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Submitted on
October 9, 2009
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Figure Drawing by RyouGirl Figure Drawing by RyouGirl
For my friend Roxie who wanted some tips on Figure Drawing. This is how i do it. There's no right or wrong way. But i like this tutorial better than my last one... even if it's a bit messy. :XD:

The written instructions:

1. Lightly, draw a stick figure capturing the sway of the body you are referencing or drawing from scratch. Especially in women, pay attention to the way the hips and shoulders lean. In fashion drawing, it’s not as important that the body proportions are correct. More often than not, the fashion drawing models have smaller torsos and lengthy legs.

2. Star filling in some body to the stick figure. Girls have an hourglass shape to their torsos. Also, to help you get the shape of the legs right, you can draw ovals in that represent the shape of muscles in the legs. I usually draw in circles for the knees, elbows, wrists, shoulders and ankles as well. Remember to stay on the stick figure or the body won’t be properly shaped. You can also determine how thick to make the neck at this point. I use geometric shapes to fill in the chest and pelvis.

3. Next start drawing the contour of the body around all the circles you’ve made. Look to your reference or your own body for help. Generally the top of the arm is straight and skinny while the bottom gets smaller as it gets closer to the wrist. Breasts are located about half way between the shoulders and belly button. They have more of a tear-drop shape than balloon shape. Also connect the shoulders to the neck with a slight incline going towards the head, but still leaving a neck.

4. Now you may erase out all the sketchy guild lines on the interior to help you see where you want the clothes to go. You may add hands and feet, but they don’t need to be detailed since the emphasis is meant to be on the clothes. Make sure you get to the nude body before putting the clothes on to understand how they will fit. I make form fitting clothes for my figures, so I just want to make the clothes appear as though they are just slightly bigger than the figure’s body. I also draw little ‘kinks’ in places like the waste because in this pose, the clothes would tend to fold a little. The hair on the model is constructed the same way. Make sure the hair is raised above the scalp just like the clothes stick out just a little from the body.

5. Finally erase everything out from the middle of the clothing you drew. (Because you wouldn’t see the belly button or crotch through the clothes.) To make the clothes more realistic add lines that fall across the body to show folds. You may also add jewelry and facial features if you like, but again, the emphasis should be on the clothes.

TIPS: Draw lightly until the very end to avoid too many eraser marks. If you can’t think up poses on your own, you can look for stock images or photograph yourself for a reference.

Good luck! ;)
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foxyko Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This looks great, but if I were to go full out art teacher on you I would tell you that the final figure does not look the same as the reference. Which is usually the goal when figure drawing.

However, it looks great stylistically! 
jazhandz Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013
Very simple, yet the most helpful figure tutorial I've seen so far. Thank you so much!
colliewolf2010 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
grate reference very helpful :)
photoman509 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
Do you use a different pencil for the sketch?
RyouGirl Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I just use a number 2 pencil for the whole processes. When I add color with colored pencil, that's the only time I used different pencils.
photoman509 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
Thank you! : ) Wow gorgeous! I am a photographer but am experimenting with drawing this is very inspiring!
SwiggyAkane Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i really want to learn to draw figures for my fashion designs... since im not in school. i really suck at it.
RyouGirl Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You just need to practice! Fashion drawing was actually the reason I made this tutorial. :)
Jowybean Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012  Professional General Artist
Your method of proportioning a figure is slightly easier than drawing a real skeleton because of the bone shapes good tutorial drawing from photos is the best way to learn in my opinion. =D
ANDREWisTOAST Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
wow , i never realized how far out the hip needs to be to make the pose work.
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