For beginners in the world of drawing, it can be intimidating to draw the human figure. At the same time, it is also one of the most important skills to master the human form of drawing. The possibilities of approaching to learn how to draw people are almost endless. However, it works best with a systematic approach.
In this overview, you will find all our drawing instructions for the human figure. From the fundamental body proportions, we’ll go all the way to detailed instructions for the individual facial features. You will learn how to individualize stylized figures to be able to draw any person.
Due to the density of information in this overview, it is recommended to save this page as a bookmark and return here regularly to discover new facets of the human motif.
Learn how to draw people
1. Drawing bodies
No matter what kind of artist you are, it is an outstanding ability to draw the human anatomy. If you are interested in character design and portrait drawing, you should know the basics of human anatomy.
In the following tutorial, you will learn about human proportions and see how to depict body parts realistically.
2. Drawing the head
With the Loomis method, you can construct the human skull in a short time. The head is disassembled into its basic shapes and then reassembled.
The basic forms can be individualized and adapted to the facial features of the person.
3. Drawing the face
Next, you should look at facial proportions. Here are some basic rules to follow, which you should consider for proportional illustrations. If you want to draw a face in profile, see the instructions on how to apply the proportion rules to the side view.
Once you’ve mastered this stylized orientation, it’s time to look at personalized faces.
4. Drawing a portrait
The portrait thrives on the fact that it is not stylized, but is drawn with the facial features of the person shown. In the following article, you can see how an artist approaches portraiture.
5. How to draw people: Drawing the facial features
The individual features of the face require a bit of practice before you can implement them according to your ideas.
To help you do this, you will find below all our instructions on how to learn how to draw a person’s facial features.
The realistic depiction of hair requires an understanding of the flow of the hair and technical skills to reproduce the various strands. The practice of hatching techniques and light and dark contrasts plays an important role here.
To draw a realistic eye, a trained eye is required. An eye needs to be drawn with light reflections as those light and dark areas make the subject appear vivid.
Below are drawing instructions for all elements of the eye, including eyelashes and eyebrows.
The nose is a complex organ that performs many functions in the body. No wonder that drawing the nostrils and the bridge of the nose is not an easy task.
But here too, you will find that you need an understanding of shading, which you can achieve with the appropriate hatching techniques.
Don’t be afraid of the mouth. The lips are a popular motif for many artists, but some can’t handle the shading effects.
In the instructions below, you’ll find all the tips you need to draw a mouth, especially lips and a smile with teeth.
To complete the essential facial features, only the ear is missing. Learn how to draw the intricate auricle of the human ear.
Practical tips if you want to learn to draw people
1. Develop a healthy relationship with your sketchbook
If you want to learn how to draw people, you should spend some time with your sketchbook. A sketch is always the basis for bringing a motif onto the canvas in a realistic manner. Moreover, the sketchbook is the best way to start a new drawing without much pressure.
2. More frequent practice with low intensity beats rare practice with high intensity
It is essential to solidify the fine nuances of the drawing technique through repeated practice. It is best to practice drawing people regularly. For example, every day, you can pick out a small motif of a person you are dedicating yourself to.
The exercise effect and neural adaptations stimulated by drawing is much higher at high frequency and low intensity than at low frequency and high intensity.
In more specific terms, this means that you will most likely make much faster learning progress with one hour of drawing per day than with seven hours of drawing once a week.
3. Become an expert in human anatomy
The biggest trap that many aspiring artists fall into in their process of learning how to draw people is to draw only the surface features.
It is more important to understand how each part of the body is constructed, what basic shapes you can use to recreate it, and how the anatomical features interact.