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How to Draw a Person


The following method will help you to draw people and various antropomorphic creatures which have similar body shape. This method can't be called the best one or the fastest one of course. The best method to draw a human is being taught in the art schools and the fastest method usually has low quality result. If you will try to draw a human being according to this instruction you will have to think lot and imagine the human body in its full volume and natural movements. In classic animation (especially in Disney cartoons) similar method of drawing the characters is used. It is necessary to feel a character in volume to provide naturally looking image. That method will help you to show a person's peculiarities on the paper and reveal his or her personality. That will also release you from that annoying thing as not enough space on the paper sheet.


Think about the composition

First of all imagine the pose of the person you wish to draw and his or her personality. Is it a girl picking the flowers or is it an old man sitting in the boat with a stick in his hand? You should imagine every single detail very clearly.

Start with drawing the simple shapes

Now try to simplify the image to the most primitive shapes: lines, squares, circles and ovals. This will make your drawing more natural. Draw the oval head, square body and the lines instead of the limbs. Feel the geometry of the human body. The main thing about this simple sketch is that it reflects the proportions of the person you are drawing. You can't overestimate the importance of proportions in drawing. A leg that is too short or a nose that is too long may spoil the masterpiece.

Add volume to the simple lines

Now switch to drawing muscles (or fat). Use ovals, ellipses, cylinders to express the volume parts of the body. Use geometrical forms that suit definite parts of the body the best. This step will help you to make it clear what is what with the volume proportions.

Make your drawing smoother

Now try to smooth the lines. Draw necessary curves. Human body consists of the curves. Add them to make the body you are drawing more natural.

Finish drawing the human

Add the lines of the clothes and sketch the face. You may leave the face sketched if the person you are drawing is standing far away from the viewer. Add more details if it is a close portrait. Now proceed with adding details of the clothes. Draw the folds and don't forget about the play of light and shade. Light and shade will make the drawing look more natural.

Color your drawing

Add some color. A good way to color your drawing is to add some color to some particular objects and leave the rest in black and white. For example if you have drawn a girl with a rose you may pain the girl's lips and the flower pink while leaving the rest in black and white.

Add the details to make your drawing more vivid

Add some details pointing that the person drawn experiences the outer exposure of wind or rain. Draw some separate hairs blown by the wind, some drops of the rain on the coat.

Remove the excessive and unnecessary details

Take a rubber and erase some areas to make the sun reflex on the hair. You may also use this method in the case your person is carrying some shiny object or is wearing some glossy clothes.


  • Don't make too much effort while drawing the additional elements.
  • Don't forget about the volume.
  • Don't forget about the realistic proportions.



Take into consideration the fact that the artist shouldn't forget about sticking to correct shapes and proportions. Aiming to make their drawing look more beautiful the beginning artists often depict too long fingers and too thin waists reaching quite the opposite effect. Now you have just drawn a portrait of a person. You may put it in a frame and hang it on the wall.

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