In this tutorial of our never-ending quest for learning how to draw people, we are going to draw this image of a guy painting a wall. You can review the individual drawings as I go step-by-step to drawing the man, and you can also draw along by watching the video. Stop the video when you want, and review the drawing shots.
Use this reference photo of the man painting the wall for this tutorial so you can follow along step-by-step and sketch in details as they appear in the photos below.
When you are choosing what to draw, many times a complicated pose can make you shy away, but this drawing of a man painting a wall will show you that even a person in action can be tackled easily and with impressive results when you follow along with some simple step-by-step actions to take in your drawing. Go slowly and look carefully at each image.
Set up Box Guidelines
As you can see in this first image, I have drawn three different-sized rectangles that represent the outer framework of the body of the man we are drawing. I took some measurements of the reference photo in order to draw the boxes in proper proportion to one another which will, in turn, maintain proper proportions of our final drawing.
In the following directions, I’ll indicate the approximate measurements you’ll need for each box for a drawing the same size as mine. If you want to make a larger drawing, simply scale up as much as needed.
First, draw a small rectangle near the top of the page that will be for the man’s head. This box should be 2 ½ inches tall by about 1 7/8 inches wide.
Below this box but with a half-inch overlap, and pushed an eighth of an inch to the right, draw a taller rectangular box for the man’s torso. This box should be 4 inches tall and 2 ½ inches wide.
For the third box, draw a large square to the left of the first two boxes, with a 1 5/16 inch overlap of the torso box as shown. Also, push the bottom of this box up about 3/8 of an inch higher than the bottom of the torso box. The top of this box will serve as the top of the paint roller and the bottom of the box will be where the guy’s elbow will touch.
Now that we have these boxes, we can begin drawing some basic shapes inside.
Draw Guidelines for the Face
Start with the box on the top and draw an outline within this box for the head. Look at the reference photograph to shape the head and again at the reference photo to get an idea of the angle at which the head is turned.
We’re going to begin adding some guidelines to this head to help place the facial features. Getting these proportional guidelines lightly in place will help you position the facial features correctly, so look carefully at where these are placed and duplicate these in your drawing.
Draw a vertical line that will run through the center of the man’s face. This vertical line should also follow the curvature of the head.
Then draw a horizontal line, again curved across the center. This guideline will help us place the eyes. Draw tiny tick marks along this guideline to place the inner and outer corner of each eye.
Next approximately halfway between the eye guideline and the chin should be a mark for the bottom of the nose. About a third of the way from this point to the chin should be another guideline for the mouth.
Now we’ll focus on some vertical guidelines under where the eyes will be. A guideline from the center of the eye downward will be for the corner of the mouth. Another guideline from the inner corner of the eye downward will be for the outer edge of the lower part of the nose.
Next draw two more horizontal guidelines above the line for the eyes. One will be for the eyebrows and the other for the hairline.
Finally extend the nose guideline all the way across the head. This line and the eye guideline will help to place the ear.
Draw the Eyes and the Nose
Now let’s move on to drawing the facial features that accompany these guidelines. Begin with the eyes and draw the outline. Then draw the details of the eyes within the outlines of the eyes, such as the pupil, the iris, the highlights, the lines under the eyes, the eyelids, and so on.
After the eyes come the eyebrows. Use the guideline that’s just above the eye and draw the eyebrows on this guideline. Look at the reference photo to observe the thickness and curvature of the eyebrow around the eye, and curve appropriately in your drawing.
After the eyes is the nose. Look at the reference photograph to judge how far the tip of the nose should protrude from the face and where the tip of the nose should align with the man’s right eye. Carefully draw the nostril and bottom of the nose. The wing of the nose should line up with the inner corner of the man’s eye.
Draw More of the Face and Hair
Use the guideline drawn earlier for the mouth to begin drawing the guy’s top lip. Also remember the guideline that falls from the center of the eye to help place the corner of the mouth. The man’s mouth is slightly open, so make sure to draw some of the visible teeth before moving on to the bottom lip.
At this point, use a kneaded eraser to carefully erase some of the guidelines around the facial features. Then, shape the outline of the face. Draw the contours around the eye, cheek, mouth and chin. Add details around the mouth where needed.
Add some volume to the eyebrows with quick, loose strokes of the pencil. Refer to the photo to obtain just the right thickness.
Start shaping the ear, which should fall roughly between the guideline for the eyes and the guideline for the nose. Use the reference photo to draw the shapes within the ear.
Erase the guidelines of the face, since we are finished with those.
Now using the photo as your guide, draw in the rough outline of the hair, being careful not to make the lines look too smooth. Go back and forth over your original outline with short strokes to make the appearance of strands of hair. This will add to the realism.
On the top of the head, place the strokes going up and away from the face, to indicate an area with the hair is loose and a bit longer on top of his head.
Add sideburns down along the side of the ear and then follow up and around the ear, bringing the hair closer as you get toward the top of the ear line.
Start putting details in the outline of the hair to better indicate the flow and direction of the man’s hair, including some light shading in some of the darker areas.
Working within the overall hairline you have created, draw clusters of short back and forth strokes to create small groupings of hair and shadow that make the hair look like it is wavy and full. Do this over the entire head of hair until you have filled in enough small clusters to give the effect of thick hair.
Apply pressure to your pencil while doing this, in an alternating fashion, so the strokes are not even, nor evenly placed. Make some strokes longer than others, some shorter, as well as applying more pressure to some strokes and less to others. This will give your hair a more realistic feel to it.
Now we can start adding some other details of the eyes, such as shading. While shading the pupils, keep the small circle for the highlight bright and free of the dark color. This adds to the natural effect of reflection of the eye. Keep the center portion of the pupil dark, and then shade the iris slightly lighter. We can also now draw subtle indications of the man’s eyelashes.
Draw Below the Head
Let’s bring our focus to the area below the man’s head now. We’ll start framing the neck and torso. Look at the reference photo to get an idea of the shape of the neckline.
Draw some of the lines on the man’s neck that form as he turns his head.
Since we are finished with the box for the man’s head, we can erase that at this point.
Continue to work on the guy’s shirt. Go over the area of the shoulder, and place more lines that will give a rounded effect to the top of the shoulder. Look for seams and folds and creases in the man’s shirt and draw those, as well as the slight curve we see along the guy’s spine.
Work on the Arm
After completing the folds in the man’s shirt, draw the basic outline of the man’s arm. The point where the man’s hand is holding the handle of the paint roller is align to where his shoulder is.
Next draw a long rectangular shape along the top of the big guide box for the paint roller. Soften up the corners of the rectangle to give it a more rounded, roller-like shape. Then, start to form the metal part of the paint roller’s handle that will lead from the roller to the plastic part of the handle.
Add some detail into the roller itself to bring out some of its fuzzy texture. Similarly, with the metal part of the handle, draw a line inside, partially running the length of the metal to depict shininess. Then begin forming the shape characteristic of the plastic part of the handle.
Use the basic outline of the hand we drew to start forming the fingers, thumb, and knuckles. Since the fingers are bent away from us, there’s not too much to see as far as the fingers are concerned. Still, we can draw some light indications of shadow to add form to the part of the hand we do see.
Make short, curved strokes to show where the knuckles are on the hand, and extend the index finger further toward the left than the knuckles. Remember, you should have three main bumps for knuckles, as your fourth finger is the index finger, which is slightly extended holding the handle. The thumb angles around the handle to the right, and the thumb and index finger create a V-design.
Keep working your way down the wrist and forearm to better define the shape of the arm. Go over the arm and add in some additional curving to the area in the forearm to indicate the muscle. Outline the curve of the elbow going around the arm to create the proper contour.
Then finish drawing the man’s sleeve. Add in the lines for the bottom of the shirt sleeve, and keep these at approximately a 40-degree angle. Extend the lines beyond the edge of the arm to show dimension and depth to the shirt sleeve.
Shade and Finish Up
Now that we are done with the remaining guidelines, we can start to erase them. Clean up your drawing of stray lines carefully with your eraser, and carefully sweep away stray eraser pieces without touching your drawing so that you do not smear the drawing.
Now it’s time to start looking at some final details.
Starting at the back edge of the sleeve detail, draw light and irregular lines downward to indicate the seam edge of the shirt. These lines should be in short sections, two lines slightly separated, similar to the edge of the shirt, but much lighter and broken so they give the impression of folds in the fabric.
Add in contour lines going back and forth across these, darkening one or two where they cross over the seam here and there.
Focus on the area under the man’s arm and shade the area where the guy’s arm is casting a shadow onto his shirt.
Draw a light outline for the shape of the paint on the wall. Very lightly start to shade in the area on the wall that the roller has just painted, adding in a few horizontal lines in the same direction of the roller. Draw the lines right over to his face to make it appear that the paint goes beyond his face behind him. This will add depth to the drawing.
Find some of the darker spots on the man’s hair and darken those areas up with more shading as needed. Add in short strokes to create more depth and dimension with darker tone. Lightly shade other areas of the man’s face and neck, notably under his chin.
Look for other areas that need additional shading, such as on the paint handle, on the wall next to his arm where is arm is casting a shadow, and on his arm.
Start adding value to the man’s shirt. We’ll use a light crosshatch pattern by sketching lines at an angle in one direction then sketching more lines over these in the opposite direction. Continue applying addition layers of this crosshatch pattern over the man’s shirt to darken the value of his shirt.
Pay attention to which parts of the man’s shirt need to be darkened even further with shadow and shade in those areas.
Take a final look at the overall drawing. Add any finishing touches you feel are needed.
That completes this tutorial of how to draw a guy painting the wall! Hopefully you found this post useful and you were able to draw along with me. Make sure you take any helpful pointers you picked up from this lesson and apply them to similar drawings of people in the future.