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You may spend hours perfecting a character’s hands—but feet tend to get much less attention. While feet don’t offer the same exciting, gestural movement as other parts of the body, like legs and arms, they’re still a critical part of a character. To develop a well-rounded approach to figure drawing and character design, you must learn how to draw feet.
Below, we explore how to draw feet of all types of characters, so you’ll be drawing cartoon, animal, and human feet in no time.
How to Draw Feet
It can be tempting to simply hide your characters’ feet in footwear, but while drawing shoes can be fun, you can’t avoid learning how to draw feet forever. Below, learn how to draw all types, from simple to complex.
Surprisingly, feet aren’t that structurally different from hands. Hands and feet have the same general underlying bones, but with different proportions. Feet also aren’t as articulate as hands, so they can actually be a little easier to draw.
To learn how to draw realistic feet, it’s helpful to first identify the underlying shape of the foot: a triangle. This is true from a front view as well as from a profile view.
To draw a realistic foot from a profile view, start with a triangular wedge shape, with the ankle and leg extending from where the top point would be. From there, add some curves to the bottom of the foot to indicate the heel and the padding under the ball of the foot. Next: the toes. In a lateral view, the pinkie toe is closest to you, but all of the toes are at least partially visible, positioned along a slant that follows the general slope of the foot. Finally, sketch in the curved ankle bone.
Drawing a female figure? To learn how to draw women’s feet, start by understanding the differences between men’s and women’s feet: Women’s feet are generally shorter in length with a higher arch, a more curved instep, and a shallower big toe. These differences are generally more noticeable when drawing a woman’s foot from an inside, or medial, perspective.
Begin with a triangular wedge shape. Only draw the big toe, as the other toes are generally hidden behind it from this perspective. Then, draw a curved line from the toe to the heel to represent the foot’s arch. For a woman’s foot, make sure the arch is relatively high. Finally, draw a soft semicircle to represent the ankle bone.
To draw cartoon feet, start with a triangle shape. Add a circle for the heel and a circle at the front of the triangle to represent the big toe. Between those two circles, sketch a curved arch. Finally, add an ankle bone protruding from the foot just above the heel. With those simple shapes, you can create a basic cartoon foot that you can position into nearly any pose.
Of course, there are many alternative approaches for drawing cartoon feet. You might, for example, create a blockier foot based on a rectangular shape, with a few simple circles to represent toes. Because cartoon feet don’t have to be realistic or anatomically correct, you have a lot of creative freedom to experiment.
Your One-Stop-Shop for Drawing Feet
How to Draw Feet Step by Step!
Animal feet (or paws) are quite different from human feet—but like drawing human feet, drawing animal feet comes down to simplifying them into basic shapes. Below, we break down the basics of drawing animal feet for dogs, cats, and wolves.
To learn how to draw dog feet, you must understand how dog paws differ from the human foot. Dog feet are made up of digital and metacarpal pads, which absorb the weight of the dog’s body. Dog feet also contain the dew claw, or thumb, as well as the carpal pad, which is like a heel.
To visually represent this structure, start with two ovals connected with a long rectangle. On the bottom oval, draw four ovals that represent the dog’s fingers. Add the thumb on the side of the rectangle. Once you have that basic structure, add details, such as the dog’s claws and muscles that connect the toes to the top of the foot.
Cat feet are similar to dog feet, with a few small differences. For example, cat feet contain digital and metacarpal pads; however, cats’ pads are teardrop-shaped, while dogs’ are more triangular. To achieve the look of realistic cat feet, you can follow the same general steps outlined above, but on a smaller scale.
If you’re drawing a more stylized version of a cat, however, learning how to draw cat feet can involve less realistic shapes. For example, you may draw rectangle- or oval-shaped paws that jut out from the leg, with a few simple lines to indicate the individual toes.
In general, wolf feet have the same structure as dog feet. However, wolves have larger paws with longer, more arched toes—which some say look sort of like a snowshoe. When learning how to draw wolf feet, remember that while dog paws are smaller and flatter to the ground, wolf toes will appear taller and more pronounced. Also pay attention to toe length; wolves’ two middle toes are much longer than their two side toes.
No Shoes Required
In character design, feet shouldn’t be an afterthought—and you shouldn’t constantly lean on footwear to hide them! By learning how to draw feet, in both realistic and cartoon styles, you’ll give your characters a solid foundation for poses and movement.
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