How to draw the human figure - Figure Drawing, Visualize a Mannequin




Visualize a Mannequin

To begin drawing a figure, I've been telling you about drawing proportionally correct stick figures, then fleshing them out, then adding the shading and the detail. So let's say you've drawn your stick figure (like the one to the left) with the circles denoting the joints, hands and feet. Now you want to flesh out your stick figure - but Wait I said! There's another approach to fleshing out the figure so you can see the form more clearly. That approach is to visualize the figure in three dimensions. Rather than draw flat shapes over the stick figure, try and draw shapes that have depth, not just height and width. Hmmm... you look confused....

Rather than start fleshing out the figure like this....
Click to see an alternative

When you do figure drawing, or any kind of drawing from life that you want to look as real as possible, you're starting with nothing on the paper and you begin to build up the drawing until you have a drawing that resembles your subject. If your goal is as photo realistic as possible, you'll want your drawing to look as three dimensional as possible because your subject exists in three dimensions. So the sooner you start to create the illusion of three dimensions in your drawing, the better. It's easier to see the that your drawing has mass, or substance if you draw shapes that appear to have mass and substance. So rather than flesh out your stick figure with flat shapes like before, why not draw more three dimensional shapes? Below you can click on a few examples of figures that have been fleshed out in three dimensions.

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