Figure drawing is the drawing of the human body in the various shapes that a human body may take.
There are several elements that you can learn and you can combine them effectively, so that your art looks great. You can learn figure drawing so it doesn’t look like various parts of the body have been put together haphazardly.
First Things first!
First and foremost, when drawing a human body you need to organize your figure and determine your proportions. This is important as the human body is proportionately built; generally one side of the body is the same size as the other.
Where to start?
- Begin by measuring the body with your pencil and hand. In figure drawing, you will grip the pencil in your fist with your thumb remaining free.
- Stretch your arm out in a relaxed position with your thumb and pencil pointing straight up.
- Close one eye and measure the distance from the top of the head to the chin.
- Next, move the top of your thumb down and line it up with the bottom of your last measurement.
- Repeat the process and count the number of head lengths that make up the distance from the top of the head, to the back of the heel. This provides you with an overall length of the body in relation to the size of their head.
You can use the same process to determine the width.
Most humans are between six and eight head lengths in height. Of course, this will vary depending on the height of the person in your figure drawing.
Shadow and Texture!
Next you need to add shadow and texture to your figure drawing. The best way to understand this is to consider Chiaroscuro.This is how you apply light and shadows to give the figure drawing a sense of solidity.
Artists of the Italian Renaissance developed this formula for applying light and shadow. You have the ability to create an illusion of depth by applying simple shadow and light rules.
In a highlight, the point that is closest to the light source will receive a more concentrated area of light. Highlights are best seen on reflective or glossy surfaces. When something is lit, we see more of the light side than we do shadow.
A shadow is an area that is darker, but not necessarily dark. It is the opposite side of what is lit. The core of the shadow is the darkest point of the shadow. Reflected light should be used as often as possible. This helps to define the back of an object and to create a 3D effect. A cast shadow gives a sense of space.
You will always need to consider where your light source is from, so that you are able to apply these light rules properly in your figure drawing.
Keep It Simple!
If a figure drawing seems to be complex, you can make it simpler by breaking the subject down into the basic geometric shapes. Using a three dimensional mannequin that is made of rounded cylinders, ellipsoids and spheres will aid you in this situation. Imagine how the body fits around these basic shapes and then build on to the figure with muscling and softened edges.
Try it! Practice It! Perfect It!
Karen MacLean is a consultant and writer for online and offline businesses. Karen resides in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. http://www.how-to-draw-now.com
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