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Sketching People by Jeff Mellern

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Chapter OneOBSERVATIONAL DRAWING

All drawing begins with careful observation. Whether you are looking at a subject’s contours, a person’s clothing, someone’s body language or studying anatomy, what you see comes before what you draw. That isn’t to say that you are limited to only drawing what you see, but because art is a visual medium, everything relates back to what can be seen. Even abstract art that is completely nonrepresentational relates to the world in color harmonies, contrast or texture, but it all begins with the artist’s observations.

The challenge of representational drawing is being able to translate a three-dimensional object onto a flat surface and make it seem real. It’s quite amazing that lines on a page can create the illusion ...

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