Learn How to Sketch Celebrities by Implementing These Two Daily Habits

"Sherman Hemsley" by Jack Pearce
“Sherman Hemsley” by Jack Pearce

For those who wish to learn how to sketch celebrities, I remind you of the old adage “learn by doing”.

If you want to get better at sketching celebrities, the more you actually put in the practice, the better you will get. That is why ideally, you should get into the habit of practicing every day.

I have two daily habits I would like to share with you that can help. But first…

Let’s remind ourselves why it is a great idea to practice sketching celebrities.

Why You Should Get in the Habit of Sketching Celebrities

If it is your goal to draw realistic renderings of people, you want the people you draw or sketch to look like the actual person. You don’t have to aim for perfection, but you would at least like the person to be recognizable to others who know him or her.

If you only sketch largely unknown faces, people who look at your work will not know who the person is unless you always have a reference photo nearby so they can compare.

By sketching celebrities, you can better get a sense of how you are progressing by how easily others can recognize who you drew!

What’s more, we are constantly inundated by images of celebrities. You will not have to look very far to find celebrity subjects to sketch.

Now, here are two easy ways you can make a habit out of sketching celebrities on a regular basis…

Habit #1: Sketch Celebrities from Still Images

It is very easy to find still images of celebrities. From the tabloid magazines that line the checkout aisles to the abundance of online celebrity galleries and photos, celebrity images are all around.

Sketching from a still image gives you the advantage of taking your time to really study and understand the unique facial characteristics that make a celebrity recognizable.

You can also find multiple images of the same celebrity from which to work. This gives you the advantage of examining traits from multiple angles. Additionally, it will allow you to improve as an artist by creating an original sketch of a recognizable celebrity that is not dependent on just one reference photograph.

You should strike a balance of working from both physical publications (like tabloids and magazines) and online media. Keep a stack of celebrity photo resources nearby where you like to sketch. Make a file folder on your computer and save celebrity images you come across that you’d like to reference someday.

To implement this habit on a daily basis, do not put a lot of thought into who you will sketch. Just go to your magazines or computer and take about 60 seconds to choose a celebrity. Then start sketching! Don’t spend too much time making it perfect. Remember this is just a sketch and you are trying to hone your skills by capturing a likeness.

Habit #2: Sketch Celebrities from TV and Online Videos

As easy as it is to find celebrity still photographs, it is just as easy (if not easier) to just turn on your television!

The advantage of working from television, DVD/Blu-ray, online video, or any other video format is similar to working from multiple still images: you get better familiarity of the celebrities’ special physical traits from multiple perspectives, and you are loosening your dependence on working from one image.

Of course, this approach does present more of a challenge since your celebrity is in motion. Yes, you could use the option of pausing your video and sketching from the screen shot. However, I would encourage you to watch a video, TV program, or movie all the way through and sketch as you watch. This will give you practice sketching from life, even though the “life” is on your TV or computer screen.

If you had a live model, surely he or she would be more accommodating and sit or stand still for you, but how many of us have the luxury of asking a celebrity to model for us?

Think of this as being akin to going to the mall and sketching the wandering shoppers, but you get to sketch celebrities instead!

To implement this habit on a daily basis, again…do not put too much thought into it. Just turn on the TV or load one of your favorite Netflix shows and start sketching! Look for which facial traits make your chosen celebrity most recognizable to others and include those traits in your sketch.

Celebrities Will Appear If You Keep “Doing”

As I said at the onset, the best way you can learn how to sketch celebrities is by constantly “doing” it. Keep the “doing” up by sticking to the habit of sketching celebrities every day. The idea is to make quick, rough celebrity sketches that still capture a close resemblance. Don’t worry too much if you don’t get an accurate likeness every time. If you implement at least one of these two habits on a daily basis, it will get easier for you and the celebrities will begin to appear in a recognizable form on your sketch paper. You will soon see an improvement in the way your sketches resemble the intended celebrity, so keep doing it!

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