Figure Drawing For Dummies®

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Table of Contents

About This Book
Conventions Used in This Book
What You’re Not to Read
Foolish Assumptions
How This Book Is Organized
Part I: Figure Drawing 101
Part II: Off to a Head Start
Part III: Building the Body
Part IV: Sharpening Your Figure-Drawing Skills
Part V: The Part of Tens
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here
Part I: Figure Drawing 101
Chapter 1: Welcome to the Joys of Figure Drawing
Finding the Right Drawing Materials
Getting a Grip on Drawing Basics
Drawing the Head
Putting Together the Body
Advancing Your Drawing Skills
Chapter 2: Gathering the Goods for Figure Drawing
Buying Supplies without Breaking the Bank
Surveying the Wide World of Drawing Supplies
Drawing tools
Sharpening tools
A drawing backboard with a clip
A composition grid
A portfolio case
A case for your tools
Repair and preservation tools
Setting Up Your First Studio
Selecting the best space for your needs
Lighting your way
Picking out a drawing table
Choosing a drawing chair
Getting organized with a side table
Storing your work in archival boxes and folders
Cleaning up with baby wipes and paper towels
Considering other optional equipment
Packing Up a Portable Studio
Chapter 3: Starting with Figure-Drawing Basics
Different Strokes: Knowing How Much Pressure to Apply When You Draw
Looking at Lines, Curves, and Shapes
The long and short of straight lines
Going around the bend with curves
Trying your hand at basic shapes
Creating Dimension and Depth through Shading
Knowing what to shade: Lights and shadows
Creating your own value scale
Checking out different shading techniques
Mixing it up with blending techniques
Putting it together: Adding dimension to shapes
Fixing Bloopers with Ease
Erasing gently
Smudging out the lines
Simply drawing on top of light lines
Part II: Off to a Head Start
Chapter 4: Getting Inside the Head
Getting Familiar with the Parts of the Head
The front view
The three-quarter view
The side view
The back view
Drawing the Shape of the Head
Easing into it: Drawing the front view of the head with measuring tools
Drawing the head freehand from different angles
Drawing heads of different genders and ages
Chapter 5: Adding Facial Features
Keeping Your Eye on the Prize
Beginning with the basic eye structure
Drawing the eyes from different angles
Looking at eyes of all shapes and sizes
Getting Nosy
Structuring the nose
Drawing the nose from different angles
Sniffing out noses of all shapes and sizes
Mouthing Off
Taking a bite out of the jaw structure
Pucker up buttercup! Drawing lips
What a smile: Baring the teeth
Drawing the mouth from different angles
Checking out mouths of all shapes and sizes
Lending Your Ears
Drawing outer and inner ear shapes
Drawing the ears from different angles
Examining ears of all shapes and sizes
Placing the Features on the Head
Chapter 6: Going to the Top with Hair
The Root of the Issue: Examining Hair Essentials
The hairline and the scalp
Widow’s peaks
The part
Drawing Different Types of Hair
Drawing clusters for any type of hair
Curly versus straight hair
Light versus dark hair
Checking Out Male Hairstyles
Classic and short
Going long
Facial hair and sideburns
Focusing on Female Hairstyles
Short and trim
Shoulder-length styles
Long and beautiful
Staying Simple with Kids’ Styles
Short cuts
Young and punk
Chapter 7: Presenting Emotions in Facial Features
Including Geometric Planes and Shading
Defining geometric planes
Adding some shading
Putting on Muscle
Introducing important facial muscles
Muscles of the forehead and brow
Muscles that make the eyes move
Muscles of the human “muzzle”
Going smaller: Muscles of the nose and jaw
Stretching out: Muscles of the neck
Once More with Feeling
The neutral expression
The worried face
The scared face
The angry face
The sad face
The surprised face
The happy face
Other emotions
Showing Your Age with Wrinkles
Part III: Building the Body
Chapter 8: Examining Figure Proportions and Bone Structure
Using the Head Count Method to Determine Proper Proportions
Getting started with head counts
Distinguishing adult male and female proportions
Looking at infant and child proportions
Boning Up on the Human Skeleton
The adult skeleton
The skeletons of an infant and a child
Using Bone “Landmarks” to Build the Right Proportions on a Figure
Identifying the landmarks
Drawing the figure from the center out with landmarks
Creating small “stained glass” shapes between landmarks
Chapter 9: Starting Simple with Stick Figures and Mannequins
Building a Stick Figure from Scratch
Blocking in proportion guidelines
Drawing the upper body
Adding the lower body
Comparing different views of the stick figure
Building a Mannequin with Geometric Shapes
Starting with the head and neck
Going up the middle with the torso
Keeping the stomach simple
Getting hip
Attaching the upper arms and upper legs
Drawing the forearms and lower legs
Acquiring some hands-on experience
Focusing on the feet
Putting together the entire mannequin
Drawing Simple Mannequin Movement
Bending forward and backward
Bending sideways
Simple twisting
Chapter 10: Pumping Up Those Muscles
The Basic Makeup of Your Muscles
Assembling the Muscles of the Upper Body
Beginning with the back and shoulders
Getting things off your chest
Bearing arms
All hands on deck
Constructing the Lower Body’s Muscles
Drawing the hips and buttocks
Having a leg to stand on
Getting your foot in the door
Putting Everything Together: Different Views of the Finished Muscled Figure
The male muscled figure
The female muscled figure
Cleaning up your muscled figures
Chapter 11: Drawing Figures in Motion
Keeping a Few Important Concepts in Mind
Curves ahead: Contrapposto
Coming right at you: Foreshortening
Moving away: Diminution
A disappearing act: Elimination
Striking a Few Poses
Dynamic poses
Relaxed poses
Part IV: Sharpening Your Figure-Drawing Skills
Chapter 12: Accessorizing Your Figures
Drawing Folds, Patterns, and Textures
Coming into the fold
Picking apart patterns
Getting a feel for textures
Draping Clothes on Your Figure
Casual and relaxed
Snug and sharp
Stepping Up with Shoes
Men’s dress shoes
Women’s dress shoes
Athletic sneakers
Chapter 13: Taking Your Work to the Next Level with Advanced Drawing Techniques
Adding Some Edge to Your Drawings
Your first decision: Using correct edges in relation to the light
Depicting the texture of skin, hair, and clothing with hard and soft edges
Showing pressure against objects with hard edges
Trying Advanced Shading Techniques
Interweaving hatching
Combination crosshatching for rounded objects
Accentuating a figure’s rhythm with selective shading
Experimenting with Fun Drawing Exercises
Blind contour figure drawing
Blind cross-contour figure drawing
Shifting among short straight lines, long curvy lines, and squiggles
Working from Photos
Building a photo reference library
Drawing on top of photos
Chapter 14: Working with Composition and Perspective
Compose Yourself: The Basics of Composition
Creating borders for your composition
Brushing up on the elements of composition
Identifying Useful Composition Templates
Box composition
L-shaped composition
Diagonal composition
Yin-yang composition
Going freestyle
Drawing People in Different Perspectives
One-point perspective
Two-point perspective
Three-point perspective
Conveying the level of drama with the right perspective
Applying Perspective with Some Shortcuts
Overlapping shapes, differences in size, and varying levels of value
Drawing crowds the quick ’n’ easy way
Part V: The Part of Tens
Chapter 15: Ten Places to Study and Draw the Figure
Continuing Education Classes and Art Schools
Open Sessions at Your Local Art Institution
Art Galleries and Museums
Trains and Other Mass Transportation
Bookstores and Coffee Shops
Shopping Malls
Public Squares
Chapter 16: Ten Ways to Organize, Store, and Present Your Work
Date Your Drawings
Do a Little Housecleaning
Digitally Archive the Work You Want to Keep
Consider a Spray Fixative
Use Mylar Protective Sleeves
Keep Your Work Safe from the Elements
Display Your Work in Archival Mats and Frames
Strut Your Stuff with a Portfolio
Set Up an Online Portfolio
Create Promotional Items Featuring Your Work

Figure Drawing For Dummies®

by Kensuke Okabayashi


About the Author

Kensuke Okabayashi is a professional freelance illustrator/sequential artist. Born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey, Kensuke has been inspired by classic illustrators such as Harvey Dunn, Dean Cornwell, J.C. Leyendecker, and Charles Dana Gibson.

After studying music and psychology at Wheaton College in Illinois, Kensuke shifted his focus from playing the piano to honing his art skills. He earned his BFA in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City after studying traditional painting and further developing his drawing skills. Upon graduating, he began picking up illustration and storyboard clients, including LG Electronics Worldwide, Wendy’s, Diet Coke, Nestlé, Camel, Canon Digital, Saatchi & Saatchi, Absolut Vodka, Marvel Comics, and Anheuser-Busch.

Kensuke also actively illustrates for mainstream entertainment industry clients, such as Wizards of the Coast, Takara Toys U.S.A., Nickelodeon, Kensington Books, Skyzone Entertainment, Loew-Cornell, Wiley Publishing, Inc., and Jossey-Bass.

Inspired by his experience of working long hours at a well-known coffee shop corporation, Kensuke developed and illustrated his creator-owned graphic novel JAVA!, which attracted attention and was picked up by Committed Comics. His main character, Java (a high-powered caffeine girl who fights crime), received positive reviews from major book review sites as well as from readers and distributors. Kensuke’s first written and illustrated title in the For Dummies series, Manga For Dummies, is currently translated into French and German and marketed internationally. His most recent illustrated graphic novel, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Manga Edition), is based on the New York Times Best-Seller by Patrick M. Lencioni and is currently being released internationally through Jossey-Bass. His upcoming publication projects include Arcana Publishing and Archaia Studio Press.

Kensuke’s illustrated juried works have also been exhibited in the Society of Illustrators in New York City as well as Mercer’s Artist Showcase in New Jersey.

On the side, Kensuke continues to draw from life and teach art. He taught illustration courses at Mercer College of New Jersey for several years. When he’s not drawing or painting at his studio loft in Kearny, New Jersey, Kensuke still enjoys playing the piano from time to time and socializing at coffee shops during late nights in the city. He still draws from live models on weekends in Soho and Brooklyn and gives live demonstration events at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. You can see Kensuke’s online portfolios at his Web sites, and


This book is dedicated to my brothers, Yusuke and Saichan, for their love and support. We all have such different talents and personalities, yet we complement each other nicely.

Author’s Acknowledgments

I wish to thank the staff at Wiley Publishing. I would like to thank my acquisitions editor, Michael Lewis, my project editor, Georgette Beatty, and my copy editors, Sarah Faulkner and Megan Knoll, for all their hard work, advice, and support while I was writing this book. I want to thank the composition department for taking care of the large amount of artwork throughout this book. In addition, I want to thank Professor James R.C. Adams at Manchester College for his role as technical editor. My biggest thanks goes to my family, Michio, Sahoko, Yusuke, and Saichan, who have been my greatest supporters and fans. None of this would have been remotely possible without their help. Thank you and God bless you!

Publisher’s Acknowledgments

We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online registration form located at

Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development

Senior Project Editor: Georgette Beatty

Acquisitions Editor: Michael Lewis

Senior Copy Editor: Sarah Faulkner

Assistant Editor: Erin Calligan Mooney

Editorial Program Coordinator: Joe Niesen

Technical Editor: James R.C. Adams

Editorial Manager: Michelle Hacker

Editorial Assistant: Jennette ElNaggar

Cover Photo: Kensuke Okabayashi

Cartoons: Rich Tennant (

Composition Services

Project Coordinator: Lynsey Stanford

Layout and Graphics: Carl Byers, Reuben W. Davis, Melissa K. Jester, Brent Savage, Christin Swinford, Christine Williams

Proofreader: Shannon Ramsey

Indexer: Sharon Shock

Special Help: Megan Knoll

Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies

Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer Dummies

Kristin Ferguson-Wagstaffe, Product Development Director, Consumer Dummies

Ensley Eikenburg, Associate Publisher, Travel

Kelly Regan, Editorial Director, Travel

Publishing for Technology Dummies

Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General User

Composition Services

Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services

Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services


In today’s fast-paced society, where days and weeks seem to rush by more quickly than ever, it seems the only time we stop to appreciate our amazingly constructed figures is at 6 a.m. when we look in the mirror to brush our teeth or apply makeup. Most people aren’t even in touch with what their bodies look like (especially the backside). Our bodies, which come in all shapes and sizes, are complex and wonderfully crafted works of art that deserve more attention.

Figure-drawing students approach me on the first day of class claiming they can draw only stick figures, but most gain two things by the end of the first session. One: they realize how beautiful yet complex the body is. Two: they realize not only how talented they are, but also how fun it is to apply their skills to drawing the human figure. Whether you’re an art student, a professional illustrator wanting to brush up on your figure-drawing skills, or just someone who likes to doodle and wants some guidance on drawing the figure, Figure Drawing For Dummies is a great place to start.

About This Book

Because so many figure drawing books are out there, it’s important that I distinguish this book by declaring what it’s not. Figure Drawing For Dummies is not an anatomy book crammed with detailed drawings of each and every muscle fiber in the human body. In my opinion, basic anatomy is important for understanding the overall surface structure of the figure, but completing a fulfilling drawing of the figure doesn’t require the knowledge of a surgeon (nor should it). The purpose of this book is to present the art of drawing the human figure to beginning art students in a way that hones your knowledge of theories and techniques, and also encourages the development of your observational skills. As a beloved instructor at art school mentioned to me one day, “The drawing is not up there [pointing to the posing model] but down here [pointing to my drawing pad].” Throughout this book, my focus is to provide just enough basic knowledge and theory on the figure so you become excited about recording your reaction to what’s happening up on the model stand.

All tips, advice, and drawings that I provide are based on my own experience, both as a professional illustrator/sequential artist and as a former art student. I designed this book to take you through various techniques on figure drawing. As you become familiar with anatomy and your drawing medium, you may want to combine different elements to come up with your own individual style.

Throughout this book, I cover a variety of popular topics, and you can pick and choose what you want to read at any time. You don’t have to read this book from cover to cover if you don’t want to (but I won’t mind if you do!). I introduce basic drawing materials (including some of my personal favorites) and drawing techniques to get you started. In addition to describing the body’s basic proportion and anatomy from head to toe, I give you helpful visual and sketching exercises. I wrap up by showing you how to sharpen your skills with advanced techniques, composition, and perspective.

Conventions Used in This Book

I use a few conventions to help you navigate this book more easily:

check.png Numbered steps and keywords appear in boldface.

check.png Whenever I introduce a new term, I italicize it and define it.

check.png Web sites and e-mail addresses appear in monofont to help them stand out.

check.png When this book was printed, some Web addresses may have needed to break across two lines of text. If that happened, rest assured that I haven’t put in any extra characters (such as hyphens) to indicate the break. So, when using one of these Web addresses, just type in exactly what you see in this book, pretending as though the line break doesn’t exist.

What You’re Not to Read

I didn’t spend hours upon hours writing this book and drawing all the illustrations because I want you to skip over them. However, to be honest, you can skip over certain elements in this book and still get the gist of what’s being covered. The sidebars (the gray boxes) contain information that’s interesting yet nonessential, so if you’re pressed for time or just not into anything that isn’t essential, feel free to skip them. You won’t hurt my feelings (much).

Foolish Assumptions

When I sat down to write this book, I made a few assumptions about you, dear reader. This book is for you if

check.png You enjoy spending time looking at figure drawings and paintings at art museums.

check.png You’re curious about the figure and how it moves.

check.png You like doodling on your own (hopefully not caricatures of your professor during class like I once did).

check.png You want to learn how to draw faces so you can do portraits.

check.png You’re a beginning art student looking to develop your figure-drawing skills outside of class.

check.png You’re a graphic artist who wants to hone your drawing skills away from the computer.

check.png You’ve always wanted to learn to draw the figure but were put off by those thick anatomy drawing books!

How This Book Is Organized

This book is broken up into five different parts. Following is a summary of each of these parts so that you can decide what appeals to you.

Part I: Figure Drawing 101

Think of this part as your first day in a class for your favorite subject. This part tells you what tools you need to start drawing the figure and includes some basic drawing exercises to get your brain and your hand moving.

Part II: Off to a Head Start

Here I show you how to draw the essential components of the head and its facial features (eyes, ears, nose, and mouth). I devote the entire part to the muscle structure behind the facial features and how to form various types of facial expressions. In addition, I go over basic hairstyles (I wouldn’t want to leave you stranded over that issue!).

Part III: Building the Body

This part covers the basic proportion and anatomy of the human figure. I introduce you to drawing stick figures and mannequins, and I break down the figure’s muscle structure. In addition, I go over various action poses.

Part IV: Sharpening Your Figure-Drawing Skills

Ready to take your figure drawing to a higher level? In this part, I cover various types of clothing and shoes. I also provide advanced shading techniques, fun drawing exercises, and basic perspective tips and tricks that give a more realistic, three-dimensional look to your figure drawings. In addition, I share composition templates that add narrative to your figures’ poses.

Part V: The Part of Tens

In this part, I share various tips based on personal experiences. Here I list ten places to study and draw the figure. In addition, I present ten ways to organize, store, and present your figure drawings. You can use the tips in this part as a starting list, which you can modify or build upon to suit your needs.

Icons Used in This Book

Throughout this book, you see various icons in the left margins. These icons serve as flags to draw your attention to important or helpful information. Each specific icon carries its own meaning, as listed here:

Remember.eps As you may have guessed, this icon points out concepts or other information that you don’t want to forget.

sketchbook.eps When you see this icon, get out your pencil, open your sketchbook, and get ready to spend some quality time drawing. These exercises will help you improve your drawing skills.

Tip.eps Look for this icon to provide you with helpful tricks and shortcuts to make your figure-drawing life easier.

visualexercise.eps If you need some help getting the creative juices flowing, seek out this icon.

Warning(bomb).eps This icon alerts you to various mistakes and pitfalls that you want to avoid.

Where to Go from Here

Based on your interests, you can visit chapters in any order, and you’ll find that each section takes you step by step through accomplishing an objective. If you have drawing experience, the beauty of this format is that you can select whichever topic you want to know more about and dive into it. However, if you’re new to figure drawing or don’t have any prior drawing experience, I recommend starting with Part I and working your way through this book in order. Even if you’re an experienced artist but new to figure drawing, brushing up on the basics by starting with Part I isn’t a bad idea; then you can choose the section you’re interested in.

Regardless of where you start, I recommend reading all the way through the chapter you choose before sitting down at the drawing table and working through its steps. Give yourself time to first digest the basic proportions and basic muscle shapes (as I show you, these shapes are deceivingly sophisticated, but you don’t need to learn every single anatomical detail).

Finally, I can’t stress enough the importance of attending live figure-drawing sessions where you can apply these chapters to a live model. Even with a busy schedule, I do my best to attend a figure-drawing session every Saturday morning. To find a live drawing session in your area, check your+ local academic institution’s art department, a local art council organization, or search online.

Part I

Figure Drawing 101

390733 pp0101.eps

In this part . . .

Welcome to Figure Drawing 101! Whether you’re drawing the human form for the first time or you’re a serious artist looking to hone your figure-drawing skills, this part is designed to get you started off on the right foot. No matter your background, you’re in for an awesome ride.

In this part, you get up to speed on rounding up the necessary drawing materials so you can get started on basic drawing principles and techniques. Throughout this part, you try some basic drawing exercises that are designed not only to loosen your wrist, but also to help you become familiar with the tools. You can think of them as warm-up exercises.

If you’re ready, turn the page and prepare to discover the world of figure drawing!

Chapter 1

Welcome to the Joys of Figure Drawing

In This Chapter

arrow Going over basic materials and techniques

arrow Depicting the head and body

arrow Taking your skills to the next level

People surround you on a daily basis (unless you’re on a deserted island), yet the art of figure drawing remains full of puzzles and surprises. As someone who draws the figure, your mission (should you choose to accept it!) is to record your reaction to a figure’s pose or action.

Whether you’re a beginner who’s new to drawing the human figure or a serious art student looking to hone your figure-drawing skills, you’re in good hands. In this chapter, I introduce you to the fundamentals of figure drawing, including the materials and techniques you need. Sharpen your pencil, get out your sketchbook, and get ready to draw!

Finding the Right Drawing Materials

Like using the correct eating utensil at the dinner table, finding the right materials for figure drawing is important. Why? Nothing is more frustrating than trying to get a certain line quality (such as the fine line of an eyelid) when you have the wrong tool (like, in this instance, a thick charcoal stick).

In Chapter 2, I provide a list of drawing materials for your consideration. Although you don’t need to buy all the materials I list there at once, start off by visiting your local art store and trying out some pencils. I recommend starting with softer pencils, such as the Faber-Castell 9000 8B. Depending on how much time you have to draw, you may want to get at least five. In addition, I recommend bringing an 18-x-24-inch sketchpad to your figure-drawing class; it’s large enough to let you experiment with drawing various sizes, and it also gives the instructor enough space to make notes or drawing corrections on the side of your figure drawings.

Remember.eps If you’re new to drawing the figure, don’t worry about splurging on fancy equipment at first. However, make sure your working area is well lit so your eyes aren’t strained. I notice many students are used to working in dimly lit situations (perhaps due to the habit of working with computer monitors). Depending on how many hours you work, strain on the eyes can lead to irritation and possible damage in the long run. In my case, I set up two lights on my desktop surface. Check out Chapter 2 for full details on setting up a drawing studio.

Getting a Grip on Drawing Basics

Tip.eps Before you dive into drawing the figure, you need to warm up your drawing muscles. Flip to the exercises in Chapter 3, which are simple and fun to do; in addition to serving the purpose of loosening up your wrist, you’re also training your hand to become more familiar with using your drawing tools. Here’s what you can expect:

check.png I start with exercises on lines, curves, and basic geometric shapes.

check.png I introduce basic principles of lights and shadows. By changing the light source, you change the narrative mood of the figure.

check.png The types of hatching and other shading techniques that I apply to the figure enhance the illusion of a three-dimensional object “popping” off a two-dimensional flat surface.

check.png Part of what makes figure drawing so spontaneous is that you don’t have to completely erase the lines that may appear to be errant. I demonstrate tips you can use with or without your kneaded eraser.

Drawing the Head

No part of the human figure draws more attention than the head. It’s the area we use to recognize one another. The features that incorporate all five senses are also located on the head. In Part II, I give you a heads-up on the following topics:

check.png The head’s basic shape: In its most simple form, the basic head shape is essentially a spherical object that at first glance looks like an egg. As the figure matures from infancy to adulthood, the bone structures adjust to the growing proportion of the body in part by fusing together. In Chapter 4, I walk you through different techniques for drawing the basic shape of the head at different ages and from different views.

check.png Facial features: When you examine the head more closely, you’ll find that it consists of a series of complex interlocking bones covered with cartilage for the nose and ears and multiple layers of muscle groups that control the movements of the jaw and mouth. And don’t forget the eyes! I explain how to draw all these features realistically in Chapter 5.

check.png Hair: Although hair consists of hundreds of individual stands, they cluster together in an organized fashion to form waves and curls (or they simply cascade down like a waterfall). In Chapter 6, I walk you through exercises that explore using different textures to add realism to the hairstyles and types without worrying about drawing every single strand (that’s an in-hair-ently insane task).

check.png Facial expressions: Our facial muscle structure is literally skin deep! Just the slightest twitch or reaction gives away the most subtle thought going through the mind (I, for one, have a terrible poker face!). However, these nuances make the face the center of attention in most figure studies. In Chapter 7, I describe the muscle structure of the face and give you pointers on drawing a wide variety of facial expressions.

Putting Together the Body

Creating and piecing together the body is similar to a putting together a jigsaw puzzle or playing a satisfying game of Tetris. Individual shapes snap together to form a larger shape. Check out the following topics in Part III, which is all about building the body:

check.png Remember.eps Bone structure, shape, and proportion: Understanding the basic proportion of the human figure helps the artist not only measure the head-to-body ratio, but also establish how large or small other figures need to be drawn in situations in which you can see more than one figure. Learning every bone structure of the body isn’t important for understanding the overall structure. Rather, identifying certain “landmark” points, where the bones and joints protrude out of the body, is more essential. Chapter 8 explains what you need to know about bones, shape, and proportion.

check.png Assembling a stick figure: Resist the urge to think of the stick figure in Chapter 9 as a crutch or symbolic substitute for drawing the human figure (like a hangman). Sculptors create a stick figure (commonly referred to as armatures) out of wire as a base around which they build the figure form. In Chapter 9, I also demonstrate how to use the stick figure as a basis to draw and build basic geometric body shapes.

check.png Muscles: If you thought the number of bones in the figure was mind-boggling, check out just how intricate the muscle groups are in Chapter 10. My objective there is to group the smaller shapes of muscles into larger shapes.

check.png Remember.eps Depicting the body in motion: Regardless of how accurately you draw the figure in a still pose, applying body rhythm and motion is what distinguishes your figure from a stiff mannequin. In Chapter 11, I explain how to draw realistic figures with movement.

Advancing Your Drawing Skills

In Part IV you go through exercises that address the clothed figure, other fun drawing techniques, composition, and perspective. These exercises are designed to jazz up your figure drawing based on the basic fundamentals you discover earlier in this book. Read on for more detail:

check.png Clothing your figures: Becoming familiar with the clothed figure is important, because some fabric shapes not only simplify the complex anatomy, but also help you see how to draw the figure by using different shapes. In addition, the wrinkles and folds that run along the joints, limbs, and torso of the body help you understand the rhythmic flow and energy in a pose. In Chapter 12, I go over various types of clothing from the loose comfortable sweatshirts to the tighter jeans. In addition, I cover how to draw footwear (ranging from waterproof boots to open air sandals).

check.png Experimenting with fun drawing techniques: Chapter 13 incorporates various drawing exercises that provide not only a change of pace but also the opportunity to hone your hand-eye coordination. These exercises include contour and cross-contour drawings in which you observe and draw the model without looking down at the paper. In addition, I provide tips on varying the edges and shading of your drawings, and I get you started with building a photo reference library.

check.png Applying composition and perspective: Regardless of how well you execute the figure drawing, it needs a frame of reference (where the model is situated in relation to the page). In Chapter 14, I present several basic templates that help plan the positioning of the model (otherwise known as composition). In addition, I go over basic perspective principles (one-point, two-point, and three-point perspectives). Perspective in figure drawing is the art of creating the illusion of three-dimensional figures in a believable environment by using the horizon line, vanishing point, and perspective guidelines to determine which body parts need to be drawn a certain size or position in relation to the others.