Beginner Figure Drawing Fundamentals - Construction of the Body Parts | JW Learning | Skillshare

Beginner Figure Drawing Fundamentals - Construction of the Body Parts

JW Learning, Drawing the Body, Head and Hands

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8 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Trailer

      0:25
    • 2. Recap and Lesson Overview

      1:50
    • 3. Head and Neck Basic Structures

      7:36
    • 4. Torso Basic Structures (M/F)

      9:57
    • 5. Arm Basic Structures

      4:20
    • 6. Leg Basic Structures

      6:07
    • 7. Feet and Hands Basic Structures

      4:34
    • 8. Lesson 3 Assignment

      0:59
50 students are watching this class

About This Class

In this next lesson of this Figure Drawing Fundamentals series, we start to look over the Construction of the Body Parts.  We'll have a look at each area of the body, break them down to the basic shapes, and look at the best ways we can construct them. This Lesson is best done in conjunction with Lesson 4 - Proportions  

Stock images courtesy of:
Senshi Stock

Image Reference link: 
Image references for mobile users

Continue learning with the follow up lessons:

Figure Drawing Series:
Lesson 1 - Gesture and Construction
Lesson 2 - Dynamic Forms
Lesson 3 - Construction of the Body Parts
Lesson 4 - Proportions  

Head Drawing Series:
Lesson 5 - Constructing the Head Part 1
Lesson 6 - Constructing the Head Part 2

Transcripts

1. Trailer : We've broken down the concepts of gesture and construction. We figured out how to position things we know had a twist things. Now it's time to stop putting this information together. We're gonna finally stop looking at the individual errors of the body. We're going to get from the head to the feet, breaking each area out and sue the ways that we can go about constructing each part. So let's get started. 2. Recap and Lesson Overview: Let's just do a recap of what we went on event in the last two lessons in less than one, we talked about the 1st 2 stages of figure drawing, gesture and construction. We defined construction as the individual parts of the figure and gesture as the movement. Those parts of making together at the most basic, we said, gesture is curves in construction is corners. We also looked at making our initial shapes and forms is easiest possible to draw whilst making them recognizable to the parts were drawing. We also looked at how to position out parts and listen to. We expanded upon that by introducing the concepts of twisting and bending. If you haven't watched the 1st 2 lessons, I highly recommend doing that first and foremost. So now that we've got an understanding about the concepts of gesture and construction, how they relate to each other, how we need to think about them and how to manipulate them 12 needs. It's finally time to take the next step in our learning by moving on to looking at the construction off the body before we begin. Let's just go about what this lesson is and isn't going to cover. The primary goal of this lesson is to now utilize what we've learned in the previous lessons into a start, applying them to the figure. So this lesson is going to focus on looking at the individual areas of the figure the head , torso, arms, legs, feet and hands and break them down into the basic shapes and forms. We're only going to focus on the shapes in the forms that are being made were not going to go over anatomy, the muscles, all the skeleton structure. That's going to be for a more advanced Listen. We're just going to take our concept of easy to draw but identifiable parts that we learned in Listen one and start applying them he to the body structure, so let's get started. 3. Head and Neck Basic Structures: We've been talking mostly broad terms in the first couple of lessons when it comes to the body parts. So let's start diving into some specifics now. The first place people look at when it comes to the figure, whether it's a Michelangelo painting or the page of a coin book is the head. So this is where we're going to start. First, we've got a bunch of choices we can make when it comes to the head. But no matter what choice we end up going with, we always want to be going back to the idea of easy to draw but identifiable to impart were drawing. So let's just look for the simplest possible options we have first, and then maybe look at a couple of possibilities lighter on what matters isn't the shape or forms you go with. What matters is that they give you the foundations to build more complex structures and details. On top of now, you don't have to draw the head first in your illustrations and sketching, but it's a good place to start if you're a bit unsure of where exactly to begin. The first thing we have to know is that even though the head itself seems rigid, we still have to think about our gesture lines. So we're going to focus on our two step process that we learned in the 1st 2 lessons using gesture and construction. So if we've defined gesture as the long axis curves, then we've got an immediate problem with the front of their head and that there's not a curve that's obvious, See, So we're going to go back to their secondary definition of gesture as being just the long access line or the fundamental action line. And for the front and the back, that line is going to be the body's natural centerline. This will be the default gesture for both the front and back of the head and the torso. We've got this natural centerline that starts from her nose old way down 12 pelvis. Now the head shape is probably an easy want to start with. In terms of falling out, rule off easy and identifiable. The egg is a great place to start. However, it needs some refinement. The head flattens off at the sides in the chins. So we've really got something that is more along the lines of a capital structure or a pill structure. The ice it roughly half white, which gives the head a natural, long and short access, which is going to be super useful where it comes to positioning the head. The head is about five eyes and wit, so if you divide the head up into five parts, the eyes would sit in slots two and four. The nose sits in the middle, the bottom off the nose sits halfway between the eyes and the chin. The bottom of the mouth sits halfway between the bottom of the nose and the chin, the distance between the nose and the chin. If you measure that area up, will give us the Braille line of the face, and there is will sit between the brown line and the bottom of the notice. Of course, these are all just generalities. They're going to be differences based on age, sex and ethnicity. Women's heads tend to be a little smaller. Men usually have a more square jaw, but for the purpose of what it is we are doing, these are all the key landmarks we need right now. Go to more detail about this when we cover the whole head looking at the profile will notice that the head moves backwards and the face curves down so ahead from a profile is really made up of two areas. This massive skull shape and the fights. Therefore, we have to gesture lines to start with. They are about equidistant in terms of length, so it really doesn't matter which you start with in this instance, although the face tends to be slightly longer now, the easy shape I find is a rounded box form. But you can use a couple of eggs to start with if you wish, which is a softer structure and might be better suited to either a female or a younger child. Or maybe something that's even a combination, often eg enter box structure. Generally, I would recommend starting with boxy structures first, as it's going to help us identify the corners. The E, which is the key landmark on the pro fall, starts a little back from the center and tilts away slightly if we measure a short and long access line on the profile, the E stops roughly in the middle. Another key landmark is the corner of Ahead, which starts about 1/3 in from the face we can. Then you then landmarks on the front to define the rest of the facial features. Now, if we look at the neck, the best option for us to use is the cylinder. So we've got a nice easy gesture line toe work with on the profile view. It would be the same, but more of a squeezed cylinder, something that's more than al glass shape. The one thing we need to know about the head right now is that the head leans forward. The neck extends from the torso. It's noticed, right? So the golden rule, when it comes to positioning off the head, is that the head will always lean forward. It doesn't matter what the photograph looks like, or what the position of the life drawing model is in Gerald ahead, as if it's leaning forward, whether it's from the front back from the park ball. If you draw it straight, you're going to stare your image and not know why your head looks like it's stuck on. And one of the big problems beginning artists tend to make is that they tend to drool ahead as if it's stuck on. So remember the head always leans forward from the torso. The neck is slightly longer on the female. For men, especially a well built muscular figure, the net can be almost as wide as the head itself with proportions. If you break the head up into thirds, the neck is, on average about 1/3 of the head and length for the back. The easiest option I find to start with is this fee for the sculpt. This is gonna be one of the few times a sphere structure is the best option first to use the skull is going to be closest to us, and the neck actually goes underneath the skull here and terminates at roughly where the eye line is and the neck will flare out into this hourglass shape into the shoulders and in front of these structures is going to be the front of the face. But we'll only get a little glimpse of it. He from this perspective and of course, the ease will sit in the middle. So these are the basic options for the head. You could make many variations of this and they can get ever more sophisticated. But start experimenting with these basic ideas and see which form works best for you. 4. Torso Basic Structures (M/F): Okay, so the torso is next. Now, we went over the torso a little bit in the previous lesson about bending and twisting out forms, and we came up with the concept off the bean shape as being a good foundation for our torso . Now, we also said to ourselves we can break that bean shaped up into two separate parts, so we've got a choice as to which one we want to lean on. Or maybe an instance where we go back and forth between the two, depending on what the poses. Now, the bean shape is a good shape to begin with, but it comes with a trade off that it actually gives us less of an idea of where in three D space out torso is in. If we want better control over the positioning, then breaking up the torso into individual parts, the rib cage and the pelvis. Maybe the better choice. What we really want to be thinking off is that these are two separate parts. Even though they are connected with layers of skin and muscle, we still want to think of them as being independent from each other in order for us to get those nice, twisty bendy poses. So whilst you don't have to separate your being shape into two pieces, we should still have the mind set that they are separate areas. So let's go over a couple of construction options here for at torso. As we said, you can use the bean shape personally. I like to break things up individually and have the revocation pelvis work on there, right? Because I like to know exactly what each of them are doing and wear that positioned. If you're going to go with the bean shaped structure, I recommend doing something more along the lines of eight cylinder shaped bean form because this comes across less lumpy. A. My personal preference are more grounded box shapes for the rib, cage and pelvis. Another option is to do a broken box structure, even though the torso is quite round. Giving it a little bit of a corn up is going to help with that positioning in the three D environment. Ah, lot is going to depend on the actual body frame of the person you're drawing for someone who's thin up a cylinder shape might be the better option, while someone who is quite large or quite athletic might be better suited to box your structures. And, of course, the position of the pose itself is also going to play a factor. So try some of these shapes out for the torso. The choice is going to matter the most when we start to finding whether the torso is male or female. So let's start looking at those shapes now. All right, we're going to do each torso individually. We're going to see some differences between the sexes. The anatomy is going to be the same, but the sizes are going to be slightly different for men and women. Let's start doing the mile first, Okay? So just looking to get the basic foundations for our mile. Now we want to try to make more squarish and more boxier structures for men compared to women. And that's because there aren't. We tend to make men look a little bit more chiseled in a little bit more angular, so I'm going to stick to a sort of rounded box shape, or maybe even just a flattened cylinder shape. In this instance, we're gonna get that center access line in that big central gesture and we'll put a lining here to indicate where the shoulder line is going to be, where arms will eventually connect. Now the pelvis is going to be the area that is going to be the most noticeable difference between the sexes. Men tend tohave boxes, structures for their poets, and they tend to be a little bit flatter as well. I think we are going to have to remember, is that the pelvis tilts forward and it's going to be a little more pronounced on the women than what it is compared to the men Now the other thing that is going to be similar across but sex is is that this rib cage is going to actually be tilting away from us. So we're going to have to remember, especially on a position like this, which is front facing and is going to be difficult. Sometimes to capture is that this route cages tilting backwards, and so every feature that we put onto our surface here for out torso is going to have to remain true to that position. Now we need to connect these two areas with the obliques, and this is going to be another area where there's going to be a noticeable difference for the men. We want to make thes areas either flat or slightly bulging out. These, of course, are referred to as the love handles. So let's start moving over onto the female torso. Now we want to soften these features up a little more. We want around this rib cage area up a bit more compared to the men, and we also wanted a little more narrow Aziz. Well, in general, men and women tend to have opposite shapes happening. Women have smaller root cages, and wider pelvises and met have wider rib cages and smaller pelvises. So our shapes are going to have to reflect this and again. The big thing we have to make sure is that rib cage is tilting away from us. It's very hard from this angle, sometimes to really picture that. But we still have to draw our features here, as if that rib cages tilting backwards into three D space now moving on to the pelvis. As we said, this is the most noticeable area of difference. The best idea for a shape here is something that resembles sort of a mini skirt shape we could also use something of a rounded box shape that flares out. So no matter which shape we choose, the idea we wanna have for the female is to have softer and more rounded shapes. Now the other major area of difference is going to be wear our rib cage in our pelvis, connect for all women. We have the obliques in the men that are bulging outwards for the women. They are curving inwards. That's how we get that nice Allah gloss figure for all females. And again, this comes back to the somewhat idealized version of men and women, the more chiseled inbox, your structures for men and the curve, yet soft of features for women. Course, it's all going to vary on the shape and athleticism of the person as well as the general pose itself. The other shape, of course, that we have to deal with for women are the breasts, which are more or less just egg shapes. The real trick we're going to find, especially from this type of perspective, is ensuring that they are sticking onto that rib cage, which is tilting backwards. We can't just have those shapes sort of floating there. We really have to ensure that they are adhering to the service off that rib cage, so that's more or less the front done. So let's move on to the back. Now, structurally speaking, the back view is going to be very similar to the front. We've got out rib cage shape here that we're putting in, and we just want to get out. Natural centerline to is that center line gesture, so we're more or less going to have the same being shape or individual parts as we saw from the front. The main difference, at least from this perspective, is that the rib cage is going to be coming towards us and the pelvis is going to be too wilting away from us. The top of the rib cage will bowl gels and then started talking under the waist, and then it bulges out again for the pelvis. And, of course, depending on the sex of the person, we're going to have our obliques either bulging out or curving back inwards. Now, the other shite that we have going on here are the gluteal muscles, which can more or less be defined as just simple egg shapes As for the sex differences here , the main difference for the female backside is it's going to be a little law and, of course, a little wider. This is the area where women tend to collect most of that fact, so it tends to drop a little lower, whilst men tend to click theirs on the side where the love handles up And more. Athletic women, however, might not have as much fat in this area. So it may in fact look a little high, depending on the athleticism of the person. The last area we have to worry about are the shoulder blades, which are sort of triangular wedge shapes. We'll take a better look at the shoulder blades and a future lesson because there's quite a lot of movement that happens with them. But for now, this triangular wedge shape is all we're going to need. So as we can see, things are pretty similar for both front and back of the torso, things that just moving in the opposite direction. Now it is a little bit difficult to see the perspectives and positioning off the rib cage in pelvis from the front and back view. So let's move on to the profile where we can get a better glimpse of where they're positioned. So if we have a look at the profile, what we're going to notice is we're going to have to rethink out gesture. We a pretty simple, straightforward foundation in the front and back. A big default gesture lines straight through the middle of that figure. Now we have to tackle the profile a bit differently because the rib cage tilts backwards, it's going to push our gesture out. It's going to create this big curve, which is going to start to flatten off again. The more it starts to move towards the pelvis. Thing will know to see if I draw a little bit of the neck is the rib cage is low on the front and higher on the back. Now I've drawn. This is a female so again made the pelvis structure quite rounded in a little longer. The MALP Elvis went tilt as much and will be a little square in its shape. So from the perfect, we can really start to see that bean shaped coming into effect. We've got a big stretch in the front in a big compression happening in the back. Think about a bit like an accordion. So we've got a lot of options here when it comes to constructing out torso. So it's a good idea to test out some of the shapes and forms that we've tried here. Try and think of a couple of yourself and see which one works best for you, so let's now start covering the arms. 5. Arm Basic Structures: The first thing we need to know about the arms is that they're not actually connected to the torso. If you look at a skeleton structure underneath, you'll see the arms are built in a way where they actually float off the torso. So when we draw the arms, we need to have it in the back of our mind that they're not connected to the rib cage, that they are loose and independent. If we break down the structure of the arms, the obvious place where you can start with this a cylinder up or alternatively, if we during something like a 3/4 pose or something that's dynamic, we can use a boxer structure to help define the position a little bit better. Now, if you recall in the previous lesson, it was briefly touched on that the arms don't have a natural centerline. So what we've got going on one side of the limbs isn't happening on the other side. This makes things a little trick it in terms of getting out loud, right, But all we have to do is adjust our approach slightly. We're going to lean or you are just your lines to help us out if we go back to listen one where we talked about the connection line. The best option for the arms is to look for the narrowest points off the limbs, use this as a guide for our underlying gesture lines and then build out soon up or books instructions around this. The gesture will start from the shoulder and will swing away from the body. We briefly touched upon the positioning off the arms and listen to in it, we said from the front view. The arms at rest will have the C shape gesture that curves outward from the boy. This is also going to apply to the back view, but in the opposite direction in the pro. If all of you the idea is the same. We looked at the narrowest points to build out gesture and construction. The only difference is the arms in profile of you will have a C shape that curse towards the front of the figure. And in the 3/4 view, the UN's gonna lead somewhere in between, depending on which side faces towards a small. As for the muscles, it's obviously going to depend on how athletic the person is, but the informs are the best options to use here. We better of putting these on last, then building our entire arm structure around these first. Now you can certainly do your arms that way, but I find that tend to end up looking a bit too rounded, a bit too lumpy. So I would recommend starting your foundations with either the cylinder or the boxier structure first and then coming over the top with your egg structures to define the muscles . Now we've got an idea of what the arms are like. It rest. But what if we need to move or twist them? Well, nothing really changes too much if we're just moving things up and down or to the side. But if we want to twist the whole arm over, we have to take a slightly different approach. Luckily, there's a pretty neat short cut that we can use, and that short cut is just our elbow. If our elbows pointing down, the whole arm is going to be curving up, and if that elbow is putting up, whole arm is going to be coming down. So we have these opposing actions taking place. It won't really matter how come personal, how relaxed the armies. That direction is gonna be true for most of the time. If we can't actually seeing the elbow, however, the same method will still apply. Well, we have to do is just lessen the curve. So the more we see off the elbow, the more curved the arm gets. In other words, if we know roughly where the over was positioned, we can adjust the curvature of the arm accordingly. And that's really all there is to get down for our basic foundations. For the arms so toiled, the structures out. Remember the gesture lines and the curve itches. They making and take notes or a short cut for the elbow. Let's move on to the leaks. 6. Leg Basic Structures : with the legs. We need to stop without pelvis area. So whatever shape we've used to create our pelvises, where we need to start first here now the legs work in a similar way to the arms, but they need to be approached a bit differently. The arms have a bit of an advantage in that they've got the shoulder muscles, which are easier connection point to start with with the legs. It's very easy to get a little bit lost when it comes to placing them on the pelvis. People, as they started out, usually have a tendency to draw the legs further away from the hips, which ends up making things look a bit disproportion. So we'll be looking for a nice, smooth and balanced transition from the hips to the knees to the ankles. The rule of thumb when it comes to placement is that the thigh connects roughly between 1/3 and the halfway point of the hips. So when we start to draw out gesture lines for the thighs, we want to draw them from this area. The best structural option I found for the legs is to use cylinders which type arena you can break the legs down into boxier structures similar to the arms. But the legs have bigger curves in a lot more lumps going on than what the arms have. So I personally find it easier to come at the legs differently than what I do with the arms . If you're going to break it down into boxes, I would recommend making the boxes rounded, but otherwise try using the cylinders first and foremost. In the last lesson, we had a brief look at roughly what the shape of the legs are, and from the front we have these two big gesture lines that create this be shape. The fire gesture starts from the hips, swings out and down into the knees, and then the knees swing out and down into the cobs and ankles. And this is going to be ST for the back, except the shapes and the gestures are going to be reversed. Now I said that I thought I started roughly the halfway point of the hip, but if the figures standing at attention with its links close to get up, we can actually start out just July as high as the total hips. It's really only when the legs start to bend that we need to place that initial gesture line at the midway point of the pelvis. And as I said, that placement can be anywhere between 1/3 and the halfway point, and that's going to be true for both the front and the back, whether the leg is coming towards you, going behind or moving to the side. You can make the inside of the leg straighter at this stage. But I still prefer to give it a curved feeling, not nearly as Kurt as the outside of the leg, but curved. Nonetheless. Even from a straight front on perspective, it's important to keep as much of the figure as curved. It's possible. So lucky arms. Once we have out rough foundations in place, we can come over the top again. Without secondary construction parts, Eric forms to start indicating the muscles of the legs. The legs can bulge a lot, especially if the person is really, really athletic. So these are going to be naturally the best forms to use. We'll get into more detail about the leg muscles in a light illicit. If we have a look at the profile view whatever shape we've chosen, whether it's more cornered or more rounded, we've got an option is to where we can start out legs. We could start out gesture with either the outside edge where the glue deals are or from the inside where the hippies. So for the back, we just have to find the edge and swing down from the front. We start roughly about 1/4 of the way from the age and swing down whichever is easiest for you. We've got the back of the thigh, which doesn't bulge as much as the front. And then we've got the knee and shin flattening in contrast to the cough, which is also flaring up. And if you notice the shape this is making, it's the shape of an S, which is what we touched on briefly in the last lesson. So we've got this very nice curve transition that's happening from hips all the way down to the ankles. And for now, all you need to do is finish off the foot with a triangular shape and notice if you bend the leg. These are DIY store might curved thighs and carbs, less curves in the back and the shin, but also take note that we really haven't had to add a lot of structure to this. This view areas like the knee, we could probably break down, but we've covered about 95% of the leg moralists just with gesture lines. This perspective has the benefit off, not really needing as much work to it down to the leg because the gesture has done a lot of it force already. So at this stage for these simple shapes, we don't really need to worry too much about adding any more additional information. So a couple of tapering cylinders, that former be shape for the front and an s shape that forms in the profile it doesn't ring true 100% of the time, but it will be true. For most of the time, the 3/4 view will lean towards one or the other, depending on which side is facing towards a small, and that just about covers it for the leg foundations 7. Feet and Hands Basic Structures: with hands and feet were dealing with parts of the body that are quite intricate. The fingers and the toes can get quite tricky to get right for feet less side because they're not as articulate as the hands. But we're going to make it easier for ourselves at this stage by treating the fingers and toes is one shape. Once we get this basic shape down, we can come back later on and develop the fingers and toes more accurately. So let's look at the front of the foot first. Our first landmark is going to be our ankle bone, and it's important to note from this perspective that the inner part of the ankle is higher than the outside part. What will notice from this perspective? The inside area, the area of the foot way the big toe is is more or less a straight line. The outside area where the toe is will fan out about in Lord, with where the cough muscle is. This perspective can get quite tricky, so the best option I find for this particular structure is to use a flattened cylinder. The reason for it is so it looks like it's going back into space and to indicate the toes, we want to essentially divide off a little bit of the front and just box it up ever so slightly. And this is all we need for the toe area. In this perspective, from the pro fall, we're better off starting with a triangular shape. As you can see, the hell sits back from the ankle, the front feigns down from the shin, and again, we want to square off a little bit of the end for our toes. The hill can be either rounded or more books like from this perspective. But back in the foot is a little trickier because the heels quite narrow compared to the front, which can easily throw us off. So the best option I find from this perspective is to use a box structure as the foundations for the hell as this is closest to us and then fanning out the outside of the foot and then indicate a little bit of the inside with that straight line now into the hands, the front and back of the hands are going to be similar in structure. We can either approach the palm and the back of the hand as a simple box shape for our foundations, or, alternatively, we can look at. It is more of a flattened half cylinder because that hand comes around. I tend to lean towards the half cylinder version, but either one of these will work for the fingers. The best thing to do at this stage is to group them together unless they are in some really extreme pose, in which case you can group them depending on how close they are to each other. When the fingers a relaxed, they make a fan shape. So it's easier for us to start with that shape first and then work on the individual fingers later on the thumb. Structured in a different white, it's facing in a different direction, and it has this wedge shape in between. You can either make this wedge boxing out or keep it rounded like what I'm doing. And that wedge shape starts from the end of the wrist and is about a 45 degree angle. The middle finger is approximately the same length as the palm of the hand, so use that as your measuring stick for the whole hand and the thumb from the wage is approximately 2/3 of that middle finger from side view. The palm is more of a box shape and the fingers win relaxed, curve down. Naturally there we've got the wedge shape again and the thumb, which this time is facing towards us. And again, it's pointing down at that 45 degree angle. Keep in mind the thumb is now closer towards us, so it is overlapping the rest of the hand fingers. So that is the rough construction for the hands and feet. There'll be future lessons on both that breaks the anatomy down far more. But for now, this is a good lap to begin with for these complex structures. 8. Lesson 3 Assignment: okay. The assignment for this lesson is going to be a bit different from the last couple. We're not going to do any time drawing exercises here. Instead, attached in the notes are going to be some image references of all the different body parts . Now, the idea is not to worry too much about time limits in this particular. Listen, just have a look through the reference images that are in the document and practice up the different methods that we've gone over. When it comes to the different body parts, see what structures work best for you try things out. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself either. If you feel like you're getting lost, you can always go back to the previous two lessons which cover the fundamentals of what we're doing right now. So if you need help with your gesture, your construction, your positioning, you're twisting. The other two lessons are available for you to look over as many times as you need to. So practice this up for now. Next lesson we're going to finally focus on the entire figure. We're going to put all these parts to get up and look at the proportions of the body