I'm going to guess that most of us enjoy drawing or viewing artwork that features humanoid characters. Sometimes I think it's innately part of being human to want to draw other humans in art. For me, drawing people is the very essence of what it is to come to grips with being a human and living on this planet surrounded by billions of your own species.
With that heady introduction out of the way, it's also an unfortunate truth that drawing people is not an easy skill. The human body is a relatively straightforward design, but it's very unforgiving if certain proportions are presented out of whack. The human eye picks up inconsistencies and error in human proportions almost instantly. Because of this, many struggle with the basics of drawing the human body. Most of the time, this is due to lack of experience and exposure to the basics of human anatomy.
In a perfect world, everyone would have frequent access to a studio with live models to practice and draw from. You'd be able to draw from the ultimate reference and learn the rules of anatomy by observation and live drawing. I highly recommend life drawing courses, but I know this isn't an option for everyone. In my own case, I have had very little opportunity to take advantage of life drawing classes, even in my art studies at various levels of education.
With that reality in mind, it's still possible to learn the basics of anatomy drawing even without access to live models. Lucky for us, there are many, many resources to be had for helping us learn these important lessons, and we need to look no further than the Internet! Of course, there are classes, books and other traditional sources of knowledge, but for busy people like us, let's take advantage of the huge wealth of knowledge online.
I need to confess that I've always been influenced by comic artists, so I make no apologies for choosing tutorials and guides that have a strong comic slant. Classic comic art, while far out and unreal at times, is still grounded in the basic rules of human anatomy.
For now, let's just worry about the basic structure of the body. We're talking about getting the length and size of major body parts correct relative to other parts of the body. We can worry about smaller specific body parts later, such as heads, faces, etc, at a later time. For now, let's get the main body looking right! So let's take a look at some good tutorials on drawing the human body.Anatomy and Proportion[link]Human Proportions[link]Body Construction[link]
Ok, but I hear some people say, "But with my drawing style, I like to use different proportions for my characters!" Ok, that's fine, but unless you're drawing figures or characters that are clearly no longer even remotely resembling humans, you're still going to run into problems if your body proportions are wildly distorted. Of course, there are artists who draw in a very stylized way that seemingly defy all laws of anatomy, and that's ok too. In my opinion, having a grasp of the basic rules of anatomy will give you the ability to break those rules later and succeed in doing so. Suggested 'Homework'
I hate to use the word 'homework' because it has negative connotations, and I want everyone to enjoy this group. However, we learn better when we actually sit down and draw. You can read all the books and watch a million art videos, but you'll only truly learn by drawing. So here's a drawing assignment for you:
Pick a humanoid character and draw them using the basic rules of body proportions. Draw a frontal, side and rear view of the character in a standing pose with arms to the side. If you're going to use guide or sketch lines, it's ok to leave them in the drawing. Do not worry too much about smaller body details, and focus on the main structures of the body (eg. arms, legs, torso, etc).
If you feel that you're past beginner level, pick a character that you've personally created or one that you draw often. You can also pick poses for your character that are a bit more than the standard standing pose.
Your drawing(s) can be a simple black and white sketch or line art. When completed, upload it to the group's gallery to share with other members. Hopefully, you will get some meaningful feedback!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment!