How to Improve Your Figure Drawing - Step by Step | Robert Marzullo | Skillshare

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How to Improve Your Figure Drawing - Step by Step

teacher avatar Robert Marzullo, Online instructor of Figure Drawing and Comic Art

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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

    • 1.

      Introduction to this Class


    • 2.

      Breaking Down the Body Into Simple Forms


    • 3.

      Drawing the Forms of the Arm


    • 4.

      Drawing the Forms of the Leg - Front View


    • 5.

      Drawing the Forms of the Leg - Back View


    • 6.

      Drawing the Torso - Front View


    • 7.

      Drawing the Back of the Torso


    • 8.

      Foreshortening Parts of the Body


    • 9.

      Foreshortening a Figure


    • 10.

      Drawing the Forms of the Hand


    • 11.

      Exploring More Hand Poses


    • 12.

      Drawing the Body in Action


    • 13.

      Exploring More Poses


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About This Class

This is a basic approach to figure drawing. This entire tutorial is 3.5 hours.  I share techniques that I have used over the years to create comic book illustrations and storyboards for television.  You will learn how to systematically break down the various parts of the body into simpler shapes.  As I illustrate each area step by step you will follow along and learn from my studies.  This will give you insight into how I create my artwork and create poses from the mind.  I also share what techniques I use to improve my knowledge of the human form.  Things like gesture drawings, timed studies of the pose, negative space drawing, foreshortening, perspective, organic versus angular lines, and much more.  You will also be given a copy of the art files as a downloadable PDF that I have created here so that you can work along and study from them.  By the end of this course you should be more confident in constructing your figure drawings from the  mind and have a better understanding of the human form.

The tips and tricks from this course will make the process of drawing complex body poses much easier to accomplish.  Good luck with your art!

Meet Your Teacher

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Robert Marzullo

Online instructor of Figure Drawing and Comic Art


My name is Robert A. Marzullo and I started teaching comic art online about 10 years ago after starting my Youtube channel.  It allowed me to connect with aspiring artists all of the world.  I love making art videos and I work with both traditional and digital art methods.

I am also the author/illustrator of the book, "Learn to Draw Action Heroes" and the "Blackstone Eternal" comic book.

It is my goal to help you realize your potential with art and follow your passion!  I hope you enjoy these classes.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction to this Class: Hello everyone. Welcome to my Skillshare class on how to improve your figure drawing, My name is Robert Marzano and I'll be your class instructor. In this course, I'll be teaching you how to break down figure drawing and simplify the process. One of the best ways to enhance your abilities for drawing figures is to log in lots of hours, lots of studies. I want to show you the way that I break things down and build them back up, and how I commit more of this to memory. Over the past 20 years, I've been a comic book illustrator, a storyboard artist, and even performed caricatures for parties. With each of these art forms, I've had to hone my abilities to draw characters and figures in a desirable fashion. What I want to show you is how I hone those skills and how I utilize them to do that type of work. In this course, you'll get to work alongside with me as I break down a variety of these figures, I use perspective to help with foreshortening and just generally share you tips and tricks that I use every day to create my artwork. Keep in mind, you'll also get copies of all the artwork that's created here so that you can follow along and study them and scrutinize them, and figure out your own process as we work through this. We'll be breaking down each component of the body and drawing them separately. That process will allow you to really look into the forms a bit more and see how the individual parts work and then we'll assemble them as a whole. The reason why I think that helps so much is if you just get right into figure drawing, you get a little bit bogged down by the complexity of it. If you itemize each area and separate them into their smaller components, but then reassemble them, you'll get a better understanding of how to draw a complex forms and complex scenes without filling so overwhelmed by the process. We'll also talk about studying from life and creating gesture drawings, and even drawing at different time intervals and what benefits that holds as well. I think it's very important to be realistic about what you can create and how long it takes you to create certain parts of your artwork. It also helps you to gauge what you need to study next. By the end of this course, you should have a lot better understanding of how to complete your own figure drawings. Just remember that sheer practice and filling up those sketchbooks and creating lots of files, lots of artwork is really going to teach you the most. But these building block fundamentals that I'll be teaching here should give you a better understanding and a better point to start from to create more and more figure drawings on your own. I'm very excited to teach you this course. I hope you're excited to learn it and I hope to hear from you soon. Keep drawing, keep having fun, and bye for now. 2. Breaking Down the Body Into Simple Forms: Welcome back. I'm Marzullo and I'll be your instructor for this class. In today's video, I want to show you a way to make figure drawing a lot easier. The first thing I like to do is break down the form in some basic shapes. I start with an oval for the head, a wedge shape for the torso, and then the pelvic. If you use that 1, 2, 3 method, you can really construct all kinds of different poses just with that starting point. If you can draw an oval like this, if you can draw a bit of a wedge shape, if you had to break this down even further, it could be a bit of a box or another oval this way and an oval this way. But essentially what this is is the torso and the pelvic. This will just draw like, you ever played with action figures? Imagine the lower part of the action figure with the body and the legs ripped off. I know it's gruesome, but hey, it happens to every action figure at some point in their lives. Essentially by doing that, there's our basic shapes. You could really accomplish this with all ovals. If you think of it that way, I think it helps you to go okay, I got that down, I got that bit, now what do I do? The thing that I do is draw the spine in there. You don't have to. If you notice, I already started to draw these shapes with that kind of rotation or angle or bend to them. Whatever you feel most comfortable with, what I'm picturing is that the chess line would come through here. Solar plexus down to the pelvic and the front of the face, something like that. That's what I was envisioning when I drew it. Now, what I'm trying to help people with is that if you can accomplish these basic shapes, the rest of it is much easier. We've got the opening for the arms and from there you have to study gesture drawing. The best thing to do is to do quick studies of the body, 1-5 minutes probably. Start off at five, work yourself down to one minute sketches of the body. What you're going to want to do is just really study the way it reacts off the body. If somebody is pushing off this leg right here, the counterweight, maybe this leg is back, so you're only going to get this information by doing gesture drawings. It's not just going to come to you. Maybe if you just have the ability to feel that process out. But most of the artists that I know that are good at stuff like this, they refine their abilities by lots of figure drawing, gesture drawing, I wouldn't even recommend drawing from other artists. The only reason why I say that is because you'll learn things about their style. But if they're making mistakes in their fundamentals, then guess what? You'll probably copy those same mistakes. It's okay to have fun and study your favorite artists, but draw from life whenever you can and create your own studies, your own sketchbooks and whatever. Same thing with hand poses. It's like you have started to see that there's lots and lots of different ways that the hand reacts from person to person and pose to pose. You just have to create lots of sketches of that to get a feel for it. We'll say that this is where we're at, this pretty bad sketch and I probably shorten the legs because I ran out of paper there, like I always do. Seems to be one of my artistic flaws there. I can never judge how much distance I have at the bottom and I try to start forcing proportions. I'd probably make the leg down here over to here, being that it's more of a comic book, eight heads tall scenario. That's my quick little sketch. It's not impressive, it's not meant to be. It's just to get an idea down. Then I can study an angle. Well, for one, he doesn't have a hand, that's not cool. But the arms are natural, maybe the pose is a little too accentuated, whatever. But by doing these quick studies, you can study your work and grow from that process. I'll do the, I don't know if I'm going to call 1, 2, 3 method or whatever, but three main body masses. I don't know who might've came up with this, if this is even a thing. I'm just telling you what I generally do with my art work. Again, the head, now I'm picturing it's looking right at us. Now I want to do a dynamic feel. I don't ever want my stuff to just be plain and standing completely upright because, well, I traditionally draw art work in science fiction type stuff. There's not a whole lot of people just standing around in my imagination, I guess. They're always doing something crazy and elaborate. My drawings need to reflect that obviously. Here's our 1, 2, 3 method again. If I had to draw the spine, I would say it's doing something like this. If I had to draw the chest, it's going like this. I should always try to twist the shoulders. If you think of the head, the shoulders, and the pelvic, right here you see they're all lined up. Well, that doesn't make for as interesting of a pose. So to shift that, I'll put the one leg opening over here more. I'll try to twist this pelvic shape like this. Sounds gross, but hopefully you get my meaning. I'll turn that like that and then maybe, a leg up. Now, one of the trickier things I think to get right are the way that the legs connect to the pelvic. That to me is a whole another study. One day or week or months, whatever it takes you to learn, you go in at it and you study how the legs connect to the pelvic and you hit it hard for a month or whatever it takes you to feel comfortable with that. That's what I do. I repeat that process over and over again for every thing that I do. I get these questions on my YouTube channel, in my DVNR, just different style, Facebook, whatever. People are asking me, how do you draw this? What do you do here? They want me to give them all these details and forgive me for saying this, but oftentimes when there's a lot of overabundant amount of questions about the process, it leads me to think one thing and that is you're not practicing enough. I don't want to be mean about that, hopefully I'm not being mean by the sound of that. But what I'm saying is, you're not going to find the magic, I don't know what you want to call. But the thing that's going to outweigh your practice or your hard work, you have to do that. That's the answer. To all these questions, half of the answers are just practice sheer volume of drawing. I don't know how else to explain it other than that, I know it sounds depressing. Sometimes you have to put all this time in to get good, but that's really what it takes. I would say behind every great artists are stacks and stacks of sketchbooks or digital files or whatever style you're working in. Unfortunately, that's the truth of that matter. So just lots and lots of practice. Then you start seeing the things that are improper and why they are improper, because at first it all looks like you're on the right track. Take any artists and have them pan back at their work from years ago, and they'll tell you that, ''Man that stuff sucks, I don't know what I was thinking.'' But what that is is the progression and the fact that you're now visually seeing things that you weren't seeing then. That just comes with lots and lots of producing work. Even this, it's like why is this head straight up from the posture, whatever. I'm not saying it couldn't be that way, but it just doesn't look as interesting. Knowing that, let me see if I can adjust it and try to move it, tilt it, whatever. I'll do that a lot too, where I'll sit there and take these poses and I'll try to rework them and see if I can make a good pose out of a bad pose. Which is really necessary, because the more you work professionally, the more you got to figure out ways to cut corners and save time. A lot of my work is done in storyboards where the time intensiveness of it is insane. Where you have to figure out how to hurry up and draw something really quickly and get it done, because people are waiting on you to do some pitch or animation of the work or whatever. Gesture drawing is very important for that. Like even that one. I don't blab in here, so I probably went way over, and I don't know what this just took, but probably way too long for just a gestural concept. Even though it's very rough, and very crude, just stacking these up is what's really important to start getting a good feel for the way the body works. Again, I'll do another one where I do, let's try a totally different pose. Let's try down here. I always start with the head. I know another question that I've had recently a couple of times was, "Do you always start with the head? I've read that it's not right to start with the head", and maybe it's not. I can't say that I do everything correctly or right. But I generally start with the head. I don't know why, I don't know if it's right or wrong, it's just what I do. I try to start with the body, and there's definitely certain poses that I start with the abdomen. But it's a lot more rarer. I seem to always visually place what my character's getting ready to do, even when I drew that head, I already had the vision that it was pointing down. I don't know why, it's just where I'm at with the way that I envision my poses. But I'll tell you, stuff like this, these are the tricky ones for me. For instance, I don't often see somebody's squatting down, looking down at the ground, hands over their knees or whatever, maybe one knee, like this. Here's the pelvic. I should've drew that in first, sorry. There's the opening and little legs, and maybe this other leg is down to the ground and back. I struggle with poses like this, because it's not something I would see every day, or even be able to find reference quickly or easily enough. Now keep in mind, that's why I got two cameras, and I've got my computer camera. We've got cameras on everything locally now, so it makes it a lot easier. But this is why, if I get a pose like this, that's too tricky and I just can't nail it, guess what? I'm sitting around taking goofy pictures of myself and my family trying to get the right pose. I've trained myself to be able to draw through that, because obviously I work out a little bit or whatever, I'm a pretty buff guy, not really. Anyways. But I can draw through myself and come up with a character that ends up, or poles that ends up looking like a superhero. We pretty much almost have to ignore a lot of the parts of the picture to even do that, because our proportion just aren't as heroic as we would like them to be. It just comes with practice. Like that when it's not all that great, but I can work with it, and then I start making changes. Chances are, at this angle, this shoulder, you're probably barely going to see it. If you do see it, you're just going to see a little bit of the shoulder. I pull that all the way and over to here, and see how I help set perspective. Oops. I think it does anyways. I'll just practice this technique, where you draw the head, the upper torso, and the pelvic, and then add the limbs on. You'll start to get a better idea of all the various poses you can create from that. Then obviously studying from life to add to that information. Now it's just like if you drew a leg here, you do the upper leg, the lower leg, the foot, the knee, and you just really start to itemize parts of the body like that. Through the rest of this course, we're going to break down arms, legs, hands, things like that, and really try to pinpoint ways to break down the body and draw it quicker. Now I want to show you a quick one in a foreshortened perspective. Here I'm going to use blocked-in shapes, cubes, cylinders, but I'm going to draw it in a perspective shot. By doing this, again, it simplifies something that would be pretty complex. If you're going to draw a body in this downward perspective, in this foreshortening, it gets pretty tricky with all the curvature of the body, and the musculature, and what goes where. Doing something like this just essentially gives you a blueprint to work over top of. I resort to this whenever I struggle in a certain area of my drawing. If it's something that I'm comfortable with, then I probably won't feel the need to do this. But if I start to struggle, then I go back to the basics. This is to me what the basics are. Block method, cylinders, wedge shapes, just easy to draw, easy to digest elements of the structure, whatever it is I'm doing. You see I can make changes to that perspective really quickly and easily. I can check perspective because it's drawn to a vanishing point. Where with body parts it's hard to envision that, unless you're working pretty tight from a good reference photo, then maybe you can check it against that, but sometimes you don't have that. In this case, I go to the block method. It does take some practice to get yourself to be able to draw like this and see into it, and not just see boxes and cylinders, like anything else, it will take some practice. But the more you do it, the more comfortable you'll feel, and like I'll mention many times over in this course, you'll just start to naturally skip steps. That's just part of what happens as an artist. The better you get, the more comfortable you feel, you'll just do away with certain steps in your work. I don't even know sometimes I think it's just involuntary or subconsciously. But you'll look back at your work and definitely notice then. Here I just soft erase it down. I've got enough of my blueprint work out of the way, my construction. Then I just get in here and I start to refine it. I can start to think more about what the character looks like now, softening up the forms, giving some anatomy, some shapes of musculature. But I have that underlying glorified stick man to show me where my work needs to go, and again, in a perspective view. Ultimately you're just able to break these things down and make it easier for you to carry it to the next level. Just repeat it, try this with various angles. Another good tip for doing this and feeling comfortable with it, is to actually take photos and break them down in the same method. I'm now working from a photo here, but sometimes it's good to work from a photo. Try these methods over top, and then you can see what areas hold true to the design process. In Passat, just sheer volume, I'll repeat over and over again in this course. When you sit there and draw this type of pose over and over again, certain areas are going to start to make sense that at first you just couldn't envision. Notice that the more and more I draw repetitive patterns or angles, you just start to pick up on things. It's really that repetition that's essential to getting better at this stuff. So that'll bring this one to a close. In the next lesson we'll be approaching how to break down arms. I hope you'll join us for there. Let's proceed on. 3. Drawing the Forms of the Arm: Hello and welcome back to how to improve your figure drawing. In this next lesson, I'm going to show you how to break down arms, will just systematically go through parts of the body. But I think it's important to realize how you can individually separate certain components of the body and then reassemble them together. It's the way that I've found has helped me the most with my figure drawing. When doing the arm, I look for some basic shapes. This is one that I see for the shoulder. For the bicep, I generally see something like this. More of a football shape, the tricep, something like this or from this particular angle anyways. Then for the forearm, I generally will see this muscle here in a cylinder shape like this, so on and so forth. Then we're going to assemble the hand and we'll be getting into hands up later on in this course. Essentially, that's how I place some of the shapes. Now, this takes a bit of practice to even probably get to that level where you're comfortable just throwing in those shapes. What I'll first do is show you how I got to that or how I get to that comfort level. Basically, if you're starting out, you might want to start more with a circle, a line, another circle, another line, and another circle. This represents the shoulder, the elbow, and the wrist. Something to keep in mind is that generally the wrist will wind up to the shoulder and then you'll add the hand on afterwards. We're starting this basic guide. You can give direction to the next part of your illustration. Then from here, you'll add cylinders. Like so and like so. You can see it's pretty crude, but it helps us to see a little bit further into what we're doing. I'll set this one off to the side. I'll actually copy this and move this over. If I was to take this now and refine it a bit and look into the arm illustration a bit more. You can just soft erase it down or use a light table, whatever method you're working with. Then you can start to place these shapes that I illustrated over here. Obviously, this is a different angle, or I don't know if you could tell, but it is a different angle than the one off to the right there. Basically, we have to envision what those shapes will look like over here. In the part that you need to study, you learn how to draw this way, but then also you need to study the way that anatomy works and the way that muscles work. Muscles will always pull from one area of the arm and they'll connect to other areas. Some parts will overlap and intersect, and some parts will go behind other parts. That's where studying your anatomy, we'll teach you that. Now, the other thing that you need to be aware of, let's say I'm just drawing the perimeter shape of the arm now. I'm trying to give it some form. I'm not trying to draw into the anatomy too much, but I'm placing some of the muscles as I go here. Let's say I get it to about there. Let's say I didn't draw them this shape of the bicep yet. I just have mainly the silhouette, which I think it's important to always study your silhouettes. I think it's another way to commit a lot of this stuff to memory. Say I just did that and I didn't get into the musculature too much on the inside of the drawing yet. It's also important to study the thickness. After you get the silhouette, also studied the thickness of the overall shapes. In here, break them down like this and you get this by studying the shadows of the photo. I'll say it goes something like this. Just with those simple lines that I added there, we're able to give a lot more of a dimensional look to that arm, then you can start to perceive where maybe light hits on this part of the arm as well and bounce light and all that fun stuff. But we won't get too much into that because that's almost a whole another series of videos and topics. But by placing just some of these smaller shadow shapes like that, you can really start to get a more dimensional feel to the arm. I think it's important to do that. You want to study the overall silhouette. You want to study the way that shadows react and give it depth. But that all starts with these basic crude shapes. Let me go ahead and take this, scale it down. Move it over. The other thing is just to log in a lot of different poses. Let's do the back of the arm. We'll start again with the very basic rudimentary building blocks. Let's say that this arm, what I'm perceiving just so you know, even though I've only put down a circle, a line, a circle, a line, I'm actually perceiving that already in my mind that it's going this way and at the arm is going back out and away from the camera just a little bit. I just want to illustrate that for you because you want to start envisioning that as early on as you can in the process. Now is a larger circle for the shoulder. We'll do a cylinder up top, the top of the arm. I'll even round the cylinder in the way that I would perceive it connecting to the shoulder. I'm already starting to illustrate that visual guide for myself. Then here I want to perceive that it's going away from camera. I'll taper the cylinder just a bit. I try to always make sure that the cylinder for the forearm is the equal distance from this base cylinder to the top of the shoulder. Again, like I said before, if you were to raise this, it would actually meet the top of the shoulder, then you would add the hand on. Just keep in mind, I'll see a lot of illustrations and it seems like the forearms are always too short. Let's make sure to add that enough. Also, the common mistake as well is not to taper the rest as far as it need to be. Now, let's go ahead and take this to the next stage. Let's add a little bit more. I'll even add a bit of a wedge shape for the hand, but we won't get into detail on the hand yet because I want to save that for another lesson. We've got the elbow back here, and let's go ahead and copy this. We'll shrink it down first and move it over. Copy and paste, and move that back over. Now let's go ahead and give this a little bit more form. In this next stage, we can start to figure out the shapes a little bit more. Over top, this will do, again that oblong shaped like this for the shoulder. Well, make sure to make the shoulder a good size, larger in width and height than the rest of the arm. Another thing I notice a lot is people tend to draw the shoulders a bit small. From back here, we're going to see the tricep, and that'll be like this. Now the tricep will generally come outward. If I was to draw it off to the side, it would almost be shaped like this somewhat, and then it splits down the back, goes up, one side is up higher. The inside portion closes to the left. Just that shape there. We'll draw that in. Depending on how defined you're trying to make a character look or muscular. You could start off very light with this if you're not doing something as stylized or as intense as a comic book illustration. The elbow, I like to just keep with that circle. It's got a bit of a downward point to it and it tapers up. It's also a good point for where to draw the line that you see in the back of the arm that meets down to the back of the wrist. I would actually need to tilt this hand a bit more. The forearm generally is larger and wider at the top here and then tapers down pretty heavily. You get a bit of this muscle from the side there. The rest of it at the very end widens back out. It's just knowing this about anatomy and studying the way the muscles go and what direction they head. Obviously this isn't a perfect sketch. I don't know if there is a such thing, but you just keep doing it and doing it and you'll get a better feel for what you'd like to see in your own drawings and how much of a stylized representation you want versus realism. The more time you put in, the more realistic it's generally going to get. So if you keep soft erasing this and you keep coming back with a new perspective and draw over top, then generally you're going to get closer and closer, now, especially if you're starting from reference. If you're just eyeballing it like I'm doing here, then you might tend to distort things and give it a more stylized look. But that's what I'm after, being more into comic illustration. So I'm okay with that. But there's no harm in studying, reference and recreating the stuff. It's how you learn. One of the tricky parts is right here, how the tricep comes down and around. I think it meets somewhere around in here. I don't want to draw this overly segmented as I am already starting to do. But I do want to illustrate some of the parts where the muscles head. The shoulder does this tricky kind of thing where they almost rotate up and back around. It comes down further and between the bicep and tricep, and it goes up and around like this and meets the back. A good way to perceive all of this is that all of it is interconnected, that everything [inaudible] into another thing, muscle group to muscle group. Something like that and that would give us an overlay straight down but a back view of an arm. I don't know that you would actually see as much of the bicep as I've drawn here. I think the tricep would get in the way more. You'd see less of this bicep. Let's go ahead and select this and scale it down and put it next to our base template there. I want to show you one more before we conclude this lesson. I want to show you basically another way of looking at it. I've shown you how you can break down the shapes with a quick line for a shadow here, and I've showed you how a couple representations of how you would work up from the basic form. Now the other thing I want to show you to get in the habit of is to break down the shapes even a step further. So let's go ahead and take another arm position like this. I'm just going to just keep talking about the beginning stages, and you can just watch me rough this out or hopefully you're following along. We'll get these basic shapes into place. But then what I'll do now is I'll go ahead and go right to designing this in more of a 3D type fashion. We have to remember that we're creating 2D images on a 2D surface, but we're trying to envision 3D. We're trying to make things look very dimensional and we're basically cheating. It's a bit of a tomfoolery. Don't think I've ever used that term before. Basically, you're trying to really make it look like it's three-dimension even though it's not. Now, one way to do that is to actually get in here and do as many three-dimensional lines as you can. Really draw these lines and pretend like you're looking at something in a 3D program. It's oftentimes where I'll tell my students to study a little bit of 3D. Even though you're working as an illustrator and you're trying to create things in a 2D space, I recommend that you study 3D programs. There are some free ones out there that you can get into without dedicating your life savings to it. But you'll get in the habit of looking at things like this in a 3D space, which helps your visualization process. So you go like this, you draw as much of it in a 3D grid as you can, and then also you break certain parts down and you do your studies and you say, okay, this muscle right here, looking at photos or whatever you got to do, how would it look in a 3D space? You can shade and visualize that better by segmenting these certain areas and breaking them down. So I guess you're just itemizing parts of the body and really focusing on it, and then studying this muscle here. How does this react and how thick is it to the base and how thin, how quickly does it taper off this way? But I think these little lines that help you draw in 3D space, let me soft-erase this down again and I'll illustrate that even further. I think it really helps you to see that and break that down. I'll draw it again just quickly here. I'll do a little bit of line weight just to further illustrate it. You see I'm almost making things look a little too angular in a few spots. But I'm doing that intentionally because I want to really push that direction that I'm going for visually of the depth of these segmented muscles. Something like that. There's a few more muscle strands away. It goes around like this. Again, this isn't entirely about accuracy as much as I'm trying to explain the process in which I break things down and study. The bicep and the way it connects to the shoulder. You're generally not going to have it this segmented unless you're a really big bodybuilder or something. But for the sake of studies, it's not a bad thing. So we'll just over illustrate that. It'll show the separation from the shoulder muscles. These again, we'll show those three-dimensional lines, 3D lines or even having taper off to just as muscle group like this. You can almost picture like we're drawing [inaudible] from X-Men because here we see these little lines on them, if you're familiar with who that even is, but maybe, maybe not. But by doing this, you're really painting the picture that each one of these areas are segmented and that they're rounded, but they have a bit of depth to them. So again, that's what this line here is for. This line to the back of the elbow. This line to the bottom part of the forearm. You know you can shade this end if you want. Keep in mind all these art files will be supplied with the course, so they're available here for download so that you can follow along and study these. Probably already knew that, but just in case you didn't. So just like that. Even though you don't want to get in the habit of over segmenting your typical figure drawings, it's okay when you're studying because it reinforces these shapes in your mind, then you can go back and soften them up. I obviously don't recommend doing this if you're drawing a real life drawing or anything like that. But for studying, it's more than adequate. So I'll go like this. Again, just really trying to visually get the idea of the shape of these muscles and this arm. I do this quite a bit for my studies. I just feel like it really helps me to understand it. Then from here, just save these, save them in your sketchbooks, save them in your computer under titles and things so that you can access them. That way if you do spend your time really doing some intense studies, you can pull from that reference. You can remember where you're at as an illustrator and what things were clicking mentally for you. Because that happens at times, there's times you go back and you look at some of your old work, and you're like, man I was doing well with drawing hands or feet there and then I somehow forgot that. I don't know why that occurs, but it's just something that does happen. Chances are, what it probably is, when you were doing well with it previously, you were inspired, because inspiration is a big part of drawing any of these stuff. There you go. That's how I break down and do some studies for some various arm poses. That'll conclude this lesson. Next, we'll head over to studying the legs and breaking those down with shapes as well. So let's continue on. 4. Drawing the Forms of the Leg - Front View: Hello everyone and welcome back to how to improve your figure drawing. Let's go and get started. Our next lesson is on legs. I'm going to show you how to break down some light poses and how to better understand drawing legs. Like we did with the previous exercise, I'm going to start off with a very basic structuring. I'll start off with just the ball and rod or dowel, or however you want to look at it. Basically the stick man. Have you ever talked to anybody that can't draw. The first thing they'll say is, "Wow, you draw so well. I can't even draw a stick figure." The funny thing is that's where it all begins. Really they're not even aware that they're on the right path. Essentially when you lay it out like this, you're just giving yourself a design to what direction you're going to take with it. I recommend doing this for anything that's more complex to you, anything that's a little bit harder for you to visualize, start with this very crude method. What it allows you to do is just get the basic shapes in place. You don't overthink the process and you don't immediately go to start detailing your work. That can be a bit of a hindrance and quite confusing at times, especially if you don't understand the subject matter. Just get in there and do these very, very basic shapes. Like this. Even the foot. You could break the foot down into just a bit of a diamond shape with a wedge for the back heel, very simplistic. It allows you to really flow through this portion of the drawing process and get the initial pose down and then go, where do I want my muscles to go, where's my anatomy going to go? That's where, again, studying your anatomy is so important. Essentially you can draw a lot of muscles from an A and B method. You can know that the muscle here goes around the knee and then curves and goes back up, and that this muscle goes in front of and points downward in between these two muscles. The other relationships that you want to look for are the fact that muscles will generally have angles and tilts to them. For instance, this muscle will be lower on the leg than this one back here. It's just taking special note of things like that that make it easier to draw because you can use these little mnemonic devices to go, where is the tilt in this part of the leg and was this muscle higher than this muscle? That makes it easier to draw because it's more simpler to remember that one is higher than the other. That works with a lot of things in the body, the ankles and the direction from the foot to the knee. You just start picking up on these the more that you draw this stuff. I recommend just filling up your sketch books with poses and poses of especially legs, unless you're lucky and legs are an easy one for you. I've always felt legs were a little bit more complex to get the feel for, so I study them further. I've heard a lot of people say, "Don't focus on your weak suits, because you'll end up with nothing but a bunch of strong weak suits." I'm sure I'm slaughtering that term there, or metaphors or whatever. But I don't necessarily agree with that when it comes to drawing. I think that you get better by studying the things that you are not good at. I do understand the idea behind what was said there, that you want to focus on what you are great at so that you can be truly great at something. I do agree with that as well. But when it comes to drawing, I think that you learn more by your failures than you do by your success. I think that you should study on the things that you do struggle with and in turn it will unlock mental barriers to what you are not able to achieve. Now that's just my opinion, so take it as you will. But that's what I've found with my own artwork, that I gain more by studying things that I struggle with. Then in turn, I'll learn something about myself or my process and be able to move past it. You see that I was able to fill in the anatomy. This particular course isn't about anatomy as much as it's about showing you the underlying structure and how I get to the anatomy overlays. I'm not going to explain a whole lot in the way of what muscles are what and where they go other than me illustrating it as I do it. You have to go out and study your own anatomy, and maybe later on I'll do a course on just anatomy. But anatomy itself is so in depth that it could fill up multiple courses. This particular one is just to get you the underlying structure and learn to break down your shapes to make the drawing process easier for you. You see by doing that, that I'm able to fill this stuff in and not worry too much about my base drawing anymore. I've got that part down, and I can just worry about adding little bits of detail and filling in some musculature. Then as I study my anatomy further, then I can get more in depth and go, muscles start here and there. How chiseled do I want this character to be? How overweight, out of shape, whatever the case may be. That's essentially how I'd fill that in. Let's go ahead and size this one down. We'll do another pose. Like I showed you before in the other lesson, basically you also want to always get in the habit of breaking down these elements individually and then reassembling them together. Let me show you that again. I'm going to illustrate the upper part of the leg again. This time I'm going to break it down like I did with the previous arm pose. I'll start off with just a basic cylinder shape. See already, it's tapered off, which I really don't need to, but we'll go with it. There's our basic upper leg shape. If we were to get a little bit further, we could place the knee right here with an oval. We could place the backing or the side of the knee with another cylinder shape. If you envision it like that. Essentially you got a cylinder here that tapers a cylinder here and an oval. Just as quickly as that, we pretty much have the base underlying structure for an upper femur; upper part of the leg. Let's go and copy this, bring that over, so I could show stages of some of this work. Now, what I would basically do here is try to start defining some areas of the leg and whether or not I want to get in there into the musculature or I can just first try to make it look more three-dimensional. To do that, I would start doing things like this. Like I mentioned before with the arm breakdown, it's good to sometimes draw this and as much of a three-dimensional perspective as possible. It really starts to help you get a feel for where your art is. When you study something, whether it be a photo or drawing from life or whatever you're doing, you can start to really see where your problems may lie and where your strong suits are. Now what this is more of almost a 3D grid and it's not perfect, but it gives me an idea. I can start filling in some of the muscles and I'll generally start with ones that give me a good direction. The middle, also here on the leg is probably a good starting point from this particular shot. Then next I'll go to this one. This one generally go around the knee, then come back up and then go behind this one. I'm not going to get into terminology because I've probably slaughtered it anyways at this point, but I just want to show you the way that I do it. This comes back in, it goes around here. As far as the knee, the knee could be broke down into more of a flat spot here, even though it's not quite that flat, and then a bit of a wedge up this way. There's usually a pocket of scan or muscle or tissue right above there like that. Again, I'm over illustrating this just to give you the idea how I would break the stuff down and get it mentally locked in so that when I go to draw it again, it becomes easier and easier. This part of the leg usually comes up and they're really chiseled, you'll see a line there. Again, this is more in tune with what I do because I typically draw comics and superheroes. I want to get more of that defined musculature in there. Then if they're really in shape, you even see a line back this way. But that's almost just really overly obsessive. Then as far as adding dimension to this, again with doing that line to show some depth, you could say that this muscle here is pretty defined and you can put a bit of a shadow there. You could do a bit of a shadow against this one here, this one you got to remember tapers off so whatever shadow you do there would get thicker and then thin back out. Something like this. Again back here, this one isn't as defined generally as this inner one, but you could put a small shadow here and runs and repeat. Just keep going. That's how I would basically define that leg and really try to round it out in a 3D space and see what my perception is of that particular muscle area where we compare it to realistic stuff and then see how on-point I am or what changes I need to make. Let's go ahead and scale this down. Let's go ahead and do another one. Let's go ahead and do some female legs because these all look pretty masculine and male. Just to show the differences there, now, I'll show you something else as well. Another way to do legs is to keep in mind that they do this reverse bend. Something like this. Just throw these in and get them in place. Not too harsh, but just a little bit from the feet out like this. Then let's go ahead and go right to overlaying our shapes like this. Things that take note of with female legs is that they generally appear longer, mainly because they're skinnier and more elongated. You want to really get that in there. Also the pelvic angles down further. Where the male pelvic goes more side to side, but female pelvic goes more up and down. I'm sure you're probably aware of that, but it's always good to reinforce any information with little bits of data there. I'll say something like this, and you can see I'm just really rough on this end, just to get an idea down. Then I'll refine it. There is just a typical just standing straight on pause one leg back. Then I would soft erase this down or at least try to like that. Then I would get in here and refine it a bit. Essentially, the only difference in the way that I do this is that I'm just not going to get so much into the detail of the muscle. Now, needless to say, there are lots of women that have very defined legs and probably a lot more that are more so than men, but for this particular illustration, I want to show the difference on how you would torn that back. I think it makes more sense to do on the feminine legs. All I'm going to do here is do a little bit more on the outlining, not get so much into the interior details and the musculature. Again, it just preference because obviously there's lots of women with really buff legs. You just have to make that decision on your own as far as what you're going to illustrate that day. But for this particular one, I'll just do enhance the muscle, enhance of the detail and just omit areas just a little bit. Basically, let's see here. This is always a tricky part for me because the legs till outward a bit, but based on the pose and the weight-bearing leg muscles will shift. There's slight differences from side to side, so I just have to focus on that and go, the knees would point slightly outward from one another. Where would the leg come down and connect? I want to say about here. It almost gets a bit trickier when I don't focus on the musculature or at least for me anyways. I always look at it like this. Everything that I draw in gives me guides and cues to the next thing that I'm going to draw. I always talk about in my course is, and my drawing is working in contrast. Everything provides me contrast to another element that I'm drawing or painting or whatever it is I'm doing. I feel that way even with drawing anatomy, that everything that I put in is a place holder for something else. I actually feel that drawing like this is easier to do because every muscle is a place holder to the next muscle. When I omit that, I have to be really careful about the placement of the outer edge of the line work and I have to be just really deliberate with what I'm putting down to get it right because I think the flaws will almost stand out more. That's just me. I don't know if that's entirely accurate to everybody that's watching, but that's the way that I can see it. I think that when you're drawing female legs like that, it's really easy to overdo the musculature and then give them a masculine look. Just take your time and keep the lines very light. I get as much of it in place. You can see I've got proportions are just a little bit off. I think even this foot is a bit small. I want this one a little bit larger because it's coming out towards camera. This one looks tilted for me. You just basically keep making incremental changes to your work as you're progressing through it. I think more like that. It looks a little bit more appropriate. Again I have to hold back. I want to get in there and do all this muscle shapes. But again, I want to illustrate how you would do a little bit less-defined set of legs. I think maybe the bend is a little too plain and none of curvature. Now at this stage, I'll just make small incremental changes to refine the art. That'll complete this lesson. Next, we'll head over to the next lesson where we'll address the back of the legs. Let's move forward. 5. Drawing the Forms of the Leg - Back View: Now we'll go ahead and address the back of the legs and we'll start off with the butt. This will be a female butt. Hopefully I wouldn't have to explain it. But you never know, my butts may not be as good as they need to be. Essentially with this I would start again with the basic shape, this oval. They can be two ovals like this, and probably the leg coming down as a cylinder. Again, I just want to stress the fact that getting those basic shapes early on is very important. [inaudible] the leg will come down then out at the knee and then this leg will actually be back towards camera just a little bit. I'll draw a little bit of the calf muscle in there like that. Something to take note of with legs as they generally will go inward like this, then we've got the side of the knee and then the calf will come back out. Just another little thing to remember when you're drawing legs. From these poles we'll have the butt coming over. Again, it's an oval but we'll just define the line right across here. Probably taper inward and up and get the shape of the hips in there like that. From this side we'll just get the curvature of the silhouette and place it like that or something like that. Now, the thing to take note of with the butt is like, when someone's walking obviously the shape is changing and depending on the weight bearing leg one side will be a little bit different than the other. That's probably the main thing. I would say everybody's a little bit different shaped as far as proportions go and things like that so it's really just preference in your design unless you're studying from life. Generally, there's a little bit of a dimple if somebody's really tonal have like the definition of the muscle right there. Just little things like that. Another thing that you can do to show direction of the legs, there's almost not a whole lot of direction in the way that I have illustrated here. But if I take a few lines and do something like this, and all of a sudden it pushes that leg further forward and this one further back. You can also do that with the thickness of the lines like this. I'm not going to illustrate it too far because again, this isn't so much on anatomy as it is on just drawing various poses and improving your figure drawing. But there's a bit of a separation that goes like this. But again, if you over illustrate it, it almost looks too defined. Again, if you want to really solidify your knowledge and the way that you're constructing things like this, do like we did here with this leg and do the three dimensional line work. I recommend doing this quite a bit on studies, especially things that you're again trying to really commit to memory and get a better idea of the forms because you can over illustrate the shape. If I want to really push the form and see how far the depth that I'm getting with my drawing is I can see into that with these. Something like that. These just go across the whole thing and then you can really see how curved this leg might be in the drawing like that. Then if this leg is coming back another thing to take notice of is that, if you notice I put these lines going in a downward bend, well, back here they're going to go on a slightly upward bend because we want to reinforce the feeling that this leg is coming back at us at a different direction. Just little things like that. Then this one would actually change shape as it goes across so it level out at the horizon line and then go downward. Then if you do that enough you'll start to get a lot better visual picture of a three dimensional space in your illustration. You can obviously soft erase this down and just keep refining it as you go. Let's go ahead and shrink that down and I'll do the calf muscles a bit. With the back of the leg and the calf muscles, something good to take note of, again we'll start with the basic shapes, is that the calf muscle actually widens out and thins back down and at one side is more elongated than the other. Let's get a basic cylinder shape in place, the knee protrudes out to one side like this and the calf muscle goes inward like this and then one muscle is actually more defined, the inside muscle or the leg and more condensed downward like that. You've got the ankles and the back of the heel generally coming like that, then flat out with the weight. Something like that. Again, proportions are all going to be depending on the athleticism of the character drawing, things like that. That's generally how you can perceive a back of the leg to a calf and these actually come in pretty tight right there, pretty slim. I'll do this one in reverse. I think it's just helpful to always study this stuff as much as possible and break it down a lot of different ways. It's how we basically learn with anything that we do. If you segment and break things down into smaller, bite sized pieces, no matter what you're doing, you'll figure it out just like how sometimes you have to break something to fix it or really understand it. The way you would break a few eggs to make an omelet kind of thing. If I was to draw this again off to the side, and I really segmented these muscles to really understand the shapes that are going into the construction of the lower leg and then I could segment each one, add this bit of depth like this here. Maybe this one is a little bit less content because it blends down into the [inaudible] part of the leg with less segment. Let's divide, and this one could be said to be another piece by itself right into here. Maybe a shadow here. Again, I would perceive it almost like you're breaking apart pieces and reconstructing them with blocks of wood. That's one way that I've always looked at it when I've seen illustrations like this. It resonates with me that you would be separating the pieces and almost making them out of something else. Again, given enough studies of doing it this way, you'll just really start to get a better appreciation of the parts of the body and be able to draw them from memory more. Obviously, the foot, you would see the foot. It wouldn't be non-existent like it is over here. The good parts of that angling out from the side. That's how I would break it down. Again, I would do that to every part of the body at every angle. You just start to get a better feel for it throughout that process. Let's go ahead and do another pose. Another shot just to reinforce what we've studied here. Move these over. Let's go ahead and do one with a little bit more of the legs. The one leg is on a bend, pivoted off the foot, and the other one's a little more straight down. The other thing is, remember it's always start with curved lines. None of these limbs are perfectly straight, so it's always good to throw curvature in your lines from the very start. Then we'll block it in, get the basic forms in place. Again, keep it very basic, cylinders just to start. What the effect of this one is going away from camera and then coming back towards camera. We're going to draw that cylinder with the opening pointing this way, reinforce that perspective. Want the heel up and then a wedge shape for the foot like that. Then I'll start to draw in some of the structure of the anatomy. We can basically go over top of this with a little more confidence once that underlying structure's in place. Remember the knee comes inward, a little higher actually from this angle, then the leg goes up and it widens out up into the butt area like this. Remember to change the shape of the butt from one side to the other because the way the legs pivoted and the weights dispersed. The legs going to probably tape round right here. Then since this is coming out towards camera, it's going to appear larger than the other form. Again, this is why you want to draw as much of this in a variety of perspectives because there's to give you an idea for how this stuff works and what shapes and forms to look out for. I want to see a little bit of a cut to the calf muscle there. Let me go and soft erase this down and try to refine it. Still a bit clunky. I see part of the foot over here. Again, the calf muscle. If we look at our diagram over here, we've got a shorter here and the elongated there. That's the other thing that's nice is when you start filling up these sketchbooks or drawing a variety of these poses, you can pretty much just lean on one of your previous sketches for reference. Then the more you do it, the more you'll be able to turn specific pulls into something else and be able to elaborate off it and make new poses. Soft erase this down and try to refine it a bit. This leg is actually too high up so let me fix that while we're at it. If anything, it would be lower than the other leg. I will just elongate the upper part of the leg to do that. The other thing when you're drawing perspective of body parts coming out towards you, lines will just intersect and go in front of the previous sections, like you see me doing here and here. That's one of the ways that you can easily show depth in your renditions. Bring that foot to about here, and heel somewhere in here. This is just the refining stage of it. You just keep playing around with that. Move things around, try different shapes in your forms. But again, it's that underlying structure that allows all this to take place and make it easier to conceptualize. Then pass out. It's just lots of practice of drawing a variety of proportions and angles and anatomy, really studying your anatomy. Basically, you just have to recreate as much as you can from photos and people in action. You'll really get a feel for how the body works and you'll start trying to convey weight in different shapes and forms in your illustrations. Just like that and I'll just keep refining it, add some shadow to base your character and to a foundation. Just keep working it up from there. That'll complete this lesson. The next lesson, we'll be covering the torso from the front pose. I hope you'll join us. 6. Drawing the Torso - Front View: Now, we're going to cover the torso. The upper torso can be broke down into a few shapes, and we started here, but again, I want to really palm the stuff into your brain box and get you thinking the way that it requires to draw the stuff effectively. Again, I'll take a little bit more of a basic approach to the start of it, and also more of an angular approach this time. I want to show you that you don't necessarily have to use circles and ovals. Now, if you feel comfortable with that then that's more than fine, but it's really just the basic building block principle that you want to shoot for. I had a tough time getting that out. Essentially, by first defining this basic shape and again, being somewhat aware of what the anatomy looks like, I start to work into the forearms and simplify the process by breaking it down like this. I'll leave the openings for the shoulders. I guess I'll include the shoulder pieces on this one, just because there's a neat relationship between the shoulders and the chest that I want to be able to illustrate. I just go and throw those in there. Now, again the anatomy may be a little bit disproportionate to what you're after, again, I'm more of a comic illustrator, so I tend to inflate parts of the anatomy and make things look a little bit more hero-esk. But for the most part, a lot of the information is still there. For instance, the obliques that come through the side here, the abdomen here that shows us off into multiple muscles, sometimes eight or ten. Not exactly sure which, I think an apex is pretty impressive, so that's about as many as I ever had. Then the rib cage, you start to see areas of the ribs on the side here or sometimes even towards the front, and depending on the flexing of the chest, the stomach muscles will appear to be higher or lower based on how far their back is angled back actually. These are all just things to notice and it's all style choices as well. The neck muscles just come down into here. All right, that's how I would take that form that you just saw me start with a basic angular shape and add some little bit more organic field to it with the muscles. The thing I wanted to show you with the shoulders and I've got these illustrated a little bit, too heavily there, but I'll soft erase this down and show you further. The shoulders and the chest, the thing that I always take notice of is that they actually connect. Again, it all interconnects, but they really connect, like the musculature goes from the shoulders right through the chest like this, and it's very apparent in somebody that's in pretty good shape, so it's good to show that in your illustrations, especially if you're going with somebody that's got some good definition physically. Just keep that in mind, it's something that you can easily incorporate into your work and make it look a little bit more believable, and I've got this lad a little too far up, so I'll bring that over this way, and you can see is just as I start to render this, I can move things around a little bit and just fine tune it and get them just where I want them to be, muscles across the side there, they tend to actually blend into the obliques, so we'll do that, you're going to go and get some of the rib lines there, bring this trapezius right through there and the collarbone, so like that, and again, this isn't perfect to get perfect anatomy and a perfect structure and all that good stuff, you really have to take your time with it and do a lot more shading and reworks and I'm doing here, but this should hopefully just give you a better idea of how you can construct your own and get a little bit better with it. There's our starting point, so I'll go ahead and bring that off to the side, and let's show a bit of a tilt that happens in the abdomen, so I'll go ahead and start another sketch, and again, I'll start with a really basic structure this time, even more basic than the one I just illustrated, and I want to illustrate the bend in the abdomen, so I'm going to start off by creating a couple separate pieces basically into my design. Let's get the shoulders in there still, I try not to make them as large as I did on the other illustration, those are a bit much, and what I'll do here is just try to really focus on the way that the abdomen bends and the way that it pinches on the one side of the love handles, or obliques, or side handlebars, whatever you want to call them, so if I try to focus on that, again, it's good to study stuff like this because, the body is not always just sitting straight up, it rarely is sitting just straight up, so the more you can do studies like this where there's contorting going on under some twisting or stuff like that, and I think the more that you'll start to feel comfortable with not only just the basic poses, but realizing exactly how the body works in emulsion. We want to get this further down, so that'll be our base design. I'll keep the neck-off, it's some worth. Let's try that, let's go ahead and soft erase this down. Now again, I can go back in here and clean up just a little bit, and still being open to move lines around if need be, and again, I want to show that relationship from the shoulder to the chest, so I want those to look more interconnected, like so, and then the side pinching down to the oblique. Hopefully, I'm getting the anatomy names proper. Just keep in mind this course is more to teach you the way that I draw, not on technical terms of anatomy because that's not my strong suit so I don't want to say that that's something that I'm teaching you. I don't want you to adopt any terminology I'm using. Just more or less the process is what I'm trying to show you. Later on down the road as I feel more competent about all the anatomy, then maybe I'll do a full anatomy course for you but at this point, I do want to be forthcoming and say that my knowledge on that is less than perfect. I would say my knowledge on most things is less than perfect actually. But hopefully, the information is valuable here to you. You see, I'm just refining that a bit, adding in little bits of segments to the muscles. Just trying to visually build up on that initial rough sketch that we started with. Some of the ribs in there. Something I'm noticing here that I should probably do is straighten out the side a bit more. The reason being is it will in turn put more emphasis on the pinching right here and that's what we're trying to illustrate. We just want to show that part of the form and how that works. A good thing to keep in mind when drawing the human body in figure drawing is that you want to make sure things exist on a different plane or a different rotation. If you take the shoulders here and you take the hips here obviously in this type of pose there's a good amount of change in rotation or angle and then rotation at the waist as well. You could bring that out even further in the drawing at any rate. I would really focus on that. That's going to give your drawings more realism and more effect if you're aware of those things. Just keep in mind, and we'll do this when we get into poses a little bit later on in the course, but when you have your head, your torso, and your pelvic, they can each be facing in quite a different direction. In turn, your gesture drawing, your characters will have more movement and more areas of interest in the pose. Just keep that in mind. But like I said, we'll get into that more as we progress. Now, let's go ahead and do the female upper torso and let's see if we can pinpoint some of the differences there. We'll start with a straight-on shot. We'll do a neck opening, the shoulders like this, the upper part of the abdomen. Here would be the ribcage, shoulders. Then we'll bring the waist down angle right back into the hips. The way that I like to illustrate this is to keep in mind that there's a couple curvatures that happened here. The waist comes down and then the silhouette or the hips go back. If you get a couple of those lines in almost immediately that it helps so you don't have such a flat body which is really easy to do. It's easy to just trace out the shape and then not worry about the inside forms or details. I tried to get as much of that in as possible like that. As far as the breasts obviously, preference on size and all that because there's lots of variables there. But then the main thing is to try to get the teardrop shape in there. It's really easy to, maybe I spaced them out way too far. It's easy to do that and it's easy to make them look overly rounded. You want some roundedness in the form there, but you want to make it look more of a teardrop and then also blend it back into the chest more as a soft blending into the chest form. That can be tricky to do. Generally what I'll do is I'll just rough it in like this and get some of my shapes in place. The ribcage like this, stomach muscles. Again, we'll hint to the form, we won't make her look as muscular as the guy over there and then do the opening for the neck. Something like that and I'll go and soft erase this down. I'll just start here and tried to get this form. Now one thing I notice about drawing the breasts and trying to get them to look a little more natural is to have areas where they flatten out against the body just a little bit. A bit of roundedness on the form on the outside, then quickly bring it back into a curvature right through here and just a little bit of a flat line right there on the sides. Generally, it will help make them look a little bit more realistic. They still look a little bit off, like there's a bit of a weird shape right here. But that's where obviously just manipulating the lines and playing around with it until you get it just right. It's going to help. Then the connection point from the waist here seems to roll inward here and then softly outward here, and then around. It can be tricky just to get it right because everything is a multiple component curve. It's not just one line like we would draw on a 2D illustration. It's seeing into that a little bit more and getting away from just drawing flat-looking objects which is very easy to do. It's very easy to get caught up in the drawing and just silhouette everything and make it look really flat. I'm trying to avoid that. The shoulders, something like that. This line down the middle, I would say just try to always give it a bit of curvature even from a straight-on shot. This line should have a bit of movement to it from side to side so that it shows that this is an organic form. Here in the nipples, I will just put slightly tilted up in our organ and not to the center of the breast. Again, just to show direction and get more form. That might be outward a little bit too much, but that's going to be preference. The belly button right about here, give a little bit of a pouch or belly right there, and so on and so forth. It's really just playing around with that and seeing what shapes resonate with you and in your style and things like that. Because there's lots of different ways obviously to draw the female body, the male body, it's just what style you're after. Again, mine's not ultra-realistic, so I'm sure it's not perfect here. Put that right there. Let's go and do an angled shot. What we'll do is the same thing, we'll start with the very basic starting point like this. I'll go and immediately get the spine in like this because I want to show the bend that occurs in the upper body, and I'll go and start with some basic shapes like this, and like this. We get much more basic than that. That's what I really want to stress in this course, that if you can draw these basic shapes and just really focus on the way that you connect them, that you can draw anything. Figure drawing is one of the toughest things. If you can get this down, believe me, you can draw anything. I think that's important to note because I think so many people fear drawing and think of it as something that only the talented can do. I really don't believe that, I believe that talent is a developed thing, and really the true thing that people are admiring about somebody that can draw is their passion. It's their passion that got them there to put in the countless hours and developing their skill set. But it often gets overlooked and thought of as, "You're just extremely talented." You are a savant. That's not really the case. The majority of people that I've ever met that are truly gifted at illustration and all that, will all attest to having boxes and boxes of bad drawings. They got them to where they are, or paintings or whatever the case may be. You can do it as well. Just fill up those sketchbooks and don't have any no in your heart. You'll be there in no time. We've got the clavicles there, and here we want to make sure that we show a good angle. We put one in front of the other. That's always a good way to show a bit of depth there, and the way those look from a side shot. Now, the nipples are going to be appearing to point more forward or out towards the direction of the chest there. Probably I need to put a bit more bend under this breast here. Again, I always have to fight myself from making them look just overly rounded, just too easy to draw circles for bras, and that's not how they look naturally, obviously. You've got to get just a little bit of change in direction of the linework and make them touch more organic and realistic. Another tricky part is just the subtlety and the bends of the ribs here, to the hips. Likewise to the back here. I'll get rid of some of these construction lines, and again, I'll get the trapezius in there like so, the belly. The other thing I think is good to do right now is the pose looks stiff and it looks a little bit odd in proportions. One of the things I think that helps to convey that is that if you were to draw a line down the middle, that it comes outward, back in, and then back this way. Again, this is where drawing things in a 3D perspective or visualization process will help you catch flaws. I think that I've got the shoulder out just a little bit far and the sides just a little bit too large, maybe in comparison to the hips. It's all of that. What I'll do is go ahead and soft erase this down again, and I think this one for the first time, and then try to fix those areas as ever find my line work. Try to get away from this overly rounded effect that I got going on there. It shows all the forms just a little bit there. From this angle, I can probably say that the rib cage looks a little high there, I think. Or actually, maybe it's just the way it's going up this way. Let's try that. A lot of times I'll just sit here and keep maneuvering lines around, especially when I get stuck on a certain thing. Keep in mind that you are going to fight certain things. I mean, I've been drawing for most of my life and there's certain areas like you see me struggling here. It's just part of the journey. But a good thing to take note of when that happened is that's an area that you have to approach, that you have to attack and get proactive. This is what I need to study next then. Oftentimes, I'll rejoice in the fact that I find something that's more difficult for me to illustrate because that means that that's what I need to study next and that's how I grow as an artist. So don't ever fear that, don't ever think that I'm not good enough, and I'm not getting any better. I still can't draw abdomens as well that like or whatever. That's part of the growing process as an illustrator. Just be happy about that. They actually figured it out. Because a lot of people don't rejoice in that, they don't look at that, and they simply just want to stay in their comfort zone and draw only things they're good at. I just don't think that's a good habit to get into for art. That's my less-than-perfect abdomen. Would I like it to be better? Sure. Of course, I'd like all my drawings to be better. That's why I draw them. But we're going to have to go and settle on this one for now. I think my proportions are a bit off there. The other thing is now that I've sized it down, I can see a little bit better too. I think this brush right here is a bit large. You've just by toning it down just a little bit. Because you got to keep in mind that the one that's furthest away from the camera, it's going to be smaller, even if it's only slightly smaller. Because that's how perspective works. That's a tiny bit better. Now, let's go ahead and move on to the back of the torso. Let's continue on. 7. Drawing the Back of the Torso: Now we're going to approach the back muscles, and these can be pretty tricky, at least for me anyways. But I'll explain to you what I think helps to get these in place and the back in general. Again, start off with the very basic line across for the shoulders and the spine. Then maybe a cylinder opening for the waist area like that. If you haven't figured out yet, this is an angle shot that I'm perceiving, I guess I should explain that. I'll just do this wedge-shapes. Again, I'm going to start with a more angular approach like that. The reason why I think that works well is because the back tends to be a bit of a complex shape as far as the angle that comes down from the neck like this, it slopes inward and back out. Definitely got some compounding curvature going on there. Let's just take this one shape at a time, let's get the neck up here, let's get the line for the shoulders like this, and then we'll have those meet down to the starting point that we created here. Then we'll do the shape of the shoulder, something like this, and then we'll do that same shape, but then we'll perceive that it's hidden a bit by the lat or the side of the back there. That's our basic rudimentary shapes. If we had to simplify it, it would just be maybe a square here, a square here, and then an oval here, circle on a circle with a shift in the bottom. What I'm saying is just basically look at it as simplistic as possible so that you don't get bogged down in the complexity of a shape. We'll say that this is about where we want it for our beginning process. Then there's all this other stuff of like, okay, where do the muscles go? How does the anatomy [inaudible]? Again, that's where you're going to want to really study anatomy. The back can be tricky and the way that the back muscles separate away from this, see there's bit of a diamond back here. They pull against that. Again, I'm not going to get too much into the anatomy. I'll draw a little bit of it in there to illustrate the way that I would draw the back, but we're focusing more on the foundational elements that work up to that anatomy. Again, like I mentioned in one of the videos before, there's the separation of the muscles back here and a couple little strands of muscles up the back. They go across next to the spine, things like that. You get the obliques and the love handles right across the side here. Now we'll take this soft to erase it down and try to refine this just a little bit. Now I get in here again and just clean up and get a little bit more definition into the shapes that I'm seeing here. You see I just put little curves away from one another to define areas. I don't go full on in there and say there's the shoulder blade or something when I can just define that by separations of the line work. Down the muscle here, do a separation. You can see it still makes it look pretty defined, even with these little bits of line breaks. I recommend doing that in your style, I think it looks a lot better than tracing every muscle. The back comes down through here, all muscles there. The other thing to take note of is when you're doing this stuff, it's so hard to really say that, okay, this is the way it looks here, this is the way it looks there. Because all of these muscles shift based on the way that the characters is moving, flexing, lifting an object, whatever. Although you could draw them in one particular perspective, in one particular way, you got to keep in mind that as soon as that person moves or flexes or balances or does anything, these muscles shift pretty heavily. Without studying the anatomy in full detail and body's [inaudible] , you'll never really see that. It's one of the reasons why I don't really recommend, always just drawing from a standing model poses. It's a very one directional, limited perspective what the body really does. You're better off, if anything, studying gymnastics, dancers, UFC fighters, whatever it is you're trying to accomplish with your drawing, you need to study those variety of movements and you'll gain so much more prospectively from your work. It says [inaudible] we want to take this one, notice there's some separations in the shoulders as well. I almost drew this two-segmented, but that's what the shoulder does, it rotates around. If you're looking at this area right here from the top, just a quick note. The shoulder basically looks like this. It goes around and then points downward down to the middle of the arm. Just keep that in mind, so when you go to draw these muscles, you can actually get them to rotate around the trapezius, I believe it's called. They'll rotate around that, they'll connect to the back, and so, again, this is why studying your anatomy and breaking these down will start to make sense over time. The deltoid divides up and has these different segments based on how defined the character is. Let's go ahead and shrink that down and move it over. Now let's do the female back, and I'll do this a little bit more straight on. I'll start real simplistic, once again, just the line and two circles. I'll just go ahead and immediately do more of a V for the back, and then a cylinder shape just very slim with a slight rounded base. The reason I want to illustrate this and even more simplistic of a way is to show you that they're really the same form, but the female back is just proportionately different. If we start with this basic shape, it gives us a little bit of the hourglass effect that we want, and then one of the shoulders down just for a simplified pose. Again, the shoulder is basically the same shape, we just have to perceive it as a little bit thinner and more elongated to the form. Then the back comes downward, inward, back out. This is pretty much just like one continuous curvature that goes around like that. We've got the same back muscles, so we can start to lay those in a little bit. Again, I'd probably say not as defined, but it really just depends on the person obviously. Those small back muscles right there, again, the buttocks Vs down like that, it's pointing up, something bad that. The shoulders to lats are still the same or I'm sorry, the trapezius. We'll just say traps just to make it a little easier. The traps just go upward and they're still there. They're just not as defined or as enlarged as muscle man over there. We'll just go ahead and push those up like that, I'd still show the definition a little bit. Also you've got the separation on the back, a little bit of definition back here. We've got the muscles that come up this way, which generally can be pretty [inaudible] in there and then the shoulder blades. For a not overly defined character, that's plenty, that's probably even a little too much. But, again, it's all subjective to how defined and how muscular you want whatever character you're drawing. Then you just keep adding on from there. Like that and I'd probably make the hips a bit larger in comparison. Again, that's something else that I'll adjust as I do a soft erasing, draw it back in because I generally would expect the shoulders to be wider than the hips. But the hips to be almost slightly wider than the inside of the shoulders. Again, this is proportional issues that everybody's going to be a bit different. It is a little bit based on your style and what you're after. Then who you're drawing, if you're drawing a particular person, then obviously, you're going to go off their body frame and their proportions could be totally different than the next person. I'll just refine these. I won't draw the arms, again, I'll just get the shoulders in there. Don't worry more about the curvature of the hourglass figure, that's very common on women. I'll define a little bit of the trapezius there, [inaudible] don't get confused. A little bit of the back muscles, a little bit of the shoulder blades, a little bit of the lower back muscles, and the top of the buttocks. Then you're generally going to see a little bit of, now, keep in mind that the separation from the back here, the back generally rolls out like this. These are just directional lines like that. If you are trying to shade or define it more than what we're doing here right now, always keep that in mind that the back dips in right there. I'm sure it goes without saying, I'm sure we've all seen a back or two, so I don't need to explain that, but it helps to illustrate it and explain what I'm thinking as I'm drawing it. Depending on how the person is, you may get some of the ribs showing through. This can be determined or be specific to a pose as well. If they're leaning over and stretching, you may see a little bit more ribcage there. Then if they've got larger breasts then you may see just a little bit of the breast from the side. I think they would have to have pretty large breasts for that to happen, but we'll say for the sake of this illustration, they do, and there you have it. That's how I would illustrate the female back from a straight perspective. One more that I'd like to illustrate is a combination of these, and that's the side chat. I take it for granted that side chats are generally pretty easy to draw in comparison to what we've been doing here, but we'll go ahead and do one just regardless. I'll get in the shoulder form like this. You notice I immediately drew the silhouette of the spine. Sorry we'll do that even more simplistic, so it doesn't look like I'm skipping too many steps here. Hoping everybody can follow along. There's the spine opening to the neck. We'll do a block shape for the chest. We'll connect that right there with just a curve. We'll perceive that the ribcage, it's floating and through here, and this connects it down. This is more of the back. There's our beginning shapes. Essentially cylinder there, square here, oval here, lines here, maybe another oval there. Pretty simplistic stuff and that's what we want basic shapes to get started. This will be a female, so we'll add breasts on her or maybe one breast since it's a profile shot. Just start out with a slope bring it somewhat to a point but then round back, probably flatten out just a little bit right there. Again, we want to get in the habit of not drawing just as rounded, spherical shape for a breast. It's just unrealistic. At least on some people I suppose. Then the ribs would come downward and pack this way. I don't think from this particular angle you'd see much definition from the ribcage to the top stomach. Just depends on the pose I guess and the character. I think the back would need to slopen further so we're filing that a bit. I won't draw the arm but just a bit of the shoulder in place. So I want a pretty slim shoulder and I think that you'd see less of the overall bag, so let me thin that down as well. Just feel like the character's too wide right from the side. The neck up here, in the trapezoid, [LAUGHTER] trapezoid, I'm so used to calling it trapezoid. Trapezius. Goodness. I don't even know what a trapezoid is. That's a shape, isn't it? Maybe it's nothing, maybe it's an entirely made up word. I think the breast is just a little bit low. Let's try raising that up and bag just her hair. Something like this. There's just a little bit of the arm so I can see into the design a bit more. A lot of times when I illustrate, I illustrate by comparison to other things that are nearby in the illustration. If something's a bit off and I'm missing a component of the body, it can oftentimes be what's throwing me off mentally, so I'll sketch that in. What I'm getting at is, if I draw a character missing a head, I might overcompensate or skew the neck because I don't have the head there to balance out my proportions. I'm not sure if that works with you, the viewer, but that's just something I've noticed with my own illustrations. There's our rough base, it's a little pull off in proportion I would say, but maybe not so bad for somebody animated. Let's go and soft erase this down, Like so, and refine this a bit more. I can worry a little bit more about cleaning up the lines and focusing on line clarity, line weight, and the overall stroke of what I'm drawing. Less about the structure because I've already got that in place. Let's get that clavicle in there come down this way. Slight bump for the nipple. Again try to make this breast not look too overly spherical, which I always tend to do. A little bit of definition of the rib-cage, not too much, and a little pouch and the angle back. This is all just practice of anatomy. What exactly you see when you go to illustrate this stuff if you like certain elements of the body to stand out, then you might show more of that in your design. Unless of course you're working from a photo, then obviously the photo is your guide and you want to really stay true to that. But when you're working from the mind like this, you can tend to store things and stylize them and that's okay. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just whatever you're after as an artist. There's our female from the side pose. That's going to complete this lesson. Next, we'll head over to our next lesson, which will be foreshortening. I'm going to show you how to take some of these body poses and elements and draw them in a foreshortened perspective, which should give you even a better idea of how to make these characters come alive. Let's head on over there. 8. Foreshortening Parts of the Body: Let's go ahead and deal with the very complex topic of foreshortening. This one can be tricky for all of us, so let's jump on in. Now, we've broken down these forearms in a lot of various ways. The tricky part about drawing any of these forearms is foreshortening it. There's a lot of tricky parts, but this is one that really boggles a lot of minds. I'm going to try to illustrate that in a pretty simplistic manner, and I'm going to skip a couple of steps by now. Hopefully, you've got an understanding of where I'm going with stuff when I construct it with the previous steps that I've shown you. But what I want to do is, for instance, I'll construct the basic, almost comic book, but just an arm. It won't be entirely correct but I just want you to see how I would try to turn this forearm in my mind and some steps I would take to foreshorten it. Like I said, I'll skip a few steps and just draw it in. After you practice one of these, this comes naturally in the process. Again, it's not a perfect arm, but we'll have something that we can use as a starting point. Now, one of the things I want to make a special mention of is that when you're trying to draw this stuff and you do run into an area that may seem a little bit complex or you can't visualize it, it's okay to draw something straight off to the side in a very basic forearm, and then try to bring it over here and then foreshorten that forearm. I recommend doing that. It's always helped me visualize. I can almost use this as a guide. Even though it's just flat and straight off to the side there, it still gives me a visual cue to work from. Try that if you find this stuff complex. Now, the thing that I want to show you is that this is what I'm envisioning when I look over at this. If we were to tilt this arm and the forearm is now heading towards the camera, that's what this opening is right there. That's this. We've got the shoulder coming down to the elbow, coming up towards camera a bit, not directly at camera, but we'll get there. I just want to show you some incremental steps basically. Now, if we were to overlay our cylinder method, it's a lot easier to get this in place because cylinders can be turned prospectively pretty easily. That's what you want to do. That's why, up until this point, I've shown you all these breakdowns of basic shapes, because it's easier to turn those shapes visually in your mind and draw them in perspective. Then now with those in place, we can go back and add a little bit of the anatomy that we're aware of. This curvature here, it goes in front of the bicep, the lower part of the forearm, that would now be here. You just have to look over here and then bring it over here and visualize, okay, this curvature for the bicep would be here, so now it would be here. You see this is pretty simple. This isn't a very complex tilt that requires a whole lot of thinking. You should be able to do this one relatively easily. Let's go and soft-erase this down a bit. I'll just refine this line to look a little bit more so you could see the perspective a bit more. You just have to get used to condensing objects down. Essentially, if this forearm was tilted outward, it would be more elongated. Now that it's coming out towards the camera, it has to be shorter, a bit squatter, and the curvature of the forearm here has to be more pronounced than it is here. It's just things like that to take note of. Again, you have to remember that even though we're trying to draw in what appears to be a three-dimensional space, it's a flat 2D image. It's a screen, a piece of paper, or whatever, so we have to do little tricks and that means shifting the lines, the line weight, and making things appear that they're coming out into a dimensional space when they're actually not. Let's go ahead and move this one over, and we'll do something more directly at camera now. Let me show you what I mean by that. Let's do a quick downward shot. Again, we don't want that arm to be completely straight, so I'll give it just a little bit of tilt. I'll start with some very basic shapes as always. The tricep comes out a little bit, the elbow tips over here. From an angle like this, the shoulder will block some of the bicep. This muscle should come out forward. Something like this. I'm going to make sure the taper are pretty heavily at the wrist. I think the tricep pokes around like this more. There's our basic arm pose that we'll use as reference, again, as a starting point. I guess I could soft-erase it down a little bit and refine it, just the hair. What I want to get you in the habit of realizing is that all the same perspective tricks that you might have learned along the way, can also learn with foreshortening with bodies. Let's say that this is the arm we want like that, slightly muscular. Something like that. That shoulder looks a bit weird in shape. Let's say that's what we want. Now, what I want to illustrate is that if you take this forearm and you go like this, like this, and you say, okay, this just squared our forearm. If you want to get your halfway mark, let's go ahead and illustrate. I'll show you here how you would find the center on something like this, you can actually go like this with a ruler and like this. This works with anything, buildings, just any shapes to find the center. Then you would go from outward here, mark center again. Really you can just do it visually. It doesn't have to be perfect at this stage. You're just trying to give yourself more of a visual guide to where these things might fall on perspective. Now what you can do is you can create a bit of a perspective with just drawing out a square or a rectangle, I should say. Something like this or even make it a cube because the arm's going to fit inside that area. Use a ruler if you want those lines nice and straight. Now we can start to do the same thing. We could criss-cross these two points if we want to find the center. Essentially what you're doing is, you're doing more of a perspective trick that you would do for buildings or whatever else, but it can still work for anatomy. This works really good for drawing a full character in this regard because you can really play some guides. You can go right here to find center. This same center point will now be this point right here. Essentially, you've just pinpointed a guide where this arm can go. I'll go ahead and try to illustrate that same arm now using the circle for the shoulder. A cylinder coming out. Again, we don't want it perfectly straight down, so I'll put a bit of tilt in there, and then I'll have this forearm come out. It get larger on perspective because you see, prospectively, the box is getting larger, so the arm will as well. We'll do the bend for the back here. We're taking visual cues from our starting point over here. I will try this up there, shoulder here. I know this would be a tricky shape from this angle, but probably you go like that. You probably hide some of the bicep. That forearm muscle again, we got to make sure that this gets pretty large because it's coming out in perspective. Then the opening for the wrist would appear pretty large from this angle just because of, again, the foreshortened perspective that we're getting. Then you just remember that if you were doing something like this from this angle that the hand would probably be pretty large at this point. You'll see a lot of photo reference where there's somebody pointing out towards the camera and their hand just gets extremely large and it will be the focal point of the shot. You've got no one to do that but just since we're working off as basic illustration, I'll just show the opening for the wrist for now. Now I'll go ahead and soft-erase this down. Again, taking visual cues from the sketch, we're off to the side. The tricky part is getting the curvature of a lot of this right. This is where studying your anatomy and your pictures, your photos will, again help you see this. But you have to give the effect that everything is rounding this way like we've illustrated before. You can do the same three-dimensional line work to give you some visual cues there. Then you have to also make sure to foreshorten it and change the size of various parts of your anatomy. So the form being, let's say a lot larger in this perspective, certain things will actually turn more from this angle, so certain lines and musculature will have more of a pronounced curvature like the part of the form right there would probably almost look like a bit of a separation right there. Just keep maneuvering those curves around until you get it right. That's how I take that arm with that unit of measurement and I could have kept going, I could have kept crisscrossing and finding center and it would have told me where maybe this line ended up or where the change in curvature here ended up. You can do that as many times as need be. I would probably make sure not to do it so much where it became distracting. But just keeping in mind that these same perspective tools will work with your foreshortening. Now let's go into our leg, but let's do it foreshortened upward. I want to show you how you can also take the perspective. First, I'll draw a ground plane like this to give our leg a base and then I'll draw the perspective going, let's say like this. I'll do some basic perspective lines and a pretty extreme upward perspective. Again, I just want to illustrate for you how perspective and foreshortening work together to create these effects. Let's say that we have, we'll start off with the foot, we may have the toes right here. We'll do a wedge shape. We have a bit at the ankle and the foot. We'll do another wedge shape with these diamond shapes off to the side. We'll do the ankle, which starts off pretty thin. This is the tricky part where we want to show that it changes form, but it has to get smaller as it goes up. We're so used to leg getting skinnier as it goes down right here. This is how foreshortening can be tricky. Let's just go ahead and start with basic building blocks. A cylinder, another cylinder. We know that this cylinder is going to be much larger than this one so we'll just go ahead and illustrate that here. We also know that it's going to change shape or direction so we'll just go and start doing that as well. But also keeping in mind that it is foreshortening upward into perspective. We'll say something about like this. Now, the other thing to keep in mind when something's pretty extreme into foreshortening, that basically objects will tend to overlap this way going up and then appear to be shorter as well. Where maybe this pelvic connecting to the leg if I was to draw it off to the side, maybe it would look from a front perspective, something like this. Again, like I said before, I think it's helpful to draw some of this stuff over to the side from the perspective that you're used to so it will help you illustrate it in something that you're not used to. We got it here for visual reference. But now here I think that you would see a lot less of the pelvic area right there. It already start to illustrate that by shortening that area like that. Then you notice the curvature here that I naturally want to place in, and the way that it narrows down to the knee. If I was to separate this into shapes, it would be something like this. I want to take note of that when I come over to here. I've got the knee right about here. We'll say, I've got the bend and the anatomy here and the bend on the leg that tapers inward to here and then I want to widen back out like the curves do and then taper back in. Same thing here. I know that this muscle would be shorter than this side and the bone comes inward like this. Then we'll say that they're not wearing any shoes so we've got some toes here. Something like that. These all taper up pretty heavily. Because we're so foreshortened at this bottom stage here, it would almost distort what we perceive right here visually, so these would actually just appear almost straight up at this point, even though from the side they would appear a lot more like this and not quite straight up at all. This is my ugly foot from the side. Then we know the knee, so we just keep connecting the dots essentially. We know certain things about the anatomy. We have to change certain things to make the curvature look more pronounced from this angle. But certain things do still hold true or give us a visual guides to work from. I'll just keep maneuvering this around, my ankles will probably be a little bit higher even from this extreme perspective. I'll just keep adjusting those. Then the inside of the leg, we know that it's not a straight right here so we've got a bit of a this muscle would actually go approximately right here and it would curve up and then this one would look like it almost curves over. Which from this angle this muscle would probably just go right in front of this muscle. From a straight angle, it looks like this one would take precedence, but then coming from a visual upward angle, this one would now look to dominate that muscle. If they're that defined where you would see this type of segment to the anatomy. But that's essentially how you want to look at it. Then again, this wouldn't be a straight line. If anything, it would be a curve going upward, so maybe something like this and just so on and so forth. You really just keep repeating this effect. The knee from the side would generally be something like this, then you get a little bit of a pocket of tissue or something right there. Then the bone at the bottom of it like this and then the knee would round to the side somewhere, something like this. It's kind of encompassed by the other elements of the leg right there. This is overly segmented, but I'm just trying to illustrate what goes around it. From this area, this would appear to be a slight downward bend to the kneecap or the patella, I believe it's called would now be an upward bend. It doesn't need to be this straight across or this dramatic, but it's just little things like that again, that you want to take note of to make those changes. That's essentially how I would construct through building a leg in a upward perspective. The same thought process can be said to be used on any of the body parts and the body as a whole. In areas like this where it looks a little skewed, that's just where again, finding a photo and if you can't find a photo taking your own and then really studying what the body does from this particular angle where these forums go. But the same breakdown method with perspective drawing should help you to construct your scenes more easily. That'll complete this lesson, but we're going to do a lesson 2 on foreshortening, just so I can give you a little bit more information about some other tips and tricks for completing this complex topic. Let's head over to part 2 of foreshortening. 9. Foreshortening a Figure: This lesson, we're going to study foreshortening and another perspective, so to speak. Basically, I want to draw here a character for you and do a little bit more of a complex foreshortening perception and/or series of angles. Essentially, the body can obviously contort and all these different ways, and that makes for drawing some angles and series of angles of the body parts pretty tricky at times. What I want to show you there is a couple of tricks and how you would break that down. Again, with anything that you struggle with, you want to break them down into basic shapes like you see me doing here. Cylinders for arms, you can start off with the lines and the circles again. For extreme foreshortening angles, I will bring this handout towards a camera, like this. We want to show that the wrist opening would get larger as it comes towards camera for our viewer, however you want to describe it. The main trick here is when doing this is remembering that the character's separate body parts can actually recede in the space much like a vanishing point to a building or a car or anything like that, so I hope you understand basic perspective drawing, but essentially the way it works is say the character is downward from the viewer, which they are. That's why we're looking down, we can see part of their back and things like that. If we draw a horizon line up high there, it can be said that various parts of the body can recede into space to a vanishing point. You just do these little vanishing points, and you can use a ruler if you want nice straight lines, and you can get a guide as to how that limb could react receding into space to that horizon line, to that vanishing point. That can happen separately for each component of the body. You would just have each one find its own vanishing point and then draw outward, and it can give you a pretty consistent guide as to how these lines would foreshortened. Now, once something goes parallel with the horizon line like this form here, it wouldn't need to change in shape, so it would stay consistent because it's no longer receding or advancing through space or perception. That's really how you'd break it down, so you could take more complex forms like this and simplify the process by using these guides, and then you can think a little bit more about your anatomy and your clothing, whatever it is you're drawing over top of this base structure. Again, this like here, we'll say here's the knee, the knee would be drawn as a block shape from this angle. Then you could say that the foot either goes downward this way, and you could say that it recedes down into space at another vanishing point down this way, much like a three-point perspective. You can say this one's coming towards camera and maybe it's a focal point, so you can have the larger hand, which you generally will start off with some wedge shape for the hand. We'll be getting into that more in the next lesson on how to draw hands, how to break hands down and simplify the process. Same thing there, we'll just do fist just to make it nice and easy, or we could do a fist so just one finger coming out more of an expression. It's simple as that. You can just break this down with larger bulk shapes, check the perspective based of the horizon line and work through your art work that way. The other tricky part is when to omit certain details. For instance, if this leg, say you get a little bit of the pelvic right there and slay goes back here to meet to the body, and it looks like it's up a little bit too high for this type of angle to the rest of the body, and then maybe this leg protrudes down back this way, and maybe you see the foot down here. These are all things that you have to work through when you're building the poles and building the way that all this is going. Then you make small incremental changes like everything else we've talked about and just keep working through the design of the character. If you change this, move it down, tilt it. I'm really a big advocate for adjusting your work on the fly and not getting too set in one direction of your creation. As you're working through it, make adjustments, it's okay. More times than now, when you make those adjustments, you're going to get a little bit closer or you're going to learn something in the process. Sometimes, bad drawings can become good drawing. It just really is a matter of working through it. Let's bring that up. You see it's a pretty awkward pose at this point, but I can grab the arm here, shrink that down a bit, tuck it behind the shoulder more, maybe I need to grab the whole shoulder, tuck that behind the head more. Again, I'm really open to making those changes. If this leg looks funny, which I think it does, it looks like it's going the wrong direction, then get it out of there early on and make that change so that you don't spend an absorbent amount of time trying to fix something that's fundamentally has a problem, so get it work done in the beginning rough stage, and you'll save lots of time there. You could even create a box with the perspective tools as well and figure out exactly what direction you want that leg to go and then fit it within that box as you're drawing. There's lots of ways to really work through something like this and get it right. But I would say the biggest is just making those incremental changes and keeping an open mind to what you're drawing. This is our base design of the character, so I'll go and soft erase this down, try to fix it up a bit. I'll try to reinforce the perspective that I'm seeing here. Again, I'll do a basic shape still as I'm trying to figure this out. I try to think of this part still as a mannequin that I'm moving around in a dimensional space. Try to figure out the way that I want to pose them, things like that. I'm going to get a little bit of the chest here, the back would probably curve and change shape because you get some of the muscles on the back and connection to the shoulder here, tricep here, connection to the elbow. I'll go right down the line and try to add in whatever anatomy I'm aware of and what I'd like to see in the pose. With that, that'll just be the direction of the face, I won't get too much into illustrating that for now. The legs still look clunky and off to this positioning of the body. What I'll do there is I'll go ahead and take what I think is somewhat correct. Still, could use a little bit of work on this part as well, but I'll go ahead and move this. I think that what's happening here is this leaned over pose would cover more of the pelvic region and the leg. Let me try that and see if this fixes the problem. Like I spoke about before when doing foreshortening like this and when doing more complex poses, a big part of it is when to hide certain objects, when to omit parts of your detail. Something about us mentally, we want to draw everything in the scene, and when you start doing foreshortening, a lot of things will get blocked based on the perspective of the objects in the scene. That's probably the trickiest part I would say, at least for me anyways, is omitting certain details and when to draw it and when not to. When to just cover it up with another body part like this hand being overly large and towards camera. Small as a hand is from a certain angle, it can block half the body. It's being aware of that and then not still trying to figure out a way to draw in the leg when it just won't be in the scene from this shot like back here. Another way that fixes this as well, it's a good thing to get in the habit of, is drawing through. If you have to draw through the arm just to get this leg into place, especially if you're like me and you do better at a rope drawing method where all your lines are connected as you draw. I combine that with the cone and cylinder method. Basically, something like that, and then you just go back and erase the areas where you drew through your other part of the artwork. Let's clean this up a bit and see if it's a little bit closer. I'll get rid of my distracting perspective lines that I beat up there. Let's shrink it down and take a look from a distance. It's starting to get there. I think the back arm is still overly long, so what I'll do is I'll bring this back up. I like to look at everything from a distance and occasionally flip it and things like that. I'm going to grab this whole section right here, and I'm going to shrink it down and tuck it even more. I'm really trying to push the perspective of the arm here, and I could even do that. I could grab this arm, and maybe it's an extreme foreshortened perspective, and I can increase the size of that. There's really no right or wrong way because, depending on how the camera is angled, types of lenses, things like that, you can see these really dramatic perspective shots. Oftentimes, they're a really good way to add intense drama to a scene that otherwise would be boring. It's another thing to keep in mind if you're drawing storytelling and comics or whatever you might be doing with your art. Sometimes it's helpful to do stuff like this to tell a more dramatic story. Let's go ahead and shrink that over, and move them to the side. Another thing I want to show you with foreshortening is an approach where you draw the boxed in perspective completely first. What I'll do is just start off with a box like this. This can be helpful as well if you struggle envisioning the perspective and the foreshortening. We'll just do the box shape like this. What I want to put in here, since our next lesson will be hands anyways, is I want to do an overly foreshortened perspective of a hand. It's going to reside in this space here like that. What I want to do is start off because I want to vision that the hand is in this box and maybe a little bit past it, but for the most part I want it to stay in this boxed off area. Which I think is important to do for your art anyways, because it's very easy to not have any guidelines to your work and just draw whatever you feel like drawing. It's important to train yourself to be able to draw what you need to draw, not just what you want to draw. Let's take this area here, better yet, we go ahead and actually put this on a new layer. That way, I can move it around a bit if I have to, so we'll do a little bit of cheating. Now, we have the box in place. We'll start with the wedge shape for the hand. We'll have the hand pointing out a little bit up from camera, and I'll be showing you tips on how to draw these hands a little bit more effectively in the next lesson. What I like to do with hands is these ovals. I want to look at the hands coming out towards camera slightly above. The thumb is generally a wedge shape off to the side. Feel free to look down at your own thumb if you have to. My hand has these two pads obviously, the thumb area and then the side. We'll get on to the roundedness of the fingers a bit more as they come to tip. Good thing to keep in mind with hands too, is not to have all the fingers going the same direction. It's really easy to want to do that, and you'll get an unnatural look. We got our hand in this box, this 3D space. Let's go ahead and soft erase it down, and see if we can enforce the look that we're going for. Basically, we know that the hands are pointing out towards camera. Again, we're going to use downward curves to overlap segments of the hand. Areas of the hand that would look pointed from this angle are going to look rounded, so the shapes change because of the perspective that the hand is coming out towards camera. The pads of the hands will now round downward like this. If you notice, everything's becoming a downward curve like the base of the hand here. The thumb is actually a different angle than the fingers, so the curves will actually change here go in a different direction. Get that little bit of webbing, almost like from the skin that connects the thumb to the fingers. I just find that exercises like this are a good way to visualize your art in the 3D space. I do recommend doing stuff like this. Then the way that the wrist would connect if we were to be drawing the whole hand connected to the wrist, it would appear thinner from this side, and it would actually taper inward as it got further away from the camera. I'd probably draw it as a bit of a shape like this so that as it connected to the next part of the arm and the shoulder, these would get smaller as they receded back into space. It's almost like that type of look. Then obviously, I'd go back and make changes. This thumb looks really awkward. Look at my own hand and try to see what shape I see. It looks like more of a rounded shape like this. The way it connects is more something like that, so probably, another rounded shape here to illustrate the thumb changing angles or whatever. Something like that. If I get rid of the layer with the box and the character apparently. We could see that that's got a pretty decent perspective, like it's coming out towards camera. It's just little tests for yourself like that that I really recommend trying. Again, also doing it with reference. This is all just visually out of my mind, so if I had a picture of this, keep in mind, I was looking down at my own hand as much as possible, and I still managed to not get it perfect. But that's where practice will eventually lead to perfection, or at least some resemblance of it. That will conclude this second lesson on foreshortening. Next, we'll head over to our lesson on hands, so let's continue on. 10. Drawing the Forms of the Hand: Now we're going to approach hands. Let's go and get started. Hands can be pretty complex, but like anything else, if you break them down into more basic shapes, it gets a bit easier. We'll start off with a square. I'm just going to draw a palm face up. We're going to do two boxes like this. One's going to represent the palm, and one will represent the fingers and the tapering that the fingers do in that area like this. The knuckles go up like this. Then the thumb comes off to the side. The knuckle from the thumb lines up to the knuckles of the finger slightly. Then you get the segments of the thumb like this. Then it connects to the pad of the hand. If you separate things like this, like I've mentioned before in this course, it really just makes the process a lot easier to understand. You're breaking down the bigger chunks into smaller bite-sized pieces, if you will. Essentially, by doing that, you take complex things that have a lot of stuff going on and you can itemize them and get a better feel for it. It's really important with the hand because there's just so much going on with hands. There's the three segments of the fingers, there's the various shapes that the hands can make. Proportion issues can be really tricky, especially in perspective. The more you can simplify the hand and make it easier to draw like this, the better I think. You'll see even here it's a little awkward. Then I'll just slowly keep refining it and get it closer and closer. There's this secondary set of pads right here on the bottom of the finger. Then there's the skin in the middle that bunches up as you fold the hand in different positions. Then you have the separation of the pads of the finger like this. If I had to split those off, I'd say they're pretty even except they start off a little bit larger. The middle one's about equal length and then the last one is shorter. It's little things like that you take note of as you're drawing and get a better feel for how to draw it quicker and what steps to take. As we soft erase this down, we can look into our sketch a bit more and go, maybe the fingers are a bit thicker. Maybe I need to show the direction of the tissue on the side a little bit more. Maybe they're a little bit too perfectly next to one another. Someone will adjust that. Maybe the middle finger needs to be a bit more pronounced, like it's famous for, and just all these things that you can just take note of. Maybe this one needs to be a bit wider and adjust from this rough sketch process. Then really taking note of how the thumb is totally separated or different. It goes at a different angle, walks its own pace there, it's on its own path. If you just show that in your illustration that you're aware that that's at a totally different, distinct angle, that looks a little more realistic. I've got the little skin here and the veins and all that fun stuff. Then the lines generally go up at an angle then they go straight across right here. There's a bunching up of skin in here. You just keep elaborating as you go. This won't be a hyper-realistic hand or anything like that. We'll just get enough of it in there where we've got a good starting point. We can show that we know what we're doing when we're drawing a hand. Something like that. I'll take it from there. There's our basic sketch to get us started. I'll erase some of these construction lines and move this off to the side. Again, I always use this as a reference point, a starting point to work through other parts of the illustration, especially in more complex type renderings. I'll always give myself a bit of a warm-up sketch, if you will. Strike that down and bring it over. There you go. A digital high-five. Now we're going to go ahead and do another pose of the hand and just keep in mind when doing the hand, it's all about lots and lots of practice sketches. There's going to be so many different poses that the hands can take. It's one of the things that I'll oftentimes tell my students to work on the most. Because since it is such a complex area of the body, it'll teach you things about other areas of the body and how to draw them better. I feel that by studying hands it'll help you with drawing legs and drawing just other detailed aspects of the human form. There's just so much expression in the hands as well. One of the things that's really great for storytelling is when you can get some pretty dynamic hand poses in there to help tell the story. If you can't tell by now, I'm drawing a hand almost pointing down on a piece of paper and pressing down on a table. Something like that. It's good to try to emulate hand poses that you think would be fun to draw. Just think of an idea and then try to do it. Then if you can't, then immediately go to reference and like I've said before in this don't feel bad if you need to look at reference. That's how we all get there. We have to start with reference, gain perspective and knowledge about our subject matter, and then press forward. Nobody just starts magically drawing without ever looking at something. As much as some artists would like you to believe that it's just not true. Study your reference, practice your style, and you'll get there over time. What I'm trying to illustrate here, you see that I started with the very basic shape, this wedge shape up here, some cylinders for the fingers. I'm skipping a few steps by this stage in the course because I want you to see that that's what will naturally occur as you practice more and more. That you won't lean on those same building blocks that I've tried to illustrate in this course for you. That after a while you'll just naturally, and you don't have to force it, you'll organically and naturally just start to do that. Take your time, do your homework and your practice, and your due diligence, and all that stuff will come as you progress as an artist. You'll get certain comfort levels with certain things that you illustrate. Another thing is you'll maybe struggle with for some time, like hands they're just tricky. Now I can look at this and go, this isn't a perfect hand where [inaudible] is. That thumb's a little bit bent back and almost looks like the thumb is against the ground plane as well. Which isn't a bad thing, but it probably wouldn't be tilted up like that. If we're going to go ahead and go with that, we could probably tilt this back like this because the thumb isn't going to be totally parallel with the finger because it's shorter. Even on a parallel plane, we'll say this is our table for instance or whatever it is, the thumb would be shorter to even connect to the same surface. It does make sense that it would be up higher and still be able to connect prospectively to that flat plane object. Again, if we take this and soft erase it down, try to refine it a bit more. Just remember that when you do this part, when you're soft erasing, whether you're working with digital methods like I am or a kneaded eraser on paper or Bristol board or whatever you're working with, this is just the part where your construction works out of the way and now you can focus on rendering. You still can make changes like I've mentioned before, throughout this course, but you can be a little bit more forgiving of yourself right now and just bring out the artwork and do the rendering part, which I've always considered the more rewarding part. I feel like the construction lines are more of the work, the preliminary building blocks. Then when I get to this part, I can enjoy myself and have fun with it. If you feel that way, then do that. Just get that essential building block stuff out of the way and then when you get to this part, just relax and really enjoy the artwork and try to figure out where you can fine-tune your line work and bring out the best parts of your illustration. The more I draw, the more I feel that's the process that I take to create my artwork. It doesn't all have to be in one stage or two stages, we're all very different in the way that we make art. It could take you multiple stages. Who knows? You might be able to sketch and draw it all down in one motion and get to something that looks great. But I oftentimes have to work up to my form this way, and I'm able to look into the design process a bit more by doing it this way. This actually splits off right here. You get these two little vein. If you flex your thumb, you can see those. You can do a little bit of shading there and then have them taper off or fade off into the hand. It looks unnatural if you draw that really distinct V in there all the time. You got to know when to soften that up. You probably got a little bit of a vein from this hand and over stuff like that and the wrinkles from the knuckles and you just keep going on. There's so much detail in the hands. You can really spend a long time shading and doing the finish work to your hands. You'll probably see the back of the fingers like that a little bit. There is another hand pose. That'll complete this lesson, but we'll head on to Part 2 of hands so I can explain a few more hand poses for you. Let's move forward. 11. Exploring More Hand Poses: Let's go and do part two of Hands Out. I'll do a couple more hand illustrations to give you a better understanding of how you might draw some of these complex forms on your own. Let's go and take the hand pose and point it down and slightly away. Again, we'll start with the cube there to give us the main part of the hand. We'll do the direction of the fingers, we'll illustrate those with cylinders, the taper inward. Let's go ahead and position the thumb. The knuckle of the thumb would probably back here. The pad of the hand would be right about here. Let's go ahead and draw that. We've got the one knuckle, the other knuckle here, and the tip of the thumb. We'll illustrate that with cylinders as well. The hand will probably wrinkle right about here and connect to the palm. Keeping in mind that you're not really worried about getting these perfectly in place or correct the very first part of your sketch, just blocking it in essentially. We'll get that thumb in there, pad of the hand. Then from this angle, you'd see at the bottom of the hand a bit like this. Probably a good part of it over to here, depending on the position of the rest of the hand. This part probably come back and see the separation of the pads and then the wrinkles under the wrist, things like that. We'll just draw a cylinder shape for the rest. Now we'll figure out where the rest of these fingers are going to go. One of the things we could do is, since this pointer fingers out like this, maybe the middle finger is somewhat following suit, a little bit further down. Then just repeat that. Remember that the back of the hand tends to curve independently from these front two fingers. Just practice making different hand shapes and see what I mean there. There's a set of tendons that makes the other fingers react differently. I think it's one of the reasons why some people can train themselves and do better with instruments versus other ones that struggle with it because they never really train that part of their hand. If you clench your hand up, you'll see what I'm talking about. We want to illustrate that. We want to just get in the habit of not, you'll see a lot of hand illustrations where all the fingers are pointing in the same direction and in the same way, that's just not how the hand works, maneuvers. The fingers maneuver quite differently from one another and the back maneuver very differently from the front too. Let's go ahead and try to show that. There's our rough form and place and then we can get in like the thumbnail here, the wrinkles in the thumb. Now one of the things that looks funny about this thumb is I didn't have it widen out enough. The thumb will generally taper off towards the front, but it will be larger towards the base. I need to show that knuckle right there. All right, so let me go and soft erase this down and try to refine it a little bit. You can see there's a lot of construction lines that go into even a simple hand pose like this. It's just there's just a lot going on when it comes to the hands and, and the reason why I'm incorporating that into the course here is that this is mainly figure drawing. You might be wondering, why are we focused on hands? But hands are so important to the way the rest of the body works. Expressiveness of the hands. You learn, like I mentioned before, you learn so much by drawing hands that in turn, I think it will improve your figure drawing. There's just a lot of neat little details and the way that the hands are constructed, the way they work. I'm just trying to refine this a bit and get a few more organic-looking shapes in there with my line work. Get in there and try to define the wrinkles on the knuckle but more. It looks like I made that thumbnail but small, so I'll make an incremental change to that. The pad to the fingers, keep in mind that they actually have a small amount of separation between them. It's good to draw that in as well as should see a bit of the fingernail from this angle right there, maybe we're going to touch that one. You can also illustrate the direction the fingers are going based on the positioning of the fingernail. The fingernail is actually a really good placeholder for drawing fingers. But yeah, right here's what I was mentioning that you actually get a tiny bit of separation from these pads here. Let's go to draw that. Also, remember that there's a good amount of separation in between your fingers to draw that as well. I'll get those. Those pads and actually they'll generally point just a little bit in the opposite way, like that. We've got a bit of that pocketed flushing skin. I feel awkward calling it flush but for lack of a better term, flushing of the skin, wrinkles, or folds, whatever you prefer. Get that in there. Again, show that separation from the pads of the hand, the wrinkles that you get here, and the slight hint of the veins if there's somebody that has really strong hands, I imagine, see more of that. That's another hand illustration to try to get some more perspective on how you could draw hands. Obviously, you just keep going from there and detailing it even further and further. Now let's go ahead and create one more hand pose. Let's go do a fist. Just so we've got a bit of variation here. A fist can be started off as more of a wedge shape and a block. We'll start off with a block shape like this. That'll be the side of the fist. The knuckles rotate down. One common mistake to drawing fingers when they're in a fist position is to make them all straight across. It's really easy to do so you want to keep in mind that the fingers gently rotate from this perspective, they twist at a couple of different angles. You have the knuckles here, and they fan downward a little bit like that. The thumb would meet over here and get the skin folds right about there. Then you could do another cylinder shape or wedge pointing inward. The roundedness of the knuckle there. The pad of the hand here. Maybe a little bit larger. Then the other one here. Again, I'm looking down at my hand as I do this, because it's right there and it's got reference, so why not? The wrinkles go toward the knuckles and you get a double wrinkle here. Points back towards the knuckle but short of it because of the pad from the finger, takes a bit of precedence right there I think. The main thing to getting this part right is the thickness. A lot of any of this drawing is the way that things are in proportion to one another. Just remember that if something's not looking right, it could just be a proportion issue from one part of a hand to another. You get the other knuckle right about here. This tends to flatten off a little bit. You can almost shade downward like this, and illustrate that because it tends to get just a little bit flat right there before it rounds down through this area. Then the knuckle generally sits up like this. Then this is a rounded shape here and it connects to the wrist. We'll get these knuckles in here, these fingers this way. Then again, it's still looking a bit too straight right here. The way that I usually try to fix that is I'll point off the knuckles in little bit of their own direction. I'll turn each one of these just a little bit. Then in turn, I'll fan the lines down where the fingers come back, like this, and then they round again before the next segment goes inwards, something like that. Even right here, instead of doing this as a completely straight line, I'll put just a little bit of curvature to that line. Just because again, nothing on the body is straight. If you see a straight line, even these lines right here, just put a tiny little bend in there. They'll generally look a bit better. Remember here we can direct the thumb really easily by putting in the thumbnail. It just helps to give a little bit more depth to that part of the drawing. Remember those are going to be tiny little wrinkles and bends and folds all throughout here. Now this part of the finger, and this is what I meant by proportionate scale, this part of the finger looks a bit large. We got to fix that to make the hand look a bit more correct. [inaudible] wrist to here. Then try to analyze this and see why it looks out of place. A big part of it is because you would get more this part of the finger, that segment there would be up here. You see how that fills some of that gap that looked a little bit strange. Still looks a bit large for the finger, so I'll try to scale that back just a little bit. You see with just those basic shapes, we're able to get the majority of this in place and construct our first [inaudible] pretty quickly. I'm going to try to refine this and I also want to analyze it a bit further and go, okay, I think the top part of the fingers are just too large in comparison to the thumb and the rest of the hand. Let me try something like this side from erasing it all out of there. I'll just try to scale that back a little bit and maneuver it and see if I can fix that when I go to do my next part of the sketch. I think that helps a little bit. The thumb looks a bit strange in shape, and this is all just, again, studying and making incremental changes to really fine tune the work. Let me go and soft erase this down. See if that's enough base construction of the hand for it to look right. Again, just trying not to draw in straight lines, even though it's real easy to think of this particular part of a hand as straight. I could almost do these lines first so that I'm forced to make sure I shift the knuckles. Again, I want to show that they fan out a bit, and then I go completely straight down. Then this part, put a nice curved line right there and the knuckle in there. Here I would think a little bit of the bend there of the skin fold. You see just a little bit of tweaking as I go. Few things I'll change if I can. If I see something that just really awkward and I can fix it at the time, then I'll do so. But it's all about making those little changes and recognizing parts of your artwork that could be better, and that never stops. There's times when you're going to look back at your drawings and go, what was I thinking there? Should have did this, should have did that, but you just have to do the best that you can today and press forward. I always try to tell people when they're constantly critiquing their work and never wanting to put something out there, you have to remember that at the end of the day, a product that is done and in production or in use is better than a product that you labor over that never makes it to print or whatever your end result is, digital upload or whatever you might be doing. You have to at times accept and get things done because it doesn't mean much if it doesn't get out there. You got to just do it. But that's tough for some artists. Some artists want to perfect everything they do and there's nothing wrong with that. But at the same time, you do have to produce work, especially if you're going to be a professional working artist, you have to turn out product. Imagine that. I could just keep sitting here and adjusting it and maneuvering things around, and hopefully each time I'll get a little bit closer. If I move this fold back and change the shape of this, change the shape of that, just nips and tucks until I get it all just right. A little closer anyway. There's that one, and that'll complete this lesson. Next, we're going to head over to the next lesson where we do characters in motion. I hope you're ready for that. Let's continue on. 12. Drawing the Body in Action: Now that we've broken down enough forms into basic shapes, we can now start to elaborate a little bit further and really start to figure out how figure drawing can be a lot simpler to accomplish. That's really the purpose of everything that I've shown you this far. I feel like one of the things that's helped me dramatically improve my figure drawing is understanding all of these basic shapes and then being able to manipulate them further and further by breaking them down. One of the things to keep in mind when drawing characters in figure drawing is obviously Logan lots and lots of a variety of sketches so that you understand the poses, but then also just certain rules. One is counter posing so, I'll address that here. Essentially it's just one arm is forward and the opposite leg is forward and the same side leg would be back, so it basically is balanced, and you counter pose the body to show direction, balance, weight, things like that. It's understanding things like that allow your drawings to come through a little bit more accurately and go, how would the body work like this, would that character be able to stand and create motion or how would their posture be? Where would their head be in relationship to their shoulders? Like for instance, I'll start a little bit high with the head, but then in a pose like this, I start to analyzing, the head probably lower and even tilted from an angle like this. The more you start to do things like this, you'll start to work through these fore a little bit faster and be able to, again place your anatomy in there a bit quicker. You'll start to make adjustments on things like how far the hand would block the forearm from this angle, would you see the thumb or the thumb be pointed out? All these little minute things, at first you take for granted when trying to draw it over time will start to make more and more sense. Again, that comes from just sheer volume and repetition of drawing a variety of poses. But it's breaking down those poses into basic shapes that in my mind makes it easier to reconnect and reconstruct these characters at the drop of a dime. That's essentially what you're trying to get past when you study figure drawing, when you study drawing from life, storytelling, whatever it is you're after, one of the things that you have to start to do is be able to construct your own designs. It happens over time naturally, but the reason it's so important is because you're not always going to have reference. You're not always going to be able to pull from reference. You can always study from a pose and reconstruct a new pose, but there's going to be times when you'll merely have to try to create your own and that's where this type of figure drawing and breakdown will, over time allow you to accomplish that and feel more confident with drawing from your mind. I'm going to work through a few action poses with you, poses and movement and explain that process and hopefully by the end of this, you'll be able to really see what I'm talking about and construct your own dynamic poses. There's our first and we won't get too much into facial features. That's a whole another ballgame, but I do have course content on that as well. All right, so we'll just get things in place and then like I've shown you previously in the videos here, I'll always move things around and resize as I go just to really fine tune the pose. Maybe I want this hand to come in front of the leg just a little bit to push the depth of the poses a bit further, things like that. Let's size this one down. Another tip I want to show you for drawing characters in motion like this and studying the poses is to keep in mind that when drawing them, I have to block in your initial stage. Let's get that in. Let's say the character is jumping up in there, one arm is up, and if you notice, I'll block in as much of this all at once as possible, especially if it's a pose that I'm trying to really work out in my mind. I get all these different reference points in place and then I can step back and look at it and make some more changes to proportion and angle's pretty quickly from this really basic loose sketch. This is again, we're gesture drawing is so important with your illustrations because you start to get a feel for early on what your pose is doing. Like how this one the shoulders already look a bit stiff, the legs, I don't think they're too bad for a jumping and squatting pose or something more animated, but the shoulders just look a bit too plain and straight across. It's easy when you're working with something very loose like this to erase it and shift or if you're working digitally, just move it around like I did there and make those adjustments just really rather quickly and really see into your work a little bit further at this stage, and then from here we're finding it. Again, getting in there with a little bit more structured forms leading up to the anatomy stage. Something like this. I want to show a little bit of foreshortening with the arm here so you're going to do a shorter or squatter your shape, the fist overlapping. You could do the same thing down here with maybe the hand starting to come out towards camera. Another mistake that a lot of artists make is drawing everything straight up and down. I want to show even the slightest bit of change in direction out towards camera and what this hand maybe a more significant change in direction, so that is not to make it look like I just drew an arm straight down which would obviously be easier to accomplish, but tends to make your artwork look a lot more boring. Just be aware of that if you want to spruce up your finger drawing, really fight the urge to do the straight up and down limbs, really change direction each time a limb connects, whether it be the hip joint, the knee, the ankle, those are all small interval and sometimes not so small interval possibilities for changing the direction of those arms and in turn making your illustrations look more dynamic in the process. Let's go ahead and soft erase this down real quick. Say you gave it a bit more structure and then again, you can come back in with your more anatomy thoughts at this stage and start to fill that in with more of a rope drawing method where you just go around the shape of your initial structure and just fine tune it a bit. Again, feel comfortable doing this as many times as necessary. You don't have to jump right to this method. You can keep restructuring, keep cleaning up your work. Really the necessary part of speed is training yourself when you're doing 5, 10 minute gesture drawings and figure drawings from life and things like that is so that you get a better understanding of the motion of the body and the feeling that's exuded from the pose. Don't feel like you have to do all your sketches that first. Some poses if I want a really well thought out piece, I might restructure it and redraw it for hours and to really get it just right. Especially if it's a solo piece where that character is the main premise of the piece. Speed is definitely subjective to what the end result of the piece is and what you're trying to accomplish. The other thing that I think that you gain by timing yourself and working on speed is it lets you know professionally what you're going to be able to deliver to a client. It is important in a lot of regards to still time yourself and still know where you stand with all that. Actually I'm noticing these legs are way too a pie on the connecting point of the body. When timing yourself, it is very important because then when you go to price a job or whatever you're doing or commission, you know where you stand on that. If you'd never time yourself and you always just create pieces, I mean, you might know this one took me a day, this one took me a week. Sometimes you're going to need to know in some production environments what you can do per hour, what you can do per 20 minutes. Timing yourself is very important for that and it's not always the most fun thing to do to realize that something might take you a lot longer than you hoped. But it's an eye-opening experience and allows you to grow from that experience. They don't all have to be perfect poses. Some of these are studies and some are work in progress and some will make it to finish renditions, but all of them are teaching you. That's the main thing. There's that one. Let's size it down and move it over. Let's work on another. Now I'm going to go and speed this next one up a little bit and narrate over top just so we can get a few more of these poses in here in a reasonable amount of time. Essentially this one, I want to do the upshot a little bit more and show you the different angles that you can place into each element of the 1, 2, 3 pose. The head, the upper torso, and the pelvic. By putting these angles in pretty early on, you can stretch the polls a little bit more and get a little bit more of a motion or movement into the structure of the poles. Just so as not to make everything look so straight up and down all the time. It's really easy to do that and you want to fight that as much as possible. Again, you're logging that time with your figure drawing. Studies will help you see that the body is everything but straight up and down and has a lot of curvature to it and a lot of changes in direction and in the polls. Basically I like to do studies like this where I'm not looking at a reference on this particular one, but I'm trying to think of some of the reference studies that I've done and what shapes I might see. Another thing that's good to take note of when you're having difficulty drawing, say an arm and a shoulder and a head, you can actually study the inner negative shape that you see. It's a bit of a triangular shape from the center of the elbow area to the side of the head and the shoulder. Sometimes by drawing the negative area in those spaces, you can actually pinpoint an error in your drawing a little bit easier. Remember to try that as well. Some people do better with more structure, underlying structure to their drawings and others do better by tracing around the perimeter, which I'll often refer to as rope drawing. I'll use that method to draw the anatomy. After I get enough underlying structure in place, I'll go back through and do a rope drawing method where I draw around the structure and fill on the anatomy and the overall shapes. It's really, I think a combination of all those things that you try and certain things work better maybe in certain areas or maybe use one method for your anatomy and another method for your structuring. It's just a variety of things. The forums can be so complex or even the hand poses here. You've got lots of different shapes that the hands can take. I think that you have to have a few tools in their toolbox to really accomplish these series of tasks. Here just trying to refine the work a bit more, get a little bit more of that anatomy in place. I also do little things like if you've seen the face, Sarah, I'll do an upturned nose. I'll place the ear lower and position on the head. All those things help push the perspective that you're looking up at the face. I'll go ahead and soft erase this down now and try to refine it a bit more. Now that there's a decent amount of structure put down, I can think more in terms of rope drawing or drawing the silhouette of the character. Another good practice method for this type of figure drawing is when you're studying your characters, your reference or whatever, during your studies, really look and focus on the shape of the silhouette. Get used to recognizing silhouette shapes and you'll make certain things in your drawing a lot easier as well. Like with painters, a lot of painters will actually do major blocked in shapes and they're able to recognize a lot of good silhouettes and their shapes and even the shapes of colors and things like that. It's a useful tactic for constructing your artwork. Here just trying to refine it a bit more. Making small incremental changes like I spoke about previously in this course. Everything I do is always centered around making smaller adjustments. Now, one of the things I try to be aware of when I'm drawing a character that I'm looking upward, is that all those shapes need to have slight upward tilt to the anatomy and things that would particularly be downward tilted like the chest is now an upward tilt or bend to the line work. Things like that. Then also the other thing to take note of is when you're drawing the form and a downward perspective, same chest area is going to look a lot more elongated and larger in height but in an up tilt like this, the chest is going to appear to be very squatty and a smaller shape. It's really taking note of all those little things and trying to recreate them in this way, they really make sure you're drawing starts to stand out. Again I tried to draw the up-tilt of the face a bit more. The up-tilt of the nose, the lower positioning of the ear. P4 head appears to be really short from this angle just to settle things like that. This will complete this one and now we'll head over to the next lesson, part 2 of drawing the body in action. 13. Exploring More Poses: This is Part 2 of the body in action. Let's go and work through another pose or two. Another thing I want to show you is another unique way or a fun way to stretch the pose is to separate the three elements that we talked about; the head, the tarsal, and the pelvic. By doing this, we are really moving these components away from each other a bit further, you can really start to stretch a pose and try to really make it more dynamic. You don't want to be careful not to go too far and to make it into the realm of something that's not believable. Unless of course that's what you're after then by all means go for that. But there's a fine line in there. But it's good to take note that you can basically, again pivot each one of these individually from each other. You can have a very distinct change in the direction of each of these components, like this. The body can contort to some pretty amazing positions there. Then when you add the limbs, obviously you'll follow suit with what you've described in your underlying structure of these parts. Something like this. Maybe this arm and shoulder up here coming out. We'll try something like this. Again, just roughing these end with really basic shapes just to get an idea down, there's a series of circles, just to get a visual foreshortening in that form. Let's go and size it down just a little bit. The knee right about there. This side going back. Maybe this is a weight-bearing position in a leg. We could do something like that and give it some foundation. One of the things I recommend studying quite a bit for even poses like this, even though this is a fictitious example. All of this comes from somewhere, something I've studied previously and something that I've drawn previously and done. One of the things that I really enjoy studying more and more is gymnastics and dancing, things like that. You get just some really neat dynamics to the way that they can move in toward the body in motion. I suggest studying all of that, finding references when you can and drawing from that form of life, fighting, boxing, kick boxing, and things like that is really unique as well. Then just even certain sports, certain moves in sports are just very impressive and dynamic to draw from. You will in turn get a better idea of how the body works and your poses will start to reflect that. Study the ones that are more limber if you want to loosen up your style. Then if you're trying to tighten up your style because it appears a little too soft in areas, then maybe you'd study more bodybuilding poses or things like that. We'll go with what you studied, with what you feed yourself, that's what your output will be. That's probably goes without saying, but just keep that in mind. If you feel that your art is lacking in a certain area, then you go to that particular part of your studies and you can change that pretty quickly. Here's our character. Looks almost a little bit more of a comic book pose. But like I've mentioned in these videos, that's predominantly what I've studied in what I do. That's probably why it looks that way. I would almost picture, this character having some form of energy blasts or something coming off his hands. Here's some more back here as well. You just lunging up into the effect of eliminating that power. Something like that. There's that one. Only one will find these. I want to get a few more poses out because it does take a little bit of time to create each one of these. I want to make sure that we get a few of them done before the end of the video series here. Like I mentioned before about studying dancers is a really great one to not have your characters look so overly stiff. Just the poses that they train their bodies to be able to do is just so amazing. One of the things that you can do is really study your gesture drawing from there. Just keep in mind that gesture drawing is just going to be the various sped-up version where you're just trying to capture the flow of the body in motion. Instead of doing as much of the structure work, gesture drawings can sometimes be as simple as just a few quick lines, a few quick shapes. I find that when I do my really quick studies, that it's better if I use a larger brush and just get in the quick forms in a very short amount of time. With that, I'm just really forcing myself to only see just a basic movement and the design and not so much on detail and refining the work. That can definitely come later. That has its own set of rewards in doing that. But sometimes you really just want to quickly get down the expressiveness of that movement. That can be said for the entire body, the flowing this of the hair, the clothing that they might be wearing. All of that you just want to capture the movement more. These are very helpful to do. There are just, I would say, required. If you really want to get better at figure drawing. Gesture drawing is highly important. Again, back to the whole timing yourself and being aware of what your strengths and your weaknesses are, that all goes in with that entire process. Sometimes it can be something just as rough as that. It's like do I want to keep refining? Of course, I want all my drawings to look as impressive as I can. But do I need to capture that movement or that idea? Not really. I can get enough of that information just off of that and I can go back later and add to that. Let's try another quick gesture of another dance pose. Let's see. Let's bring the torso back here, really elongate this mid-section to show the stretch. Again, I'm going to do this pretty messy just to really focus on just the underlying structure or the movement of the pose, or the fluid effect of the pose. Sometimes by drawing really quickly too, you can avoid certain stiffness that you get by trying to refine your work too early on and that's another thing that I want to mention of. Just really allow yourself the time to structure your work. Whether it be gesture drawing, whether it be the underlying shapes, any of that, just really let that take form before trying to detail your work. A lot of times as artists, we want to quickly get to the detail, the fun stuff, the part that we think makes us better as an artist and really it's often the reverse where if you go too fast, you'll forego certain elements that require to be done preliminary to all that detail work and that rendition work, so a rendering work. Just take your time and really focus on again, the movement, your shapes, getting them in the right place, proportions, things like that, and then come back and do all that, tightening up of your work and you should feel a bit more accomplished by doing that. The other thing too is, just move things around. Let's get like this gesture in place. Let's say that this is the movement and the flow that I wanted to see with this particular dance pose. Just back laid. It looks a bit stiff. Some of these dancers just have the ability to really raise that back leg in a pose like this. But then this arm looks very basic over here. I mean, it could just be an arm for balance. But practice moving that around, practice saying, well, let's raise that up. Let's have it recede into space and let's see if we can make that more interesting. Give a little bit more expression to the hand. It's little things like that as well where just don't be so quick to settle on the first thing that you draw. Move things around, experiment. A lot of times, what I'll do as well is, I'll actually save intervals of what I'm drawing just by making another copy and moving the next one off to the side and adjusting it. It allows me to see if I'm heading in the right direction with something. If I could go back a step and go, okay, I was I was a little bit better here, I think it's just a neat way to work and gauge what you're doing. Really bring this foot back and put back up. Again, not a pretty sketch, but it gets some information down, an idea, and a bit of movement. For this last sketch, I'll go ahead and time lapse it and we'll just talk about some of the main takeaways from this course. Hopefully, by now, you've got a lot better understanding of how you could break down a variety of poses by simplifying the forms and just making it a lot easier to process the information. Just keep in mind that it really boils down to lots and lots of practice and filling up sketchbooks, and digital files and just really drawing hundreds and hundreds of a variety of poses. From that process, you're just going to gain so much. You're going to learn so much about how the body moves and how shapes change from different angles, and all of that can only be done by sheer volume of practice and working hard through it. Certain things, you're going to latch onto immediately and you're going to recognize, and other parts of the body and poses are just going to continue to be a struggle. Remember not to shy away from that. If you find yourself struggling with a certain pose, I would say approach that first in the most dramatically or really attack it. To me, that's where you learn. Those are the things that you're basically telling yourself that you haven't experienced that enough yet and you're still unsure about what to do in that area of your work. To me, those are the areas you want to attack head on. You have to remember that as a working professional, you're going to be asked to draw things at any given time and it won't be based upon what you think you're good at and what you don't feel good at. You're always able to turn down jobs, but as a professional, you want to work as much as possible. To me, if you gain more vision and more knowledge based on your pursuits of trying to get better at things you're not totally comfortable with, that makes you a better overall working professional. That's just been my experience. We're all very different in the way that we create, so it's not necessarily the way that you're going to work best. If you're fortunate enough to where you just get to draw what you want, then maybe that's not an issue for you. But in more times than not, what I've seen is the opposite, where that you have to be ready at any given time to draw what the client needs. I hope basically this course has really helped you to see through some of your design process and make this much easier for you to accomplish. Keep in mind that all the art files that you've seen created here will also be available to you through this course, so feel free to thumb through them and really check them out, break them down, and redraw them your own way and hopefully, that'll help you as well. I very much appreciate you stopping in and watching this course. It's been my pleasure to teach it to you and I hope you'll stick with me for future courses because there will be more on the way. Thanks very much for watching, keep drawing, keep having fun, and bye for now.