How To Draw People: A Step By Step Tutorial

Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “Man, I wish I knew how to draw people. Too bad I have no artistic talent at all!” Well, lucky for you, I’m a professional illustrator and I’ve made a tutorial that can help. The below step-by-step drawing instructions are for anyone—even beginners. If you’re interested in learning how to draw realistic people, you’ve come to the right place. Let me guide you…

For someone that’s not used to drawing people, figure drawing can be quite difficult. However, utilizing drawing tutorials is one of the easiest ways to practice drawing humans. Artists of all levels are welcome to use this drawing tutorial to embrace human anatomy, master drawing the human form, and learn how to draw human figures. The tips mentioned here are widely applicable, ranging from drawing cartoon people to emulating more realistic drawings. Fellow art students, welcome—relax, create art, and work on your figure drawing skills with this guide on drawing the human body.

Drawing Human Figures

Step One

To make things easier, let’s pick a famous work of art to reference/work off of. I’m choosing The Birth Of Venus (Nascita di Venere) by Sandro Botticelli. And I’m adding my own spin to it and giving ‘Venus’ a banging plus-size bod! Alright, now let’s focus on studying our subject.

How To Draw People
Wikipedia

Step Two

Let’s measure where everything lands by making some lines on a piece of paper, our X-axis lines if you will. If you notice not a lot of lines are straight. Humans stand pretty funny, huh?

How To Draw People
Wikipedia

Step Three

Now let’s begin with the figure drawing lessons! Start with an oval for your noggin; geometric shapes are always the easiest to build from when it comes to figure and gesture drawing. It should land inside the lines you made!

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Four

Ok, here comes the top of your torso, or your chest. We are also using an oval here. It should land right underneath your head to position the upper body correctly.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Five

Draw a circle underneath your chest. This will be your hip area. With the female body, the chest is usually a little narrower than the hips. With the male body, the chest is (usually) bigger.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Six

Next up are the tops of your thighs, which sit on the bottom of your hip circle.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Seven

Draw in your knee circles. Our Venus has her legs up against each other, hence the kissing knee circles.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Eight

Time to draw feet! The circles made here will include the heels, the balls, and the toes.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Nine

Connect the dots. And by dots, I mean those leg circles you just made.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Ten

Do the same treatment to your arms. Note where your shoulder circles land as well as your elbow circles. Elbows are usually level to where your waist is.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Eleven

Get that neck in there now!

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Twelve

Ok now here’s the sexy part: draw in those breast circles!  They should be teardrop-shaped.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Thirteen

I’m now drawing some lines on her face to measure where her facial features land.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Fourteen

Now, were going to roughly fill in the blanks. By that, I mean draw the outline of your body parts.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Fifteen

Your first “inked” lines should make an appearance now. You can finally draw your final head.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Sixteen

Sketch in all those facial features including drawing realistic eyes, a nose, and a mouth.. See: How To Draw A Face

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Seventeen

Next, draw in your neck.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Eighteen

Those shoulders are looking good, mama, look at that human figure come together.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Nineteen

Draw the arm.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Twenty

Then draw hands, always following your “skeleton” path.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Twenty-One

Repeat for your other arm.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Step Twenty-Two

While we’re up here, let’s get those final breasticles in there, too.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Twenty-Three

Danger: curves ahead! Draw in those lines from the waist to the hips.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Twenty-Four

Draw the outside of your legs.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Twenty-Five

Now, draw your interior leg lines.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Twenty-Six

Here’s a foot!

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Twenty-Seven

And another foot. Some good-looking feet, if you ask me! But, like, not in a weird way.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Twenty-Eight

Now that things are officially weird, let’s draw that crotch. This should be a V or U shape, or something in between.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Twenty-Nine

Draw all those details, folds, wrinkles, indents, etc.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Thirty

Are you ready? Erase your “skeleton” lines! Ok now I’m awake.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Thirty-One

This next step is totally optional but if you want to add clothes to this Hottie With A Body™ you can do it now. I roughly draw them in first because we all know I ain’t perfect. *Remember to add a little extra room where needed.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Thirty-Two

Now, add in that nice inked clothing line.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Thirty-Three

Erase those rough lines.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Thirty-Four

Now you’re going to erase the parts of your body that are covered by clothing.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Thirty-Five

Are we missing something? Oh yea, this girl’s long and flowing locks! See: Drawing Hair

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Thirty-Six

Time to clean up any parts of the body covered by hair. I know what you’re thinking: “why would this b**** have me draw ears if they were going to be covered up by hair this entire time!” No idea, dude.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Thirty-Seven

Slap that background in!!

How To Draw People
How To Draw People

Thirty-Eight

And finally, you can add your color. Woooowwww. A work of farts.

How To Draw People
How To Draw People
About the author

Illustrator, designer, and all-around creative rover for Thought Catalog

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