How To Draw People

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Drawing people can seem complicated and reserved for the trained and naturally inclined only. However, it is not as difficult as it may seem at first, since there are a lot of tricks and tips that can make almost any enthusiast skilled enough to draw a decent human body.


A major secret of the drawing trade is that any object can be broken down into basic, simple geometrical parts, which also goes for human body. This article will present you with an easy, step-by-step instruction on how to draw people, exemplified on a female body, but applicable on any type of human figure. Note that this is only the basic drawing instruction and for the finished drawing, you need to tune up the imagination to the maximum.
First thing’s first – the drawing material: you will need a pencil, an eraser, and paper. It’s a good idea to keep a pencil sharpener around.

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Drawing instructions below will begin with drawing basic shapes, circles, ovals, rectangles and triangles. Full body from is then outlined following these basics. Basic geometric shapes are always meant to be drafted lightly, because they are always erased when the body shape is done. Following the instructional drawings, pay attention to the red lines on each step. Contours from previous steps are made in black color, as they are already done.

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When you finish outlinings the entire body, take a permanent, felt-tip pen and cross the lines of the body, or do it with the softer and darker B pencil. Only the contours that you want to keep in the final work should be crossed over with the pen. When the ink gets dry, after a few minutes, erase the pencil lines. If you make final lines thicker with a B pencil, erase carefully, because it will erase and smudge the drawing if you are not careful.

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When the basic body drawing is done, feel free to add clothes, use colored pencils, watercolors, markers or crayons to bring in some life into your work. Chalk is also a good choice for shading, if the paper is tinted especially, but use chalk or watercolor when you have practiced a little.

Shading is usually done to provide a more realistic look of the drawing and to add a dimension. If your first shading attempt is not perfect, keep practicing and soon you will get there! When you shade and color your piece, the drawing is done! Kudos to you and remember – practice makes perfect!

Step 1
Outline the geometric frame of the human body. Make sure you do a little reading about human anatomy – this knowledge will help a lot. Proportions are the most important when outlining a body.
Pay attention to differences between female and male proportions and different body type proportions. Usually, a normally proportioned human body has 7-8 head lengths in one body.

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Step 2
Draw contours of the body shape to make human figure and give it realistic volume.

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Step 3
When you are done with basic shapes of human figure, add details such as hands, hair, fingers, toes and other small parts of the body.

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Step 4
Outline the entire sketch to make the drawing close to finish and to see how it will look.

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Step 5
Erase all the light sketching within the human body.

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Step 6
Color your drawing.

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Step 7
Ad shading, making the figure more voluminous and realistic.

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Step 8
Now you can try a draw people in different positions – sitting or reclining!

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