USk Workshop: People Mania!

If you want to overcome the fear of sketching people, and discover fun and expressive ways of capturing the city’s inhabitants in action, then this is the workshop for you!

Draw people all day at Zandvoort Beach in the Netherlands (an easy half hour train ride from Amsterdam). Marina and Suhita love drawing people-stories and their enthusiasm for the subject is infectious. You’ll try your hand at a lot of different techniques and go home with a bag of tricks, so people drawing will always be fun and accessible to you!

We’ll divide into 2 groups and each group will take turns with an instructor, trying a myriad of techniques. After you’ve had a session with both Marina and Suhita, we will form smaller groups and work jointly on capturing beach scenes filled with colorful characters. And as a bonus, each of us will go home with a group sketch that captures memories of Zandvoort Beach from that day!

Learning goals

  • Overcome your fear of drawing people
  • Find new approaches and practice loose and freeing techniques to drawing people
  • Connect to the emotional side of drawing people to tell stories
  • Strengthen hand-eye coordination
  • Improve your observation and see personality and story in each character
  • Add a whole new set of skills to your urban sketching practice

Workshop location

Zandvoort Beach, Netherlands

(half hour train ride from Amsterdam)

Date and time

Sun, July 21, 2019

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM CEST

Workshop schedule

  • Meet at station and walk to beach, intros: 15 minutes. 11:00am to 11:15 am
  • Exercise 1: 1 hour 11:15 am to noon
  • Lunch: 1 hour noon to 1 pm
  • Exercise 2: 1 hour 1pm to 2pm
  • Meetup and explain last exercise and make groups: 15 minutes 2pm to 2:15 pm
  • Short Break: 2:15 pm to 2:30pm
  • Last combined exercise in groups: 1 hour 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
  • Meet, look at all the work, thank you, photos: 15 minutes 3:30 pm to 3:45 pm

Part 1: Exercises with Marina (half the group)

Portraits & Expressions


1. Eye-hand connection

  • Blind contour – draw without looking at the paper.
  • From memory – draw without looking at the model

2. Exaggeration (caricature)

  • Strengthen essentials and exaggerate

3. Capture emotions

  • Look for certain emotions try to express them

4. Cubistic portraits

  • Combine several portraits in one

5. Name your model

  • The title can show what you think about the character

6. Time aspect:

  • Speed drawing (5, 3, 1 min)

Part 2: Exercises with Suhita (half the group)

Action & Shape


1. Eye-hand connection

  • (Almost) Blind contour – draw looking at the paper very little
  • From memory – draw without looking at the model

2. Shape-drawing

  • See people and actions as single silhouette

3. Action Figures

  • Think of people as actions, draw actions, emphasizing/ exaggerating action

4. Time aspect:

  • Speed drawing (5, 3, 1 min)

Part 3: A combined exercise in creating sketches together

We divide up into groups of about 5-7 people. Each person in each group gets a

sheet of paper, they draw a person. We set a stop watch to minute intervals. When

alarm goes off you get a sheet from one participant and pass your sheet to next

participant and again add a person to the scene and keep going round and round

and build up all the scenes. At the end each group has many sketched scenes, all

done jointly.

We regroup, discuss the exercise, how it went, emphasize the freedom of it, and look

at all the work together.

Supply list

   • A small sketchbook (~A5 size) with regular paper (nothing too fancy)

     Or, a package of A5 or A4 sheets and a clipboard.

   • Tools you like for line drawing: pencil, pen, etc.

   • Tools you like for shape drawing: wide marker, paint brush, pastels, watercolours, etc

   • A mix of your favorite tools for the last exercise.

Maximum number of participants

All levels, maximum 30 students

Registration fee

$90 USD ( plus registration fee)

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