Is tracing the shapes out of photos ideal to learn anatomy?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Idon'tknow 1 month ago.

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    I tried doing this many times but i the shapes i use end up being wrong. I can't see if I am doing this well, please help.

    If i should get a more effective way to learn please tell me, i can accept everything at this point.

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    Tracing is a good tool to get your hand used to making the right shapes, and can help some with accuracy. You'll want to use a variety of practice tools to improve at art overall, like adding in drawings of different lengths and subjects.

    Don't be discouraged. Drawing is a skill that takes time to learn, and anatomy is especially complicated and difficult to study. Focus on the process of learning and practicing often instead of worrying about results. Even the masters have bad drawings in their sketchbooks. The results you want will come with time.

    Your anatomical breakdown looks solid. Keep at it :)


    My problem with this method is that's not how I draw, it's too hard for me to make the shapes without tracing and because it takes me too much time I straight up draw without a structure, so they all look like a bunch of confused lines.


    Well, Idon'tknow, bravo on your figure tracing drawings. I love how much freedom but then the control you've applied to your basic shapes and forms, however, these tracings are still too stiffest to me yet. Would you care to make your goal be "improve my tracings to help me push the guts of the photos"?

    As a result, kindly don't get discouraged if you're not getting excellent results instantly, for the vitality will be bettered with lots of time. For most details on drawing figures, look into Loomis' Fun With A Pencil, and many, many more.

    My hat's off to you.


    a good exercise is to learn how to draw boxes, and other shapes in perspective. don't focus on the body just getting boxes and shapes right. focus on straight lines etc. It's not fun to do at all...but it helped me a lot in getting better at drawing overall.


    Do you mean like this?


    Yes, i like to look up tenten's way of simplifying the body into simple shapes. You don't need to have the same stylisation as him but the idea of simplyfing the body into comprehensible shapes helped me a lot.


    I just tried doing those, i came up with this result.

    Actually I was not capable to adapt the structure of the ribcage to the boxes because the image showed a more cilindrical structure than a box, so it was really hard for me to understand the orientation of the part of the body.

    just please if you find this message tell me if I am on the right track and how I should correct, it is really important to me; thanks


    Hi there! I think you are doing good. As you said, some poses can't be captured with just boxes. But by identifying the main structure, it's easier to "carve out" the rest. Last image you provided shows you have a nice understanding of perspective too.

    As for "being on the right track", I'd say so. But it doesn't matter how we feel about that, it's you who needs to think this or that exercise are useful. If you can't decide, how about drawing a couple poses the way you are used to, and then repeating them with the shapes method? Maybe that would help you picture which methods are working for you and which aren't!

    Keep up the good work :)


    The point is to simplify the body in a way that you can understand and remember it doesn't really matter how you do it and it doesn't need to be really precise as long as it helps you. One way is to know the muscles and skeleton to look out for the other one is to simplify it in a way that you can remember.

    I pointed out the bones i look at to direct the direction of the box.

    But how you do it is really just up to you. Try things out...and the more you draw..the more you learn the more you'll see and get better. but it takes a lot of time. You won't get good in a short time...that's just how it is and you will need trying and failing and getting used to it.


    I find the videos by Chommang on YouTube really good. I love how relaxed his style is and how he seens to be able to viualise the mark before he makes it and it's not aways perfect but it works.

    &t=87s">This link is his similar exercise in simplifying the body. Once you have been figure drawing for a while you begin to be able to guestimate/visualise where all the bone, joints, muscles etc lie, it's almost like you have x-ray vision.

    Keep practicing the way you are and you'll get there, what you have done is great and you have a desire to improve which is brilliant!


I just watched the video, but honestly, I didn't understand it at all. It's frustrating how it makes everything look so easy when in reality, it's anything but. It's like they're breezing through complex concepts as if they're second nature, leaving me feeling even more confused. Sometimes, these videos can be misleading, giving the impression that mastering something is effortless when, in truth, it takes time, effort, and often multiple attempts to grasp. It's important to remember that behind the polished presentation lies the struggle and hard work that goes into truly understanding and mastering a subject.


After a while a tried again, i hope it is an improvement. it took me 5 hours of attempts to make it.

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