The basics

I bet you've tried it already (or you've seen it happen) you wander into an art forum, and announce you would like to learn how to draw. The first advice you usually get is draw a lot, or practice practice practice. And this is exactly what you should be doing. Your drawing skills won't improve just by reading about it. However, drawing the same mistake over and over again is not the most efficient way to improve your skills. The first part of the tutorial will show you some of the basic...

Chapter Sketching

Table of Contents Organic shapes Geometric shapes Spheres and guidelines Exercises The second bit of advice a beginning artist usually gets is draw from life. And it is excellent advice After all, if you can't draw what is right in front of you, you certainly won't be able to draw what you see in your imagination either. But the advice is a bit short, and will usually leave the artist behind unsure of what to do next. This chapter will help you to get started by explaining some different...

Chapter Human anatomy and figure drawing

Table of Contents The body's proportions The chest The back The arms The hand The hips and legs Male and female bodies Poses Exercises Before we start, I'd like to point out that knowledge of human anatomy is not a replacement for studying the body from real life or photos. So keep cranking out those sketches (And hoarding those Victoria's Secret catalogs and similar magazines. Strictly for reference, of course.) But it will help you to recognize the features you are drawing, and it will...

Photos and illustrations

Malene Thyssen, www.mtfoto.dk malene . The photo is dual-licensed (CC-by-sa and GFDL). Edited images from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy. These images are public domain. Revision 0.1 (svn rev 101) 2007-06-05 Revision 0.3.1 (svn rev 130) 2007-08-28 Part of chapter 3 up for critique. Added several sections and fixed mistakes in chapters 1 and 2. Revision 0.3.2 (svn rev 162) 2007-10-07 Part of chapters 4 and 5 up for critique. Extended chapter 3.

Deer Head Drawings

Drawing The Human Head

We've already covered the basics of constructing a head in chapters 1 and 3. Here we'll take it a step further. So far, eyes have been treated as flat things stuck on a sphere. While this works for some styles, it helps a lot to realize eyes are spheres themselves. The eye sockets are set deeper into the head. Figure 4.1. Sinking and raising features Figure 4.1. Sinking and raising features There are many features that are set deeper, or are raised higher for example the the brow ridge or the...

Ambient and reflected light

Composition Painting Figure

So far, we have been dealing with only one light source. In the world around us, such a situation is very rare. Objects are usually illuminated from nearly all around, with light of different colors. Take an outdoor scene. The most obvious source would be the sun, which emits an almost white light. But there's also the light from the sky, basically a dome that casts a weaker, blueish light on everything from all around. Figure 5.13. Direct sunlight and ambient skylight Combined, this will...

The chest

Arm Muscle Names

Bones and muscles of the chest Figure 2.2. Bones and muscles of the chest The function of the collarbone or clavicle is to help keep the shoulder in place. When you roll your shoulders, the collarbones move along. It runs from the top of the ribcage to the shoulder socket. It is almost straight when seen from the front, but from above it follows a slight S-curve. This is a large, flat bone that connects the clavicles and ribs at the front of the body, and serves as the anchor point...

Alternative bodies

Human Figure Drawing

Apart from the usual human body plan, you can also borrow some designs from mythology. A well-known example is the centaur. Usually this is a human head and torso with the body of a horse, but we can make any mix of species Another mythical creature is the gryphon, a mix between an eagle and a lion, with some horse ears thrown in for good measure. You're not limited to a lion an an eagle though, any bird and four-legged animal will work One of the problems with dragons and gryphons is how to...

Specular light

Human Figure Directions

Normally, an object would reflect the incoming light scattered in all directions Figure 5.10. Light is scattered in all directions Figure 5.10. Light is scattered in all directions A shiny surface works a bit like a mirror though. If the green ball from the previous figure would be a billiard ball, it reflects some of the white light like a mirror, and scatters the rest around as green light Figure 5.11. Mirror effect of a shiny surface plus some scattering Figure 5.11. Mirror effect of a shiny...

Shading a figure basic

How Draw Basic Human Figures

The things you learned in the section called Geometric shapes will come in handy here. Since the basic geometric shapes are easier to shade than a detailed body, we're going to break down a figure into simple forms first. Here's the girl we're going to shade, I'm sure you remember her We break her down into simple shapes, and pick a direction for our light source. The first step is to shade according to the surface angle Then we add the cast shadows TODO illustrations This gives us a general...

The hand

Human Figure Drawing

The hands are a notorious source of frustration. This section won't concentrate on the muscle structure, since the hand is very complex in this regard, and knowing this won't help much in drawing them. Instead, we'll look at proportions, range of motion, and possible simplifications. Figure 2.20. Bone structure and proportions of the hand Figure 2.20. Bone structure and proportions of the hand There is a very easy and surprisingly accurate way to remember the proportions of an adult's hand....

Canine Skeleton

Dachshund Dog Skeleton

We'll show the canine body in somewhat more detail than the other species. The idea is that all quadrupeds have the same body structure, and we'll just have to highlight the differences for felines and equines. I'm going to base the head off a ball, just like the one you saw in the first chapter. To indicate the muzzle, I also hotglue a box shape to it. Well not really a box, more a clipped pyramid. A dog's muzzle is wider near the back than at the front, so it's a better fit. This is a pretty...

Gesture drawing

Human Drawings Sketches

When creating a character reference sheet, you draw the figure upright, and perhaps do a full turnaround. But usually you want your poses to be dynamic, or at the very least interesting. This is where gesture drawing comes in. A gesture drawing is made very fast, you shouldn't spend more than two minutes on it. Fast, but not frantic. Figure 2.47. Examples of gesture sketches Figure 2.47. Examples of gesture sketches Drawing is usually done from the arm, using the elbow and the shoulder. The...

Example vixen

Stick Figure Gesture Drawing

Let's look at an example that shows some of the key concepts from the tutorial so far. We're going to draw a vixen practicing with swords. I have this cool pose in mind where she's standing on one leg, her body bent to the side. I start with a fast gesture sketch to lay down the lines of action and indicate the most important features. Figure 4.16. Gesture sketch of vixen That looks confusing. But if you look at the stick figure, you can see where this is going Figure 4.17. Simplified and real...

Hands paws hooves

Gesture Drawings Spine

Like with legs, there are several ways to throw a bit more human or a bit more animal in the mix. On one end of the spectrum, there are the normal human hands, but with a bit of fur and longer nails A fifty-fifty mix of human and animal traits is quite common. Usually this is done by making the fingers shorter and shaped more like a paw, and by adding paw pads. Here the pads are placed according to the anatomy of the animal as seen in the previous chapter , but you'll see many varieties. Some...

The back

Teres Major

Bones and muscles of the back Figure 2.9. Bones and muscles of the back The way the spine is bent is very typical for the way the rest of the body is posed. This is why you will often see the spine indicated even in the simplest of sketches. In gesture drawing, the spine often follows one of the lines of action. In a relaxed position, the spine follows a double S curve when seen from the side. Keep this in mind, the figure will look much better than with a ruler-straight back. The...

Paws and hind legs

Skeleton Dog Hind Paw

On the left we see the underside of a front paw. There are four cushiony pads at the toes the digital pads , a larger one underneath the knuckles the metacarpal pad , and a tiny one near the wrist the carpal pad . There are four claws at the front, and a dewclaw at the end of the thumb. Note that the claws are not at the center of the toes, but on the inside. The two in the middle are very close together. The illustration next to it shows the bones of the front leg. The dog is standing up, so...

Wings In Human Figure

Compare Human And Birds Wings

I have found several contradicting sources for the next few paragraphs. Information could be incorrect. The feathers are shown in the following figure. This is a picture showing the top of a wing. Figure 3.16. The feathers of a bird wing Figure 3.16. The feathers of a bird wing The primary feathers are the ones connected to the hand, while the secondaries are connected to the forearm. Both sets of feathers also have a layer of coverts on top of them, followed by another layer of marginal...

Example stork

Stork Drawing

The bird being depicted is an anthropomorphic White Stork. These storks are somehow as graceful as they are gainly. A pose was picked to reflect their more delicate side, and photos of dancers were studied for inspiration. When working with anthro characters, a decision must be made as to how much human and how much animal anatomy is desired. For the stork, a human body was first sketched. However, it was made more bird-like in proportion by lengthening the arms, shortening the torso, and...

The arms

Drawing Stretched Muscles

This is the large bone in the upper arm. Ulna and radius The ulna is hinged around the outside of the humerus. It connects to the wrist on the side of the little finger. The radius is somewhat smaller, and connects from the inside of the humerus to the wrist at the thumb side. Near the wrist this bone is much wider. The two small drawings on the left show what happens when the arm is bent. The drawing on the right show how the ulna and radius twist around each other when the hand is turned or...

The bodys proportions

Female Proportion Human Figure

Proportions of the human body Figure 2.1. Proportions of the human body The human body is usually measured in units of heads. Most adults are around seven and a half heads high, but for practical and aesthetic reasons most diagrams show eight heads. It's not a big deal, just remember the head can be slightly larger in real life. Unless you are drawing an adult that is standing up straight, you can't use this diagram directly. Instead, you'll have to use this as a guideline to...

Varieties Of Women Hips

The Figure Human Woman

The male's pelvis is higher and narrower than a female's A woman's hips are wider than her shoulders with men it is the other way around. Less obvious is the difference in the iliac crest the two top ridges of the pelvis . It is more pronounced in women, and in 3 4 profile it can show up as a small bump in the outline of the hips

Male and female bodies

Everything you've seen so far applies to both sexes. Although the illustrations show a skeleton with male proportions, the blueprint is the same for women. There is some overlap in the range of characteristics between the sexes, so keep in mind that everything you read here only applies to the average guy or gal. You'll find exceptions to every rule. Women have less muscle mass, and I'm probably risking my life by saying this more fat. Everybody stores fat almost all around their body, with a...

Basic shading

Shadow Geometric Figure

We'll start with the easiest shading one light source, direct light only. If the light hits something straight on, the surface will appear at its brightest at that point. If you turn the surface away from the light, it gets gradually darker. At 90 degrees or more it appears at its darkest. Figure 5.1. The shade depends on the angle of the surface and the light source Figure 5.1. The shade depends on the angle of the surface and the light source The brightness does not drop at a constant rate at...

Ilium Sacrum Ischium

Drawing Human Sartorius

Names of some parts of the pelvis Figure 2.26. Names of some parts of the pelvis The femur has a ball joint at the hip, which is set at an angle. It runs from the outside to the center of the leg, making a skeleton seem more cross legged than an actual person. When someone is standing up straight, the hip joint is located exactly vertically over the foot. The kneecap is part of the tendons that stretch the leg. It lifts the tendons off the joint, and increases the leverage of the...

Poses

Now it's time to put everything together and draw some poses. When drawing the skeleton and the muscles for a quick pose sketch, it would not make sense to detail everything as much as you've seen in this chapter. Instead, you should use this knowledge to determine what matters and what doesn't. For example, you usually would not take the shoulder blades into account. But when drawing a portrait of a character looking over a bare shoulder at the camera, it becomes an important aspect of the...

Spheres and guidelines

Figure Drawing The Human Face

A sphere with guidelines is a popular basic shape for drawing heads. While it is not as important as the other sketching techniques, you are going to see it a lot throughout this tutorial, especially in the chapters about animal anatomy and anthros. Now a sphere is easy enough you grab a compass, draw a circle, there's your sphere. However, we'll also need some guidelines, and that's the tricky bit. Here, take a look at some examples. As you can see, I've drawn three lines on the sphere. A...

Geometric shapes

Geometric Drawings

A lot of subjects can be simplified to geometric shapes, such as boxes, pyramids, cylinders, and spheres. Instead of starting with the large shapes on paper, you simplify your subject in 3-D. This section is also a crash course in perspective drawing. You'll need this to draw the basic shapes, but it is also a useful tool in case you don't have a reference for something, or if you don't want to make a perfect copy. As long as you work according to the rules, it will look good. We'll look at...

Organic shapes

Human Muzzle

The most important thing to keep in mind is to start with the largest shapes, and gradually work down to the small details. This allows you to regularly check your angles and proportions. The earlier you catch a mistake, the easier it will be to fix it. The idea is to draw imaginary lines through the important points of your subject, and use a couple of checks to make sure they are accurate, such as using easy divisions halves and thirds , and checking against horizontal and vertical lines. The...

Weight balance movement

Sketch The Human Figure Motion

Every body has a center of mass an imaginary point where gravity grabs a hold and pulls you down. Because the upper body is heavier than the legs, this point is located somewhat above the middle in a human being, in the underbelly between the tops of the hip bone crests. That is, if you're standing up straight. As soon as you bend over, extend an arm, or stick out your tongue, the point of mass moves along. To determine if a figure is balanced or not, draw a plumb line from the center of mass...

Simplifying the body

Wooden Human Figures For Drawing

A common way to simplify the body is to draw a manikin from balls and cylinders. Looks a lot like the little wooden models you can buy at any art store, right The head is somewhat closer to the shape of a skull, and the pelvis is closer to the shape of a real one. And while a normal wooden manikin has its shoulders held to the torso with bits of wire, ours has alien anti-gravity technology. This allows them to move around like a real shoulder can. In the side view you can see how the chest and...