How to Draw Bodies – From Beginner to Advanced Levels

By Jedida Okonkwo

Knowing how to Draw the Human Anatomy

Knowing how to draw the human body as an Artist cannot be overrated, whether as a beginner or an artistic legend. This can look like a huge step for people that are just learning to draw, but in the long run, learning how to draw the human anatomy will be fun and exciting because of the magical imagery your mind will start to create.

Before you pick up your iPad (for digital drawing), sketch pads, brushes, pencils, and whatever you draw with, you want to know what the frame structure of the body looks like so that you can better put your imagination into work.

The Dos and Don’t for Drawing the human anatomy

  •   Don’t reason like an Anatomy book

When you look at or study a person’s body, you might want to be tricked into reading an anatomy book to decode or try to understand what is wrapped up by the human skin. As much as an anatomy book is very good at explaining the structure you’re looking at, it sort of kills a creative part of you. It doesn’t allow you to see the 3-D form of the muscles you’re trying to draw.

  • DO- Allow for simple thinking

Using spheres, boxes, and cylinders to establish the primary dimensions of the body is the best way to approach figure drawing. You can always maintain a good sense of dimension in your drawing if you can start drawing with these simple shapes and then adding details in your drawings as you go. It’s advisable not to copy contours before building in the structure; if not, you might have a flat-looking drawing.  

When drawing, you should think 3-D, draw your figure as sculpted boxes, spheres, and cylinders. It is also noteworthy to say you don’t have to draw spheres, boxes and cylinders all the time.

  •  Don’t make Muscles the object of attention

Sometimes, the moment Artists start giving attention to adding the knowledge of anatomy to their drawings; they tend to overstress the anatomy. When they are done, the figure ends up looking like it has no skin. The muscles on the drawing should add more realism to the drawing not to become the bone of contention.

  •  Do- Use Muscles to Brace the Figure

A drawing should project an emotion, an action, and a figure that carries a personality. When someone picks up your drawing, they should not just see a part of it but be able to articulate their thought in decoding the entire representation of your drawing.

To keep the focus on the Figure and its action, it is a good practice to begin all your drawings with a gesture drawing. Gesture drawing gives a pattern for the action. Every other thing that comes after this is to enhance the action.

When drawing the muscles, they shouldn’t draw recognizable attention to themselves; they should only show the figure’s movement. A great example is comic book characters with exaggerated anatomy to impress their strength.

In a nutshell, the anatomy adds realism to your figure but conveying the action and altitude is more vital in the whole drawing.

  • Don’t Draw everything with the same shape

Please don’t fall into the category of artists who use the same pattern to create every figure because they have learned how to use the basic shapes (Sphere, boxes, and cylinder).

  • Do- Understand the Figure you are dealing with

Depending on the figure you are trying to draw, you are not artistically allowed to use the same shape for different figures. You will need to adapt your shape to the figure and character you are trying to create. You have to understand the figure you’re trying to draw and get the most simple and basic shape to develop it.

For instance, some people have a squarish head that needs further construction, and some have rounded heads. The ideas are that you shouldn’t approach all your drawings with a coined-out formula; allow your mind to wonder.

 Learn how to draw the human body

Trust your learning process. As you progress in your artistic corner, you will realize that it is an exciting journey.

As a beginner, you should start with drawing people, and one of the things you can do to draw people is to start with really simple poses. If you read on, you will have an exclusive step on how to draw people.

  •   Start with the Simple body parts like the head

The most challenging issue for artists who are beginners is drawing their hands and feet. This is also challenging for a seasoned artist sometimes. For beginners, it might feel really impossible and sometimes frustrating. Many artists try to avoid drawing these extremities. As a result, it’s only advisable to start drawing with simple parts.

Please pay attention to learning how to draw the other features and going back to perfect them later. When doing the touches and perfecting, you don’t have to do it on a single day.

  •   When learning how to start drawing people, Consider your Artistic style.

There are no two people in the world that have the same personality and style. For a start, you can draw like other people. As a matter of fact, learning from people’s styles is an effective way to learn. Mirroring the art styles of other artists is good for helping you practice your drawing and sharpening your drawing skills.

Copying other people’s styles will help you unwrap your creativity. Although this helps you stand, it’s not enough to keep you going, especially if you want to make drawing a full-time game. You will have to start digging into yourself and draw in your own style.

Knowing the style you want to draw in will help you understand how to sketch the body parts. It is usually said that the best way to draw a person is to mirror them from real life. Leveraging the world around you is the ladder to claim in helping you draw.

Seeing how people act in real life will help you understand different postures and facial expressions, and observing them will help you build a character in your mind.

It’s incredible what you can do if you practice with different people, locations, and styles.

  •   Practice Your Drawing Skills using Portraits

As a beginner, you can start your journey with a portrait. You can leverage on portraits and try to recreate whatever you see a great artist do. And this is more effective when you use different people for your portraits.

One of the benefits of drawing portraits is that it aids you to conceptualize a bigger picture, and they are generally good too because you get a certain idea that you can work with from start to finish.

  • How to draw a person’s face

The proportion of the face being drawn can look realistic or unrealistic. As we stated at the beginning, you should start drawing with simple shapes like the sphere, box, and cylinder shape; this knowledge will help you get the drawing proportion right. You want to ensure that a person’s eyes are not extremely far apart or up in their foreheads. Learning the dimensional relationship between the facial features will lead to a better portrait.

1. Draw an oval shape on the centerline

2. Check that the left and right eyes are eye’s width apart

3. When drawing the pupil, define what the character is looking at.

4. The upper part of the eyelid cast a shadow on the eye

5. Draw the eyelashes

6. Put in a little shadow beneath the eyelid

As an artist, you must learn how to manipulate these features. This will give you an edge over other artists and make your work stand out.

  • Start with simple poses

Before anyone can learn to run, they must first learn to walk. Understandably, our imaginations and ambitions are vast and wild, but it is also good to dream big and start small. As a beginner, you want to consistently learn how to draw the small poses so that, in the long run, you can recreate these body poses. Learning with small poses is not only helpful in drawing people, but it is also instrumental in drawing animations or cartoon characters.

You will agree that it’s easier to draw someone standing before you than to draw someone riding a bicycle. Think of these basic poses as a take-off point for you in the drawing.

  •   Sketch out the body poses before you begin drawing them

When you want to draw a body, you need to use the spherical or square or cylindrical shape to get the right body dimension. When you sketch out body poses first, it will help you familiarize yourself with the drawing and the character you’re trying to create.


Learning to draw the body anatomy is the starting point for creating realistic figures with a real mass and dimensional proportion. But don’t forget that the anatomy needs to give the sense of movement to the figure you’re trying to create. Also, learning body anatomy is not just enough. You need to practice more with the tips above, and an excellent place to start is by drawing simple poses and portraits.