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Human Figure Drawing

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What is figure drawing?

Figure drawing is the practice of depicting a living body in 2-D format. In plain English, figure drawing = drawing living creatures. Human figure drawing means drawing people.

Figurative Artists
Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 - 1519) Mona Lisa

Figurative Artists
Jacques-Louis David (1748 - 1825) Oath of the Horatii

Michelangelo (1475 - 1564) Sistine Chapel

Geometric quick, usually round shapes that show the general locations of limbs and joints. Contour using as few as one line to show the general positioning and proportions of the body and its limbs. Plane depicts the surfaces of the body and limbs. Extreme care in showing proportions and positioning.

Starting Your Drawings




Human Proportions
Proportions refer to how big or small something is compared to something else. In this case, how big certain body parts are in comparison to the full bodys length.

How many head-lengths is a newborn babys body? How big are a babys eyes? Full grown 4 At what age do your facial features (eyes, mouth) begin to center in your face? 6-7 What age does baby fat begin to disappear? How many head-lengths is your body at age 15? 12 - 13 Approx. 7

How many head-lengths are between the base of your skull and the base of your spine? 3 What age do your facial features center by? 13 - 18

How tall is a full-grown body?

7 8 head-lengths
Top of groin 2

Where is the midpoint of a full-grown body? How many head-lengths wide are a mans shoulders? Where will a womans elbows rest? Mid waist





Extra Help

Mona Lisa photo: Business/images-4/mona-lisa.jpg Mickey Pin: keyMouseEngineer.jpg Thinker: last_DIR/images/Thinker.jpg

Construction workers: HrDDUnZq3eQQyXQ3MO3LYk3uFMJbEawTb1gd6dvZv1FrC12JhOBIDpk2ZYCTUjIXoeusNiIWMScVXG/ builder_services.jpg Anatomy: Graphics/back-anatomy-lats-traps.gif Rock: ges/TravelingRoundRockDSCF4041-719173.jpg

Inventor: pg Oath of the Horatii:,_Le_Serment_des_Horaces.j pg Sistine Chapel: stance/summer07/sistine%20chapel.jpg

Geometric video: z_3ICw&feature=PlayList&p=A436B3A51F C7A127&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1& index=21 Contour video: 5rHUsA4 Planes video: t1hKTXk

Proportions info: /ss/figure_class_3.htm, Proportions photo: Background: les/Vitruvian%20Man%20Meets%20Da%20Vi nci%20Girl%20by%20Ross%20Robertson_files /image003.jpg

Stephanie Pitcher


Leonardo da Vincis Vitruvian Man is one of the most famous depictions of anatomy. When da Vinci was not drawing (usually in preparation for paintings), he was also a scientist, sculptor, musician, mathematician, anatomist, engineer, inventor, botanist, geologist, cartographer, writer and architect. Geometric, contour and plane sketching work differently for each person. I, for instance, find contour drawing the fastest and easiest, but other people may find geometric or plane sketching faster and/or easier for them than contour sketching. In order to determine which line is best for you, you must first try all of them out. Do not be discouraged if your sketch doesnt look like youd planned: thats why its called a sketch. The sketch is simply there to help you refine and create a finished picture.