Figure Drawing.

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Figure Drawing

Figure Drawing


How to Videos2The SkeletonThe first step in learning how to draw people is to break the human figure down to its most simple element - the skeleton. There are a whole lot of bones in the human body but fortunately with a good understanding of the skull you can use that as a measurement tool for defining most other bones of the body. An example of this is that your average male figure is 6-8 "heads" tall.3Artistic Anatomy

4Begin by drawing the basic frame. Draw an oval for the head, a curved rectangular shape for the chest and "W" like shape for the hips. The arms and legs can be blocked out with simple lines. Add circles for the shoulders, elbows and knees. Add hands and feet with oblong oval shapes. Add the spine with a line between the chest and hips. Add the jaw with a rectangular shape attached to the bottom of the face.

5Begin adding details to the skeleton's frame. Draw a cross or "T" shape in the face to mark out where the eyes and nose will go. Add parallel lines around the neck bone and spine. Create guidelines for ribs with curved lines extending from the middle of the chest. Add a sternum with a long thin oval shape in the center of the chest. Create the bones for the arms and legs with lines around the guidelines that bow out at the top and the bottom. Draw a hole in the center of the hips.

6Erase all of the guidelines. Begin adding depth and shadow to the skeleton for a more realistic look. Darken under ribcage, inside the mouth, nose and eye sockets. Darken the tail bone in the middle of the hip bone. Add shading around the hip bone with a parallel line inside the hips and shading down to the center. Now, you have your own human skeleton drawing. Use it as a basis for your anatomy and figure drawings.

7Joints and Range of MotionAlong with understanding the proportions of the bones it's also very important to understand the range of movement that each bone and capable of. The joints are really flexible but if you're drawing people in extreme poses, for example in comic books, you will want to know just how far you can push the limits before things start looking strange. This info is also really great if you are drawing any kind of "people in motion" like in sports.8

DRAWING PROPORTIONS OF THE HUMAN BODY A perfect body is 8 heads high, slightly rearranged.. The neck space is 1/4 of one head-length, and it starts under the chin of that top first head. The second head is the shoulders head. It is the top of three trunk heads and is drawn under this neck space. One quarter of one head down in this second head is the shoulder line. This leaves space for the neck-support muscles above the clavicle. This shoulder line is two head-lengths (not widths) wide and is the top line of the torso triangle that extends down to the space between the legs, or the chest triangle that only extends down to the hip line. The chin to the shoulder line is 1/2 of one heads-length. That is, 1/4 head extra neck space and 1/4 head down on the second head. The nipples separation space equals one-head length, at the bottom of the second head. The nipples to the belly button equals one head-length, ending at the top of the third torso head down. From the belly button to the space between the legs is one head, ending at the bottom of the third torso head. This leg space is actually 4 and 1/4 heads down from the top, including the 1/4 head neck space or... 3 and 3/4 heads up from the bottom, making for a total of 8 heads high. Vertically overlap the two center heads by 1/4 of a head. The top three torso heads are lowered 1/4 head because of the empty neck space. The width of the waist at the belly button is one head length wide, not head-width wide. From the top line of the hip or trunk triangle line to the space between the legs, is 3/4's of one head-length high up into the lowest torso head, and is two head-widths wide, not more. At the center of the body is the bend-line, which forms the top line of this third, smallest triangle, the bend-line-triangle. The top line is 1/4 head above the space between the legs and two head-widths wide, not more. This bend-line can also be measured as four heads up from the base, which has no added 1/4 head space for the neck as happened in the top 4 heads. The big torso triangle is from the shoulder line to the space between the legs. The second triangle is the hip triangle, marking the hip bones down to the space between the legs. The third bend line triangle is the quarter head high triangle within the 3rd trunk head. The rib cage can be represented by a 3x4 oval two heads high, starting at the top of the second head. The upper arm, from the shoulder triangles outside edge, is 1 and 1/2 heads long. The lower arm is 1 and 1/4 heads long. The hand is 3/4 of a head long, equal to the average face height. The chest side view is one head-width wide at the nipples. The upper arm, which was 1 and 1/4 head-lengths, connects from the center of the shoulder ball which is a quarter head circle reaching the end of the shoulder line. Just below the leg space, the legs and the body are at their widest. Two egg shaped heads, side-by-side, upside-down, will fit into the trunk area. From the outside points of the bend-line triangle to the bottom of the knee caps is two head-lengths. The bend-line is always considered the center of the body. The knee cap is a 1/4 head length circle. The calf muscles are higher on the outside of each leg than on the inside. From the center of the knee cap to the ground is two head-lengths. The ankle is 1/4 head off the ground. The foot is one head-length long. The ankle bones are higher on the inside.



1. Start with the center balance line from top to bottom. 2. Divide it in half, showing the top of the bend-line triangle. 3. Define the head, legs, shoulder line and arm lines. 4. Finish the torso triangle and the bend-line triangle. 5. Now add the hands and feet.

11That's it. These simple steps include the lines that can catch any action, fast! Now, to finish the form, put the trunk triangle in, the shoulder balls, knee caps and rib cage. From the bottom of the bend-line triangle which is the space between the legs, connect a line to the bottom of the knee cap for the inside of the leg. Connect another line from the outsides of the top of the bend line triangle to the bottom of the knee caps. The bottom of the knee cap is two heads up from the bottom. Add the calf lines, and the stick figure is finished. It's accurate, balanced, and ready for the muscles.



14The MusclesFrom there it's important to start understanding how the muscles attach to the different bones. Learning about the muscles fits in nicely with knowing the skeletal range of motion because the muscles expand and contract depending on the pose of the skeleton. The skin sits on top of the muscles, but its the muscles that give the shape to the skin.15Musculature of theBack


Musculature of the Chest andAbs17Musculature of theFoot

18Musculature of theHands


Musculature of the Head and Neck -Front20Musculature of the Legs -Front


Musculature of the Legs -Back22Musculature of theArm


















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