How to draw a human figure. Proportions and sketching.

drawing human figureHello everyone. As we’ve almost finish to overview drawing human face, next thing I wanna share with you is drawing human body. Generally I prefer to break everything into parts instead of trying to ‘swallow entirely everything’. But this time I’ve decided to make an a little experiment and explain you how to draw human figure generally at least with sketches. And to clarify questionable elements in next tutorials. And of course I’ll answer your questions if you have any.

Okay, take your pencils and let’s start!

Drawing the human body can sometimes seem like a huge challenge for the beginner artist.

To tackle figure drawing – sometimes called ‘life drawing’ – we will take an overview of drawing the whole figure, and sometimes look at drawing parts of the body. Learning to draw a human in a life drawing class is the ideal, but if this isn’t possible for now – maybe your friends or family would be happy to model. Nude model would be excellent, but I’ll repeat – for observation, foreshortening, proportion a model wearing close-fitting sportswear will be enough. It can equally be explored drawing arms and legs.

Remember, you won’t learn to draw by just reading about it! You have to put it into practice. So make notes in your notebook/sketchbook when reading this tutorial to remind what to work on later.

Human figure proportions

First, let’s look at the basic proportions of the head and body, and practice sketching them. A common problem in figure drawing is getting everything in proportion. In figure drawing, the basic unit of measurement is the ‘head’, which is the distance from the top of the head to the chin. This handy unit of measurement is reasonably standard, and has long been used by artists to establish the proportions of the human figure.

For most figures, the standard proportions are a safe bet, and lightly placing your seven horizontals at the very outset can be a helpful way to ensure your figure will fit on the page. Then more careful measurements can be taken according to your individual subject.

Your top division will be the head. As you begin to draw the rest of the figure, check the placement of key points against your head measurements. The armpit begins just above the second head line, the hips at the third, for example. The head unit can also be used to check the size and relative placement of other parts of the body. Don’t be afraid if it will vary from one model to another, ‘cos it’s naturally depending on the body shape and pose of the model.

Now try to sketch human with simple oval shapes using your knowledges of proportions without intricate details, such as a face, fingers, or toes. Begin your sketch with very light lines to simply establish the figure on the drawing paper. Make your final lines a little darker so they stand out more.
But don’t erase the initial sketch lines – they will be your guiding lines and help you orientate on next sketches until you practice enough in proportions and lines.

It’s all for today, in the next post we’ll continue studying how to draw a human figure. For now – practice in all these areas will come together and you’ll find yourself able to tackle simple poses with confidence. For best results – work consistently, practicing drawing daily. See ya soon!

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