Learning to Draw Step by Step: People

You Can Learn How to Draw Quickly by Following this Simple Method

All professional artists have one thing in common with everyone else - they didn't know how to draw at one point in their lives. The difference between those people who can draw and those people who cannot is simply learning how to draw and practice.

Like anything, basic skills can be taught. You can learn to draw by simply following a few simple step-by-step directions and then practicing what you learn here.

Just remember, drawing is simply a matter of creating a few basic shapes and putting them all together. Here is how to draw people...

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1) Start by drawing a square and a line
1) Start by drawing a square and a line

1) Let's Begin with Some Basic Shapes

This is SO easy - you CAN do this!

Start by drawing a small square, about the size of a postage stamp. Next draw a vertical line from just above the top edge of the square downward through the square. Your drawing should now look like a sail or a sign on a post.

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2) Add an oval on top of the line
2) Add an oval on top of the line

2) Add an Oval Shape

On the top of your vertical line, draw a small oval about a third the width of the square.




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3) Draw a simple bow tie shape about the same width as the square.
3) Draw a simple bow tie shape about the same width as the square.

3) Add a Bow-Tie Shape

OK, next draw a bow-tie shape (2 triangles next to one another). This shape should be the same width as the square above it. The upper tips of the bow-tie shape should almost be touching the bottom of the square. The center of the bow tie should be centered on the vertical line.

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4) Next, draw some lines down from the bow tie shape to make his legs.
4) Next, draw some lines down from the bow tie shape to make his legs.

4) Let's Add Some Legs

Draw a downward line from the outer edge of the bow-tie shape. Make this line about the same length as the distance from the center of the bow-tie to the top of the head. This will be the outer edge of his right leg. Draw two more downward lines from the center of the bow-tie shape, and one last downward line on the outer edge of his left leg. You have just drawn legs!

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5) Now you're going to add some detail around hie head - a collar and some lines for his neck.
5) Now you're going to add some detail around hie head - a collar and some lines for his neck.

5) Next, Add the Arms

You're more than halfway done - keep going!

Add the arms by drawing two lines extending outward from the top 2 corners of the square - these are his shoulders. These lines should be about twice as long as the width of your square.


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6) Now draw some lines from the shoulders for the arms.
6) Now draw some lines from the shoulders for the arms.

6) Add Some Details

Now it's really starting to look like a person! You can add any sort of clothing you want here - I'm going to make him a waiter holding a tray. For this guy, let's draw a small black bow-tie on his collar and add a vest, the opening is a "V" shape going down the front of his chest.

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7) Now add a tray by drawing a horizontal line above his hand. Add a few rectangles for glasses on the tray.
7) Now add a tray by drawing a horizontal line above his hand. Add a few rectangles for glasses on the tray.

7) Add a Tray of Drinks

Draw a single horizontal line on the top of his raised arm - this will become the tray. Next, add a few vertical rectangles for glasses.

How does it look? Don't give up - go on and finish it. Remember that you are training your brain and hands to do some difficult things - there are NO mistakes, only lessons for how to draw it better next time!

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8) Finish him up by filling in his vest and adding eyes, mouth and hair.
8) Finish him up by filling in his vest and adding eyes, mouth and hair.

8) Add the Finishing Touches

Draw two dots for eyes, a single dot for his nose, some ears on the side of his head and a bit of hair on the top of his head. Fill in the vest to add some variation and make it easier to see.

Hey, look at you! Congrats - you have just drawn your first person!

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Pencil drawing for an advertising presentation I worked on in 2009
Pencil drawing for an advertising presentation I worked on in 2009 | Source

You CAN do This

I know drawing can be terribly frustrating, especially when you're first starting out. Believe me, my first drawings were very simple and rudimentary, however, I practiced every day and in just a short time, I could draw very well.

Today, I work as a professional illustrator and I owe my ability to daily practice and never giving up on drawing. That pencil drawing to the right is a drawing I did awhile back for a presentation. It's done with a regular No. 2 pencil and took me about 30 minutes to complete. I wanted to show it to you to prove what continual practice can produce over a period of time.

Do you know what the biggest obstacle to drawing is? It's you. You have made an unconscious decision in your mind regarding your ability to draw. Would it help to know that all artists - even seasoned artists - experience this same obstacle from time to time?

I have been drawing every day since I was just a year old (according to my mother) and I still have times when I wonder if I can really draw. That's almost 20,000 consecutive days of drawing practice - and I still have doubts about my ability.

Need some control in your life?

For me, drawing has always provided a healthy escape from pressing problems. Developing a mastery of drawing creates a sense of control and stability in your life. Need another reason? There is nothing more satisfying than completing a drawing and realizing that you have done something real - you have created.

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Watch the Video Below and Then Give it Another Try!

Check out These Great Books and Resources from Amazon...

What is the most difficult thing for you to draw?

  • People
  • Hands
  • Horses
  • Faces
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Comments 16 comments

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

I do love to draw but really just consider myself a copycat...if I can see it/in flat one dimensional...then I can copy it...i love to draw dragons :) this a agreat tutorial and I will doodle at work I know!!


MKayo profile image

MKayo 4 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for the compliment, RNMSN - Maybe I should do a how-to-draw for dragons next - Whadya think? M


Dbro profile image

Dbro 4 years ago from Texas, USA

This is a very informative and encouraging hub! I really appreciate the clear, concise, and easy to understand steps you've broken this complex drawing assignment into. So many people are intimidated by drawing people - actually, drawing in general. Your lesson here should help these reluctant artists so much! Thank you for this great contribution to the artistic material on HubPages!


MKayo profile image

MKayo 4 years ago from Texas Author

Dbro - you're so kind to read and comment on my Hub. Glad you like it. Best, M


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

Stick men have always always been my forte. But this looks like something I may be able to do. The step by step, walk me through, way you have presented this seems to be just for me : a challenged one.

thank you for sharing.


MKayo profile image

MKayo 4 years ago from Texas Author

pstraubie48 - Glad you like it - i'd love to know if you get better as you practice every day - keep me posted. Thanks for the read and comments. Best, M


RhondaHumphreys1 profile image

RhondaHumphreys1 4 years ago from Michigan

I've always love to draw though I haven't done it in a long time. I followed your tutorial and it started me doodling again. thanks for reminding me how much I love to draw. Voted up and useful


MKayo profile image

MKayo 4 years ago from Texas Author

Hey RhondaHumphreys1 - That is wonderful! I'm so glad this Hub got you back into drawing. I love to hear others talk about drawing as you do - I love to draw as well! Best to you- and Good luck! M


iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

This is a wonderful hub! I don't have an artistic hand so this is perfect, I think I may be able to do this. Voted up and useful. :)


vibesites profile image

vibesites 4 years ago from United States

So that's the secret of many artists! Thank you for sharing. I think I can do it too. :)


Dontei profile image

Dontei 4 years ago

Thank yku so much for this great hub. I have always wanted to learn how to draw and this guide is really useful and easy to follow. If you have time I would love for you to check out some of my hubs as well. I'm just getting started so I need all the help I can get!


MKayo profile image

MKayo 4 years ago from Texas Author

iguidenetwork, vibesites and Dontei - You are all so knod to leave such positive comments. I'm glad to know that this is very clear and easy for folks to follow. I hope you all find the same enjoyment I have found in drawing for so many years. Cheers! M


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

I am one of those people who decided early on that I didn't know how to draw. I am now trying to get out of that mindset. Thank you for this encouraging hub. This is very clear and well presented. Maybe I can learn to draw after all!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Great informative hub and easy to follow steps to learn how to draw people. Well done !

Vote up and more !!!


floating mind profile image

floating mind 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

Wow! I can draw people ... Cool! This is a very nice hub. Nice flow, and easy to learn from. Now if you will excuse me. I have people to draw. As you point out, practice makes you better.

FYI - I am not an artist. I’m just a want-a-be.


MKayo profile image

MKayo 3 years ago from Texas Author

• MT and kashmir56 - Thanks for your kind comments - so sorry it tool so long for me to respond to you.

• floating mind - Thanks for the read and kind comment. I hope you do practice and become proficient at creating art! And hey, I started out as a "wanna-be" artist, too.

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