How to sketch people in public – people sketching – episode 1

[Opening Theme Music] Hello everyone, Will Terrell here. Thank you
for watching this video. Today this video I’m doing is an actual live sketch of somebody
that we saw in Walmart. I get a lot of questions about how we do live sketching in public places,
how do you do it without people noticing, without them getting upset with you, or how
do you do it quickly because people don’t just sit there. So this video is basically
just some tips on how I go about doing it, and everybody’s different so you’ll have to
find your own way, what you’re comfortable with. First of all, one thing a lot of people
tell me is that when they start sketching people in public, or they try to, it’s very…they
get frustrated that it’s not as easy as it looks, and that’s perfectly natural. I mean,
I’ve been sketching people in public for a long time, but I can never do more than one
or two sketches in my sketchbook before I get frustrated, and put it away and go home
and work on something else. And I’d always look at other artist’s work and be frustrated
at how they made it look so easy. But the truth is, it’s just like anything. You have
to get where you can have fun doing it and you’re not doing it just to have a sketchbook
or just to do a few sketches, you’re doing it because you actually enjoy it. But the
way I was able to get there is I found a friend named Brandon Green. You can check out his
work at, and I’ll put a link in the notes for you. But
before that I’d always drawn mostly by myself, and that’s kind of, ya know, it’s not as fun. It’s really nice to have somebody else there
that, you look at their sketches and you’re like: “Oh that’s awesome, I think I could
do that!” and so you know you kind of push each other to grow and even better is when
you can be witness to the wildlife together [laughs]. In fact when we’re sketching at Walmart . we
sketch at all places, we sketch at malls and restaurants and stuff. but Walmart’s pretty
much the best because you’ve got the people of Walmart, you’ve got the wildlife there,
but we sit at the counters in the restaurant inside Walmart that face all the cash registers.
And so when you see somebody with a fancy hat, or suspenders, or a crazy mustache or
something like that, you can call out: “Mustache line two!” you know? Or “Mullet!” Ya know,
we actually saw a guy with a double mullet which is pretty amazing, and we called him
out “Double mullet line one!” and everybody draws the person on that line. So, it becomes
a fun little game and you can figure out you know, like: “Asian Danny DeVito” or, you come
up with little slogans and stuff, so when you actual see the Asian Danny DeVito and
it looks exactly like Asian Danny DeVito, you’re like: “OH MY GOD!” So it’s nice to
have people to do it with. So the sketch I’m working on right now is
basically a memory sketch. I only had about twenty seconds to see the guy. He was actually
standing behind me and we both picked him out as having the most amazing mustache in
the world. So I looked at him a little bit and tried to take a mental note of what I
wanted to draw from him. Number one was I wanted to capture the mustache, how it looked
like,ya know, it was blowing in the wind even though he was standing perfectly still inside.
I wanted to capture the leatheriness of his neck. And I wanted to capture how his eyebrows
seemed to be growing around his glasses. So those were the three things that I wanted
to put into the drawing. As soon as I knew what I wanted to do with it, I did my best
to capture the likeness. I tried to capture the slope of his nose, and the slope of his
chin. As you can see it kind of juts out, a little tiny chin. And from there, it’s sort
of like me turning him, instead of a caricature, I’m turning him into a character. So it’s
not…like if you were to see the actual person, it might look similar to him, but it’s not
going to look exactly like him. And I’d say that about half of my sketches in public are
like that, ’cause unless someone’s sitting there for several minutes, you’re not going
to get a lot of time to look at them. And you really don’t wanna get too bogged down
in the details of it. I mean it’s better to find a good photo online, or sneak a photo
or something, and draw when you have time to do it. But when you’re live sketching you’re
just trying to just let your mind flow and let the drawing come out and do your best
to capture their personality. When I first started sketching with Brandon, it was a little
over a year ago, I really struggled with being able to do sketching. Like I said, I’d get
frustrated that it wouldn’t come out like I wanted, and that lasted for about six months,
where I really had to make myself sit down and draw someone everywhere that I went. I
mean I was enjoying it, it was just frustrating. And then somewhere after that six months it
just clicked and I started really…like, I needed to do it. I was getting good likenesses,
I was able to turn ’em more into characters, and people were starting to like my drawings
more, and notice them more. So, it was worth the struggle of going through it and I’m really
glad I had somebody to help me get through that, where I wasn’t just drawing, I was actually
hanging out with somebody and having fun with it. And I’ve had that experience before when
I lived in California, in San Diego, I was fortunate to sketch with a sketch club out
there with Court Jones and Steve Fishwick, and Stephen Silver would come draw with us
from time to time, and lots and lots of talented caricature artist from SeaWorld park that
I worked at. I was there for one summer and I learned a lot just from being around other
artists and having the ritual of drawing every day. That was amazing. So I’ve always tried
to do it, but it’s not until recently that it just flows. And I can honestly attribute
that to repetition. This is my fourth sketchbook since I started live sketching regularly about
a year ago, and it was after somewhere in the middle of the second sketchbook that things
started to really click. So, my biggest recommendation is just to be patient with yourself and try
and make it fun, make it a game where you’re not beatin’ yourself up if it doesn’t look
like somebody, you’re just trying to do lots of good drawings, or lots of bad drawings
even. Just get used to the ritual of drawing people and practicing, and developing your
eye and developing your photographic memory where you can see something and picture it
in your head and reproduce it onto the page. And that’s the best way to go. You’ve got
to be patient with it and look at the long-run. You know? Like make it a goal to finish a
whole sketchbook in, ya know, three months. Or two months. Or even faster than that. And
you’ll really start to see yourself grow leaps and bounds. Well that’s it for this video. I really appreciate
everybody checking it out. I hope you got something out of it. I actually video taped
me coloring this one too so I may post that one later on. I appreciate you watching the
video, thanks for checking it out. Also thank you everyone for the comments and e-mails
I’ve been getting. I really enjoy hearing what you think about it, about the videos
and that you’re getting something out of it. I look forward to doing more, and thank you
for the support, and keep smiling. [Closing Theme Music]


  • Sains Fiction

    where I find to buy this black stuff .. for conture  <33

  • Atall10

    PERFEEEECT!!! thanx for the vid!

  • bailey

    at first,i thought he was drawing a cat

  • Reeh TV

    till  2:40 i didnt know what u were drawing lol

  • veronica laos

    Basically, Walmart is where artists enhance their skills
    I have got to try that

  • Xambgii

    the wildlife at Walmart x""D

  • love is equal 12

    I did this at shool one day after a test and the guy I was drawing came up to me and ask me why I keep looking at him I was so embarrassed but he liked the drawing and asked to keep it

  • Matute250r

    hahaha asian dani D'vito.. priceless

  • gordon thomson

    Thanks Will, you inspired me to get back drawing, love your thinking too

  • TheCorpseBride1000

    I'd love to see how you learned how to do caricatures
    ive always loved this style and im not sure how to do it :l 

  • Chacosseke

    oh my xD wonderful sketch, I love it!!
    Btw, what marker is it that you used for the lineart? 🙂

  • Ale Isshiki

    wow, i got what the picture was at 2:57 xD i feel dumb

  • Chrachen

    I see a young woman with a black angel wing in your picture 😀

  • IRo Arts

    amazeballs, mr terrell!

  • EdmunDsgn

    OMG I tottally dig the way you drew the old timers face on the left.. I tried drawing in the park last sunday and when I took out my sketch book and pencil, I was surounded by curious people o_o
    Luckily they were the nice ones and smiled regardless if the drawing came out right XD 

  • Mars Mapel

    Man, Will terrel your art is amazing! I have started sketching things and got my self a graphics tablet wacom. Im 14 and would really like to get better at sketching and art all together. I know you probably get this a lot but could you reply to this with some tips on how to free imagination and improve natrual lines. I really have great amounts of trouble of not in some way using other people s art and or ideas and making them "my own" and I wouls really like to be able to do my own art and ideas and make it a full day thing…
    Thank you. Sincerly-young artist eh la jeremy G. (Ps. Im american not french but I just like seeming fancy) (p.p.s if anyone else would like to awnser back with advice I would appreciate it kindly)

  • Alanegr92

    Sorry, I must ask.. what's the name of the intro song? I'm sure a know it!

  • Wahid Fayumzadah

    At first i thought he was drawing some sort of bird.

  • Mel Pace

    Anyone else here wibble wibble at like 7:50ish?

  • Klynda Strawn

    When ever I sketch in public I wear sunglasses, am I looking at my sketch book? That old lady? The booty? Who knows. Sunglasses are the best.

  • Jake Hart

    What music do u have for the intro


    Excuse me Mr. Terrel I need some advice on some ways on remembering all the different type of ways of drawing

  • Adam Beretta

    The Wal-Mart Wildlife can be a jungle. I saw a 4 ft tall Samoan Steven Seagal the other week, dude tried to do a roundhouse to kick the sketchpad outta my hands but just fell over and knocked down an Australian Rosie O'Donnell.

  • Enrico Bagnoli

    Actually tried to do this… at the market… while walking.
    Not the best idea, I hit a freaking wall. Twice. Damn it! XD

  • Lauren Kochy

    When you said to make a goal with the sketchbooks, I was just thinking,
    Two months? One month?
    I usually complete one in less than a week x_x

  • clownfacestabfest

    it's all a cartoon, is it not?? ;>

  • angelatodorova

    omg i love you!

  • Andy Bui

    You aren't just sketching but recording as well! Craz'. Also, that water droplet on your hand was very distracting LOL until it dried. ' – '

  • !AHEGAO!

    will..i really enjoy your stuff…and i was trying to watch more of it…but youtube keeps overriding my settings from 'never play HD videos' to 'reload the video in HD over and over until it breaks' regardless i wanna say…thanks…

  • pennyjpie

    I think the funniest part about sketching in public is when people notice and point you out, especially little kids. I remember this one time, a little girl ran up to me screaming "DRAW ME, DRAW ME!" She was really cute, so I drew her and just gave her the sketch. lol

    Anyway, I love your work, it's amazing! And your videos are very helpful, thanks for the advice. I'll look forward to more of your vids. 🙂

  • Lauren Taylor

    its even more frustrating when they say “Oh my Gosh can you draw me?!?” “Can i see your drawing??!?!” “Please draw me with 17 other people and a dragon flying towards the sun, oh and add channing tatum he’s hot."

  • Wizard of Auz

    I love hearing your stories. It's very comforting for freeing up my pen

  • Paul S.

    What's that marker, he's using, called? it's got a brush, i've been looking for one for a while but cant seem to find any. thanks in advance!

  • Teddy Fergason

    So I have been watching all of your videos again, and just had a quick question. Do you recommend learning caricaturing before jumping out and people sketching?
    I started learning caricaturing here in Vegas and was going to start working with my good friends at the stratosphere but ended up not following through with it in the long run. Is that something you feel helped your art a lot or is it more just another tool? Thanks, Ted. 

  • settofailx

    whats the pen youre using

  • Landon Garrard

    help i cant draw

  • Sophie Mitchell

    This guy though. I love your style of drawing. I wish I could draw like you :O 🙂

  • white rose

    I'm so curious of where do you draw people. I know you said wal-mart but do you find a seat and start drawing people or do you take a photo of the person then draw or do ask someone that you could draw them and they let you ?

  • Amanda Kathryn

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who sketches people in public lol it's so awkward when people see and ask what I'm doing.

  • Brittney Elizabeth Shepherd

    it takes talent to plan out what your going to draw. To know where to start, where to draw your first line. and your recording at the same time. i would definitely mess up.

  • Jean-Dominic Lapointe

    I bought a little pocket size sketchbook. Started sketching people in the subway (metro, not the sandwich shop).  You've been a great inspiration.  I really see an improvement since I started a month ago. Thank you for the inspiration, my goal for next year is to see people and create characters from them like you do, instead of simply reproducing the lines I see.

  • Sarah Ben Amar

    You haven't really answered the question of how to sketch people in public without them noticing… That was I was interested in mostly; no one seems to have a proper answer…

  • Magdiel Shiranui

    I do a lot of my own drawings on regular paper which makes me feel comfortable. Not that I won't branch out of my comfort zone however. I do that a lot for school.

    Savannah is definitely a place where you will see a lot of colorful people. Especially around the cafe and the college areas. I should probably practice people sketching there. :3

  • Joshua Lambie Art/Music

    the beginning reminds me of monsters inc. lol thanks a lot!

  • Lily Luney

    I love your videos they are amazing and "keep smiling" always makes me happy I watch your videos when I have a bad day or just for art help you are very dear to me and I love your way of teaching us!!

  • Ninjas Official

    yeah you make it look so easy 😀 but these videos cheer my up and makes me feel to draw somethink my self ^^

  • Julian Terrazas

    Hey Will!
    I've been watching your videos and it's been a great help! So much that I've gotten more confident doin caricatures at parks and open events outside and inside. Thanks for the encouragement! My goal is to finish my sketchbook within two months!

  • Eliza_Draws

    Okay.. I have to ask. What is a 'double mullet'? This is so helpful, thank you very much!

  • zekehooper

    I know this is an old vid but I have seen you draw with the "blue/red" pencil a lot.  Is there a reason why?  why not a regular pencil?  I really am enjoying your videos, love all the qisdom you impart.

  • Mama we all go to hell.

    pauses in the beginning OH MY GOD ITS A BIRD!!

  • Isabella M

    I'm happy to come across People Sketching Lesson #19 which made me curious on how you started the series. I only started drawing and painting last year and can't still get drawing/sketching people correctly. Something doesn't always seem right.

    What I like about this video was the idea of not getting it right the first time but practice and have fun. I should not get frustrated but be persistent instead.

    Thanks for creating the video series. I'm now a subcriber.

  • Insomniac 2AM

    This channel made me decide to share my art on youtube. Thank you for giving me a little push.

  • ThisIsDK

    a mustache that looks like it blows in the wind even though he is standing still, hahahha!!

  • Dani Farago

    You're a huge inspiration. I stopped sketching for a very long time and when I started watching your video I decided to take up sketching again. I already see improvement. thank you!! 🙂

  • MugsOne

    that's awesome ! I come from France and I love your work ! What's the pen you use in this video ?

  • Dama Chan

    omg this is a great idea im trying to finish a sketch book in two months Jake Parker and you inspire me a lot, ill look for the color one.

  • TheSunshinefee

    Do you ask permission to sketch people? I made my first sketch last Thursday in the subway. One lady told me she didn't like it and she felt her privacy was attacked. I stopped with her and chose someone further away from me.

  • Mohammed Mohammed

    hi what the name of this type of drawings

  • No Derou

    Wow. Really great inspiration.
    The two most important tips I have been given before as well are being patient and even more: enjoy what you're doing Enjoy the act of drawing!

  • the cubing noob

    can enyone see a face in the compleated drawings hair and ear ???

  • Legend 11 MTB

    what pen r u using in this video?

  • emma claire

    k now im wondering if anyone's drawn me in public lel

  • Veronika

    Hello, your work is amazing! You make it look so easy to draw characters like that. I have a problem with that – I always tend to draw more realistic (even though I'm not good in anatomy either) instead of capturing the interesting parts of the person (exaggerating them and so on). Did you also have that problem? That you didn't know how to make the drawing more spontaneous?
    Thank you! 🙂

  • Michael Ganiswarna

    Will Terrel is such a pro, that he doesn't even need to use the eraser once

  • Andrew Aviles

    Super inspiring. thank you!

  • James Tucci

    your laugh makes me so happy


    double mullet = a dullet

  • Gelly Oddi

    your videos very inspiring! watching your videos is like talking with a good friend, which also draws much better than me)) I think you're very funny and kind man)) thank you!

  • Aimee Fritz

    very inspiring thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Alicia Dianne

    Thanks for inspiring the HECK out of me! I believed I could do it because I watched you do it! Thanks Will Terrell!

  • Tanisha Sharma

    I learned a lot just by looking at this! Thank u so much 🙂

  • AnnPeek

    For a while I was playing Pictionary. Very nice. 😀

  • Lord Lima Bean

    I draw a lot with simple pencil and paper, any reccomendations for anyone on what I should do next (Eg. learn computer art, learn to use markers, learn to pain ect.), and how to do a initial outline without it being visible?

  • Lord Lima Bean

    What is a double mullet?

  • Florence Delitzsch

    wow, your drawings are amazing. LOVE THEM!

  • Safia Ouerfelli

    Is it french quebecor I hear in the background ? O_O

  • MeiaCastille

    I hate that I can never sketch in public. I'm 14 and my parents never really let me out alone since they're paranoid I'll be kidnapped or something. I'm in a small town too, so it's not like there's anywhere for me to go. Drawing at school is worse. It's super close-quarters and personal, so people are more likely to come to you and ask you to draw them. You glance at them once and they get aggressive. All that sort of stuff.

  • paranshi ッ

    I love your work <3

  • Lilly Gill

    I have been wanting to improve my drawing for ages and just have not had the motivation to be consistent enough. (may be the 5 kids I have that are so distracting). I started watching 'Draw with Jazza' and stumbled on your people sketching. I love watching you draw and also listening to your experiences and advice. Got myself a sketch book and a goal to fill it. Thank you

  • Fastlyavenged

    right now im in year 10 of school in the uk and im doing my gcse practice but also my final pieces and this will definatly help me, i am really struggling witg drawing faces in peticullar and i just cant sem to do it. ill try the method that you've shown in your video. Thx <3

  • l petty

    I always draw and my friends just watch me in the morning and they ask me to draw them and I leave

  • Jeff Kelly

    whats the brush pen u use m8?. awesome vid.

  • José Tahhan

    What's the name of the opening music please?

  • BrysIllustration

    I would love to draw people and make characters on them, however i get anxious they will yell at me or silly things like that… it's also the speed of capturing movement that is challenging too…

    I forgot to ask, what brand of brush pen is that?

  • Ace Volkov

    I've been a fan and put all the major lessons he mentions from all the videos into 1 infogrpahic

  • Timothy Joo

    what is this music?! I've been trying to get the genre down for a video but I just can't seem to get the same feel! DX someone help me

  • Slim Shady

    What pen did he use when he outlined the sketch?

  • Noplak The Kid

    About 7 mins I realized that he was in Walmart

  • Katana May

    I'm sure it's just me, or the cowboy hat, but He looks like Sam Eliot when he was in ghost Rider. That is awesome.

  • Aaron Scott

    Rule one: Don't.

    Rule Zero: Or Don't let them catch you.

  • DailyDebut

    can you sketch from memory

  • open mind open eyes

    I draw in public every now and then

  • Artful Kisses

    I just wanted to let you know this series has inspired me like crazy and your style of teaching has had tons of influence on my own channel (which i kinda started because of you). my goal is for my videos to someday have similar a similar impact on others as yours have had on me. my videos arent the best right now, but theyre getting better every post 🙂

  • Lydie Monrolin

    I'm going trough all your videos again because I missed them, it brings joy and light in my works days, hope you're doing well 🙂

  • Rodrigo Neely

    Will you are really self aware about the psychology and even physiology of art. It blows my mind.

  • Evolution Agency

    what camera u r using please

  • Ritzton Blaze


  • Valera i

    make them more!!! I need more since 2016 : )

  • Jeff Scroggins

    I sometimes take a picture with my so called smartphone & use that to sketch from

  • Yousif TUT



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