Human Anatomy Fundamentals: Basic Body Proportions
In this tutorial, you’ll learn the fundamentals of body anatomy drawing, starting with a simplified skeleton (the basic figure or stick figure), then moving on to the volumes of muscle structure, and finally the details of each part of the body and face. It will take several sessions to cover all of the human body’s wonders.
What You Will Learn in This Human Body Drawing Tutorial
Step-by-step instructions on how to draw the human body, beginning with the basic human outline and progressing to human profile drawing techniques and drawing the human face, arms, legs, and other body parts in various ways.
Create Your Chart From Heads
The invariable alignment of the joints defines a well-proportioned figure; to learn how to draw a body, start with the head. The ideal male height was established during the Renaissance as an idealization of the human form.
The pelvis is the most important and difficult part of the human body to draw, with a width of 1.5 to 2 head widths and a height of about 10cm (4in). The hip joints are located on marks 3 and 4, with the hip joints sitting on mark 4.
The Legs and Knees
We can see how the human body draws reference for the legs and knees using 3D modeling, which is a simplified but accurate representation of the actual bone structure that aids in drawing the natural look of the human leg, which tapers from the hip, staggers out at the knee, and tapers back at the ankle.
The Ribcage, Nipples, and Belly Button
After the head and the pelvis, the ribcage-lungs group is the third most important volume of the body; it is an oval that starts halfway between 1 and 2 and ends at mark 3, but it is best to cut off the lower part as shown here.
From person to person, the position of the shoulder line in relation to the neck can differ significantly.
How to Draw a Body: The Basic Profile
The profile is the next step in learning how to draw a body. Begin by drawing the head again, this time with the end pointing diagonally down, and dropping a vertical line from the crown to the ground. In an erect posture, you can roughly place the pelvic bone (a narrower version of the head’s egg), the shoulder, and the knee on this vertical line.
The Spine in Profile
The spine appears to be shaped like a flattened “S” when viewed from the side, moving down and back from the base of the skull until it reaches its furthest point at the level of the shoulders (between the shoulder blades). Note that the shoulder joints are ahead of the spine! This is because the shoulder “line” is in reality an arc: the medallion shows a top view of it.
The Ribcage and Legs in Profile
The ribcage is closely attached to the spine, and in a reasonably fit body standing erect, the chest is naturally pushed forward. The hip joint is ahead of our vertical axis, which is counterbalanced by the ankle being a bit behind it. As a result, our hip-knee-ankle line is slanted backward, and staggered again: from the hip joint to the front of the knee joint, and from the back of the knee joint to the ankle
The Arms in Profile
Finally, the arms. The upper arm falls fairly straight from the shoulder, allowing the elbow to be aligned with the latter (or fall slightly backward). However, the arm is never fully stretched when at rest, so the forearm is not vertical: the arm is slightly bent, and the wrist falls forward, right over the hip bone.
How to Draw a Body: Summary
The basic, undifferentiated human proportions drawing tutorial is now complete, and here’s a diagram that summarizes all of the human body outline drawing techniques we looked at:
Human Body Proportions Drawing Reminders
The human proportions drawings that follow are a few useful visual reminders based on the body that come in handy when the body isn’t standing upright.
Body Drawing Practice Exercises
This body anatomy drawing tutorial has covered a lot of ground; now is a good time to take a break and familiarize yourself with this basic figure and the principles of drawing human body proportions before moving on to the differences between male and female structures (and other topics). For example, you can incorporate this new knowledge into your daily human drawing sketching practice.
Human Proportions Drawing Tips
I always start with the head, but it doesn’t matter which part of the body you start with as long as you’re comfortable and get a good result. If you’re unsure or having trouble, start with the head. Get used to drawing this basic figure with a light hand, as the finished body will be built up over it.
Discover More Awesome Human Drawing Tutorials
I hope you enjoyed this step-by-step tutorial on how to draw the human body; if you want to learn even more, check out our Human Anatomy Fundamentals learning guide, which includes detailed human drawing tutorials and resources like these: DrawingHuman Anatomy Fundamentals: Learning to See and Draw EnergyJoumana Medlej DrawingHuman Anatomy Fundamentals: Advanced Body Proportions
How do you draw a human figure for beginners?
Instead of tracing contours, the best way to learn to draw the human figure is to start as simple as possible. Let’s move on to a demonstration on drawing armatures.
- Draw the head.
- Add the neck.
- Draw the torso.
- Add the hips.
- Draw the legs.
- Draw the shoulders and arms.
What should I learn to draw first?
After all, any object you see around you can be constructed using one, or a combination of, three different shapes: A circle u2013 a sphere is a circle in three dimensions. A square u2013 a cube is a square in three dimensions.
How do you draw a good body?
Top 5 Anatomy Drawing Dos and Don’ts
- Don’t think like an anatomy book.
- Don’t make muscles the focal point.
- DON’T draw every figure with the same shapes.
- DON’T copy what you see.
What is the easiest thing to draw for beginners?
Beginners can draw these 10 simple pictures.
- Food is an excellent subject for artwork because it is universal, recognizable, appealing, and, best of all, it will pose for you if you ask it to.
- Faces and expressions.
- Cartoon animals.
- Buildings or architectural structures.
- Paisley designs.
How many hours a day should you practice drawing?
Slowly Increase Drawing Time You can see improvements by drawing only 1-2 hours per day, but if you want to see significant results, aim for 5-6 hours per day, or more if possible. Starting anywhere is better than never starting.
Can I learn drawing by myself?
You can learn to draw as long as you can hold a pencil; even if you lack natural talent, you can learn to draw if you practice frequently; and anyone can learn to draw with enough motivation and dedication if he or she believes in himself or herself.
Where do I start with life drawing?
Working from top to bottom – to first indicate and place the model’s head – is perhaps the most common and logical way to begin a figure drawing. If I were to draw a pose like the one in the above drawing, I would begin by indicating the general shape and angle of the head with a simple oval or egg.
How can I improve my life drawing?
5 Pointers to Help You Improve Your Life Drawing
- Know your proportions.
- Familiarize yourself with different perspectives.
- Master the fundamentals of portraiture.
- Don’t be afraid to take on the challenging parts.
How do I start drawing?
What is it, exactly?
- Obtain a set of references for a single subject.
- Examine them for common lines.
- Use these lines to sketch a simple representation of the body (imaginative tracing).
- Use the gesture sketch as a suggestion to draw the structure over it.