Here is a look at the reference photograph I used while sketching this. Again, this will be all freehand without a grid, ruler, or other tools, but I encourage you to sketch along with me while you read the steps below. You can also watch the video above, pausing whenever needed to take a closer look and keep up.
We’ll begin by sketching a rough outline of the head and the guideline where the eyes will be and another guideline for where the nose should be. These lines should be parallel to one another, and the guideline for the nose should be roughly halfway between the eye guideline and the chin. Then start sketching the shape of the forehead.
We can also start sketching the shape of the nose itself. Be careful not to make the nose protrude too much. Carefully sketch the shape of the nostril and the wing of the nose next to it. Sketch a short line running along the length of the nose to define the bridge.
Next we’ll draw the eye. The eye will be farther back a little in the skull of the head. Notice the light vertical guideline that aligns the eye with the side of the nose. The man’s eyes are closed so we can only really see the top eyelid and some indications of the eyelashes. To sketch the eyebrow, draw the basic outline first and then sketch in the hairs flowing in the same direction as the hairs of the eyebrow.
About one-third of the way down from the nose to the chin, start sketching the lips. Remember his lips are slightly parted so the drink can enter his mouth. The bottom lip will be resting on the glass that he’s drinking from and the top will be extended a little farther just inside the glass. Start shaping the chin now too.
Continue to form the jawline and work your way up to the ear. The ear should fall between the guideline for the eye and the guideline for the nose that was drawn earlier. Note the different shapes that make up the outer ear, and put shading along these shapes to give the ear a more realistic form.
Next we can start sketching the hair. I sketched a rough outline of the hairline to begin with, and now I’m trying to shade in some of the hairs of the head, being aware of the flow and the direction of the hair. As you shade, use more pressure on your pencil for darker areas like behind the ear.
Since this man has a beard, we’ll sketch that next. We don’t want these hairs to be as thick as the hairs on his head, but we do want to draw some of the fine lines that are visible of the beard. Put some light hatch lines as an undertone for the beard, and then layer the hairs on top of that.
We might say this is a man who just got off work and stopped for a drink since we see him in a tie, so let’s make the neckline collar. We’ll sketch a slightly loosened tie underneath. Also, put some light shading on the collar itself to show some of the subtle folds in the clothing.
Now let’s start working on the glass. We can start with the rim of the glass. It’s at an angle from the man’s lips, and we want to make sure that it’s touching his lips. Sketch a long thin oval shape for the opening, but not too long. The length of the opening will affect the size of the glass.
From that, we’ll want to form the shape of the glass itself. Try your best to keep a symmetrical shape from top to bottom. This drinking glass is wide at the top and starts to get slender near the bottom. Sketch the bottom so it’s at the same angle as the rim on the top.
Sketch the drink inside of the glass going toward his mouth. Do this with two parallel lines for the foam at a level horizontal to the ground. Start sketching the fingers of the hand that is holding on to the glass. We see the thumb underneath and the fingers on top.
Continue to work on the arm by drawing the cuff below the hand and the sleeve of the man’s shirt. Again, add shading to indicate shadows as well as the folds in the clothing.
Next, we want to sketch some lines in the glass to try to make it look like glass. So we’re just sketching some lines that can serve as reflections. Try to make the lines go along with the contours of the glass. You also might notice that there is a slight line indicating the hand connecting the thumb to the index finger, but you can barely see because the glass is blocking the view.
Now we’ll shade the drink inside of the glass. When we shade the drink inside, we want to kind of work around the highlights and the reflections that we put in the glass in the last step. Add other details like making tiny circles for the foam from the beer clinging to the inside of the glass near the top.
Look for any finishing touches that need to be added, like maybe darkening some parts of the glass or the man’s beard. Take a step back and look at your sketch. Touch up any other areas that need attention.
That’s how to sketch a man drinking beer. Please remember that freehand, observational sketching doesn’t develop perfectly over the course of one sketch. It is a process that develops over years of practice. If you are not pleased with how this sketch turned out for you, try it again and again. Practice on other similar images too. You will improve with every sketch!