Figure Drawing

How to make your Figures come to Life!

Figure drawing can be a challenge but is not overly difficult if the enthusiasm to learn is present. It is however a task that continues to defeat artists consistently. As with any art project, figure drawing needs a great deal of time, patience and practice but once the technique is acquired, the resulting figure can look natural and alive. Artists can study the form and anatomy of those around them as this will really help them to capture a sense of realism in their figure drawing.

There are many things to remember when starting to practice figure drawing and that is to capture the essence of the shape and motive of each pose. For example, if someone is walking, they are planning to get somewhere; they have a goal to reach. If someone bends down to pick up an item, they use a completely different set of muscle groups and their motive is again very different.

To bring your figures to life, make note of the following suggestions:

-    Understand why your figures are moving in a certain way. Understand the basic human anatomy so that you are able to draw correctly.
-    Learn to comprehend human proportions so that arms and legs do not look too long or too short. In figure drawing, capturing these elements accurately are important.
-    Practice making quick sketches of those people around you. Even better, ask them to pose in a variety of postures and positions and this will help you to understand the essence of the human posture.
-    If required, use an art ‘mannequin' when practicing your figure drawing. There are male and female ones and these are easily purchased through a local art shop or through a specialist art site on the Internet. ‘Mannequins' can be moved into a number of positions and will enable you to readily copy the image.
-    Always remember that the general composition of the picture must be ascertained first. The artist must have a clear image of what will be happening within the picture itself prior to starting the project.

Spend as much time as possible capturing the movement and body form of your subject. Careful practice will lead to your pictures becoming vibrant and looking real. Remember, that figure drawing is also about having fun with form.

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