The Basics of Sketching & Painting Human bodies | Anna Hedeklint | Skillshare

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The Basics of Sketching & Painting Human bodies

teacher avatar Anna Hedeklint, Artist, Surface Pattern Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Introduction to the class

    • 2. A look at the Materials used

    • 3. Part One The Wooden Mannequin

    • 4. Part Two Drawing with Charcoal

    • 5. Part Three Silhouettes & Stenciling

    • 6. Part Four Exaggeration

    • 7. Part Five Watercolor Fashion image

    • 8. Final Words and Project suggestions

    • 9. Bonus Inspirational Watercolor Fashion sketches

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About This Class


Welcome! In this class you will learn the basics of sketching and painting human figures in five different creative exercises, from drawing with charcoal, pencils, cutting out silhouettes for stenciling and painting with watercolours.

You will also get familiar with the "contrapposto pose" and how you can divide a body into eight sections which is one way of looking at proportions of a body. If you have a wooden mannequin figure at home it will also be of help in one of the exercises, but you can also sketch the mannequiin without having one. If you would like to learn how to start drawing caricatures and fun exaggerations of people - this is also covered in one of the exercises.


Meet Your Teacher

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Anna Hedeklint

Artist, Surface Pattern Designer


Hello, I'm Anna, an artist and textile designer, based in Sweden. I create patterns from watercolour artwork. I find inspiration in nature, especially fruits, berries and wild flowers.  I was born in Stockholm and left city life 27 years ago, to live with Fredrik on his farm outside Nyköping. We now have two grown-up children and I run my own fabric and design brand from my art studio on the farm.  

 My fabric designs are printed by a GOTS-certified manufacturer in Lithuania, which means an environmentally friendly printing process. They are available by the meter on organic cotton jersey, poplin, sport lycra and 100% linen fabrics in my webshop. 




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1. Introduction to the class: Hi there. My name's on a truth. I'm an artist pattern designer in Sweden on, uh, you're very welcome to this class, which will look a bit at the basics off the sketching a human body on, uh, also how you can use watercolors to paint. Ah, humans on, uh, what can help you to get inspired to paint? Um, Skitch, we'll be having a look at how you can use a wooden mannequin figure like this one. Teoh. Learn more about the body proportions and different ways to Teoh at poses and gestures to your skit shoes on. Uh, it's that help you paint or sketch their bodies. Andi will be trying some exercises from this book, which is helpful. If you want to drive fashion illustration. We'll also be looking at magazines, fashion magazines, where you could find lots of pictures off different opposes on Also try silhouettes and stenciling from a fashion magazine picture, which could end up looking something like this if you do it in water color, so I'll show you how you can use that you that will inspire. You can also drive it with clothes on on lake, different patterns or add like this a floral dress pattern? Onda. We'll also be talking a little bit about other ways than just looking at the perfect bodies in fashion magazines. How you could exaggerate certain parts of a boy. Andi? Um, how you can, uh, try live modeling just to see what? Um, uh, anyone in a normal body would look like that. You would like to sketch or even paint with the watercolors, which you can also try from a live model picture. So I hope you'll enjoy this class on, uh, you're very welcome. 2. A look at the Materials used: So let's have a look at some of the materials used in this class. There are quite a lot of different materials and techniques used, so I hope you'll be able to find some of these two to try some of the exercises for papers . We have different types of papers, from watercolor papers from arches to Windsor, Newton's watercolor papers, cold pressed on to standard office paper, very smooth, thin paper and then for inspiration to use a stencil ing. We have images for fashion magazines, onda some colored papers on. Then you need, uh, we use quite a lot of mediums. Um, we need, like, wouldn't manage configure if you want to try that Texas size and then the brushes different brushes round and flat different sizes. Pencils that are used are soft pencils like to be, and then the charcoal czar usar from PIB Eos charcoal sticks, men, a pair of scissors and then watercolors. If you want to try the watercolor exercises, I use ones from Windsor and Newton and Daniel Smith. I think that's about it for the materials. Onda Uh, I think let's just get started 3. Part One The Wooden Mannequin: Well, now for this first Texas and ice, we're going to have a look at how you can use a wooden manic. It did you to practice your skills at drawing human bodies and you get a feeling off the different parts of the body. Andi Proportions on DA. These are quite cheap to buy, actually, but you could question if they are, they're not exactly ideal to show human bodies as who looks like this anyway, But, uh, for this exercise, it could be useful just to see different poses. How you can transfer this into human bodies in art on to draw different characters from this figure. Now it has a very particular look because you have be the different parts of the body. I joined behind, um, bore sport these round holes you have head with the kind of middle there on the center, and then you have these balls between, like joints between the different tubes on the arms and legs on DA. That's a little bit how the human body looks. But ah, a bit, um, simple, but very useful to practice on. So I'm going to start by just drawing this. Ah, it's very simple, uh, pose straight from the front arm a bit out like that when one side on while the waste part waste bold is quite large. I make these balls different sizes. Actually, even though they're not on the on the mannequin on this is something you can just try a few light as a first sketch with an ordinary pencils, a pencil. Come and see what you think about it. You could also try to draw it from one side. I can't profile on. This is also practicing a bit of perspective. Oh, and it doesn't have to be perfect. It's just ah, like warm up exercises. Just try this and see what you think on this character. This poses walking. Striving along likes a bit apart like that one arm behind what a part. There can just try from different, different views. Um, this one could be sitting down. I think the legs turn out of it too large, maybe, but is just were found to see sitting on the chair or something like that bench in a park. We could also try drawing two ribbon next to each other. Perhaps holding home Dylan is a bit shorter than the other. You could also make them hold up spender, fatter anywhere you like. You can just hang them. Yes, your imagination for this. And you can develop this even further by, um, eventually you can add close on these American figures on Create your own characters out of them. So this could be just the basic start from your your character drawings. Andi. Finally, let's make just ah happy one. Arms out both sides when Anything to someone, maybe. Well, I'd like to show you also, ah, one of these poses that is very common among fashion illustrations, and that's Ah, it's called and also art schools. It's called a contra pasta pose, and that's when you have the shoulders. Ah, contrast ing ah to the hips and legs. So the lines of the her body contrasting to those of being No, we're part of the body. So this is just I'll show you this later on also thumbs. But this event, usually one leg is in front of the other one. When you draw one of these poses Now for this lost exercise here, um, take just a regular piece of paper. A four sides onda um before drawing the figure. Just fold the paper. Um, like this, I'll show you, uh, in eight sections lengthwise, equal sections. So just fold it over ground. From then, you can try to have a look at the different parts of the body. If you divide it up into eight parts, which is what you usually say that you can do with the proportions you have. The head is 18 Well, the body I mean, sketches like these. So my drawing eight heads on top of each other, we can then get an idea of the different parts of the body. If you want to have more take away off drawing a human body. So, um, appears the body. Then you have the neck shoulders apart or body chest. Andi, waste the arms, upper arms, no more arms. And the hands go down almost to middle. Uh, usually the hands end up where the where your thighs are when you draw, so you can have that as a coming down to help you somehow. Proportions of your the size. And then the new caps right here should have been a little longer. Hurry up. Well, even longer. I think and then the lower part, the legs and the feet from there. So that's impact. What, Ah, proportions that you can be thinking off now. This is just to have give you a kind of guide, but everybody doesn't look the same. So this is just one way to look at it now. That was the end of the first exercise, and let's go on to the 2nd 1 and try drawing with charcoal instead. 4. Part Two Drawing with Charcoal: Welcome to the second exercise. We're going to draw ah bodies with charcoal sticks instead. I used these from Fabio, um, which I quite like. I'm sure you can find something similar. If you can't find that brand. Andi, for this exercise, I don't have a live month, but I'm going to show you one of my own and sketches from one of the classes that I attended. Onda, um, put it from the easel here on the left. Then I'm going to show you how I would draw one on a smaller piece of paper with charcoal Onda. Um, there's a quite a few things to think about when you try Charco on day. One thing is, you can use it on different types of paper gives, um, different results if you try it on smooth paper instead of rough paper and so on. So I think you may need to find what works best for you. Uh, I like paper, Which is Ah, almost like watercolor paper. Bit more structured, not completely smooth. Onda. When I, uh, true from a live model, I usually it's very important to get the perspectives right. Of course, Andi, I usually draw uh huh. Many times, the same parts. I go back and forth and try to find the, um the body proportions and the AM different body parts on lights and shades. I try a with these things at the same time and have a look at the, um what is further way off the live model and what is closer to me and that means it becomes larger when my picture onda uh, this one has a lot of shape. This human figure, which is great to to use in your charcoal drawings. Ah, because you can make lots summer like a three D effect with lots of shades and lights. Onda. Another thing you can think about is not too. Try not to use too much pressure when you draw a charcoal as it makes the sketch usually very dark, very quickly, historic with light pressure. And then you can add darker lines as you move along. Onda It's also easier to wipe away mistakes If you like this if you, uh, don't put too much pressure with with charcoal sick Onda, uh, you can easily smudge it also if you have charcoal on your hand and so the best thing is, if you don't put your hand completely on the paper, try to be careful on done this way sometimes now and then to see ah, the results at a distance. So this is so what it turned up. This is my results. And now we're going back to, um what we started on last exercise to talk about the contra pasta pose that I call it on. So that is when you put all your weight on one foot on like that, the line off the arm and arms and the shoulders contrast with the lines off the hips and legs on. This is unusual wave of standing. Uh, actually, because a lot of people, they put more weight on one foot when they stand, like waiting in a line que or something. Um, I usually put one hand on the side on your hip. Kind of to to. So, uh, what you need to think about is, um, when you draw that kind of pose is, um you draw like a vertical line through the whole body, which is parallel to the vertical edge of the paper. Then you could draw these lines so you can see the actual contrast ing lines of the shoulders and the hips on the head is still straight. Uh, so on this is if you kind of transfer this into, uh, fashion illustration. Instead, you see that the head is straight like this. There's a vertical line in the meeting off her on her shoulders are leaning on one side on her hip is opposite. And then you can also see that one leg is in front of the other leg, which is also very common. Um, in this type of opposes now, we could also try one of these poses from the back. She's a bit more difficult that I don't have a live model. I'll just have to think what that person would look like. And we're going to make it, but more realistic in its curves and shapes this time. So, uh, legs would might come up like this one leg in front of the other hand on hip, um, back the legs foot. But something like it, it's just Teoh practice, um, drawing with charcoal. So no need to be young to make it into a perfect administration here. We're just practicing poses from the bit of shading back here doesn't matter if you make lots of lines on the body. Um, that's okay. Well, it could be something like this. Now, for the last part of this charcoal drawing exercise, I'll just try one more live model sketch that I've turned in tow watercolor Onda. And I'll just try to draw the line since charcoal here next to the actual water killer canvas on DA. This one is quite tricky as she is lying down on you can't really see her head or her face , which is turned away on, uh, as front. I want that the parts ah, towards you are her her hips and her legs. So you have to make those larger. I'm not sure this is turning out the way I want, but just just to show you that this mystics and a lot of fried food make some shading out of it one or miss on her stomach and the other one you've known her head. So this chicks quite a long time to to make this better. I think that will have to do for now. So that was a little bit about drawing rib charcoal. I hope you enjoyed it. Way have more exercises to try 5. Part Three Silhouettes & Stenciling: Now we're going to have a look at another way to illustrate human figures on bodies. Onda uh that is by looking at pictures and images in magazines, media and fashion Magazines are full off a certain type of women and men, often in very specific, exaggerated poses meant to show the clothes they're wearing, as well as a specific lifestyle and attitude like this. Once, um, who, by the way, has a kind of contra past, Opo says, You can see very common magazines on DA and here's one that we're Let's try with this one, I'm going to show you how you can use an image as a silhouette. So this is kind of an exercise to get to know the kind of silhouettes that are used in magazines. So just pick one with a very, um, interesting silhouette on DA. You can draw it with a pencil and then cut out the silhouette from the paper on. I'm using it as a kind of template or stencil to just watercolor it to see the The effect on the result has, if you draw it on, um ah, thick paper, then you can use it. Um, you can reuse this stencil without damaging the edges Too much Onda, Try different kinds of medios Now I forgot about the arm there, so I'm going to wipe that off to the kitchen towel so that the arm is also part of the silhouette is very important in this one on DA. It will end up looking something like this, which ah, could be interesting to try several of these silhouettes next to each other even. And you can just add details that you missed in, uh, in the stenciling part. So here it iss Andi. I think it would be quite interesting to try and more on the same paper. So let's try another one. Just cut out the silhouette. Uh uh uh, Well, as you can with just Norden a pair of scissors on DA I put it on a sicker watercolor paper on. Then just add any color you like. You can even mix colors if you want. You can try drawing mediums like markers or oil past ALS or any kind of colors you like just to get a an idea off. Um, the type of silhouettes commonly used in magazines, you know, they are not just showing off the clothes that they're wearing. I'm promoting there also sending a kind of message, these images about type of ah lifestyle on attitude, you know, that they're meant to be as showing that ah, other people are supposed to recognize and be part of. So here you have this silhouette. She also has a bag. You can add other kinds of them accessories. And here are some other interesting silhouettes that I just picked out to show you that you can use also for similar type of exercise if you life. 6. Part Four Exaggeration: now for this exercise, you could have Ah, lots of fun just playing around with these fashion images and exaggerate parts of the body or what they're wearing. Um, not just show you on this one that we used before. Onda, Uh, you can experiment with this as much as you like. Shoes and feet are great to use if you want to exaggerate. So you can try just drawing shoes. It could be even larger than this just five times larger than they are on the image and then just a smaller body on DA smaller, much smaller head than usual. Onda, Uh, just how ah, look at the the effect it can get You can really give you, uh, um dramatic look or humorous. Look at the the human body. This shoe has to be larger as well, much larger. So there you have it, Andi. Now, you could try using this as we did in the last exercise for stenciling. Uh, so you could cut it out if you like, Uh or here. I'm just going to give you a nice idea off what it looks like on a colored piece of paper that you can also try and, uh, just trying different silhouettes again, but with exaggerated parts of the the the model for the image. - That's what this one looks like. And I found a really fun image. Looks like this. And, yeah, shoes again are so chung to draw larger. So try that if you want to start on on this exercise, try with just very lowered shoes. Thin thing likes thing waist up here and then this is such a strange image. Catches your eye when you can add, you know, different details close like a bag. So just play along with this sexist size, it's great fun. 7. Part Five Watercolor Fashion image: for this lost exercise. I'm going to show you how you can pick an image from a fashion magazine on Did use it as inspiration to paint your own water color. I started by making a couple sketches, one of her upper part of her body on then just, uh, the legs and the shoes and to see, um, get a sense of her posts. And this is a very feminine pose, kind of girlish, but I I thought it was a good one to try anyway. So, as usual, I start my watercolors with quite a lot of water on bond light brushstrokes Not too dark just to, um, get an i d off the where the shades are in the light and different parts of. So start with the face, the neck onder her arms and then go on to address on add darker shades sooner. Andi, I'm just going to let you watch this on the you can just try it yourself If you feel like trying a what color creating it from with inspiration from an image from a maggot fashion magazine. So, um, let's ah, turn on some music. Yeah, and 8. Final Words and Project suggestions: So that's it, People. I hope you have enjoyed this class. It tries to cover lots of different ways and approaches to portray the human body. So, um, I'll give you some projects. Suggestions. Try drawing by studying the wooden mannequin. Figure in as many poses as you can think of like we did in exercise one. Or try drawing from a life model image inch Archos, using light and shade in your drawing like we did, or gather a syriza characteristic silhouettes from magazines and work with the stencil to calorie it in the water colors or any other medium that you like. Draw a sketch with sand unity parts of the body, like large feet or shoes and a small hand transcends or pick out favorite image wearing an outfit that you like and make a sketch. Show it on a large paper and then painted in water colors in any the way in you like good luck people. I hope to see you again soon. Yeah, 9. Bonus Inspirational Watercolor Fashion sketches: uh