Figure drawing is considered one of the best ways to improve your drawing skills. This is mainly because the human figure is extremely different when viewed from different angles and positions. Many college programs require artists to take figure drawing as a class, and some specialties within the field of art require several levels of figure drawing.
Figure drawing requires the artist to concentrate on observation, and this is perhaps why figure drawing can improve drawing skills quickly. Drawing is, after all about observation.
Many new artists struggle with drawing the human figure simply because they don’t quite know what to look for when drawing one.
In this sketchbook challenge, we’ll take a look at how to draw a girl – but more specifically we’ll look at what you need to look for when you draw any figure from observation.
Step 1 – Draw a Line From Head to the Feet
Begin by drawing a line from the head to the feet. This is done to make sure that you will be able to draw the entire figure on the picture plane. It also helps you visually measure the figure. Next, draw a line for the shoulders and the waist. Depending on the stance or posture of the figure, these lines may be a bit diagonal.
Step 2 – Draw a Stick Figure
Next, simply draw a stick figure of the girl. You’ll want to use the lines that you drew for the waist and shoulders as a guide for the stick figure. A simple egg shape will do for the head. (I always like to draw a line to divide the head down the middle since it helps me with the facial features later in the drawing.) A few simple shapes are drawn for the hands and the feet. This step of the drawing should be about defining the proportions.
Step 3 – Build the Form of the Figure
Now, using the stick figure as structure, we can begin to build the shape of the hair and clothing. The figure of the girl is also “thickened” in the legs and the arms. A couple of lines are drawn to indicate the general locations of the eyes, nose, and mouth. A few lines are drawn for the fingers.
Step 4 – Begin Adding Details of Clothing and Hair
Slowly details are added. Lines are added to the hair and the outlines of the clothing becomes a bit more defined. A few lines are added to the clothing to indicate wrinkles and folds.
The facial features are a bit more defined in this step as well. (All of the details are added to the structure that has been built in the preceding steps of the drawing.)
Step 5 – Finish the Drawing
The sketch can now be finished by darkening lines and adding areas of shadow. The facial features should become more defined and the fingers can be thickened. This step by step approach to drawing a girl can be applied to any standing figure.