of your work-in-process? Would be neat to see…

    • Someday maybe.

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