How to Draw the Human Figure

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Drawing the human figure is a process of blocking in shapes for the head, torso and limbs before bulking out the skeleton and adding more realistic details. Begin with a gesture drawing to sketch out the human figure with a demonstration from a professional cartoonist and illustrator with this free video on drawing.

Part of the Video Series: Drawing & Illustration Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi folks, in this clip I'm going to teach you how to draw the human figure. And we're going to start by doing this rough outline first. First come up and draw a circle for the head. And if you're using a pen or pencil, try and draw all your lines in fairly light. At this point. Next we're going to just a draw a simple line here for, where the neck will be. And then we're going to draw a circle for the torso. Now try to not get too carried away with a leap in the torso. Because that can often times kind of ruin the portions of your images. So what we're going to do now here, is we're going to come down. And draw lines for the legs, here below. Just kind of, still drawing it very lightly. Down to the ankles, going straight down. And then finally it's where the bottom will be just roughly right in here. So now, that was just to get the length in the proportion. Now we're going to come out and draw how kind of long the arms are going to go. Again, just for proportion sake. Now this is again, all I'm really doing is drawing a light line. Just so that I can kind of know where my dimensions will end up being. That's all this is for. So now the form itself. You're going to cement the shape of the head. Now you see, we can add details. This if we want to. We can make this look more human, life like. But I wouldn't worry too much about the details. Now let's just give it a rough face. So we can see what we're trying to do here. Alright, so now the neck. Come straight down. You want to make this person like beefy, that's your choice. But I would just try and do more basic at this point. Again the bigger proportions later. Instead of doing the body next, I'm going to come down. I'm going to do this guy's arms. The biceps come let's say, about down this far. Meets at the elbow. In out little joint in there. And then another little fore arm. I'm going to draw this person with kind of, with his fist close. Just like that. Then we'll just do the same thing over here. Now this is obviously, there are many different body types. When drawing the human form, obviously. I'm just drawing like a standard looking man, Nothing to you know, unique or about this person. That's really just the basic human body. Not too big, not too thin. We're moving down to his chest and waist. Now you can add as much detail at this point, as you want to. Like collar bone, chest, stomach. That's totally up to you. That's essentially how you would do that. That's roughly where the proportions would be, chest, stomach. Moving on down past the the waist. That'd be the waist line right there. We're going to give this guy a little bit of decency here. I'm just covering up the vital spots. And doing his upper thigh. Something about like that. Down to the knee cap. Just give yourself an anchor for the knee cap, would be on down to the ankles. And calves, shins, same thing. And then finally to where the feet would be. Just kind of draw a basic little foot, just like that. Now it takes a while to kind of get down the perfect dimensions and proportions. To mark them light. It's not like you can just flush this out in your first attempt. But just really get an idea of the way the human body functions within itself. Figure out the dimensions you want for your specific drawing. And this is really the best way to approach drawing the human form.

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