Figure Drawing: Lesson 1

Grab your paper and pencils.

Figure drawing means drawing a person’s body.

As an artist I had to learn about the human body, how it’s parts fit together (which is called anatomy), and how it moves (which is called kinesiology).

The human body is put together differently than a dog’s or a horse’s.  If you know where a bone and joint is and what ways it can move you can draw it and it will look like it really belongs that way. If you know where it belongs then you can exaggerate it if you want to to make a point and it will look like you meant it.

In the coming weeks I am going to teach you a little bit about anatomy and kinesiology and how they help you draw people better.

However, to start we are going to see what you already know about the body and how it is shaped.

Get your drawing pad and a pencil.  At the first new page, draw a picture of a person from your head, the way you think a person looks.  (I have my kids put their name and date on their drawings so they can see how their drawings have changed over time–you might like to do the same.)

That’s it.   I just want you to have a drawing to start so you (and we) can see where you are coming from.  Some people are already very good at drawing naturally and others are not.  The point is not to start out perfect or even to become perfect but to persevere and do the very best YOU can do.

You can post a link to your drawing next Thursday when I post my own kids drawings that they did–if you post it before that leave the link in the comments here and I will add it to the list next week of the completed activities.  (If you or a family member has a blog you can post it there or you can upload a picture of your drawing to Flickr or Picasa and leave the link to it here.  If you don’t have a place to post it but still want to share you can email me a copy of your drawing at gracedbychrist(at)gmail(dot)com.)

Next week I will teach you a bit about anatomy and how it affects proportions (the size of different body parts).

Also, please take a minute to introduce yourself in the comments (just your first name and age or the name your parent uses on their blog.)  I would love if you would tell me (and my kids) your name and age and a little about yourself.  My kids are really excited to meet others who like drawing—RAchel is 10, Esther is 8, and Issac is 6 and all three spend TONS of time drawing.

Note to any adults who are joining in–yes, I am keeping it short and simple because I am gearing it toward 6 and up but as far as the lessons themselves go  they are the same as what I would tell you just in smaller bite sized chunks.  If you prefer to wait and do it all at once I will be putting it all together with some more information into an e-book once I finish the series.