ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Figure Out How To Draw the Human Form

Updated on July 20, 2014

Christopher Hart's book, Figure It Out! is basically a beginners guide to drawing the human form. It's not an advanced book of everything you ever wanted to know about drawing the human body, but it is a book that will get most artists comfortable drawing the human figure. He's got his own techniques, and a few unique examples for demonstration, and the most important thing about this book is simplification.

Christopher Hart has built himself a virtual empire when it comes to How-To drawing books. If you search Amazon for his name, literally thirty or more titles will be returned, in the search. Go to any bookstore, and the drawing section will be dominated by his name. He has garnered a bit of criticism, however, due to the fact that his drawing instruction is geared more towards the comic artists, than those looking to represent realism. He's also been criticized for not doing all of his own drawing. Many of his books are filled with the art of other artists. However, much of the art is superb. Hart himself is not a recognized comic book artist, and he will routinely employ artists that are. However, what he does well is he covers all of his bases.

For me in particular, the book, "Figure It Out!" took me from being very tentative with my drawing of the human form, to feeling like I could conquer just about any pose. His instruction begins with the head as a basic shape, and then moves on to the body. He states that the body is more or less all about nailing down the torso, and he gives a great analysis about how to layout the torso with a few main angles. He then goes on to demonstrate the process by showing human poses using only stick figures. Simplification is his key.

Remember when you were a kid, and you'd draw stick figures? Well, guess what? You were, apparently, right to do this. Hart demonstrates this by nailing down intricate stick figures of the human form. He shows that this is all that's necessary to get the form down. One of the chapters, called "Body Dynamics," is dedicated to drawing dozens and dozens of stick figures, and by the end, I felt like I had a handle on manipulating the human form. Each successive chapter goes into more detail on fluffing up the human form, as in adding the muscles and the clothing. The book finishes with some fairly unique poses, that demonstrate the human form in all sorts of angles, specifically showing things like foreshortening, and hiding appendages, and some other complex poses.

The book isn't an end all be all book of drawing the human form. It's a starting point to get the confidence for the hard stuff, and it was all I needed to help me get over the hump, and help me feel more comfortable about tackling what I had up until that point felt was the overly complex human form. After reading the book, there are still things that may be out of my reach, but I certainly don't feel like I need to shy away from anything either. In fact, most poses, I can bang out fairly quickly.

If this sounds like your kind of thing, and you need some help getting started drawing the human form, why not grab the book, Figure It Out!, today.

Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy
Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy

This is the more advanced examples of Figure It Out!. It takes many of the same principles, but it begins with the human skeleton and muscle groups for more realism.

Simplified Anatomy for the Comic Book Artist: How to Draw the New Streamlined Look of Action-Adventure Comics!
Simplified Anatomy for the Comic Book Artist: How to Draw the New Streamlined Look of Action-Adventure Comics!

This is a streamlined comic book artists anatomy book that doesn't actually teach anatomy. It teaches super anatomy in the form of super poses.

Basic Drawing Made Amazingly Easy (Made Amazingly Easy Series)
Basic Drawing Made Amazingly Easy (Made Amazingly Easy Series)

This book takes things all the way back to the beginning by explaining drawing through demonstrating basic objects, and how everything is made up of basic shapes.


Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Stick Figure From Body Dynamics Chapter.Foreshortened Drawing from closer to end of book.
Stick Figure From Body Dynamics Chapter.
Stick Figure From Body Dynamics Chapter.
Foreshortened Drawing from closer to end of book.
Foreshortened Drawing from closer to end of book.

What do you look for in an art book?

See results

Sound Good? Let Me Know!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • boneworld profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackson Thom 

      4 years ago from West of Left South Lucky

      @floppypoppygift1: Wow, I have no memory of this show, but I just checked it out on youtube, and he's great. I watched him offer a warm up, and then draw a well with some great foreshortening, and some great shading for some depth, and he made it look so simple, even with a thick charcoal pencil. Thanks for that!

    • boneworld profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackson Thom 

      4 years ago from West of Left South Lucky

      @floppypoppygift1: You bet! This book was huge for me. I can't even remember when I originally went through it page by page, but I still drag it out to reference something every now and again.

    • floppypoppygift1 profile image


      4 years ago

      Did you ever watch Secret City on PBS? I used to love watching Captain Mark (@Mark_Kistler) do his thing when I was a latchkey kid! Cheers~cb

    • floppypoppygift1 profile image


      4 years ago

      Great suggestions here for beginners through intermediate artists! But seasoned professionals can always stand to touch up their skills, too. Good resource! Cheers~cb


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)