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Toes, without which we could neither stand nor
walk, as the toes provide balance, weight baring and thrust.
The toes are often over looked despite having such an important role in our design.
When drawing the female nude the focus tends to be more on the body shape. The shape and size of the breasts and the face. little or no attention is really paid to the toes. They are just one of those things that we all have and are often overlooked so they are quickly sketched at the end of the feet and job done. Like the female breasts the toes come in many shapes and sizes and like the breasts the toes are also considered by some to be a highly erotic and sensual part of the female foot. The difference between plain and beautiful. With this in mind I decided to create this short tutorial to help those among us who consider the toes to be more than just five digits stuck to the end of the foot and would like to be able to sketch them in a more convincing manner and in a way that they want them to look.
In the sketch below you can see how the toes form a major part of the foot and how they are in fact more than just what you see at the end of the foot. The toes are joined from the Tarsus group of bones that include the heel ankle and instep of the foot. The Metatarsus bones number five in each foot and are the long bones located between the tarsal bones of the hind mid foot and the phalanges. The toe bones are the Phalanges. There are three Phalanges bones in each toe with the big toe only having two as can be seen below.
When drawing the toes I try to imagine each toe as two small ovals connecting to the foot. The next thing I do is decide on the shape of the toe by lightly out lining around the two ovals to form the toe shape. Once I have done this I roughly ad the toe nail to give the initial appearance of the toe which I can then fine tune along with the shape to give me my finished toe.
When drawing the toes it is important to remember that the toes do not run in a straight line with each other on the foot. As shown below in fig 1. As demonstrated in the sketch's below I tend to try to line each toe up with the top or mid point of its neighbors toe nail starting at the big toe. On most occasions this is not a bad guide but while bearing this method in mind you should also take into account the position of the foot and how the toes are placed in accordance. It is always common though for the little toe to be slightly lower than the top of the neighbouring toes, toe nail, or even slightly higher as demonstrated in the sketch's below. This method is not necessarily the best method for drawing all toes as the feet See also and toes vary considerably depending on your subject but it is a method that works for me.
In all of the above sketch's it is easy to make out the initial two ovals that form the basis of each toe, If you roughly know the shape, and look that you are trying to achieve the rest is just fine tuning. Making sure that the toes look comfortably placed in your sketch and that the toe nails are positioned correctly to correspond with them. Always try to curve the toe nails slightly to the shape of the toe. Remember toes are more cylindrical in shape than they are flat. Draw your toe nail flat and you will no longer have a toe.