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Why Learn How to Draw Stick Figures

Most people know how to draw stick figures.

That's something we normally learn from a very early age, either at school or even at home.

Drawing a stick figure - at its most basic level - involves drawing a head, and joining single lines together, representing a person's trunk and limbs.

But what's the benefit of drawing them?

Well, not much if all you intend to do is doodling.

But drawing stick figures with an artistic purpose in mind may help you develop a sense of proportion, balance and action in your drawings.

Below there are a few exercises on how to draw stick figures suggested by Victor Perard and Charles Lederer.

Victor Perard's Stick Figures

Victor Perard's stick figures use a combination of cirles (for the head, chest, pelvis, hands and feet), and lines (for the neck, shoulders, legs and arms).

Practice drawing these stick figures until you can draw them from memory.

This will help in training the eye to observe proportions, and expressions of figures in action.

After that, draw stick figures in other poses.

Let your imagination go wild!
stick figures in different poses

Proportion in Stick Figures

Proportion is the comparison of the relative size of one thing to another.

When you draw stick figures as the basis for real life drawings, you use the head as a unit of measurement.

You use "heads" as a unit of measurement. A "head" is the distance from the top of the skull to the tip of the chin.

Children vary considerably in proportions at different ages.
stick figures and proportion

Stick Figures and Balance

A figure out of balance looks like it's falling.
stick figures and balance

In the above drawing the stick figures have no "visible means of support". But see what happens when a means of support is added:
stick figures and balance

As a general rule, if a vertical line is drawn from the feet upward, and half of the figure lies on each side of the line, the stick figure will appear balanced.
how to draw stick figures

How to Draw People: Related Links

Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez


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