Sitting down and drawing a live model is usually either one of the most frustrating, or one of the most amazing experiences you’ll ever have as an artist.
If you’re a new artist, the human body may seem incomparably complex, an overload of information. And even for established artists, the variety of shapes, sizes, proportions, and unique markers that make up an individual can be overwhelming.
So what can you do about it? Draw more? Sure—but also, prepare ahead of time!
Those rare people who are able to pull out pencil and paper and create an accurate sketch of a live model in 20 minutes don’t just have lots of experience drawing. . . they also have some very important “head knowledge” of the human body to help them do it.
Here’s the good news: Paul Heaston and Sandrine Pelissier (two very talent artists) have come together with Craftsy to release Drawing the Human Body, a free, downloadable PDF that covers a lot of that information, all in one place. Packed into this 19-page guide is information both on how to start a drawing a live model, and how to draw those extra-tough areas like hands, feet, head, etc.
For example, Sandrine starts out the guide with several excellent tips. . .
• Quickly rough out the size of the entire figure on the paper
• Create central lines for the shoulders, pelvis, knees
• Measure proportions of the head against the height of the torso and the entire body
• Ground the figure by drawing basic surfaces for the figure to rest on
. . . as well as several other good suggestions, all thoroughly illustrated to help artists see the proper way to approach drawing the figure.
Paul continues the guide with some instruction on drawing the parts of the hand (fingers, knuckles, etc) and feet (heel, mid-foot, toes) and includes some fascinating information on how they move and work.
Paul also lists several differences in proportion between the male and female figure, and demonstrates how the shoulders and hips balance the entire figure, before finishing with some general measurement information of the human body.
I highly recommend visiting Craftsy’s download page to get this free guide for yourself—it’s a quick read, but the concepts are rock solid for getting your figure drawings off to a great start.
Editor’s Note: special thanks to Craftsy for sponsoring this post with a free download. Click the following link to get Drawing the Human Bodyfor free!
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