Figure Drawing (Doubtfully) Made Easy
As some of you may know, figure drawing is no easy task. The human figure is oddly shaped, lumpy, knobby, and lanky. If you don’t pay attention to proportions, line, and negative space (the empty space around what you’re drawing), you could end up with something like this:
Hopefully you can read all of my little notations. If not: The neck is way to slender to support the massive head; The torso is too small and not proportional; Were this a really person the emaciated calf muscles would make it impossible to walk let alone stand, and the feet are not the same size. Were this a real person, they would have gotten every short end of the stick in the genetic lottery.
Now that I’ve probably slightly terrified you. I will happily show you some poorly drawn tricks to help you out.
First and foremost: Draw what you see, not what you think you see. Sounds like something Yoda would say, right? Wrong. My sister said it. What this means is when you’re drawing from life, try your best not to think “I am drawing a person. This is their arm.” By thinking like this, you are actually drawing what you think an arm should look like instead of drawing what the arm actually looks like. There is a big difference. Here, I have kindly drawn you an example using hands.
Admittedly, this was a little more difficult for me than I would like to admit. I’ve gotten used to only seeing lines and shapes.
What you should notice is that not only are the proportions of the fingers and thumbs better, the angles in which they are rendered are much more accurate.
How did I do this you ask? Well, it is through no act of sorcery, I can tell you that much. What I find really helps is being able to use the negative space to help see fluctuations in lines more clearly.
Just look at the outline and follow every dip, ripple, and bump. If you break everything down into basic shapes, it becomes much easier. Trust me. I was stubborn and had to learn the hard way.
Now, the best way to get better at figure drawing is to (obviously) draw people! If you feel awkward staring at strangers in public (It gets a little weird when they notice you’re drawing them) there is a great website for figure drawing. This website is wonderful because not only can you pick the type of model you want (clothed, nude, male, female), you can also set time limits so the photo will change every 30 seconds, minute, hour, etc. Just a great resource.
Another great resource is Lackadaisy. Now, the link I provided will take you directly to their “How to Draw” section, but there are many more wonderful tips on this website. As an added bonus, it’s pretty damn funny and light-hearted. I would strongly encourage you to give it a read (by that I mean go look right now).
And now, I give you squirrels. Notice that they are proportional.
Apply to Write for Uloop NewsJoin the Uloop News Team
Discuss This Article
More Uloop Humor Articles
Recent University of Iowa News Articles
RECENT UNIVERSITY OF IOWA CLASSIFIEDS
WRITE FOR ULOOPApply to Write for Uloop News
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
TOP 5 NEWS ARTICLES
BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES
- By CollegeIowa State UniversityUniversity of IowaUniversity of Northern IowaDes Moines Area Community CollegeCornell CollegeSt. Ambrose UniversityDrake UniversityKirkwood Community CollegeIowa Western Community CollegeAshford UniversityBriar Cliff UniversityBuena Vista UniversityCentral CollegeClarke CollegeCoe CollegeDes Moines UniversityDordt CollegeGraceland UniversityGrand View CollegeGrinnell CollegeKaplan UniversityLoras CollegeLuther CollegeMorningside CollegeMount Mercy CollegeNorthwestern CollegePalmer College of ChiropracticSimpson CollegeUniversity of DubuqueUpper Iowa UniversityWartburg CollegeWilliam Penn UniversityClinton Community College (IA)Eastern Iowa Community College DistrictHawkeye Community College Indian Hills Community College Iowa Lakes Community College Iowa Valley Community College DistrictMuscatine Community College Northeast Iowa Community CollegeNorthwest Iowa Community CollegeScott Community College Southeastern Community College (IA)Western Iowa Tech Community CollegeAIB College of BusinessAllen CollegeAmerican College of Hairstyling-Cedar RapidsAmerican College of Hairstyling-Des MoinesAmerican Hair AcademyAveda Institute-Des MoinesCapri College-DavenportCapri College-DubuqueCarlson College of Massage TherapyCollege of Hair DesignDivine Word CollegeEllsworth Community CollegeEmmaus Bible CollegeFaith Baptist Bible College and Theological SeminaryFaust Institute of Cosmetology-Spirit LakeIowa School of Beauty-Des MoinesIowa School of Beauty-MarshalltownIowa School of Beauty-Sioux CityITT Technical Institute-CliveKaplan University-Cedar Falls CampusKaplan University-Davenport CampusKaplan University-Des Moines CampusLa James College of Hairstyling and CosmetologyLa James International College-DavenportLa James International College-Iowa CityLa James International College-JohnstonMaharishi University of ManagementMercy College of Health SciencesPCI Academy-AmesShiloh UniversityThe Salon Professional Academy-Iowa CityTotal Look School of Cosmetology & Massage TherapyUnityPoint Health-Des Moines School of Radiologic TechnologyUniversity of Phoenix-IowaVatterott College-Des MoinesWaldorf CollegeWartburg Theological Seminary
- By State
- By City