To practice drawing figures, artists use live models to study human shapes and body postures. For anyone who would like to add people to their drawings, life drawing is a good place to start. You can find open life…
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When the model strikes a pose, the first thing to do is to picture the body broken down into shapes. Then, “the human form is really nothing more than lines…and shapes…assembled in a particular way to create the impression of depth” (Okabayashi 12). Pay attention to the different curves and lengths of lines, and the basic shapes of body parts. For example, the head is a circle, while the hip is a long curve. It is easy to start by stacking these shapes and lines on top of one another, and filling out detail later.
The next step is to look at proportion. A good method is the “head count method.” This is when the length of the figure’s head is used to figure out how the rest of the body should be (Okabayashi 175). While different ages will have different head counts, the standard is 7.5-8 heads tall. This might not be the model’s actual height, but on paper anything shorter will look strange (South online). To use the head count method, measure your figure’s head. Then draw seven more lines of the same length down the body. The second should be at the breastbone, the third at the waistline, and so on until you reach the bottom of the feet (South online). Now that you know your figure is correct, you can start filling in detail.
The head is another area where proportion is important. When filling in face detail, divide the head into parts. Draw one horizontal line at mid-forehead and one at the tip of the nose to divide the head into three parts. Then draw a vertical line down the middle of the head. Then, in the middle third of the head, draw a horizontal line at the eyes, and another at the mouth in the bottom third (South online). You can draw facial features using these lines as a guide. Now you can start adding the finishing touches to your drawing.
When finishing your figure, light and shadow are very important. This is what will make your drawing realistic. Use shading, like cross-hatching, to
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