art drawing figure drawing


  • Movement between contours/forms/tones
  • Detail is nothing without gesture
    • Gesture brings life to a figure
  • Tell a story with body language
    • Exaggerate to tell a better story

Quick Sketch

  • Great way to practice gesture
  • More about how it feels vs how it looks
  • Not meant to be a finished drawing


  • Look for the longest axis
  • Use simple lines
    • C curve
    • S curve
    • I (straight line)
  • Find the longest action line of the body
    • Connect head to toes
  • Bendiness
    • Tension --> zig zag
    • Relaxed --> Flowing curve
  • Asymmetry of the body
    • The body isn't symmetric, don't attempt to make it so
  • Look for stretches and pinching
  • Draw smart not fast
    • Simplify the figure down so you can draw it in the time you have
  • Be careful not to make torsos too straight
    • Makes them feel very unrelaxed
  • Make BIG lines

Step by Step

  • Not hard rules

30 Second Pose

  1. Start with head
  2. Find gesture of neck and action line to foot
  3. Rhythm lines for the legs and the arms

2 Minute Pose

  1. Analyze
  2. Head
  3. Attack to neck
  4. Drop rhythm from shoulders to pubic bone
  5. Leg gestures
  6. Arm rhythms