Even if you have hopes of becoming a painter or you want to work with some kind of exotic medium, you have to start with the basics. Drawing is a fundamental skill that all artists should have and one of the most basic drawing skills an artist needs is drawing figures. The human body is very complex but there are plenty of simple tricks that can help you learn to draw the human figure in no time at all.
Tips for Learning to Draw the Human Figure
When it comes to drawing the human figure, you can divide the body into eight equal parts from top to bottom using the size of the head as your tool for measurement.
Symmetry is incredibly important when it comes to drawing the human figure so you may find it helpful to start by drawing a vertical line down the middle of your page and then compose your figure around this center line. Once you have this line in place you can follow the steps below to compose your figure:
1. Draw an egg shape or oval shape for your head – the pointy end of the shape should be at the bottom.
2. Use the height of your head to make down eight equal measurements below – make eight tick marks below the head starting at the chin and ending with a solid line as the ground.
3. Draw a flattened circle for the pelvis between the third and fourth tick marks with the hip joints (two small circles) on either side of the circle sitting on line 4. You can also draw a vertical line between the head and the top of the pelvis – this is the spine.
4. Draw two small circle on line six directly below the hip joints and another two below on line eight – these will be the knees and the feet. You can draw vertical lines between the three sets of circles to represent the legs.
5. Create a slightly down-curved line between marks 1 and 2 to represent the shoulders of your figure – you can draw small circles at each end of the line for your shoulder joints.
6. Draw a vertical oval shape starting below the shoulder line and ending halfway between tick marks 2 and 3 – this is the rib cage for your figure. You can make two dots inside the oval in line with the second tick mark to represent the nipples.
7. Create two circles on line three just outside the shoulder joints to represent the elbows and another two just outside and below the hip joints for your wrists.
8. Draw a line to connect the shoulder joint to the elbow and the elbow to the wrist then draw a hand at the end of each wrist – the finger tips should extend to just above line 5 (about mid-thigh).
Once you have the outline for your figure constructed you can go in and draw the muscles, adding the realistic details to your human figure.
Practice drawing your figures this way as many times as you need to until the proportions become ingrained in your mind. Once you have the proportions down you can experiment with profile drawings and you can try putting your figures in different positions to test your skills.