How to draw the human figure - Figure Drawing on a single plane




Single Plane Figures

Do you notice something about these two drawings? It's more obvious on the bald dude than the woman. He's on a single plane, she's not so much but they both look pretty two dimensional. It's not that you drew them incorrectly, it's that the angle at which they are being seen is a pretty flat angle. The dude much more than the woman. If you notice the woman's right leg is bent and her right knee appears closer to you than her left knee. Also, her left arm appears to be angled away and behind her body more so than her right arm. Her body is forming three separate planes. Her torso is the first plane, her right leg bending forward creates a second plane, and her left arm angling back creates a third plane. This is going to happen much more frequently than the whole person being on a single plane like baldy here. In order to draw bodies that are on multiple planes we'll have to expand how we do the stick figure approach to drawing people.

Let's say you were going to draw a seated figure and the figure's left foot is closer to you than the right foot.

Start with the stick figure as usual

You could flesh out the legs like I showed you before...

But if you if you draw cylinders rather than simple ovals, you can better see the foreshortening of the legs.

What? You don't understand? Fear not, Artist, we'll look at this idea further on the next page....

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