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Learn how to draw with the drawing lessons in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Art supplies
- An eye for detail
- Fixative, or protective varnish to spray on your masterpiece
Pick up some art supplies. You’ll need drawing paper with a subtle roughness that will allow mediums like charcoal to stick and stay in place, charcoal, soft pencils, square crayons, and erasers.
Pose your model
Pose your model. Take into consideration what parts of her body you’d like to focus on.
Work out proportions
Work out proportions using the 'thumb and pencil' technique. Standing 10 feet from your model, hold a pencil in your outstretched hand and, using your dominant eye, line it up with the top of her head. Now move your finger down the pencil until you come to her chin—that’s her head measurement.
Still using the pencil, figure out how many 'heads' tall she is.
Determine body measurements
Armed with the head measurement, use the following guide for body proportions: height = 8 heads; neck = ¼ head; shoulder width = 2 heads; breasts to belly = 1 head.
Study her body
Study her body before you start to draw. (Yes, this is one time where it’s perfectly acceptable to stare unabashedly at a naked woman.) Note how her body comes together at joints, and what lines emphasize what body parts.
Start to draw
Let your eyes move over the contours of her body while your hand draws what you see. Your eyes should be taking in each curve and angle—the way her hair falls, the arch of her back, the shape of her mouth and eyes.
Draw in swift lines
Break your figure down to simple lines that you draw swiftly—don’t commit your pencil to the page for more than a few seconds.
Pay attention to negative space
Pay attention to negative space—the space between and around the figure. The shape of the negative space is important as it helps define the outer lines of the subject.
Use shadow and light
Use the charcoal to emphasize how shadow and light fall on the subject. Does the position of her body cast a shadow over her shoulder or legs? Charcoal is the easiest to smear and conveys shadow perfectly.
Refine the edges with erasers. Smear where shade should be intensified and erase where areas should be lightened.
If you worked in a smudge-able medium like charcoal or soft pencil, spray your masterpiece with fixative—a liquid varnish that will keep it from smearing.`