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How To Draw People

by Nikesh
(ontario, canada)

I'm having a hard time learning the muscles, proportions and being able to shift them in any way i choose when drawing a person.

I think that learning the names of the muscles won't help because to me the names won't help me draw the figure. I'm trying to use tracing paper and comic books to sketch out simple stick figure version of the finished drawing to get an idea. but when i want to completely finish the drawing, it never looks good at all.

So basically is there a way besides the usual practice aspect that i can draw people, men and women from my head, like what comic artists do?

Answer From Kerry:

Hi Nikesh
Drawing the human figure from memory/imagination takes years of practice. Actually, drawing the human figure is the hardest thing to accomplish - just ask me because I'm still trying to get it right!

You can buy little mannequin models from art shops and you can put them in all sorts of poses to practice from, maybe something like that might help you?

I'm going to open the floor to all guest artists to see if they have some good advice for you. Good luck!

Comments for How To Draw People

Aug 13, 2010
magic formula.....
by: Michael Betz

What a very good question. I just wish there was an equally good answer. Unfortunately...I do not have one. As with anything, unless you are a prodigy that has a God giving talent within you, or a photographic memory, there is no easy way to do people. What makes people so hard to draw is the fact that they are a completely 3 dimensional animated image going onto a 2 dimensional format. They have no clearly defined ending/beginning lines like a vase, or a chair, or even a car. They have shades, and highlights, and outlining them, like in comic books, makes them look cartoonish. So, as much as I hate to answer with a cliche, there is no other solution, that I know of, outside of practice, practice, practice, and observation. Look at people, study their lines, their movements, their flows of shades. For comic book characters, you simply need the shapes. For portraits, you must learn shading and blending to properly convey the 3D look of a face. And I agree with you, knowing the names of the muscles does not seem to help. But studying the layout of those muscles can be very beneficial. If you know HOW the muscles link together and work in conjunction with one another, you will be more able to convey that on paper. I know this probably does not help you, but I have no better answer....sorry.

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