One hundred people: a roundup

Here’s a roundup of most of my  #oneweek100people2017 sketches, and some random thought and comments.

Challenges all seem to work this way for me: they seem doable, then somewhere halfway through I am super-tired and don’t want to do them anymore. If I can get past that, it gets easier.

I tried to not mess with my normal schedule to do these. Except that I would extend a coffee break to get a few more sketches in. ( okay, one day my ‘break’ was almost an hour!), I got these done during my regular day, by browsing less and sketching in little bits of time between things. Ideally, I’d like to keep working more sketching into my schedule like this.

I thought this much ‘cafe sketching’ would mean I got bored, but interestingly, I didn’t: I think my new obsession is drawing hands: they really speak, especially in more static poses. Body posture and what you do with your hands says so much!


Sketching with simple tools (and rarely with a full watercolor setup) meant I could be quick, and I could take my work everywhere, especially if I used smaller sketchbooks. Some of my sketches are done standing in line at the post office, for a coffee…

While I did a few portraits of my family and some in coffeeshops, what I really love is capturing people in motion. Gesture drawing is still my favorite kind of people sketching. Can you tell?

My biggest takeout from this week of people sketching is that to keep drawing people, they have to be more than just figures and anatomy to you: you have to be interested in people. And you have to enjoy the inevitable interaction that the process involves. Otherwise, people will remain “stuff you add to a scene to give it scale”.


I ended up finishing all but one of these sketches in 4 days. Day 5 was a break day (with other sketching): I needed that break. But now I’m back, and I hope to keep sketching lots of people. I’ll be posting them on instagram as always with the hashtag #peoplesketch all year round. Join me?

If you did the challenge, what were your biggest takeouts? Was it important to you to get to 100? Did you set yourself a special challenge within the challenge? Did you learn anything from it? Share your comments here, I’d love to hear from you!

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in Animals, Close to home, Everyday Sketches, people, san jose, Silicon Valley and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to One hundred people: a roundup

  1. Elaine Pang says:

    Hey, probably what I noticed about doing the challenge is that I started eyeing every person I passed as if I were a collector, hunting interesting poses, hair, bone structure, colors and patterns. I too didn’t alter my daily schedule much, so as usual for me, most subjects were found on the bus or train and I did get tired of drawing only heads or parts as there was so much sketch bombing. One positive was that I reconnected with pencil drawing (I usually favor ink or watercolor or both). In retrospect maybe I should have flexed my routine more and I might have gotten more out of the week.


    • Elaine, I flexed my routine somewhat to do this, but that was the bit that made some of it stressful… so maybe you did the right thing: I agree, though, just drawing heads non stop , from one vantage point, does get tedious after a while…


  2. Great sketches…I went to the farmers market, great place to practice fast drawing..I also drew the avocados,apples, onions and showed the sketches to the farmers…I got some free food as well


  3. Linda Colgan says:

    Just trying to learn Gesture sketching having a hard time finding how to start the basics of a person do you know any good web sights on how to learn gesture sketching?
    Thank you so much so enjoying your 100 people a lot.


  4. CArmela Sunnyvale says:

    Suhita–thanks for keeping us motivated. It was definitely worthwhile for me to participate–even though i was only able to do 26 sketches, I could see an improvement. What I noticed particularly was that my observations before drawing became more focused on identify landmarks on the face, shape of face/head, and hair shape. My goal was to increase speed and accuracy in drawing the face/head. However, I did try to channel you for catching the overall pose, which you do so well!


    • Carmela, that fantastic that you did the challenge… and I think I said it in a post or to someone else: the 26 you did is probably 26 more than the average week, so that’s HUGE progress. I l, like you, find that when I do an intensive challenge I start seeing more clearly,and can start seeing similarlites and differences that would go unnoticed otherwise.


  5. dapplegrey says:

    I love gesture drawing and I’m always trying to improve sketching people in motion (your worksheets have been a great help!) but as an experiment one day I tried taking some continuous shots of people walking, to study and draw from and although this was interesting I found to my surprise it was more difficult to draw from photos than from observing the action. This I found quite weird. I think it has something to do with what you say about the sketching having to excite you – if it’s a banal exercise it’s going to be a banal drawing. But since I couldn’t get out as much as I’d hoped to, I found sketching from the TV – mostly films – quite compelling!


    • That is part of the reason for sure… the other bit, I suspect is that when you draw, you get to choose the moment in a walk that best says “walk” : not every in between moment says it as well. I discuss quite a bit of this in my craftsy online class in the section where we draw walking people… if you can’t draw from life, try drawing from a video clip : it is far more interesting than a still image.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Harold Goldfus says:

    . In the past, I usually felt inspired at the beginning of a sketch outing, and drew a lot, or if I wasn’t, I would do a few sketches and quit. I didn’t have that luxury with the 100 people challenge. Committing to doing the 20 plus people a day meant that discipline took precedence over inspiration. And I made a surprising discovery: if I was not inspired at first, it usually took the 20 drawings to get loose enough to find my artistic rhythm.


  7. Rita M Cleary says:

    It was challenging. I did about 80 sketches, a combination of live sketching and using a book of poses. By mid-week, I was not enjoying it. Much better when I switched to a larger book and just tried to capture the gesture. I can see how this approach will develop confidence over time. I will keep at it. Still trying to feel comfortabke in cafes, librarues, etc.


    • I hit a mid-week low too, Rita, and then when I finished the 100 sketches in 4 days I had to do a day of drawing other stuff to come back:20 people sketches a day means there isn’t time to sketch anything else… but with a day off, I’ve certainly come back with stuff I want to work on with people-sketching on a regular basis.


  8. Janet says:

    Such variety in your sketches. Very inspiring! Thanks for sharing. Enjoyed seeing several artists contributions to this challenge.


  9. So much energy, in your sketches and in you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s