Drawing: Foundations of Figure Drawing | Emily So | Skillshare

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Drawing: Foundations of Figure Drawing

teacher avatar Emily So, 2D Artist

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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

10 Lessons (1h 40m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Tools and Settings

    • 3. Gesture Drawing

    • 4. Basic Structure

    • 5. Angles

    • 6. Preventing Stiffness

    • 7. 3D Figure with Boxes

    • 8. 3D Figure with Cylinders

    • 9. Foreshortening

    • 10. Tips

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About This Class

In this tutorial, I go over the fundamentals of figure drawing, such as quick gesture drawings, figuring out dynamic poses and foreshortening.

Meet Your Teacher

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Emily So

2D Artist


I've been teaching since 2014, and specialize in digital illustration, drawing and 2D animation. I primarily work with Krita, but sometimes work in Adobe Photoshop and Animate. As a professional artist, I've mostly provided graphics for video games and illustrations for purposes such as promotional art and storyboards.

I hope you enjoy my work. Thank you for visiting! 

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1. Introduction: Hi everyone. I'm Emily. And in this tutorial, I'm gonna show you the foundations of figure drawing. 2. Tools and Settings: For the tools and setup, I'm using digital media, digital painting software. Specifically. You can use Photoshop or procreate on the iPad. Whatever it can. Just replicate this kinda feel with the brush. Normally. For the brush settings, I just take a hard edged round brush that has its size and opacity influenced by the pressures. So the more pressure put down, the thicker and more opaque it is. For this tutorial. You can also work on paper is just that you won't be able to do this in case you're about to light cutoff a figure. Like if they're reaching off the page or something like that. So when you draw your figures, yo want to be aware of the uppermost body part, the right, rightmost by part, and so on. So you're aware we're ease, you'd probably start like with the head. But if you're joined digitally, you can make your figure drawings a bit more stylish if you take some kind of pencil tool. And I chose this one and Crito because it has a green anise to it and it also has the same sort of settings I'm used to. I don't usually use these settings as I'm drawing almost anything, but it could make it look stylish. It has the size of opacity influenced by pressure and it has the scratch genius. I'm just working on a wide canvas just to fill up most of the screen. So I have more space to work with. You don't have to draw only one figure per page. Especially if you're really going to take like 30 seconds During the gesture drawings for each figure. Then you'll probably want to do a bunch of figures on one page or on one layer. But you can always make multiple layers if you want. But especially if you're using paper, I would put multiple figures on the same page. If you're concerned about saving your paper. If you're one of those people who doesn't mind joining for like five minutes on a piece of newsprint tin using page after page, then it's your paper. I'm using a Wacom send teak 13 HD, but you can use whatever tablet works with your digital illustration software. 3. Gesture Drawing: First I'm going to talk about gesture drawing. I first went over gesture drawing when I was in high school, and I didn't fully understand it because I was so fixated on perfection versus getting out the figure as quickly as possible, which I didn't understand, was actually a very important skill. So let's say, I take this figure over here and I take a look, I get just a rough impression and I tried to get it down as quickly as possible. So just in summary, you want to try to get it as, as quickly as possible and if possible, less than ten seconds. And you don't want to care too much about the imperfections because you can always fix them later. But the point is to get it down as quickly as possible. So let's say that was ten to 20 seconds. Then I look at another figure here. And, oops, you want to get the rough impression and try to again, get it down as quickly as you possibly can. Not about perfection, but about getting it down as quickly as possible. So that's about it. And then I'm gonna try another one right over here. And maybe try to go straight through the whole figure if possible, to get it down as quickly as possible. And mainly focus on the line of body. So this I would say is a warm up. I haven't been warmed up just yet. And in drawing you can warm up. But I would say most of the time, you don't need to warm up. Like you can if you want to. It's not as essential as say. If you're an athlete, as an athlete you will absolutely suffer consequences like all kinds of cramps and muscle injuries or something like that. If you don't warm up. But there are certain circumstances which I can imagine warming up, enjoying would actually be wise, such as drawing or portfolio auditions, like auditions for art school admissions, which I helped students with. Where they time you. Like, let's say they have you draw a still life in 30 minutes or draw a figure in 20-30 minutes. That is a situation I can imagine where a warm-up or probably be a good idea. But most of the time in my lifetime it's absolutely not essential. But I suppose I should've warmed up before this session because I'm performing for you guys kind of. Let me try another one. This one. Again, try to go through the entire figure. And there are also a bunch of economists, steaks that I, I myself ran into that I've seen a lot of students to they don't do the line of action first. So what I mean by that is, for example, working from the inside. Instead what they do is they focus on the outside and also they only focus on each limb. On either side, like on the left side and the right side. And then like the contours, this is probably what I what I would have done in high school and the beginning of college and I had a hard time with was making sure that I wasn't focusing on perfection. In high school. I just got really mad during my figure drawing sessions and nobody really explained to me why gesture drawing was so important. But gesture drawing is important because if you're doing comics are especially animation, you want to be able to get your complete thought across as quickly as possible to communicate with your drawing, a character or create a story. Give them some kind of expression as quickly as possible. Like if, if, for example, I'm trying to make someone pitch a baseball or something like that. And, you know, and I've only done this pose so many times in my life, but still, like perhaps that was a bad example. Maybe a more common example is running. Just have performing his anxiety right now. So let's say running. This. If its right arm in front, then it's left leg in front. Then I also want to get this down as quickly as possible, right? And if you're trying to thumbnail out or sketch pages of story as quickly as possible. You want to get an idea down first so that you can start fixing as soon as possible and start refining from there. It's a lot more efficient to work from the inside, from the line of action first, then to do something like this. So I would say line of action and then later we'll go over stuff like the 3D shapes. So a few key things to remember is, it is not about perfection. It's about training, your gut feeling. When you look at oppose. And you kind of, it's like spit balling or like just almost like a shot in the dark. But then your quickest shots are more and more accurate over time. When you practice your 5 second, 10 second, 30-second drawings. I mean, golfers somehow make a hole in one and that's not an accident. They trained to do that. And it's not an accident that I can get more accurate angles and proportions in a in a shorter period of time. And I forget to mention, hopefully, I won't get totally cold out on this, but I did grab these images from a website called Sketch daily. It's an excellent resource. What you do is you come over here and you choose your, your options over here just for the sake of a wider audience over here, I'm going to pick clothed and I believe everything else should be OK. I'm not going to worry too much about this right now, but I'll explain in a second why they set it up like this. So I'll hit start. And they will give you a lot of varieties of poses, which is great. Now, I'm going to explain what a typical figure drawing session is like. At least in my experience, I've had them in high school and college. And they're not only just for students, it looks like there are a lot of schools out there that facilitate figure drawing sessions. Usually there's a live model. You can request certain poses or they will switch to a different pose and stay in that pose for a certain period of time. The option that I picked was 30 seconds. And that's a good start for warm-up for gesture drawings. To gets you loose and being able to pinpoint all the angles and proportions very quickly for more accurate figure drawings to get your sharper for, for the later ones, I suppose. And you just keep going and do what I've just been doing. Just looking at them and drawing them as quickly as possible. So usually the way they've started out, first of all, actually, the figure drawing sessions tend to last something like three hours long. Usually. That's how long my my studio art classes lasted and also typical fig figure during sessions. And any any art school or any university that facilitates them. Usually it'll be three hours long because you will do a set of figure drawings or set of poses of 30 seconds or one minute. The short ones that are basically gesture drawings. Then you build up to too many drawings than five-minute drawings. Then eventually, probably the longest poses are like 20-30 minutes. And when you divide it up like that, then easily three hours is actually not that much time in my opinion because in my experience, I'm always racing against the clock. And by the time I start figuring out a bunch of things that I'm, I'm learning like, oh, the leg muscles actually like this. And, or I'm learning how to actually first-time how to draw this kind of material or these kinds of folds in the boots or something like that. Even though the clothes are not the primary thing, but it's a thing that I'm observing. And what I find really enjoyable about figure drawing is discovering really interesting things that I feel like I don't quite have down yet from my head. Like I can't I don't know if I could really draw detailed collarbones from my head quite yet. So by the time I'm like really discovering some really cool things in the figures as I'm drawing them, time is usually up. And I'm like, oh, I wish it wasn't the end of that pose. But usually those three hours fly by if you're actually fascinated at figure drawing. But yeah, that is usually a typical figure drawing session. But as I'm recording this, there's a pandemic going on. So the next best thing, which is the thing that I've been doing anyway, because I'm such a homebody, is going to a website like this. Rather actually I go to Pinterest, but I'm afraid of using those images because I'm not sure if they're free, but I'm pretty sure these images are free on this website, on sketched daily. And but this is a great resource. You just keep looking through different poses and trying to draw all of them. And catalog all these different poses into your, your memory banks. And then in order to get even better at them, well, you'll wanna draw them from memory and go back and forth between drawing the figures for memory. And when you feel like you have something off, you should probably. Either come to a place like this or take pictures of yourself or someone who's willing to model for you. Especially for things like hands. Or perhaps some really weird angle. And most people these days have a phone that has a camera on it. So there's almost no excuse. There's nothing wrong with taking your own pictures or looking up the perfect reference image on the internet. Which actually to me and my experience has been really tough. Working off of reference images is extremely important because, I mean, it does depend on when you want to do, but if you want to make things look more convincing than they do need to have a harder basis in reality. So do lots of figure drawings. There's just literally not enough figure drawing you could possibly do, because there are so many different poses and camera angles and body types and so on. But yeah, I guess I'll demonstrate one more over here. Oh, I just noticed that his hands are on the way. I mean, facing upwards. Yeah. I need to make sure that my eyes move throughout the the whole figure before I actually draw them. But notice how I'm not erasing anything because I'm just not. It's not about perfection. What I've noticed in my own experience and students who've never drawn gesture drawings before. Is that what it looks like when they're trying to draw something like this, and they're trying to do a gesture drawing is they'll be stuck in one place for awhile and they're too afraid to move on. So they're pacing is more like this and they're trying to fix and fixed and fixed before they move on. But the thing that you need to do is to move your pen or your stylus or your pencil through your canvas as quickly as possible. Basically reached from head to toe and the ends of the limbs as quickly as possible. Just keep it moving. Cover much more area. If you know that you need to draw the feet any way, draw them. What most people hesitate to do is plant the feed. I've noticed over the years that pretty much the last thing anybody will do is plant the fee or they, they won't at all unless I nag them too. So right here and probably my angles are off, but it can always try to reiterate, go back. Would you need to do is really push yourself forward. Don't care about your mistakes too much. You can always come back later and fix them just like I, I got the whole figure down and now I'm coming back to observe again what I just did and try to correct it. According to the reference. I didn't really time myself, but I assumed I was like no more than a minute or two. I don't really know what the official rules are for what counts as gesture drawing. But I would say just to be saved, a gesture drawing is probably less than a minute, definitely thirty-seconds, I would say that is a gesture drawing. Basically. Doing gesture drawings really well will help you along with your faster drawings. You just keep timing yourself for 30 to 60 seconds or even two minutes if you want to start out, like ease into it. And then you can just keep doing that. And your two minutes or one minute or 30 seconds drawings will just get better and better as long as you keep pushing yourself to work faster and faster. 4. Basic Structure: I'm going to further break down my thought process as I'm doing the very foundations of a faker join, mainly setting up a good stable structure. And I'm going to stick with this pose right here as an example. I like this pose a lot because it's very dynamic. It really feels like a moment you might want to capture in a comic. And you really get the feel of action and movement. And it also, it would also look pretty cool as an animation as well. And theirs things about it that's that makes it dynamic. Like the different directions of the limbs and how the chest is facing a different direction than the hips, and how the toes are also facing completely different directions. Those so there's like a twist to this. The face is facing also different direction than the chest and the hips. So that's what I feel like, makes it so dynamic. Anyway, here's my thought process are all tried to really articulate about my thought process. As I'm drawing this, I almost always start with the head cause it makes sense to me or just out of habit. Then going with line of body, I would start with line of shoulders. So often you'll have all these other poses that let's say a person is hunched over. You'll definitely want to observe where the chin is compared to where the liner shoulders Is. That helps a lot. And then I'm going to observe where the hips are, are the pelvis, probably something like this. Well, I'm mainly looking off of what the clothing is telling me, which actually here's a tip. Clothing tells you a lot. What this line over here tells us is that the torso is probably facing a little bit more downwards. And then the curvature of this over here around the thigh of the shorts tells us that the leg is coming out and towards us but from pelvis to10, it's going down. So that's like one thing to observe. And then I'm going to try to get like the rough angle of this of this leg. And there's a lot of foreshortening this foot so that I will try to fix leader. But again, gesture drawing, you wanted to get. Basics down as much as possible. And I'll probably need to adjust the head according to weren't actually it is. So actually what I need to notice is also where the joints are. I should probably have mentioned first thing, line of shoulders, line of hips, joints, and get to the ends of the, the limbs also as quickly as possible. My first goal was to put down the representation of the most important parts. Any part that needs to be represented, the head, the limbs, the torso, the feed, the hands, and the angles of such parts roughly. And again, remember you can always fix it later, especially if you decide to spend more time on it. So I'm sure there's plenty mistakes that I have made. And so I'm going to try to fix it. And actually it's possible that this might be the shirt coming up from his movement, but it also could be that his head is actually a little bit lower. So I'm gonna try to portray how like his head is off Lake this way and the neck is going off in this direction, like looking like it's going this way. And yet his gaze is like off to our left. And I totally forgot to mention. It's a pretty good idea to draw cross hairs on heads to quickly indicate their orientation. And I would say, you can do either a round shape, like kind of like an egg shape, making sure that the chin is point did and the top and back of the head or more rounded. Or you can do, you can do a cube shape. You can also do a combination that was about to do a combination just now. But this is especially useful if you're trying to draw ahead facing off in a direction, like if you're trying to draw a head facing upwards. But then you might want to round it out to really get a feel for the back of the head and stuff like that. And actually by this angle would probably have the chin the curve of the John to chin length curve like that maybe. But yeah, a combination of that sort of rounded shape. And the cube or box shape is also fine. It's kind of situational, I would say according to the angle or the papoose. Anyway. So here's one fix. Then. I'll probably get into Lake wrangling this and articulating this a little bit more generally and figure drawing, I don't get too much into detail with hands because it's actually about the entire figure rather than smaller details. So I don't get into faces much. And then I'm going to get the rough idea of the muscular structure. And if it's if there's loose clothing, then you kind of do, do you have to use your imagination? We'll also a lot of times try to articulate the orientation of the torso by not only doing line of shoulder but also line of chest. So over here I could see that like from shoulder to shoulder, like with the collarbone and might be something like this. But because I feel as if the chest is like he's a little bent over forward. Then having this line go this way, kind of benzene forward a bit. And then this bend from torso to hip creates that effective. Are there also try to draw through even if they're an object or a part that's in front of that part. Because you'll want to make sure that a follows through. Like, don't be one of those people who draws like pants or a skirt and then and then does something like this with the legs. While you wanna do is if you draw that, then you want, you want to draw the body first. Because there is a body underneath the clothes. Move trying to do this really fast here. And then you draw the skirt so that everything follows through and make sense as the legs come out the other side and so on, right? You could draw the clothes if you want, if you want to practice the relationship between the figure and the action and fabrics. Because if you're a comic artist or an animator, or you want to tell stories with these, this kind of imagery, then this would be a good skilled practice. So that's another bit of a breakdown on my thought process of relatively quicker figure drawing. 5. Angles: Now I'm going to talk about angles. So in Figure Drawing, aside from things like simply putting down the torso, the limbs, plant the fee and so on. You'll probably in the very beginning have trouble judging in goals. And that's one of the things that you'll get better at. Getting more accurate in your figure drawings as you keep practicing. Specifically when I'm talking about is deviation from the default pose, which is just a person standing in a very static. Like kind of what I would consider like the default post that you know what, I guess. Actually a lot of people have don't draw or at least from what I've seen. But when I do teach, let's say body proportions, I just draw a person standing just like this. Just standing straight up front, few hands at sides. Very plain, ordinary pose. That is probably the least dynamic. I mean, suppose if you could think of even less dynamic pose in this, let me know. But anyway, anytime it deviates from this, let's say a person puts their arm out like that. Then if you were to look at a photograph that has this pose, then you have to judge the angle of this arm. I have a few tips for this. What I often do is with students is ask them, is this closer to nine o'clock? 12 o'clock? Like these are like obvious process of elimination and it's closer to somewhere between three o'clock and six o'clock. So you can kind of use the clock as kind of like as a reference or a way of approximating better. Well, actually we, we use actual angles but feels If people might remember the the clock, the hands of a clock more so than actual angles like, you know what? I probably wouldn't even say like 45 degrees or 90 degrees. I'd I think that clock hands on on a clock is a lot easier to understand. So yeah, that's one thing. So if I were to look at this pose over here, you'll want to at least get a ballpark. And for the most part, the limbs are mostly pointing towards like six o'clock. So then c, I can come over here. And also the head itself, like the face part of the head, is facing a certain direction. And then I'm going to look from the neck to the pelvis and approximate the angle there is definitely not straight up and down. That's what I'm going to observe. The shoulders or further back than like compared to like where? The chest or the belly r And then it probably comes back. And I'm going to put this back leg and then this front leg out. And also notice their shoulders. They are obviously closer to being straight horizontal or three o'clock, nine o'clock. But is there any deviation from that? And there is, that's when I'm going to observe. If at first you do this, that's fine. But later when you observe it again, you'll want to notice that and probably make that correction. And then I'll notice the arms and hands. And this is approximately the angles. Aside from the clock thing. I often tell students is that closer to a straight horizontal line or a straight vertical line. And you already have straight edges on your screen. You just bring your figure really close to either straight edges of your canvas and compare it. That much should be obvious, but actually, people do definitely start to get a hard time when they draw shoes. For example. If like, the angling of shoes, for example, has been pretty challenging. And then most people, when they observe a shoe like this, they'll probably just, instead of correctly drawing this angle, the width of the shoe this way, they'll draw it like this way instead. So being able to differentiate when you observe the angles between this and this, when you look at it. That can be challenging, which that I would, I would say is understandable. I mean, one of the things that are obvious to me is not obvious to other people, but you'll probably want to re-examine if, for example, the shoes are giving you a hard time, that's definitely off the top my head. One of the problem areas that most people run into. If you notice that it's closer to a straight horizontal line, then from there, I guess to a process of elimination like is closer to 0 o'clock or five or four o'clock or whatever time This is. So I would say this is probably the closest to the defaults plane pose that I could find on the website. Then if you want, you can study standing poses for awhile and gradually, gradually get away from your usual plane angles. And then eventually work your way towards like really crazy angles, like even turning the figure upside down or something. So I will notice this angle and also definitely notice or the shoulders are and how it slanted. And I'm also the head is slanted. And this leg is actually not exactly straight up and down. Maybe on average, for the inside line, you could do that. But what's probably going to confuse you actually, maybe I'm confused but on either side of the leg is at different angle actually. And the end both sides are going to throw you off because either side of each limb is on a different angle. So what you wanna do is find the average angle of that whole limb. Instead of going off of like just this line or just the other side of the limb? Actually it probably and this figure facing this way. Maybe. But yeah. Well, I don't want to spend too much time on this because I think I've pretty much made my point about angles. So those are a few tips on observing ingles. So I would say these are the standing poses that you can kind of ease into more extreme angles with the limbs. 6. Preventing Stiffness: Now I'm going to talk about how to prevent stiffness to kind of segue off of angles. Another reason why you want to draw from observation is also knowing what our natural ranges of movement like. Can the head really like go like that far? Isn't really natural for the head to bend back that much. Or at 1 is clearly like unnatural. I mean, contortionist are one thing, but probably you'll be drawing the average person. So that's, one tip is, or another reason why you should definitely draw from observation a lot. So you know what angles are much more natural. So that's one thing. Another way of preventing stiffness is really observing the skeletal and muscular structure. One way I'm gonna mainly explain it is to observe the S curves in figures. I haven't been formally taught about S curves. But what I get from it is that you find it in the body in different parts. And you put that in there, but varied according to, you know, muscle definition or how far certain parts pop out and pop back in or are curved, wider or more pinched. Like such as like, you know, this curve I would say is wide and this is a more pinched curve and so on. So these, you'll definitely have to like practice such as observing how curved the thighs are versus like the calf muscle and shoulder muscles versus like the forearm muscles and so on. You can, you can observe the S curve from the front of the figure. When I draw a leg from the front view, then I usually draw it like this. And I guess the S, it's not exactly like a literal S, but a very thin S, i would say. But it's also like, I mean, it could, it could also be backwards depending on which way the limb or the body part is facing. But it kinda follows through light. There's another sort of S curve that you can probably observed from n equal to tos over here. But you don't want to think of the leg as just two long sticks or one long steak or something like that. What will make your figures a lot more convincing is if you study the muscular skeletal structure and understanding that your legs are just not straight to begin with, even though technically they are. If you say, Oh, I've straight my leg all the way. This is what it's gonna look like. Like even from your femur. Your femur, it's angled like this. It goes from like the outside of your hip to like the inside part of your of your knee to connect to the kneecap and then your lower leg bone or bones, whatever. I should know the the formal terminology for that. But your lower leg is then straight up and down? Well, at least a lot more so than your femur appear. What I'm going to draw from my head actually is the side view. And one thing you definitely want to observe with that is of course the S curve, but try to memorize this. So let's say I face this figure this way. Generally what you want to remember is that a person is not like, is not like this. Like you can, you can draw them in stick figure and you could draw them like this. But it's not very realistic. When you want to remember is that probably most of us have a little bit of a craning or turkey neck. At least a little bit. I definitely do right now. I sludge load. I am horrible slouching habits like probably most of us. And then when you draw the spine, he started to do the S curve from upper torso to lower torso are probably exaggerated. The neck a bit and to the pelvis, and it'll end up like this. So you'll want to remember that the upper back is probably downward facing, but then your lower back is probably going to be a little bit more upward facing for the surface of those parts. And then from here, say, here's the chest, here's the pelvic ofs. I need to size this down again. Then I'm going to draw the leg. And this is generally how I draw the leg. The thigh muscle comes out like that. Then your shin or your lower leg bone is like all the way to the front of your lower leg that you have your calf muscles sticking out here. Then you have your foot come swooping out like this. And yeah, I mean, this person's a little slouching, but it feels, I mean, it's a lot more national than that. Might be often proportion, but and then I would probably draw the arm kind of like this. Person looks very slow, g, very sloppy. But it at least gives them a bit of personality and they don't have to. I think that it is actually trained behavior to have your neck be this straight. I mean, you could draw people with next like this, but I almost always lean it over a little bit like that just to make it look a bit more actual. And it helps to follow through with making the whole figure a bit more national even if they're just standing like this. So off of this figure right here. And I guess even from the side, you can observe that S curve. And then as I had drawn the leg, just straight up and down, try to draw it a little bit bowed and then you can kind of recalibrate that leader if it's too Bode. But I would exaggerate it a bit in your gesture drawing. And then and then just clean it up a bit after you observe how to draw more accurately. So for here, generally, you want to remember what the molecular structure of the arm. You have a shoulder muscle, a bicep and tricep. Then it gets bigger for the elbow and the forearm muscle. And what I commonly see is all kinds of forums. Like lot of students don't thin down enough. And then for the, for the wrist. And they might draw hands that are really tiny or the line of their knuckles doesn't look right according to or in relation to the wrist. Or they might put the thickness of the forearm like kinda like Pop III or something like that lake closer to the hand, which is incorrect. You want to remember that the thickness of the forearm is much closer to the elbow. And then give a lot more room for the for the thinning down of the wrist. And then remember that the width of the line of Knuckles is a bit thicker than the wrist. And I'll just do a very basic shape for the just true this like really, he's really ghetto hands. But yeah, you'll want to remember the structure of the limbs at least. And we'll look at ways that the arm is going to bend more naturally. Like it could bend in like this, like according to the figures, especially if especially if your palms are facing outwards like this, then the elbows are definitely going to bend this way. 7. 3D Figure with Boxes: Now I'm going to talk about another method of breaking down figures. This can be the primary method they use to draw your figure, or can be used as near progression from going from your gesture, drawing like the line of action, and then trying to figure out everything as solid forms in the 3D space. So I'm using this figure or this photo of the figure as an example. It's a great example because again, we have a little bit of a twist going on. Like again, the head and the chest, and the legs or the feet are all facing in very different directions. And often when I've seen students do is not reserve separate room from like with the legs on each legs like somehow both the legs exist in the same space, but of course they're both solid objects. Both legs are solid objects, so they need to have their own space. And drawing 3D objects and figuring out how the stack or how they occupy space. That the 3D shapes should be really helpful. So the two main shapes that I would say, 3D shapes that are probably, I most commonly use for figure drawing. Our cubes or boxes and cylinders. I'm going to first talk about boxes. So from here first actually I'm going to do my line of action actually, because I usually like to do line of action first and then get into my 3D shapes. Might actually also help to draw the object that's sort of like a pivot. Or the object that the figure is resting on might actually help. Anyway. So I'm trying to get the angles over here. And notice that the neck is actually more to our array. And you see a bit of the back over here and yet the chest over here. And I'm going to remember that my mistakes are okay right now because I can always fix them later and I just need some kind of representation of everything. And I'm going to observe that this thigh or the upper leg is actually much longer, needs to go off this way so that it can fit the other leg behind and below it. And again, like the very last thing I do is the fee, but at least do them. But I haven't done the other hand yet. We'll just put it somewhere just so it's represented. So these are at least the lines. So actually for the interest of time, I don't think I'm going to do too many corrections for myself because I wanna get to the next step in my in my usual process. Which so from here, I just did like mostly the lines, but trying to really articulate the orientation and the three-dimensional surfaces to really gladly clearly indicate the orientation of my limbs and how they're arranged. So what I would do is if he did this on paper, make sure you drew very lightly. And for digital artists, I would lower the opacity, then draw the 3D shapes on top. So I would first do a box for the head. Like this. She's looking up a bit, I suppose. But actually a lot of the times we do see at least a tiny bit of a person's head. I mean, the top of their head. Then I'm going to do just summarize the upper torso with maybe a box like this. But I'm gonna cheat a bit and put like a flat surface up here for her chest. And then are midway or towards the lower torso and then the pelvis over here. And pretend the legs aren't there. And notice that it's probably facing at least a bit three-quarter view or I mean, the legs aren't exactly straight. Like if she hadn't been crossing her legs, then maybe they would go off this way or this way. But we cross your legs there off in like non quote unquote, like non straight angles. If that makes any sense. Like lets say. What I'm talking about. Is it a top-down view your legs if they're just Street, they'll just to do that. But in a top-down view, if your legs are crossed, then they're doing something like this. Hopefully that's helpful. So we're gonna do here is actually I'm gonna do the leg that's underneath first. And what I would do is pretend like there's like the were the upper leg joins the hip. I'm gonna draw them first and then try to do the foreshortening. Look at the absolute distance between approximately where the hips are and then where the need is. Something like this. And actually this right here actually helps a lot and figuring out what angles or what kind of shape you should be drawing to define like the knee before you get to the lower leg. Now for the lower leg, you can kinda just draw it like like that without getting into like cylinders. But actually if I'm gonna do cylinders, I don't think I'd do everything cylinders, I would do a combination of cylinders and cubes. So that would be the lower leg and then the upper leg needs to come up like this. Then probably the knee isn't I mean, this leg isn't exactly sideways. So it's probably good at be kinda like that little three-quarter view. But your foot can rotate a little bit independently of your lower leg. So it's possible that maybe it's kinda sideview, but you take your best guess. And I'm gonna do something like that. And it also observe that the foot with the leg on top is higher than the other foot. And I did it a little bit off probably because I was looking at the clothes and what the clothes then everything would be closer together with the with the foot. I would do a kind of like door stopper kinda shape. So you'll want to practice your door stopper shapes and you want to include the toes. Then you do something like this, like this, like a brick shape combined with a door stopper shape. And actually here is an angle that I missed out on the shoe. It's actually more like this. But actually her foot is pointed because it's conforming to the shoe shape, something like that. Then. Now this foot is really challenging chain because I can't really see the leg underneath the pans. But again, this is another one of those angles things. Just try to draw that door stopper. And yeah, and there's the arm over here. I'm actually going to partially erase this so it can make way for the and the arm. Now the arm is not very three-dimensional because like it's not angled In the same way as the legs are, because they are angled quite differently. But the arm is kind of like inside view. So when things are in front or side view, it doesn't put as much of a demand on your skills of drawing in 3D. Yeah, actually, I would probably draw out this thigh lower. Normally I don't draw the entire body. This box shaped. I usually do some kind of combination actually. Again, we should do crosshairs. And maybe actually I wouldn't be angled back away from the head. Became cool. Kind of like that approximately. And this doesn't exactly had to be cubed shaved, but just the rough rough shape of it. And also just get it down proportionally. But I'm going to try this again with the kinds of 3D shapes that I would do. Not just cylinder or box shapes. 8. 3D Figure with Cylinders: And I'm going to put in the 3D shapes again, except with probably mostly cylinders for the limbs, at least the rest of it I might do them a bit. Boxy cylinders are pretty important for informing the audience of the orientation of limbs. So anyway, I would do again link of box-like shape for the head, but perhaps combine, combine it with a more rounded shape closer to the actual shape of the head. And the neck can be cylindrical, but it's blocked off by the hair, but still you need to represent it somehow. And for now, you don't really need to inform us to much of the neck because you get the idea. But if you were to put in more information about cylindrical shapes, where it would be helpful is actually putting loops around them. Not only putting those loops around, but adjusting the curvature according to what's going on with the muscular structure, for example. So like here, I would actually, this is angled off this way. I should probably do more to her back. But it's still she's sitting up straight. So then usually when people are sitting up straight, you don't you don't draw the back late like this. The back is like curved or ankle this way. So that you have like the small of the back like this from back to pelt this over here. Now because this upper arm is just kinda facing us head on, then I mean, cylinders can pretty much be like this. If you're, for example, standing right in front of a cup or a candlestick, then yeah, it's pretty much just going to be like this. But if you start to stand below it, then if let's say it had painted rings around it, then they'll start to look like this. Maybe you stand over it. Then the curvature of the rings around the cylindrical object will start to look like this. This is pretty important. You'll want to be able to draw all the different angles of cylinders because that will help you in drawing all the different angles of limbs. I think I would draw the loops around this limb that, and then just summarize the hand. Kinda like this. I'm not even going to bother with the fingers. I am definitely off on the length of the leg, think. And then I went to really do a cylinder for the upper torso. Still try to define the surface where the sternum is for the chest. And then do something like that to help define the distinct surfaces. This upper surface here and this lower surface down here, then the front-facing surface here. That should help a lot with lighting, for example. And just the basic summary of this handover here. And here. Again. Probably because this leg is almost sideways. The lines of a cylinder and might be off this way. But actually, I mean, the clothes helped to, again, help to indicate the orientation of the limb and they are curving off this way a bit. So I would actually draw the loops around like this. This is just a good exercise doing the, what I call or what I was tied 3D contours. The lines going across a 3D surface to help inform what that surface is like as a 3D form. And I actually should have done the leg in the back and the lower leg first. But this one is coming forward like this. And then the lower leg will probably be oriented this way. And that angle and that angle, the foot is a little challenging again. Again. Most often my initial, initial pass with the this lower link here. For this upper legs could go like that, but the lower leg is going to have loops going around, probably like this. So when I also noticed, and while a lot of students do with like the ankle line of pants or top of boots or shoes. Is they curve at the wrong way. Like Here's like a leg. And then instead of drawing, drawing it this way, which most of the time, because again, just as you're looking over a cylindrical object, it's going to curve this way, right? And that means that the ankle line of pair of pants or the top part of the boots or shoes ought to be like that, right? But I've seen a lot of people do, is they curve at the wrong way. And it's awkward. Because most of the time when you're looking at a person, their feet or their shoes or their ankles are way below high-level. So then most of the time you're going to be seeing this. It's only if you're like an ant on the ground or if you're on the floor and your head is literally like on the floor and you're looking up at the top of the shoe or at the ankle line of a pair of pants, then it will look like this. So this is why the curvature of these 3D contours are really important. You'll want to, as a good exercise, draw these. 3d contours. Also allow the clothes to help you out with that because they usually they tell you which way to draw them. And I don't think I really consider that cheating. Hopefully that'll also help you in figuring out how to draw clouds. So yeah, draw lots of cubes or boxes and lots of cylinders and be able to angle them in all different directions. 9. Foreshortening: I'm gonna talk about foreshortening, and I'm going to use this image as an example again, in case you don't know what foreshortening is. In this image. You can find it over here, from risk to knuckle. So normally, when you see it either from the side or top-down, the length from risk to knuckle or Knuckles is supposed to be much longer. Same idea from ni to ankle. And perhaps even from an cool to heal and from this elbow to the wrist, even though the basketball is blocking a lot. But if I had to take a wild guess, it probably looks something like this. Maybe a little bit from PMS to Ni over here. And maybe arguably this over here as well. Because if his body was facing straight forward, chests to camera, instead of this shoulder being closer to the camera and this one being further away, then his chest or his torso would appear wider, but it appears more narrow. So perhaps that is somewhat of an example foreshortening, but definitely some examples are the back of the hand and the lower leg over here, especially and this basketball were heard in the way then the forearm over here as well. That's basically what foreshortening is. One major tip on how to can get foreshortening down better is to look at the absolute distance. Just as, let's say an abstract object or an abstract shape on a 2D plane. Because, I mean, we're drawing in 2D media, but creating the illusion of three dimensionality. And there is not as much length from wrist to line of knuckles as there is, for example, from the knuckle to the second set of knuckles. Like this is actually a longer distance over here. But normally, your first the first digit of your fingers. Is not as long as you just actually shows this again. The first digit of your fingers is not usually as long as the distance from wrist to first set of knuckles. So I'm gonna say this is first knuckle. Actually, sorry. This is the second Knuckles is the first knuckle. Second, third. And we could say that this is, this is the rest over here. And when we look over down here at the lower leg, look at the distance from me to angle. It's really not that much. It's very little. Or you can just look at the tiny shape of the lower leg as it is foreshortened. Same idea from ankle to heal. Not that much, but it would probably also end up being a short anyway. But you can kind of compare that absolute distance to like let's say over here, gets the back of the shoe. Actually might be down here. It would end up becoming much longer than this line over here. What you would probably end up finding yourself doing is when you draw it, you might end up doing something like this. But you should correct it. And notice there isn't really that much length or distance from me to ankle or need to the back of the knee to the heel. I'm going to actually look at another example. This thing will cooperate with me. Mainly I'm going to focus on this arm and this leg. And foreshortening. Shapes are objects are definitely gonna look way different than how you'd normally think of them. A few ways to get better is to understand that when you look at a cylinder pretty much from the side, it'll look like that. But you'll want to be able to rotate it every which way, including having it go depth wise. And then trying to force shorten it. Like just think about. Looking through a telescope. Or when you're about to look through a telescope, you definitely don't see the length of it like you do over here. It's a lot more, something like that. And we're gonna try to tackle this pose over here. Key parts, our shoulder and elbow here. Well, for contexts, so I'll draw a little bit of the, the torso oboe and then the hand. Look at how the hand is pretty much below the top of their shoulder level. And there's really not that much length from L0 tourist. Make sure to make the forearm muscle really thick and thin down very quickly for the wrist. We also have bicep, tricep here. And put some definition to the muscular structure there. Here's the trap muscle appear when you draw the hand. At least do a very basic shape of it. In this case, I would just make it like a box shape. Probably the most common mistake I see with when people draw the hand attached to the arm is they make the hand way too small. Just to remember that the width of the wrist is smaller than the width of the line of first knuckles over here. And make sure the hand is big enough. Then I'm going to try the leg that is quite foreshortened. And I think that most people would be tempted to draw something like this. Something going out much too far to our left. But again, look at the absolute distance from elbow to the end of the leg. It's probably about over here. Ish. It's really not that far. But first, I like to draw the overall area that the leg takes up, going to size this down so to fit the whole thing in here. You'll notice that from pelvis to nee need to ankle. It's pretty scrunched up. I'll also want to make sure that the surface of the kneecap area is distinct and get a feel for that. Ok. I'm pretty off on this, so I'm not going to break myself for that. But remember, I can always fix that. Especially digitally. Or if you're working on paper, you just you just erase it and remember to just Preston softly. But first, I'm going to plant this foot. And same idea with feet. I see most beginners with feet, they will be tempted to draw the hum mostly sideways because they can't quite register or make out exactly how to do afoot in three-quarter view or portrait depth, depth wise. Just remember that. If it's three-quarter view enough, you'll be stacking the heel behind the front of the foot and of light and the light of tos. But in this case, it's facing head on towards the camera. So this just takes a lot of practice. It helps to just look at it as an abstract shape. But understand that from the side. It probably look something like this. I mean, it's probably similarly posed like this. If you look at it from the side, maybe put this crease is pretty important. For example, that's what you're seeing there. And do your 3D contours and look at the strap or any wrinkles that would help to inform how you would draw a three-dimensional contours to help define the 3D forums. So, yeah, don't draw your shoes to basic. I mean, even this would be better than having your characters. She's looking like this all the time. At least tried to attempt either three-quarter view or a front view. And just to remember the days when you don't feels good about your results or you're not quite there yet. Outside of your comfort zone, those days are very finite if you just keep at it. 10. Tips: I'm gonna go over a few tips on how to make sure your figures look better and more natural. One, just briefly, I'm just going to say, Keep your figures that are in static poses balanced. I think in my experience as a teacher, teaching figure drawing, I don't think students have that much of a problem with it. But when you draw, you figure, makes sure they just don't look like they're falling over. The internet. Pretty much has stuff to say about finding the center of the base support and then figuring out where the center of gravity is. I am not confident with explaining that, but in my experience, because I never learned anything about that. So you can look that up. But my quick tip with that is makes sure your character does not look like they're about to fall over. And think most of the time, you're probably not going to have a problem with that. So again, this only applies to static poses. And not usually when your figure is in motion. Like if they're running or they're falling over, or if they're dancing and they're jumping up in the air or something like that and they're about to land, something like that. I'm going to reiterate my advice on figuring out angles, except I don't think I went too, too far into detail with that. Or if I did, I feel like I can see a little bit more about that. Aside from the clock trick. And looking at street edges, you can look at how much certain angles deviate from either the straight horizontal line or the SRI vertical line. For one, you'll want to look at each angle that you are trying to pinpoint and look at how much it deviates. Like if it's, if this angle differs from the vertical line this much. But compared to a horizontal line, differs this much. Then this angle is closer to being a straight horizontal line. See my d over here. Because the angle differs much less from a horizontal line. It's closer to being a horizontal line. Same idea. Let's say over here, though. There is curvature to the back. If there's curvature, then sometimes you can just look at. The negative space, again as an abstract shape and approximate the size of it and also the shape. And just copy that. As another way of articulating your figure more accurately according to the reference. So you can kind of do this everywhere. Like you don't have to just use these straight edges in your image. But you can, I suppose you could do the clock thing as part of your process of elimination. So for example, you might be tempted to render this leg like this, but actually from me to ankle. So a little bit slanted off this way. If you really want to get your figure them much more accurate. Yeah. I was just thinking, maybe this gun isn't exactly straight horizontal. You can go ahead and make your measurements on your reference image. If you don't want to eyeball it completely. But I like to try to eyeball as much as possible because that trains my skills in eyeballing everything. They don't think it is completely straight horizontal actually is just the tiniest bit off actually. The other thing I'm gonna say about figure drawing is that you'll definitely want to keep at it with practicing dynamic poses. But also you can still practice with head on views and side views. If you don't quite have it down yet, just being able to draw a figure properly inside view and getting all your s-curves in. That's good to be able to do. But then being able to switch it up a little bit, like start to turn it. And be able to imagine what that ought to look like. Just from your imagination. Like turning it in your head and maybe turning it a little bit more. So this can still be a bit challenging, even though it's not a dynamic pose. When you get more comfortable with dynamic poses, then you could do this same thing, take that same dynamic pose, spinning around, however, not just on a vertical axis, but some other way down or know, a diagonal back flipper. Something or other, some, something really weird. There's just so many different ways to challenge yourself when it comes to figure drawing. And the last video I did with foreshortening, that's pretty important. Another way that poses can be dynamic is when all the parts are facing in all different directions. If you're able to draw the body parts facing in all different directions comfortably. Well, that's, I mean, that's pretty good practice for figure drawing. I would say just do both. I mean, if you get really comfortable with this plane of appose, then draw whatever you're interested in. And also might depend on what kind of project or a larger project you want to end up working on. Like if it's any kind of storytelling thing. And also, if you wanna get into drawing a comic or a comic series, just go and do it. Because if you just take on a project, you're going to get better at drawing anyway. Because the drilling, drilling is not that much different from when you're actually doing what you think you're working to do. What you think your training up to. Like being able to create your masterpiece. If you plan on doing an animation or a comic series or something like that. If it's a really long project, especially you're just gonna get better anyway. You might as well take on the project that you think you've been training for. Because you'll be thinking less about the dryness of drilling and more about, let's say the story that you're trying to tell or how cool your character is when you're trying to tell a story with them or show off how good they look. So it's a lot less technical and more about the joy of, let's say, the results. But the main thing that you can do to make sure that your figures look better is to just keep practicing. The sheer volume of practice is really the only difference between you and a professional or someone who has been doing it for decades or thousands of hours. It's really as simple as that. I hope you found this tutorial helpful and thank you so much for watching.