For our last watercolor class of the 6 weeks, I made each person an accordion sketchbook, approx. size of each page is 5" x 4". We started off with some un-intimidating paper and drew stick figures with our pencil. After a number of these we then progressed to using one color using our watercolor pigment and drawing stick figures. When we felt comfortable we added clothing to our stick figures. Finally, we were confident enough to use our new sketchbooks using photo references I had cut out of from numerous magazines. We proceded to add a fully clothed watercolored figure (with no facial details), one to each page in our new sketchbooks.
I found out later, when I had mentioned that we were going to paint people in class 6, a couple of students thought they might not come to that class. Some others were dreading it. It just didn't sound like fun to them. Before the class was over they all admited that it was one of the best classes.
This was such a fun exercise to do. If you haven't tried people painting yet, give it a try. It grows on you with each figure you paint.