Basics in human anatomy

This post will help you to have a quick view upon the sizes of the segments of the body. Print this post and put it next to you when you start drawing human anatomy. Here are some measurements of the human body.

First you draw the vertical, symmetry line of the body. It is a straight line from up to down, in the center of the paper sheet.

The head is as large as a coin or as big as your finger tip.

The axes of the shoulder should have the double size of the human head and it is symmetric to the vertical line. Then you draw the hips line that should be opposed to the line of shoulders. If one goes up, the other one is balancing the body and it goes down.


From the right side leg you will start to draw a line until it reaches the symmetry line. On this leg lays all the weight of the body. The other leg can be drawn in any position and even hold in the air because the weight of the body is already assured by the other leg.

After this, draw the thoracic box, in shape of a fortune cookie, establish the shoulders and draw the hands. They should have the same size and the hands should be no longer than the middle of the distance between hips and knees. Draw the pelvis bones stylized in a trapeze shape. This are just the axes but after this you will start drawing the primary shapes that cover the axes: cylinders, cones, spheres.

The last step is all about covering the primary shape with that skin and make the shapes smoother. Don’t forget to use modulated line and add some accents like described on “how to add the light” tutorial. Be careful and underline the sartorious muscle – the biggest muscle in the human body. It is a long, narrow muscle running obliquely across the front of each thigh from the hip bone to the inside of the leg below the knee. The name Sartorius comes from Latin sartor ‘tailor’ (because the muscle is used when adopting a cross-legged position, earlier associated with a tailor’s sewing posture).


Usual, the head of the human body is the 7th or 7th and a half part from the whole body but having in view that we are drawing fashion illustrations here, you can stretch the anatomy and draw longer legs. Still, the muscles can respect the basic anatomy, so make sure to draw the gastrocnemius muscles. They can be found in the back part of the lower leg. It runs from its two heads just above the knee to the heel, and is involved in standing, walking, running and jumping.

At the end, if you want, you can add some details to the human face by underlining the axes of the eyes or lips and the ears.

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