For non-human entities the human figure pdf take on the appearance of being human, see human disguise. A figure drawing is a drawing of the human form in any of its various shapes and postures using any of the drawing media. The term can also refer to the act of producing such a drawing. The degree of representation may range from highly detailed, anatomically correct renderings to loose and expressive sketches.
A “life drawing” is a drawing of the human figure from observation of a live model. A figure drawing may be a composed work of art or a figure study done in preparation for a more finished work such as a painting.
Figure drawing is arguably the most difficult subject an artist commonly encounters, and entire courses are dedicated to the subject. The human figure is one of the most enduring themes in the visual arts, and the human figure can be the basis of portraiture, illustration, sculpture, medical illustration, and other fields.
Artists take a variety of approaches to drawing the human figure. They may draw from live models or from photographs, from skeletal models, or from memory and imagination. Most instruction focuses on the use of models in “life drawing” courses.
The use of photographic reference—although common since the development of photography—is often criticized or discouraged for its tendency to produce “flat” images that fail to capture the dynamic aspects of the subject. In developing the image, some artists focus on the shapes created by the interplay of light and dark values on the surfaces of the body. Another approach is to loosely construct the body out of geometric shapes, e. This can be illustrated to students in the classroom using paper plates to visually demonstrate the length of their bodies.