How to catch an instant of life drawing people | TIP15

mcdonald-logoLast night I took the plane from Saigon to Singapore. Landing around midnight, I stayed overnight at the airport chilling around. 19 hours of transit was in front of me. (4 hours more to go.)

So I stopped at Mc Donald, took my portable digital tablet, on my favorite software Sketchbook Pro and slowly started the 10th sketch of the 365 K.S.Challenge.

TIP 15 Catch an instant of life

Do not draw people like a “copy and paste method”
trying to get the best realistic reproduction.
A camera will do it better and faster. 

It doesn’t matter much if what you draw is not the exact copy of what you see. What you should target first is an instant of life, a mood, an emotion in your drawing. Try to grab a story.

Chou-Tac ChungPeople of Mc Donald, Singapore airport, 2014
There was a guy who attracted my attention. He was skinny, and he was carrying a huge bag on his shoulder, eating a burger. Looking at his body posture the bag didn’t seem really heavy though.




Let’s start with a quick skeleton by observing his attitude and identify the “gravity line”.

It’s early morning, and any of us would be happier on his respective bed. We know that he’s carrying a huge bag. The weight being on his shoulder make him bend his back to relax.
All the weight goes down to the chair and is transferred to the ground. So his legs and feet can relax and don’t need to support anymore the weight.

Note that the upper body finds his balance with the bag weight.

STEP 2 | Draw the general volumes


I sketch the main elements on top of the skeleton using it as a guide.

If these first elements are well done, you already know that you have a high chance to end with a pretty good sketch.

STEP 3 | Add details and shadows people-of-mc-donald-theDesignSkechbook3

Feel free to add some props to illustrate the situation.
He didn’t notice that, but I put his passport and boarding pass in his pocket.people-of-mc-donald-theDesignSkechbook8

STEP 4 | Final touch

people-of-mc-donald-theDesignSkechbook5Did you notice the left leg?

I have purposely decided to do not to finish it. It gives some lightness and a better sketch comprehension.

You will wonder when the sketch is good enough to stop it. It’s simply up to you. You’ll be more confident by trying it a few times.

Try these tips today!
Let me know how was it.


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About The Author


Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at : )

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