Figure drawing.
The hourglass figure.

Drawing the hourglass figure.

The importance of facial expression in figure drawing

In this tutorial on figure drawing, we will now be bringing our subject to life.

The hourglass figure. Figure drawing The first thing to do is to give your hourglass figure a face. For a basic tutorial on drawing a face, see How to draw a face.

As with any detailed figure drawing, it is important that the face tells us a little bit about the subject. The face along with body posture helps us understand and read the subject more accurately. It can give us a better understanding of their mood and intentions, helping us decide what message is portrayed.

Types of facial expression.

There are so many different types of facial expression that it would be impossible to list them all. Your subject can be happy, sad, sexy, cheeky or whatever you decide. By giving them a face and deciding on the expression you will be able to portray this to the viewer. Once you have decided on their expression and drawn their face you can then decide how you want the hair to look. Assuming, of course, they have hair.

How hair can affect how a person looks.

The hairstyle is important, it can change the way your subjects face looks. A person can almost completely change their identity by just having their hair styled in a different way. As shown in any hairdressing magazine.

The type of hairstyle you choose will also help the viewer understand and associate with the subject, it can tell you a little bit about their personality, making them more real as you have now given them a visual identity. Another visual point is that you can use the hair to give the illusion of movement thus exaggerating the position of the body, letting the viewer know if the subject is still or moving.

Figurative drawing, placement of the arms.

The next thing to do is to add the arms.

The positioning of the arms can depict the mood and character of the subject. hourglass_figure_sultry_pose The arms, as well as the face, are sometimes good indicators of how a person is feeling.

By positioning them in a certain way you can portray the mood of your subject to the viewer. In addition, the positioning of the arms will dictate the position of you're subject's body, shoulders and chest, as shown to the right. In this example, the subject is wearing sexy lingerie and is in a sultry seductive pose. Note how when the arms move, both the shoulders, back and chest muscles move also. Remember that by drawing the arms in different positions some foreshortening of the limbs may occur depending on how you have chosen to portray your subject.

What is foreshortening?

Foreshortening is the illusion that a part of the body appears shorter than it actually is when viewed. See the example below. It also makes things appear larger the closer they are to you when being viewed.

For now, we are dealing with a standing figure. However, I have chosen the seated example as it better demonstrates foreshortening. See how on the left side of the picture the subject's forearm appears a lot shorter than the one on the right of the picture. This, of course, is not really the case. We all know that our limbs do not change length. However, when drawing any type of figurative art these are things that you must take into account.


The hands.

Once you have decided on the positioning of the arms you can also add the hands. Again as demonstrated in the example, the positioning of the arms also influences the hand position. Hands are also a great way to depict the mood of your subject. As in real life, we use our hand gestures all the time to demonstrate our thoughts and express our feelings.

Drawing the bust.

Once you have decided on the position of the arms and have drawn them in you can now add the bust.

Remember, one of the characteristics of an hourglass figure is that the bust is proportionate to the shoulders and hips.

It is important that you do not over exaggerate the bust too much and equally that you do not under exaggerate it. Although bust sizes can and do vary greatly in women, a woman who has an hourglass figure tends to have the advantage of a great looking slightly exaggerated bust as their narrow waist and proportionate shoulders and hips help create the illusion of having larger rounded, firmer breasts.

Adding the bust is something that you can do by using your eyes, as only you know how you want you're subject to look and therefore only you can decide on the correct size of the breasts. Also, when adding breasts it is very important to keep in mind their position in relation to the rest of the body. See Breast position. ( Warning, these pages contain full nude artistic sketch's that are for artist's reference purposes only). If you are a minor or are easily offended do not follow this link.)

The subject in the example is wearing a G-string and corset. A corset is an excellent way to accentuate the hourglass figure, and a G-string allows the thighs and hips to be visible exaggerating the shape even more.

Drawing a nude hourglass figure.

When drawing a subject nude you will also need to consider the rib cage. When nude the ribs become more visible depending on the positioning of the body and the arms. See Hourglass female nudes.

Warning: these pages contain full nude artistic sketch's that are for artists reference purposes only.

If you are a minor or are easily offended do not follow this link.)

The legs.

You already have the outline of the legs so all that is required is to make the knee a little more prominent. To do this, add a little bit of toning and shading as shown to the left.
With that done, the next thing to do is to follow down the leg to the feet.
Feet are quite hard to draw but for a quick easy tutorial on drawing feet in various positions see How to draw feet.

In the example shown at the top of the page, The subject is in a pair of strappy high heels, G string and sexy corset but your subject can have bare feet Ugg boots. Or whatever you decide. You could even opt to cover the whole leg and put her in a pair of thigh boots depending on how confident you are to draw them; it is entirely up to you.

In the next part of this tutorial there are a few more examples of the hourglass figure only this time the subject is naked so if you are a minor or are easily offended, do not follow this link. If you wish to skip the next page and move to the next tutorial, please click HERE!