How To Draw A Naked Lady
Beginning as an artist can be a bit nerve-racking. With so many techniques to choose from, tackling nude models in drawing class can be especially intimidating. But drawing a naked lady doesn’t have to be a daunting task! With the right materials, guidance and practice, you can soon become a master of figure drawing.
The most important tool for drawing a naked lady is your pencil. Pencils come in varying degrees of hardness, each of which will require a different approach. Softer pencils create smooth, delicate lines, while harder pencils are more suited for bold, solid lines. Finding the right pencil for your style is essential.
Having the right paper can also make all the difference. When drawing a figure, you’ll want paper that is thick enough to withstand a few corrections, but won’t be too thick that it will be difficult to erase excess lines. High-quality drawing papers and boards are an investment, but well worth it for the optimum results.
Before you begin the drawing process, pick the perfect pose. There are a few things to consider when deciding on a pose. Female anatomy is complex, and different angles and positions will affect the way your model’s body is seen. A good starting point is finding a pose that is neither too challenging nor too simple. Remember to draw with gesture in mind — focus on the movement of the model rather than individual body parts.
Once you have a pose and materials, move to the figure itself. Begin with a few light lines to mark the basic anatomy. The skeleton of a female figure consists of circles and ovals for areas like hips, shoulders and the ribcage. At this stage it’s important not to get too hung up on the details — keep everything light and overlapping.
From the skeleton it’s time to move on to the muscles, the namesake of figure drawing. Facial muscles, arms and legs, the back of the body — they all take form in the same manner. Look at the outline of the skeleton and draw the muscles as simple shapes connected to the underlying form.
Finally, it’s time to add texture and volume to your drawing. Start off with bigger markings or lines to give an indication of light and reflection. Follow with the addition of small, circular marks and add more intensity for the light and dark areas.
Of course, the best way to learn to draw the human form is practice, practice, practice! Who knows, maybe with enough practice you’ll become a master. Even then though, the challenge of drawing a naked lady will never become dull — as each time, new experiences and lessons will be gained. So go ahead, pick up that pencil and start sketching!
Defining a Pose
When it comes to drawing a naked lady, the pose is one of the most important considerations. A successful pose will consider the gesture of body language and create a sense of energy and movement. It can be daunting to determine which pose to use, so here are some tips
First, try to pick a pose that is neither too complex or too simple. Look for poses that challenge you, but also allow you to draw with confidence. Creating a sketch while you narrow down your pose is a great way to discover what position works best.
Next, create guidelines and learn the proportions of a figure. It’s important to understand the lower half, the middle and top half, and the proportions of the head, arms and legs. Doing a few sketches and quick measurements can help you in the longer run.
Once you have a pose in mind, remember to draw the figure with gesture. Not only does this capture the movement of the figure, it will also show the light and dark areas of the photo. Draw the basic lines with light pressure and keep the perspective in mind.
Creating Dimension and Volume
Before you can add texture to your drawing, it’s important to establish the figure’s primary forms. You’ll want to add shapes, circles, ovals and other basic forms to determine the gesture of your drawing and to find the overlapping shapes. This is called form drawing and it’s essential in finding the basic anatomy of the body.
Once the initial framing is in place, it’s time to move onto creating dimension and volume. Drawing the body in terms of light and shadow will bring life and energy to the figure. Look for unique features like dimples and specific lines that will add to the character of the figure.
When drawing your figure, focus on defining shapes, not making it look real. Establishing the high and low points on the surface of the body, such as cheeks and the collarbone, will give your figure a natural 3-dimensional look.
In figure drawing, its all about the pencil. Lightly sketch the area you want to add dimension to, then use pressure and shading to create the volume. Start with softer lines and build up a few layers of pressure as you go. Finally, use a eraser to smooth out any excess lines or smudges.
Now that you’ve found the ‘skeleton’ and dimensions of your figure, you can focus on the smaller details that will give your drawing life. Hair, clothing, jewelry, expression and even the skin tone are all features that need to be taken into consideration.
Hair is an often overlooked detail in figure drawing, but it can make all the difference. When drawing hair, look at the gestural forms of the model’s locks and use texture to create a realistic look. Lines of varying lengths and shapes will create the illusion of hair strands. If your model has flowing locks, you should focus on the movement and indicate light reflection. Curls and other textures should be given emphasis though lighter hatching lines.
Details like freckles, wrinkles, skin tone and blemishes are important too. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer — these features will depend on your model’s individual traits. Freckles should be drawn with light, short lines, while wrinkles require bolder, more sunpressive lines. Building up small circles with a variety of line lengths can create a lifelike skin tone.
Finally, don’t forget to add the model’s individual expression. The look on the face, the eyes, the mouth — all these factors will give your figure a soul. Capture the intimate moments that reveal her individual beauty, for the depth and the mystery that will turn your drawing into art.
Adding Finishing Touches
When you have your figure finished, take a step back and review your drawing. It’s best to wait at least a few hours before making any final decisions. After this period you can determine which areas need more attention and touch up as necessary. Speed is of no concern — take as much time as needed to get the best results.
If you feel that some areas of the face or body are too dark or too light, go ahead and adjust. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes — they are part of the creative process, and will help you improve your understanding of the form. Take your time and build up the texture where needed until the drawing looks right to you.
When it comes to finishing touches, details matter. Don’t forget to add highlights and shadows, and adjust the lines to give a realistic look. It’s brief touches that can really make you drawing stand out. Take advantage of any little details that will lend charm and character to your figure — these are the things that will separate your drawing from the rest.
Now that your figure drawing is complete, admire your art. Drawing a naked lady isn’t an easy task, especially without prior experience. But with adequate practice, you’ll soon be able to bring a nude model to life — with all the beauty, grace, and mystery she embodies.