Figure Drawing: Lesson 1

Basic Human Proportions

Warm Up:

Sketch a human figure (head to toe). Don't worry about details, just a sketch.

***Draw in your sketchbook, if you do not have a sketchbook...notebook paper will do)


I Can:

  • Learn the basic proportions of a human figure
  • Use my understanding of human proportions to practice figure drawing basics
  • Develop stick figure drawings to finished figure drawing

To Draw What's Outside We Have To Understand What Is Inside

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Fear Not, Proportions Are Here....

Learning to draw a human figure in correct proportions is an important skill in any artist's toolbox. It will take time and effort to master this process, but there is a system and method to helping everyone gain confidence in their figure drawing. Not only is the human body one of the most sophisticated animal structures in nature, it is has a lot of variations. Think of all the different sizes, ages, skin colors, hair styles and so on that an artist might encounter. So, this is a challenging process and no young artist should feel frustrated for having trouble drawing people; it is an ambitious undertaking.

We’re going to build up this skill from the ground up, starting with a simplified skeleton (a basic stick figure), moving on to the volumes of body's muscles and fat, and finally we move to details of like clothing, hair and facial features.

The foundation piece for figure drawing is basic proportions. We’re going to be practicing building the human figure to get familiar with standard proportions.

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Figure Drawing 1


By the end of class you will:

  • You will have practiced finding the inner skeleton in 3 figures
  • Practice making the stick figure form
  • Practice building the human figure from the stick figure
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Moving Forward

Once you really understand where joints are and how the human proportions work you can simplify the human form into basic shapes. Using small circles for joints and creating a more advanced stick figure you can create the underpinning for drawing people in different positions.
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