Drawing base
Drawing base

Drawing Base of Realistic Figures? – Base Drawings, not Only for Anime.

How to start drawing base of a man and woman in a static position or in motion? In this step-by-step tutorial, we will show you all you need to know with a Bonus at the end.

What are the basics of drawing?

When you started drawing, the basics are to learn about the shape proportion, perspective, light, and of course colors. Starting with the shape we recommend drawing bases of the most familiar objects like a human body. After you have the confidence, continue with advanced techniques, but this is not the main focus of this article check our drawing tutorials if you are interested.

If you want to improve your drawing skills and learn to draw a man’s or woman’s body, face, hands, and feet, you need just to read this article! We have covered everything in one place, including the master tips, mentioned below. Read carefully so you don’t miss them.

A woman is often the first thing she tries to draw a small child. She wants to show her mom! The children’s drawing is only schematic. The body – oval, head – circle, arms, and legs – “sticks” or “sausages” and hair are easy hatching. But if your child has reached school age and clearly shows an interest in drawing, try to learn how to draw a body base in full details, that is no longer only schematic, but in line with real proportions.

Important: If you want you or your child to really draw a body, you need to start with the basics of anatomy. You should remember the proportional patterns. Don’t worry, we will explain it the easiest way, so it will be still fun. Let’s start.

Consider the ideal proportions of the human body:

Stretched hand along the torso should cover the middle hips.
The shoulder width of an adult is usually equal to two head lengths and more thigh widths.
The female, unlike the male, has lower average growth and shorter limbs.
The segments can be found in the picture below.

Drawing base, drawing ideal proportions
Drawing ideal proportions | SELLARTIS

Try to visualize the body, or sketch it on a sheet of paper and then divide the body into major segments, usually triangles. Imagine a torso in the form of two triangles, at the level of the connecting straps. These triangles can be the same because usually, the width of a women’s hips is equal to the width of her shoulders. For males, there are two main parts, as described below. The complete tutorial can be found in the section on basic shapes.

Drawing base of the body parts
Drawing base of the body parts | SELLARTIS

Then it is necessary to make the female figure simplification because unlike the shape of a man, it has more smooth bends. Another difficulty in drawing bases is a woman’s breasts. Imagine you are carving it out of clay. Two identical semicircles, breaking them from above, just like in the picture below.

Drawing base of woman chest
Drawing base of woman chest | SELLARTIS

Transmit the movements of the female body by moving the axis line.

Drawing base of woman figure
How to draw base woman figure | SELLARTIS

Draw an oval under the head as well as straight lines – body axis, impact axis, and foot axis. Try to keep the correct proportions. Small circles indicate where the joints will be.

Now you need to add the shapes to the geometric shapes:

1. Drawing base and muscle anatomy

Don’t think like an anatomy book

Drawing anatomy for beginners can feel overwhelming because there are so many muscles on the body. When you’re looking at the model, and you see a lot of curves, you might be tempted to pull out an anatomy book to decipher what’s going on under the skin.

An anatomy book is great at telling you what you’re looking at, but it’s not very helpful at telling you the three-dimensional shape of the muscles.

Do think in simple volumes

By simply beginning with these basic shapes and then building up the complexity as you go along, you will be able to make your drawing maintain its sense of dimension. If you copy contours before you build the structure, I guarantee you’ll end up with a flat-looking drawing.

Drawing base of the muscles
Drawing base of the muscles | SELLARTIS

The drawing on the left overemphasizes the model’s muscles, and it looks more like an anatomy book than a figure. An artist needs to think about the 3D shape of the muscles to give the figure an illusion of volume. The complete tutorial about the shapes can be found here: The use of the Geometric Shapes in a Drawing

The Takeaway:

Use an anatomy book to understand what’s below the surface, but think about each muscle in 3D. Don’t draw the muscles as a series of lines. Draw them as sculpted spheres, boxes, and cylinders.

With that being said, you don’t always have to actually draw spheres and boxes on the page. If you look at an artist like Harry Carmean, you can see that while he is sometimes only drawing counters of the body, he is clearly thinking about the 3D qualities of what he’s drawing.

2. Drawing base and muscle focus

Don’t make the muscle focus

When artists first start paying closer attention to adding anatomy to their drawings, they often have a tendency to overemphasize anatomy. The figures often end up looking like they have no skin. The muscles are there to add more realism to the figure, but they shouldn’t be the focal point of the drawing.

Do use muscles to reinforce the action

The focus of a drawing should convey action, emotion, or the subject’s personality. You don’t want a viewer to stop and look at the parts of your drawing; you want the viewer to see the whole figure and be interested in what that figure is doing and who he or she is.

In order to maintain focus on the action, it’s always a great practice to start all your drawings with a gesture drawing. A gesture drawing serves as a blueprint for the action. Everything that comes after is to help clarify and enhance that action.

The muscles should be drawn to amplify the movement of the figure and shouldn’t draw attention to themselves. A good example of this is comic book characters that have exaggerated anatomy to convey their strength.

A successful comic book page isn’t about the character’s muscles but about how that character’s power is being expressed in the story. The volumes of the muscles are designed to lead the eye through the body toward a point of action. The reader isn’t stopping to look at the character’s well-developed musculature.

Drawing base of the body muscles
Drawing base of the body muscles | SELLARTIS

Notice how the muscles in the figure on the right reflect the gesture drawn on the left. The muscles are used to reinforce the figure’s action, they aren’t the focus of the drawing.

The Takeaway:

Anatomy is there to add realism, but it’s less important than conveying the action and attitude of the whole figure.

3. Drawing base and figure differences

Don’t draw every figure with the same shapes

When artists start using basic shapes to develop figures, they often start to fall into a pattern of using the same shapes to build every figure. Search for advanced drawing techniques.

Do observe and adapt to your figure’s unique build

When you’re building your figure, you have to look and adapt your shapes to the specific subject you’re drawing. You’re not going to use the same shapes for a bodybuilder that you would a sumo wrestler or a long-distance runner.

You have to look at your subject and figure out what simple shapes are the best tools to develop your figure. For example, some people have very squarish heads which need to be constructed from box shapes while others have a more roundish appearance that should be built from spheres.

Drawing base and figure
Drawing base and figure | SELLARTIS

These two figures are in the same pose but are built from different shapes. The figure on the right is built from more block shapes and it gives the figure a sturdier feeling.

The Takeaway:

Don’t approach every figure with a formula. Instead, observe and adapt your shapes to fit your subject.

4. Drawing base and imagination

Don’t copy what you see

If you only copy what you see, you will never create what you imagine. I never saw the point of replicating a photo in a drawing beyond being an exercise to build observational skills. Why duplicate what already exists when you can interpret and adapt as you see fit?

Do re-create what you see on the page

Observational skills are important but not just for copying what you see. Use your observational skills to analyze your subject’s unique shapes so you can reinterpret them on the page. That means you aren’t copying counters of the body. Instead, you’re recreating a figure on the page from the ground up.

You start by capturing its movement in a gesture, rebuild the figure three-dimensionally using basic spheres, boxes, and cylinders, and then sculpt those simple shapes into anatomical forms. This is a very different process than just replicating what you see.

You’re combining what you see with your 3D knowledge of anatomy to recreate the figure on the page. This will not only help you to develop drawings that have a sense of mass but also will allow you to adapt and modify the figure to create something new.

Drawing base with imagination
Drawing base with imagination | SELLARTIS

This is just fun drawing to help illustrate that you need to understand the 3D shapes of a figure, and then you can reassemble them on the page. This is a different way of thinking than just copying the contours you see.

The Takeaway:

The job of an artist isn’t to replicate what he or she sees. It is to interpret what he or she understands. When drawing a figure, you bring in your knowledge of anatomy and volume to draw the figure, rather than just copying contours and values.

5. Drawing base and anatomy

Do pay attention to proportions and anatomy

To draw a realistic figure, you need to pay attention to accurately capture the figure’s proportions and anatomy. This comes from both studying anatomy and having good observational skills.

Don’t be overly rigid

Anatomy and proportion are important. But alone, they don’t make for an interesting drawing. A figure drawing that feels like it has a personality or appears dynamic is going to be more interesting than one that is technically correct.

Let the anatomy and proportion take a supporting role in the underlying gesture drawing. Every step of your drawing should be to create a unified figure that has energy and attitude even if that means altering the figure’s proportions or anatomy to better emphasize that action.

Drawing base body proportions
Drawing base body proportions | SELLARTIS

This figure has exaggerated proportions – similar to those used in fashion drawing. It doesn’t matter that it’s not correctly proportioned if the decision to exaggerate is purposeful. You can find many examples of artists who distort and exaggerate proportions for stylistic reasons.

The Takeaway:

Drawing great anatomy helps artists create realistic-looking figures that appear to have actual mass and volume. However, the anatomy needs to add to the sense of movement of the figure and not distract from it. You must have the skill to be able to draw the muscles in 3D in order to modify and adapt the shapes and emphasize the movement and personality of your subjects.

Additional Resources on Drawing Anatomy and Figures

Woman body base drawing

STEP 1 – Draw the contours of the woman’s body and hairstyle.

Draw the contours of the woman’s body and hairstyle.

Woman body base drawing

In the drawing, a woman in an assembly dress will mark her boundaries. Add women’s decoration – wrist bracelet. Draw your hair, let it be in a small disorder as if it was developing in the wind.

Woman body base drawing

Draw a woman’s face and the detail of her dress. Shadhovka adds shadows. Delete auxiliary lines.

Woman body base drawing

How to draw a woman’s body?

Drawing base | SELLARTIS

How to draw a person Woman in clothes in motion with a pencil?

When you are a little tense and feel confident, go to drawing a female character in clothes in a static position or in motion. The woman in the dress will stand on the first move. Do not forget to refresh all pencil grip types.

Draw an oval for the head. Divide the oval into the uneven and right halves of the vertical line to determine the center of the person. Separate oval in the upper and lower half of the horizontal line to meet the proportions of the face. Draw a horizontal line for the hairline. Divide the area below it into three equal parts. The first line under the hair guide is for the eyebrows, and the next line shows the position of the tip of the nose. The ears will be placed on both sides of the head between the eyebrows and the nose.

Draw two small oval sketches of the ears. Curved lines above and below the ears to make a hairstyle. Add ovals – a sketch of the hats. Expand the curves of the line under the heat on the neck and shoulders. Draw straight lines for Bodice. Use short smooth lines to create the chin, right elbow, wrists, and ankles. Draw curved and wavy lines to sketch the skirt.

Add a slightly curved line under the brim of the hat. Other ears, eyes, mouth. Draw a V-shape on the neckline. Draw sundress strands with straight lines. Sundress Detail – Draw a bodice and fold on the skirt. Draw women’s legs and shoes on them. He draws bracelets on one or both women’s hands.
Draw eyes, mouth, and nose. Dress detail, and add shadows. Delete auxiliary lines.

Drawing base of woman body
Drawing base of woman body
Drawing base of woman body


  1. Draw a line, and divide it into 8 identical segments – it’s easier to observe the proportions of the body. The head is equal to the length of one of these segments.
  2. Draw an oval for the head, and mark the marking for the correct place for the eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. Straight lines, triangles, and circles stretch the frame of a woman’s body. Give him the pose you want.
  4. Smooth lines. Draw the contours of a woman’s body.
  5. Go drawing clothes. Since it sits in the picture, you don’t have to add much.
  6. Draw a woman’s face and hair.
  7. Draw a scarf on the neck of a woman.
  8. Detailed clothes. Draw from its folds and shadows.
  9. Draw shoes – sandals on the heels. Optionally draw women’s accessories such as a bag.
  10. Clears all unnecessary lines.
Drawing base of the figure
Drawing base of the figure | SELLARTIS


This method is by no means the best and each is faster, but from the point of view of most artists, it is correct. It’s slow, but it’s true that it’s true to draw a phase man’s pencil.
At the end of the article, you can see the video About,
This method of drawing is aimed at stimulating the imagination and creating a presentation of the human body in three-dimensional space, suitable for beginners and for people from medicine and the patient.
Almost all novice drawers start drawing human figures out of their heads that have the tolerance of making a gross mistake. And as a result, it is very surprising that there is no place for your feet on paper – this method will save you from such an awkward situation.

Bonus tutorials on drawing base

How to draw a person – drawing base

Whether you’re an artist, learning to draw the human form is a basic skill that will serve you well. In this brilliant video tutorial, character designer and illustrator Philip Hartshorn will teach you how to draw a realistic and anatomically correct person.

How to draw eyes

This step-by-step guide for beginners will show you exactly how to draw an eye. It’s easy to keep track of, and you’ll immediately draw realistic eyes – no matter how good (or bad) you’re in them now.

How to draw a figure

Body base drawing of an entire human figure is not easy. In this almost hour-long video tutorial, you’ll learn how to draw a female character that incorporates basic aspects, including character proportions, gestures, poses, and flowing lines.

How to draw faces

Find another tutorial for beginners, this video will explain to you all about drawing base faces from the beginning. You will learn to draw both female and male faces, and you will also learn how to show off your characters by making a few simple changes.

Drawing base images for an inspiration