How to draw the female body
body proportion-female nude-life drawing.
A Woman's body outline.
Forming the body outline.
We now have our wire frame or stick man with its body proportions so I am now going to attempt to turn our stick person ( stick female ) below into something that I hope will vaguely resemble the female body. We are not looking to draw the perfect female body as we are beginners. Drawing the perfect female body will come with practice, although realistically; is there such thing as the perfect female body?
The first thing I am going to do is clean up my stick person and remove any lines that I feel are no longer required. In fact instead of cleaning my original stick person up I'm going to place another sheet of paper over the top and trace it. You will notice that I have left the centre line down to the groin area on the upper body as I will use it as a guide for getting the correct symmetry when I begin to outline the upper body. Also before I began my outline I did a little research and built a small file of pictures to use as reference points throughout. You can build a small file of images by putting the female body or the perfect female body into your web browser and searching images.
Forming the Torso and limbs
I started my body outline from the neck, first making sure I gently curved my line over the shoulder and down in towards the naval before gently sweeping it out and down to form the hips and thigh continuing it on down to the point I had marked previously for the Knee, which as discussed before is just above the 6 heads mark. From the knee, I gently curved my line out to about the midpoint of the calf muscle, (approximately half way down the lower leg) and then back in towards the ankle at the bottom of the leg. Once I was happy with my first line, I used the centre line of the stick person to judge my distances for the opposite side. I found using the top of my pencil and thumb to gauge the distance from the centre line very helpful. See also Body types. Once I had the basic outline of the outer body I then focused on the inner leg and thigh up to the groin area. To do this I started at the ankle and slowly worked my way up making sure that my line curved naturally over the calf muscle (see Legs) up to the knee. I then curved the thigh out more giving it a slightly more rounded larger look up to the groin area. See below. As shown below, it is also important to allow a small space just below the X at the bottom of the centre line to form the base of the groin area as your thighs do not meet at the top of your legs.
This may take several attempts but don't worry as the more you do the more natural it will become. I am finding it difficult to form the natural curves of the body and am needing to refer to my picture collection quite a bit to give me a better idea of the shape. We are not trying to draw the perfect female body and please also remember that we are not all the same, our body shapes vary greatly. Draw what is natural for you then fine tune later.
Once I had finished the inner thighs I moved back up the body to the arms. Using the centre lines and points I had marked for their positioning as a guide. I moved the left arm over slightly so that I can draw the hand in full view. See Arms
I also did the same for the lower legs making sure that I emphasised the shape of the calf muscle on the back of the leg to give it a more feminine look.
Once I had the basic body shape I moved back up to the neck.
Using the centre line again, I marked a right angle with its point at the base of the neck between the shoulders sloping out toward the armpit area. I will use the point where it crosses the D to mark the nipple area of the breast. I also marked a gently curving line just below the D to define the lowest point of the breast. See above sketch.
All I had to do next was draw the rough shape of the breast trying to make them look natural.
See How to draw the female breast.
Once I had finished drawing the breast I cleaned up the picture again removing the rest of the lines that I no longer required.