Figure drawing

Male nude, rear view. Study by Leonardo da Vinci.
Sitzender Akt (seated nude), sepia drawing by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1820).

Figure drawing is the art of drawing the human figure. Figure drawing is used in any visual artwork that depicts people. It is especially important in illustration (e.g. book illustration). Many artists, especially painters, avoid figure drawing and prefer still lifes or landscapes, while other artists, for example William-Adolphe Bouguereau or Norman Rockwell, specialize in portraying people.

Figure drawing includes both realistic human figures and more abstract figures such as those found in cartoons, comics and animation.

Realistic figure drawing usually begins with drawing nudes because this is essential to learn human body proportions and anatomy, while at the same time removing the burden of dealing with the complexity of drawing clothing.

The term figure drawing actually encompasses two different skills: drawing from a life model, and drawing from imagination (without a model). Cartoonists, comic and animation artists naturally need to focus on the second skill, while painters and draughtsmen who do portraits need to focus on the first.

Figure drawing books and tutorialsEdit

There are many good books on figure drawing, as well as figure drawing tutorials on the World Wide Web. Some tutorials in this wiki are on 3D Figure Drawing and drawing tutorials.

See alsoEdit