Trying to draw a sitting woman - any tips? Especially for legs?

Tips like “just find a reference” I have already, I think I’m going to force my friend to make a photo of me sitting on the stairs… but I would really like to manage without it…


Her left leg (our right) is shorter than the other even though there’s less foreshortening going on at that angle. The most foreshortening should be her in right thigh. Also, her lower legs are pretty blocky: the muscles of the calves and the line of the knees and shin tend to have a curved flow to them. See here for ex.

If you want and no-one has done it until then, I can try my hands at a redline tomorrow night.

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I concur, the left leg is a good deal too short, especially the lower leg. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to show our attempt painted over yours or if you want to achieve it on your own, so I’ll only describe it in words.

I doodled a bit and think you should move the left knee to the upper right (in the picture) by about a palm, lower the heel a tad so the foot looks to rest more flat on the stair, and it’ll look much better already.

The righ heel and calf also needs a bit more definition, it currently makes that lower leg look shorter than it is. Cleaner shin lines don’t hurt either, at least that helps me to see if proportions are going in the right direction.

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For good anatomy, try to draw in volumes. Your body proportions looks mostly correct. Her hands and left leg should be a little bigger. Also, if you block out the volume first, you will get the foreshortening and perspective correct. And overlapping lines are your friend to make foreshortening look good. :blush:


Something else seems like the stairs steps are too big.

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For this type of full body pose, it helps to consider weight, center of gravity, where the head sits in relation the the center of gravity, what are the feet doing, hands? Cos they can’t just be positioned there, they are actually doing something to keep the whole body in that position. Consider your body position right now and think about why you have positioned yourself that way, mostly it’s unconscious positioning for comfort and distribution of weight.
Just a casual acknowledgment to this during your initial sketching will provide a good foundation to the pose, it’s hard to fix later by shortening this and that, better to have it in the base sketch. Probably why using life models or reference is so recommended. You should get your friend to take a picture of you like you said, but you can always just adopt the pose and think about what your body is doing.

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this is a good start as an idea for a pose. What might be helpful is starting with a basic skeleton. The length of the bones in the legs don’t match up - that combined with the height of the steps - makes it difficult to place the feet. Something that’s especially important in this image is figuring out how the pelvis is situated and where the iliac crests are - that way you know where the leg starts (where it connects in the hip). Proko provides a lot of free videos on youtube talking about anatomy among others.

If i could offer you one piece of advice when posing - for a more dynamic pose, avoid having the shoulders and iliac crest fall inline - even a little twist makes a big difference.

I hope it’s ok - i did a quick sketch over yours with some possible ideas on how you might resolve some of the inconsistencies.


I’m sorry for the lack of the response. I wanted to respond with a sketch that already has those tips applied, and, well, it’s not that easy :smiley: (The red figure is because @wolthera suggested to draw her from the side to plan everything better).

I still see a lot of places to fix or those that are wrong and I don’t know how to fix. I think at some point I will have to give up trying to make it human-like because my drawing skills are just not enough. From what I see now:

  • the upper body should be a bit bigger I believe
  • fingers are badly places, but that’s ok, I think that moving the middle ones a bit closer together will make it look more plausible - I will have to learn how to draw a wrist though :wink:
  • the area between her legs is kind of an unexplored land, no idea what’s going on there :stuck_out_tongue: or, more precisely, how to make her left leg (our right) look like it’s a leg that is coming out of her upper body instead of this fuzzy joint that looks like it was all melted together
  • the same goes for her chest… and her left arm… and her head…
  • feet are waiting to be drawn :wink: although I think that if I will just make them shaped properly, then I should leave them alone; I’m going to paint it, and for me painting is easier than drawing, because I can see the 3D shape much better.

I think you’re absolutely right about the upper body - it could stand to be tad bigger - but it’s close! The way you have drawn the legs is believable. You can bring the legs closer together and force some overlap of the legs to help force more dimension in the piece.

Good luck, can’t wait to see the next stage!

To be honest your sketch is so perfect that now I want to just skip the stage of me drawing it and use yours as a base :stuck_out_tongue: That’s not the point of it of course, so I guess I need to use my strong will and do it properly, as in, draw it myself, looking at your sketch :stuck_out_tongue:

You basically fixed everything: legs, the waist, the whole upper body. I’m only a bit not convinced about the arm, but I will figure it out myself; I didn’t pay that much attention to them yet as to legs, and I believe I can draw arms and forearms easier than I can draw legs, so I hope it won’t be too difficult for me.

Btw I was looking both for publicly available photos and I made a photo of myself… but the smartphone destroyed the proportions, and I am not exactly the best model for this kind of pictures. And other photos did help me a lot - it’s at least some kind of an anchor for the brain to ground with - but there was no photo that showed exactly what I wanted, so I have to mix everything anyway…

In any case, I’m going to start with clothes and colors soon (just after fixing the sketch). I have a tendency to lallygag in the early stages of the artwork or even later, but still keeping it at “I just need to do X and then…”, which results in way too little artworks being finished, so… I shouldn’t try to fix the sketch infinitely - I know I can’t draw it perfectly well yet, but trying to fix one sketch won’t help me, what should help me is more studies and sketching from references. (And I want to finish this artwork at some point in the future :wink: ).

hahaha - i’m happy i could provide a reference, i know how difficult it can be when you’re just there with the screen and the pen - they never offer any help :slight_smile: I am likewise not convinced of the arm - it looks stiff and posed, but like you said - you will figure it out. You will do great, keep up the hard work!

i run into that problem a lot - there are a few solutions that i have tried that work - big mirror, wooden mannequin, and DAZ3D. DAZ3D is very time consuming though, and you need to do a few tutorials to know how to move around in it & set lights, but once done, you can render human form with realistic shadows :slight_smile:

This algorithm is totally insane for put that sketch as mature content, IMHO.

It’s not an algorithm, I marked my first post as #nsfw and now everything is I guess marked and that’s why it’s blurred :slight_smile: But yeah, in this case there is not really all that much of mature content.

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