Welcome, and thanks for reading this! I am very excited with the challenge of finding the best tutorials on the web. It’s been a long time since I wanted to do this, and I am ready as I’ll ever be. A bit underdressed maybe, since I’m at home in my underwear, but ready nontheless.
So where do we begin? Well, with the basics of the basics of:
THE HUMAN FIGURE
So where do we start? Where to begin when trying to understand the human figure? The head? An Eyeball? A single cell?
What I believe to be the first and best thing to know when learning the human figure is PROPORTIONS. Yes! Something as simple as to know how long an arm should be, how wide the shoulders, etc. Obviously, we all have different body tipes, some are thinner, some taller, and some have a weird shoulder that will become a hunchback some day, like me.
Still, there is an understanding about how the general proportions of a human body are, so we are going to start with that.
Click on the image and look at the tutorial. See, the thing is that the human body is actually 7,5 heads tall, but when you draw it that way, it doesn’t look as good as with 8 heads, so usually that’s the measure used for the human figure.
There are other things you should know about the human figure, like:
The belly button is in the third head from the top.
So are your elbows.
Shoulders are two heads wide
Wrists are one head bellow the elbows
Women have hips as wide as their shoulders, men have thinner hips.
The crotch is right in the middle of the human figure.
Not all of those tips translate to real life, but they work great on illustration. Also try to see how the standing human body is not a straight line, but the pose can be define by a wave. Use the following link for more reference on proportions so you can get a better understanding.
Those last rows of poses are pretty awesome, that’s pretty hard to get right!! How do you do that? Well, look at this tutorial:
FORESHORTENING BASICS by GENE KELLY
So now you know your proportions, how about some proportions in perspective?? YEEESSSSS!!!
WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO?!?!
Awww come on, don’t be afraid, of course you’ll do it wrong the first few times, but that’s how it goes with everything art related. Failing and trying again is part of a magical thing from a land far away called LEARNING.
What you need to get from this is that what matters most, is that you start placing this volumes in a space, so you can understand the basic shapes that the human figure is made of. HOW to pose is a whole different matter that I will not, by any means, explain in this paragraph. But I will do so in a few paragraphs below, so keep reading.
SO! Proportions, basic shapes, you’re feeling confident aren’t you?? Let’s give you something a bit harder to do, so you learn about the muscles that are on top of those boxes and cilinders you’ve been piling on top of each other since the last tutorial.
TORSO PRACTICE N’ TIPS by GENE KELLY
THIGH CONSTRUCTION TUTORIAL by NEMO FILIPOVIC
Artist Page: http://nemonova.deviantart.com/
ARM CONSTRUCTION NOTES by NEMO FILIPOVIC
Remember when I said I wasn’t going to dive into posing? Well I lied. Here’s an amazing tutorial by an amazing artist. Why is it so good? Because It sums up all of what you just read in the tutorials and adds some more insight into posing the figure.
Is there any other resource that I’d recommend for learning all of this? Yes! Yes there is! It is the bible of the artist, and one of the most recommended books by any illustrator. This is Figure Drawing for All it’s Worth, by Andrew Loomis. It starts like this post does, with proportsions, then volume, perspective, muscles, light and shadow, etc. It’s amazing and I highly recommend it. This is an affiliate link, it helps me keep this blog going.