Anatomy of Drawing The Human Figure

by Geoff Clemments

Drawing by Jean Ingres  c.1841

Drawing by Jean Ingres c.1841

To me, drawing the human figure is one of the most difficult subjects to draw. I think it takes more than a few years before your figure drawing looks really professional.

An in-depth study of the skeleton, drawing every bone and how it is connected to adjacent bone, should be known cold. Same with muscle anatomy and its very complex shapes and how one muscle overlaps another. Add on top of that the fat layers and how it forms over muscle, fat and bone. Easy eh? I don't think so.

I have a whole library on drawing the human figure but the books do not help; it is the application and knowledge of the forms you are drawing in front of you.

It takes more than decades to get a near-perfect drawing of the human figure and countless hours studying anatomy. But eventually, the day dawns and it all suddenly fits together with all the interlocking forms looking just great!

The beauty of being able to draw the human figure well is that when you draw anything else, it looks so simple and you can get it right first time. But it takes practice and dedication.

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