9+ ways to improve on your stick figure drawings | Milan Glozić | Skillshare

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9+ ways to improve on your stick figure drawings

teacher avatar Milan Glozić, Painter, illustrator, 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

5 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. 9+ ways to improve stick figures

    • 3. Drawings in the Sketchbook

    • 4. Class Project

    • 5. Bonus Video

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About This Class

If you're in a need for good looking stick figure drawing, this class is for you. Here I'll show you over 9 ways to improve on your sketching so that you can use it in your illustration, art or simply explainer figure drawing. I hope it will give you a better understanding of design thinking and visual communication that will in turn help you make better graphic design for your needs. 

Whether I make drawings for clients, or for personal projects I always try to make my work efficient and the final result a great looking drawing. Usually I start working with basic stick figures, creating thumbnail drawing to see what is working and what is not. That is why I think good stick figure drawing is very important to my work and it could be for you as well.

In this class, you'll go behind-the-scenes as I share my process of drawing. I’ll provide you with helpful tips for better understanding of shapes, lines and how to make the best looking stick figures. All for one purpose – to get better at your craft of line making.  

With help from this class you should be able to create a strong foundation for your drawing process and from there make art that your friends and family would love to see on their walls.

Here are some of the steps that you’ll go through in this class:

  • Gather up your drawing materials and reference photos.
  • Set up your workplace and start working.
  • Make simple exercises to master your lines
  • Learn new things or recapitalize your knowledge about stick figures and how to use them in your drawing
  • Experiment with proportions of different types of human body.
  • See how to use simplify shapes and put stick figures in motion.
  • Use simple lines to create a basic shape of a human body.
  • Enjoy drawing. :)

Start making drawings with confidence of a professional draughtsman.

For the class project students will create drawings based on the video lessons, just watch the final video for more instructions. :)

This class is aimed at beginner to intermediate level students with just the basic knowledge of drawing but anyone who likes to brush up on their knowledge of drawing can watch this class. Who knows, even those advanced students might learn something interesting, see another approach to drawing, try something different.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Milan Glozić

Painter, illustrator, Designer


Milan was born in Pozarevac, Serbia in 1979. From an very early age he got interested in drawing comics, painting nature and inventing games that he could than play with his brother and sister. He graduated on University of Fine and Applied Arts in Belgrade in 2003.

He works predominantly in the medium of traditional painting, but his art includes digital illustrations and book covers. He has had solo and group shows in Belgrade at Progress Gallery, National Gallery in Pozarevac, "In the face labyrinth" exhibition in Amsterdam at Arps and Co Gallery and many more. Also, he is a Top level designer at 99Design platform where he made various book cover and illustrations for publishers and clients across the world.

and here you can read reviews and testimo... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Drank stick figures is a fantastic exercise. It allows us to very quickly focused on the pose gesture and to get the right side of your character to make it more readable. Also, stick figures are very simple, so that allows us to efficiently get the essence of the posts. But how can we make that pose look more interest? That is, this class is all about. So if you're interested, statement, Hello. I mean it's Milan and I'll be your teacher for this class. I'm not educator working in the creative field streams 2003. And the core of my interests always had been in the drawing. So I like making drawings, watching other people's draw intrastate equality, but learned to all the people that are interested in. Here, let's kill. Sure, I have over ten class is dedicated to drive and this one is the latest on the series. In this class. We'll talk about stick figures, how to improve on them. Go over nine plus ways, how to do it. Go over my sketchbook, look some examples. Go, offer additional tips and advices that might help you on your way to a better job. And finally, we'll go over the exercises that I recommend for doing so. Of course, we will discuss on materials that we'll need for this class and for all other, are interested in further development HUB additional resources even for that. So hope you find this interesting and welcome to the class. 2. 9+ ways to improve stick figures: So hello and welcome to the class. I'll hope you enjoy the stuff that I'm going to present here today and do the exercises that I recommend. So without any further delay, let's get straight at it. And as you can see on your screen, we have a stick figure that we are going to boat and that is the stick figure that most of us are accustomed to. And when we think about stick figures that normally we think about, but how can we make it more fun and how to get more out of it? So the first step would be to think about the proportions. And like you see in this example, the human head, basically around 7.5 or eight in the size of the entire figure. So like we have these numbers here. And the second most important thing is to think about main joints of our figure, of the field of humanness figure so that we can make our stick figures look more natural and more appealing and give them more life. So like here, the first is important and that goes about the neck and shoulders. Number two, It's the elbows, the wrists, hip, then nice, and finally the ankles. These are key points on our figure that make the movement appear normal and make it more interesting to look at. So think about those points before making your stick figure drawing. And like you see here, they have all those points in action. And we can see them how they move from one side to the other. So we have shoulders, elbows, the wrists, hip. Nice. And finally, AND, and the main thing here is to think how to position them and how to make each of them correspond to each other. So first step, think about proportions of the head, and then finally, think about where are those joints and they are key points that will make your stick figure more appealing. Okay, so the next step would be to think about that figure. And now that you know, about all these areas that we talked about, we talked I'm like I said, joints and p.sit position figure to give it some kind of a posture. And like you see here, in this case, we have our shoulders leaning in this direction and our hip in this direction. And the whole figure is resting on this leg. And that gives fine, fine position and something that is often used in art history and it's used when people try and figure. So we have one hand that is angled and the other one is flat. We have one shoulder leaning to one direction, and the hips the other direction. They have one leg straight and the other one that is, somehow in this and even the old masters use it and we can see some of that in the examples here. It called contrapositive and really understanding that term in English. So that is also very important to think about when we're talking about a human figure and making your stick figures look more appealing. And the other thing that you can do is to think about the triangles and think about shapes and how to fill your body. It will make your stick triggers more appealing if we, if you think about adding some mass. So see here, like here. That will give you a stick figure more interest. And you should not stop on there. You should also do it for lifespan as well. And like you see here, I like to use triangles. Gives a direction of the figure shows where it is directed to or give it more than using just ovals. So try to use the shapes that are more angular and point to certain direction. We did the same thing for the legs. And you can see this, they are also triangles. And although also for the powers. Okay? So that's basically it. And final touch, if you have somewhere where areas are overlapping, think about making these lines that will help you. Do just that. So show us what is in front and what is behind. That is very important. And that is another thing that you should consider doing. Because like you see in this example here, that is very useful and it helps us understand where is that figure going and what is it doing? So in this example here, you know, we have this action is going this direction, but we also know it going a bit in front. We don't see the other side, so it's going left from right to left and it's going a little bit towards us. And since it's in the air, remember to, let is interesting and good to have this shadow. Tell us that this person is 0. Stick figure is actually jumping and how high it is. So if you don't get, remember to have that. Because by simply moving that shadow everywhere, we can determine how, how high from the ground that person is. Okay, so let's see another example. Say we here have liked to see, we have this example here and it's straight away from us. It's very important to understand how from the ground, how high from the ground that person is, and what is the direction that it's going? The same direction here, but it's going away from us. Because we have this line here that shows that this leg is in front of the other. And in this example, we have the dislike to this one that shows us that it's going away from us, trumping away. So that is something that is very important. Let's delete that and see what we are talking about. So use those breaks in your stick figure and you will see improved a lot if that figure is having some parts that are missing, n that are not right away sin. So think about proportions. How many, how, how tall is you figure? Think about adding more lines and making, tried to give it little volume. So this adds anatomy to stick figure without actually having to think about the anatomy that's important. And then think about that overlapping shapes that will help you make better drawing and that will improve your own work, overall work. So the next thing that we should think about, please. Like said earlier, whenever you can try to use triangles instead of circles. But you can also think about what shapes you should you use for the head. And in this example, think about using the head instead of a circle. So what I mean, Let's take a look at these few figures. Because if you're using just the circle, we don't your, your viewers or whatever whoever is looking at your work, not sure where that figure is. Look if you square of at least one of the sides of the head, like you see here. Here, here, and here. It will help to make your fingers more easily readable. And where is their line of sight? So we know this figure was going in that direction. This figure is looking at here, and this one we're looking at there and this one picture. So that is very easily and that helps you and to help you to translate the message that you have to other people. So that is where a very important and just with a few lines and few strokes, you can make a fairly interesting stick figure. And that will translate your message to who, whoever you are talking to you. Next up, we have examples of two figures and that shows you how you can use curved and angular lines. Like you see here. Everything is jag it. And that can be fine. But what you can do to make it more appealing is sometimes use the lines that are more curved and contrast that curved line with the square line. So that will be also worked very important. And also that brings us to another. That you should talk about. And that is to try to think about when you're drawing your stick figures to give them as clear gesture lines. And dashed lines are those lines that are important when you're thinking about, let's say, to quickly establish and we'll talk about marking that in the next section of the class. But think about one line that's described your subject. So we have that is called primary gesture line, but you can also generate further. Let's change the color of that line. You can make further lines that will help figure. You can see that also in our previous drawing here. So we have one line that is our primary gesture lines can try to make the figure go about that line and then use other gesture lines that will also help you exaggerate to get the gesture of your figure and help you convey that. That most use gesture lines, like, for example in this here, to establish the movement and base your stick figure based on that gesture line and see how you can use that. Exaggerate a little. If that figure is stretching, maybe you should stretch the arm a little bit more. Exaggerated, just a little bit. So it gives you your figure more dynam, dynamism and action and stuff like that. So think about that as you draw. It's important to relax to understand the, the figure, the gestural that ended to help you tremendously in your work. And you can see that also I tried to apply on these figures, all of that that we discussed earlier. So making triangular shapes for lamps, having the overlap. Thinking about squaring of the head to show us the direction of that figure that this locking for making another triangular shapes here and understaffed. Also, proportions are important. I also thought about that how big and had, and also we have shadows that tell us how high from the ground that person is and stuff like that. So those are the most important things when you want to make your stick figures look more natural to have more actions. And in the next video, we'll talk about some of the examples that I made during this creation of this class. So we can have more examples. And then after that, see your project and talk about what you do and how to approach the subject. So see you in the next video. 3. Drawings in the Sketchbook: In this video, we'll go here to my drawing table and I'll open up my notebook, sketch book page that concerns the slice and legacy preparing for this class and made an additional drawings that put me in the right mood so I can explain those things. And like you see in the previous video, I started out with just a simple stick figure that we talked about earlier. And in the next example, I added all those key points of the figure that looks cheap as animated, given more gesture and make it more manageable and adds some action to it. So here you can see even made additional notes that will help us get better at drawing stick figures and later on, even human figures in the full sense of the word. The first important thing is just to draw and then you review later. And also one more important thing when we're talking about the figures is to think about that the core of any pose is the balance or the lack of it. And we can establish the distribution of the balance or the weight of your figure using this, how you would take a plumb line that goes from the base of the neck down to whatever limbs support that base. So we can go from here to here, here to here. And like you see in some of the examples, here are one here that Ryan is very important because it runs like a sand from the base of the neck down to whichever limb supports the weight. And if the weight is distributed between the limbs, plumb lines also falls down between these limbs or likes. So it has the bounce. If it's off, then we can understand that are like in this example here is little bit out of the balanced. So like you said, draw first and then reveal later and think about, is that pose what we are trying to convey, balanced or not. And the more it's an action, it can be more dynamic and go further away from the balanced, the further the center, the balance that is, the more body also has to compensate. So if we are off center, we should have the line that shows. And if it's not, then maybe our figure, RO danced, like we can see in some of the examples here. It looks like it's only going to haul. So think about that as well. Also. Remember that stick figures have clear supposes in full profile. But you can go further from that. And not just like this, pose is gesturing to show us other movements. So declares pose is from the profile, like I said. But if you want and you should try to make it in other poses. And like you see here, in that cases, you can use it. Overlap to show us where are those certain lens. And that will also make more interesting. Another thing that I mentioned earlier is to use the triangles whenever you can. And you can see here some of the examples of those triangles. There can be normal looking or even very, very distorted like this year for cases of the legs and the legs. And like in this example here, that didn't shade on it. Just so you can see the numbers of triangles that you can use in your drawing. But don't feel over discouraged if it doesn't work. Because if you're not sure, simplify and try again. And here you can see, I made some drawings that are very simple, using just one or two lines without adding any other details. Like you said in the previous classes when it talked about shapes, try to make it work and tried to make a gesture, and then go adding weight, adding other stuff and make it more interesting. And like you see here, we have some other examples here, also concentrating about those main key points of the figure and stuff they have to be made. And in this example you can see that when we are making figure in action that is running, think about which limit should be in front and which should be in the back, and how the figure is moving. Because removing this right like than in put it in front, that men should do it with the other hand, the left hands would be entrenched and vice verse. So you can see here when person and running the left, like it's behind and write our misbehaved. So think about that as well. Next up, we have gesture lines. And like I mentioned in the previous class, we have see here some examples of these lines. And there can be just a helpful way to make more dynamic pose. It can't be just one line that goes through the mean of the movement of our figure. And like Alzheimer's previous class, you can have additional gesture lines for at the lens, but there's always a main core gesture lines that shows us that movement here, here. And they can see it here. And you can make it as fluent as you like. So in this case, the gesture lines go swamped, head away from the back legs and ends up at the fit. And this this way here we have additional gesture line that goes in the direction of this, like you can use. C curves. Askers are the other lines that will make this gesture stand out and be more interesting to look at and have more life to it. Again, here are some of, some of the examples that I talked about earlier. We can see here that there is little bit bigger. And you see here those plumb lines that I talked about earlier that we shouldn't have from the base of the neck all the way up to the one of the supporting glimpse. Another example here was that thing that I talked about earlier. Remember about the action lines, gesture lines, think about also head and where you can make it so that it looks a certain direction. And that's basically it for this, for this class. When it comes to some explanations. In the next video, we'll talk about the materials that are used. Also talk about the project exercises that you can do and what to do further, how to improve even more. So stay with that and CN bacteria. 4. Class Project: Okay, thanks for watching the class. I hope you found it interesting and that you learn some things along the way. And this is the final video. We'll discuss the materials and exercises that I recommend for this class. So first of all, here's my sketchbook that I used for this class and for other classes in series. And I strongly recommend if you already haven't, please get something like this book that has lots of pages and they can work in, because that way all of your work will be in one place. And for this exercise, the paper doesn't have to be that much of a quality as well because these stick figures there to allow you to get better at later drawings for those who maybe use some finding materials. And of course, as drawing, you can use software B pencils, or in this case, or charcoal pencil. You can even use sticks of charcoal. That is okay. And that way helps you not too much lingo, too much on details. The point is to get quickly done and do things very quick. Second step is to get the references. And that would be very helpful if you can have the references of the movement because it's not enough just to have a friend posts in this character have to, for this class, make them captured, captured them while they're moving. So you can use shots from movies. So you can train one, get the right fan, favorite movie character and work on that you can use from music videos. So get your notebook, your pencil, sketch a reference images. They are very important, but tried to make them in real action. And finally, drop, fill your sketchbook. At least like you see in the examples video from this class, that have like five or 10, between five and 10 drawings on A4 paper and tried to do them as much as you can. For this exercise, it will be okay to have, for example, six to eight pages. So after you've done that, you can post them in the project section of this class and get the feedback on your work. And as a thank you message for the end, we have another bonus video of me drawing a figure. So have a great day, happy drawing and see you in the next class. 5. Bonus Video: Now come to a bonus video of this class. And like I mentioned earlier, it's going to be video of me trying a human figure. And in the beginning, just a quick process. I start to it measurements. I have reference for growing in front of me. And I'm using stick or some other pencil to measure the height and all the proportions that human body translating them to a piece of paper and then gradually adding simple shapes and then more complex ones in order to capture the entire figure. So there's no detailing and less until the entire figure is drawn. After that, I go into refining and finally adding the shades and I think some details. So enjoy the video and see you in the next class or in the project section of this one. So have a great day, have fun drawing and see you later. So epigenetics? Yes. Yes. Well, no. I never leave. Hi. All right.