The Contraposto

Contraposto is one of the most commonly drawn poses.The contraposto or ischiatic position is determined by and inclination of the torso in the opposite direction from the pelvis. It is so named because the ishion, a bone located in the upper pelvis, tilts to one side or the other depending on the position of the figure. Thus, the weight of the body rests on one leg while the other leg appears relaxed, in an attitude similar to a soldier at ease. This tilting motion of the hips is usually accompanied by the tilting of the thorax in opposition to the pelvis.You can put this to the test at home if you like. Stand in front of a large mirror. Keep your feet apart so that all of your weight is evenly distributed, and then rest all of your weight on your left leg. You will find that your hipbone tilts upward at the same time as the shoulder line tilts down, and vice versa.

This brief sequence show the process that every artist should follow when drawing a figure in contraposto. First, it is necessary to situate the lines of the shoulders and hipbone (1). After making the geometric sketch, we proceed to the other parts of the body, keeping in mind that the knee of the leg that supports the body's weight is higher than the other (2). Lastly; we erase the structural lines and render the muscular relief synthetically (3).

The contraposto is one of the most common poses for standing figures; it is the pose that breaks the effect of symmetry and gives a certain rhythm and movement to the body.

If we analyze the body's skeleton, we find that if the weight of the body rests on one leg more than the other, the hipbone line tilts to one side (I). When drawing the torso, its line tilts in the opposite direction, creating the contraposto position (2). The upper torso is clearly defined by the line of the shoulders, while the lower part is defined by the line of the hipbone; with this in mind, notice how with the tilt of the hips, the knees appear to be at different heights (3).

Human Body Parts Sketch

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