Who Should I Draw?

Who Should I Draw?

September 11, 2021

By Rachel Blythe

Are you a little stuck for someone to draw right now?

Do you need some inspiration to get drawing?


Luckily for you, here are our top suggestions for who to draw next, and why.

Stick around to the end to find out who your next drawing will be!

Hey, I get it.

Sometimes we sit at our sketchbooks for hours staring at a blank page, not knowing what to draw.

Even when we decide that we want to draw a portrait of someone, then comes the next tricky question – who do I draw?

There is a whole world of people out there, and you would think having these billions of examples would make it an easier choice.

But it is usually the abundance of choice that actually makes it harder to decide on who to pick.

Make things a little easier on yourself and take some inspiration from our list. I’m going to chat to you about who you could try drawing, and why they make for good subjects.

Hopefully, after reading this blog your artist’s block will have lifted and you will be running straight back to your sketchbook.

Without any further ado, let’s get into it.


1. Yourself

Whenever you want to draw someone, the first step is to have lots of reference photos and visual aids.

Who better to have lots of references of than yourself?

Sometimes we avoid drawing ourselves due to issues with self-confidence or worrying about coming across as too arrogant if people see what we are drawing.

But, in truth, drawing ourselves and seeing ourselves as an artistic inspiration is a fantastic way to grow our self-esteem and self-confidence.

It also takes away the pressure that comes from drawing other people that you know, because you won’t accidentally offend anyone if you don’t get it exactly right.

Drawing yourself can be very freeing.

Try drawing yourself through different stages in your life, in different moods, and in different life situations.

Try photographing yourself in different angles and in different lights and then try to replicate them.

Drawing yourself is a great way to merge storytelling with your drawings because you are the person who knows you the best in the whole world.


2. Celebrities

The reason that drawing celebrities is a good idea is one of the same as drawing yourself is a good idea. The huge number of visual references.

With the Internet, films, T.V., magazines, posters, social media, and more, pictures of celebrities are everywhere.

Take inspiration from actors, as you can get used to drawing the foundation of their facial structure, and then take inspiration from the range of different characters they play in film and T.V.

This will be great experience for you in learning to manipulate character through facial expression, hair and makeup, and costume.

You will have thousands of images to work from, and you can look at their face from all different angles and in different lightings. This is much easier than asking someone you know to sit for long periods of time will you take countless photos of them.

Pick a celebrity as your muse, and you will never run out of content to work from.


3. Strangers That You See

 This idea comes with one tale of caution: don’t be creepy.

Going back to the idea of drawing people in a way that tells stories and narratives, picking strangers that you see out and about in the real world can be a valuable drawing experience.

With no pressure to get it exactly “correct” because you don’t know them and will most likely never see them again, you can be free to experiment with your drawing and to make up your own story behind the person’s life.

We can meet and see a lot of interesting people on any given day, and they can be amazing artistic inspiration

Try sitting in a coffee shop and watch the world go by.

Soon enough you should see someone who catches your eye.

Make up your own backstory for them and their life, and then draw that character as you imagine it.

This is a great exercise in using your imagination.

Try all different drawing styles with the same muse or try putting multiple strangers you see into a kind of storyboard.

There are infinite possibilities with what you can do with free visual inspiration.

Just remember not to stare too much and don’t take any photos of strangers. It’s your imagination that’s important here, not 100% faithful renditions.


4. Cartoons

If you’re finding draw people in real life difficult, or you just don’t find it inspiring enough to keep going, try drawing cartoon or animated people.

You can use any of the people we’ve discussed so far and turn them into a cartoon version of themselves, or you can create new people entirely.

The great thing about cartoons and animation is that you can play around with all the rules of reality.

It doesn’t have to be a normal person you draw; it could be a superhero or a robot or an alien that has somewhat human features, and somewhat not.

If you find drawing portraits restrictive or you worry too much about getting peoples’ faces exactly anatomically correct, switching to cartoon and animated forms of drawing people frees you up from any restrictions or expectations.

This style of drawing also goes hand in hand with storytelling. When drawing cartoon people, you can make up stories, lives and backgrounds for them.

Suddenly your own cartoon person turns into a whole drawing project for you, and your inspiration is reborn.

If it’s a style you’ve never tried, why not give it a go?

Even if it’s not something you stick to long-term, it is a fun and valuable way to practice your art skills, experiment with something new, and play around with the human form.

You never know, it might end up being your new thing.


5. Old People and Babies

This might seem like a very precise category of people to draw, but it is so for good reason.

Old people and babies are very different to draw compared to regular adult people, and they are very different to draw from each other.

The skin, joint and bone structure, and overall physical characteristics of old people and babies are all very different.

Practising drawing both old people and babies is a great way for you to practice a lot of different drawing techniques and helps you work on realism and faithfulness to a source image.

Drawing older people requires a lot of attention to detail, and you will need to work on tonal values, shading and shadows.

Both types of people require a basic understanding of human anatomy and how it changes in order to be drawn accurately, and so this is a great way to learn and practice.

Drawing old people and babies may be tricky at the start, but it will be an invaluable practice that serves you well in the long run.

Trust me.

6. Men and Women

There are quite a few differences in drawing men and women too, and so this is another valuable drawing practice to try out.

Men and women are physically and anatomically different, and there are different proportions to take into account when you are drawing their faces and bodies.

Even men and women’s hands need to be drawn differently.

The devil is in the detail.

Try practising by drawing men beside women and noting any differences you need to make.

The more you practice, the better you’ll get it.

You can also play around with gender and gender expression and draw all types of people across the gender spectrum.

Use examples from online if you need to and try drawing as many different kinds of people as you can.

There is no one-fits-all rule when it comes to drawing people because there isn’t just one kind of person.

The best way to get good at drawing people is to practice drawing a spectrum of people and doing it often.

Draw people of all races, genders, shapes, and sizes.

Fill a sketchbook full of people, and you will be well on your way.


To Sum Up…

Drawing people can be tricky, there’s no question about that.

And deciding who to draw can be even trickier, I don’t doubt that either.

But as with any art craft, the best way to do it is to just do it (no copyright intended Nike).

Get as much practice as you can in drawing all kinds of people across the human spectrum.

Use lots of visual inspiration, from pictures of yourself to meetings with strangers to pictures of celebrities on the Internet.

Use any style of art or drawing that you want. If realism is hard for you, why not try cartoons or manga or animation.

Being a “person” can mean any range of things, and so art of people can be any range of things too.

Use inspiration from the world around you, play with the rules, experiment, and put lots of practice in.

If you follow these basic steps, you’ll be drawing amazing renditions of people in no time.