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Do you want to draw the human figure, but you’re intimidated by learning anatomy? Frustrated by figure-drawing books that focus more on bones and muscles than people? If so, Figure It Out! is the book for you. This fun and friendly guide teaches you how to effectively draw male and female figures without learning anatomy. You’ll start by learning to draw the head and facial expressions, then move on to complete figure poses, including clothed people and bodies in motion. This inspiring and entertaining book shows you everything you need to know to start drawing the figure—and nothing you don’t!


CHRIS HART is the world’s best-selling author

of how-to-draw books.

More Inside

Tons of tips s and technique for drawing people—the easy way! Friendly

Chris Art Instruction Hart

Chris Hart Books FigureItOut! The Beginner’s Guide to Drawing People

You can communicate a variety of attitudes just through body language. Take a look at these figures in various poses. Notice how their posture, hand and foot positions and head tilts tell you exactly how they’re feeling— even without facial features!

Sneak Peek

Body Talk

3:50 PM

Chris Hart

Chris Hart

FigureItOut! The Beginner’s Guide to DrawingPeople

Art Instruction $19.95 US $25.95 CANADA

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Inside you'll find... ● Hundreds of figures

in varied poses gs ● Step-by-step drawin ● Artists’ secrets for bringing drawings e! to life...and much mor

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CONTENTS Introduction 8

Start at the Top! Drawing the Head 10

Be an Egghead: The Basic Head Shape 12 Sculpt the Head 13 Natural Contours of the Face 14 Shading the Face 15 The Eyes 16 The Nose and Mouth 18 The Ears 20 Jaw Shapes 22 The Chin (Yep, It’s a Muscle) 23 Natural Angles of the Neck 24 Check Your Proportions! 25 The Idealized Face 26 Expressions 27

Break It Down!

Step-by-Step Heads 28 Front View 30 3/4 Right View 36 3/4 Left View 40 Profile 44

Get Back to Basics!

Drawing the Body 46 Average Vs. Idealized Figures 48 Drawing the Rib Cage 49 Front View 50 Side View 54 Rear View 58 Construction Poses 62

Express Yourself!

Body Dynamics 70 Shoulder-Hip Tilt 72 The Natural Way to Stand 75 Bending 76 Carrying a Weight 78 More Poses 79 Body Language 80

Strike a Pose!

Drawing Women 82 Ballet Pose 84 Introverted Pose 86 Athletic Pose 88 Graceful Pose 90 Hands on Head 92 Leaning Against Wall 94 Standing 3/4 View 96 Backward Glance 98 On the Move 100 Kneeling on Stool 102 Seated 3/4 Pose 104 Sitting With Legs Entwined 105 Seated on Both Knees 106 Sitting Propped Up 108 Sitting With Legs Extended 109 Sitting on Stool 110

Get in Position!

Drawing Men 112 Classic Standing Pose 114 Back View With Hands Above Head 116 Standing Profile 118 Hands in Pockets 120 Heroic Pose 122 Seated Pose in Perspective 124 Standing With Hands Behind Body 126 Thoughtful Pose 128 Olympic Stance 130 Bend and Stretch 131 On One Knee 132 Muscle Interaction 134 Standing With Arms Out (Side View) 136 Relaxed Figure (Side View) 138


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Start at the Top!

Drawing the Head


he head is often the first part of a figure drawing an artist will complete once his or her initial sketch is in place. And it’s a good place to begin when learning to draw people. In this chapter, we’ll familiarize ourselves with the basic shape of the head, then learn how to draw the eyes and other features and see exactly where to place them for correct proportions. Let’s get started! 11

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3/4 Left View

Front View

Be an Egghead: The Basic Head Shape

Profile Left

I Profile Right

n order to place the features correctly and end up with a realistic-looking head, we need to start with a good shape. And it has to be one that can be easily reproduced at many angles. A circle is just too cartoony for a realistic drawing of the head, but an egg shape is very close. We’ll need to make some minor modifications to this basic shape, but it works as a starting point.

3/4 Right View 12

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Drawing the Head

Add mass to back of head

Make eye socket concave Indent jaw line

Basic Egg Shape

Modified Egg Shape

Sculpt the Head


ow that we have the basic outline of the head, we need to sculpt it to make it more closely resemble an actual head. Happily, all that’s required are a few minor adjustments.

Head Shape: Male Vs. Female

This “bump” is the cheek muscle

Here’s a hint that will help make your characters look more feminine or more masculine. When the male head is posed in a 3/4 view, there are “bumps” on the far side of the face—the cheekbone, the cheek muscle and the chin. We eliminate the cheek muscle in females, for a sleeker, more feminine appearance.


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Natural Contours of the Face


he head is not flat, nor is it perfectly round. The dotted lines in these drawings show you where the planes of the face change angles. It’s sort of a “map” of the head. Let’s take a look at these changes of planes at various angles.

Notice how the contour lines travel along (are continuations of) the natural path of the cheekbones. Front View

Profile Right 14

Profile Left

3/4 View Right

3/4 View Left

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ost light comes from above, in the form of sunlight or overhead lighting. The light hits the protruding parts of the head, causing them to cast shadows below and to the side. These shadows add a sense of depth and a feeling of solidity to the head, making it look like it was carved from a block of stone.

Drawing the Head

Shading the Face

Eye socket

Side of nose Underside of nose Shadow of nose Upper lip

Underside of bottom lip Underside of chin


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The Eyes


he eyes are arguably the most important features of the face when drawing the head, because they appear close to the middle of the head and because they're so expressive. Effectively drawn eyes create a direct link between the viewer and the image on paper. The shape of the eye in the front view is totally different from the side view. Vary the tone (darkness) of the pupil, iris, eyebrow and eyelids to bring the eyes forward. The lines of the eyelids are usually drawn darker than the other lines of the face.

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The woman’s eye is almond-shaped with thin, arching eyebrows. The eyelashes brush softly to one side.


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The man’s eye is also almond-shaped, but he has a heavier upper eyelid and a heavier eyebrow. You can omit the eyelashes.

Front View

The eyelashes extend significantly forward and backward. The eyebrow arches from high to low.


The upper eyelid casts a subtle but nonetheless visible shadow on the eyeball, which adds a feeling of depth and roundness to the eye.


The eyelid extends slightly over the eyeball. The eyebrow is flatter and lower.

Profile 16

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Drawing the Head

Common Eye Shapes

There are as many types of eyes as there are people who have eyes. However, for drawing purposes, there are three basic shapes for men and three common types for women.

Female Eyes

Male Eyes

You can’t go wrong with almond-shaped eyes. They’re expressive and look correct on most facial types.

The almond-shaped eye has a subtle curve to the top eyelid that is emphasized by the sweep of the eyelashes.

Rectangular eyes are masculine and work well on square-jawed guys.

The slender eye hides more of the pupil underneath the top eyelid for a sexy look.

Droopy eyes are common on middle-aged men.

Round eyes are a cute, pert look. Feather the eyelashes around the eye.


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Male Noses

The Nose and Mouth



like to think of the nose and mouth as a unit because the nose anchors the mouth in place. Match up the bottom of the nose with the “cupid’s bow” of the lips (the depression in the middle of the upper lip) to get the alignment right. Here are a few practice examples of noses and lips, at various angles. There will be opportunities throughout this book to draw features at different angles as our subjects take on a wide variety of poses. Remember that angles not only include left and right, but up and down as well.


Front View

Right, Down

Left, Down



In the “up” angle, the mouth tends to curve down.

▼ In a 3/4 view, Up Angle

the lips are always longer on the near side than the far side.

▼ The “thumbprint” on the upper lip, just below the nose, is more evident on men than women.


When drawing men, you can add more detail to the nose than when drawing women, and they’ll still look appealing.

3/4 Right View 18

Down Angle

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The nose tip angles up in a profile.


The idealized female nose is actually quite easy to draw, because you leave out most of the lines! The more detailed the nose, the less feminine it looks. So use fewer lines and let the viewer's eye connect the missing ones to flesh out the image. Try to use softer, sweeping curves, without hard angles. And keep the tip of the nose small.

The lips are always shorter in the side view.

Drawing the Head

Female Noses

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3/4 Left View, Up Melding top and bottom lips is an attractive look.


In any 3/4 view, the female top lip wedges into the bottom lip.


3/4 Left View

3/4 Right View, Up

3/4 Right View


The lips tend to curve upward at this angle.


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