6 Incredible ways to start figure drawing

Categories: Pencil PerceptionsPublished On: September 28, 20200 Comments15.9 min read
Kayur Thakkar
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Figure drawing is a challenging form of visual arts because every drawing scenario is different. And it becomes difficult for the artist to bring life in the drawings. However, with the guidance from mentors and online drawing classes help a lot in making realistic pencil drawings, there is something you can start now to give a realistic look & feel to your drawings.

Here are the six ways you can start figure drawing

Begin with the head and neck

The most common way to begin a figure drawing is to work from top to bottom by indicating the general shape and angle of the head aligned on the base or the neck. It can be a simple oval or egg with no hair, just the skull.

Once this step is completed, you can tilt your drawing. You can also add lines on the centre of the face to give a sense of perspective.

Begin with the shoulder lines

When the head is dominated by the line of the shoulders in a pose, it is where you should begin.

To find the line of the shoulders, imagine a line passing below the clavicle bones.

Begin with the action line

The action line is the longest line or thrust in the subject’s pose. Action lines describe the primary movement in the pose. It works as the foundation of the entire drawing; hence, it is recommended to always look in the drawing to find the action line.

Begin with the gesture line

Gesture lines are best to use when the pose has a distinct and expressive movement that should be communicated. 

Before drawing gesture lines, you must ask yourself what the figure is doing and what is happening in the pose. 

After this, you can also look for the shoulders, shape of the head, and the proportions of other body parts. 

Begin with a shape

When the subject is seated or reclined, its pose is compressed and you may not find a clear action line. So, you can adopt this way of outlining the pose.

You can start by blocking in a specific shape in the pose. It doesn’t have to be a perfect shape like a square. Pay attention to the proportions and angles and then chisel away excess areas of the shape to reveal the true form of the figure, just like a sculptor does. 

Draw your figure by making an Envelope

This method of figure drawing is similar to the shape method. In this method the area containing the figure by straight or curved lines. A new line begins wherever there is a major angle change in the pose, ultimately mapping out the boundaries of the figure.

Envelope technique is applied when we have to draw a challenging pose, and it should be approached analytically rather than intuitively to reach more accurate results.

Although all these strategies seem tough, the best way to begin figure drawing is to draw what inspires you. Learn to draw the easiest Figure drawing strategy at first and build your way up to the most complex one. 

Explore, draw and learn with whichever technique you feel is the most helpful.

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