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Drawing Lesson 38, Part 3 – How to Draw Female

Discover How to Draw Female

Video Lesson Description

In this video lesson you will discover How to Draw Female on example of a life model drawing in red pencil.

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Learning How to Draw Female

When it comes to the subject of “How to Draw Female“, the life model drawing is a challenging task and therefore, considered a subject for intermediate and advanced students. However, if you are a beginner, you can still learn to draw by doing a life drawing. I would suggest in such a case, to watch video lessons on linear perspective, human anatomy and human proportions. You can also learn to draw by watching Drawing Academy video lessons on general drawing techniques, such as, the theory of light and shade and rendering techniques.

Some part-time “How to Draw Female” courses in London, UK offer fine art education based on intuitive methods. Such methods might offer a good foundation for developing creating thinking. At the same time, such “Learn to Draw” courses are more suited for hobby activities rather than proper art education.


How to Draw Female
Creativity in drawing and painting can only be fully explored and expressed when an artist has solid drawing skills; this is also true for the “How to Draw Female” topic.

Take the skills away and the artist will struggle to express his creative thoughts, inventions and ideas.

When drawing a hand, for example, you must know that the fingers of the hand contain 14 phalanges. It is the anatomical rule for the human hand. These phalanges have rules of proportions and dynamics. In fact, I have presented several Drawing Academy video lessons on the subject of how to draw hands. These lessons include: bones and muscle anatomy, hand proportions, dynamic gesture sketches, as well as, shades rendering. The rules of how to draw a hand are objective; they are not influenced, for instance, by our opinion on how many bones the hand must have.

A fine artist might choose to ignore those rules or just be ignorant when it comes to the question of “How to Draw Female”. Many amateur artists draw sausage-looking fingers and then complain that drawing hands is a difficult subject. Take some time and explore what is inside the hand. Make multiple sketches of the hand bones. Look through several anatomy books. Observe, with attention, your own hand’s dynamic. Learn the construction and proportions of the hands. Drawing what you know instead of what you see will help you to depict realistic looking hands.

Learning How to Draw Female by using intuition and guesswork is not the best approach. Great art skills come with discovering and practicing the rules of drawing, the rules of composition, the rules of linear and aerial perspective, the rules of human anatomy and proportions, as well as, the rules of light and shade rendering.

The fine art student needs to know these objective rules in order to perfect his or her abilities when considering ‘How to Draw Female’. You cannot ignore or dismiss these rules, they exist regardless of whether you like them or not. Make them your friends; they will help you to excel in fine art. They will guide you in your drawing and painting; they will assist you in expressing any visual creative ideas you may have.

I have met art students from various countries and different art schools. Some of them told me that their art teachers did not insist on the academic drawing of the human figure. They did many sketches and short-to-medium term life drawings – somewhere between five minutes and two hours – but they have never attempted undertaking detailed, long-term studies of How to Draw Female. So they never had a necessity to make a life drawing in small detail. Often, hands and feet were just sketched out in broad pencil strokes without attention to individual fingers, as if models wore gloves.

The detailed study of long life drawing is one of the necessary conditions for a fine artist to learn when learning How to Draw Female. For example, in the Art Academy in St Petersburg, Russia, art students do 40 to 60 hour life figure drawings. Of course, they also do sketches and short life drawings.

The drawing is a foundation of your art. Whatever your creative ambitions are: to become a sculptor, a painter in oil, acrylic or watercolor, a designer or architect, your drawing skills must be developed first.

For a painter, it would be very challenging to paint a portrait if he could not draw it first. It doesn’t matter how well colors match the model, the painting will not look realistic if the head drawn is incorrect.

The real sense of a drawing is not only in an object’s outline, but also in a sculptural, three-dimensional shape that is portrayed by means of lines and shades rendering. In a good drawing, an object must be recognized by only one part of it. A drawing is more objective than a painting.

You can learn drawing in two main stages. First, you can discover its main rules and techniques and then practice drawing by using the rules and techniques.

Before attempting a study of How to Draw Female, students ideally need to be already proficient in the following subjects: they must know how to draw transparent wireframes of various objects as if they are see-through, they must be able to measure and draw lines, angles, geometrical flat three-dimensional shapes and forms, in perspective. I assume that your drawing skills level is above these requirements.

To learn how to draw, the fine artist needs to learn how to think. To speak is to vocalize your thoughts; to draw is to express your thoughts visually. So, the fine artist needs to think visually, imagine shapes, forms and volumes in order to depict his logic and thoughts onto the paper in the form of a drawing.

When it comes to the “How to Draw Female” topic, the correctly made drawing not only depicts an accurate representation of the female’s form, but also conveys how truthfully the female’s character is portrayed.

When considering ‘How to Draw Female’, keep in mind that there is a big difference between realistic and naturalistic drawings. I’m using the word “naturalistic”, in this case, as a close imitation of nature, which is a synonym to hyper-realism or photo-realism. The realistic artist draws using his critical sense of logic while using his thoughts and knowledge. Hyper-realism or photo-realism is just mimicking nature as closely as possible without a deep knowledge of it. In realistic drawing, the fine artist has the freedom of eliminating secondary details and concentrating on what is important; while hyper-realism focuses on every single detail with equal attention.

I have seen many hyper-realistic portraits submitted and exhibited at the BP Portrait Award annual exhibitions in London. Such portraits were depicting faces with immense but equal attention to every individual hair and skin pore. Some of them were multiple times bigger than their actual size. Despite their realistic appearance, those portraits were surreal and stillborn; there was something disturbing in those portraits.

How to Draw Female – Human Face’s Planes

Drawing a realistic portrait can be quite challenging; every human has individual head and facial features. At the same time, all human heads follow the same rules of proportions; when the fine artist knows these rules, the drawing of realistic portraits become easier. We see objects in a certain way – first we become aware of the object’s spatial location, then we see its shape and size, then finally, we notice its small details. This is very much the same process the fine artist must employ in drawing a portrait or body. We start from the big common masses and gradually subdivide into the smaller areas, concentrating on details at the end. We draw from simple to more complex shapes.

Despite the vast variety of individual human facial features, we can easily find common attributes that every face has. Russian sculptor, Golubkina, stated that every face could be divided into 14 planes:

– There is one plane which goes through the middle of the forehead to the frontal mounds;

– Two planes going from the frontal to the temporal bone mounds;

– Two planes going from the face of the temporal to the zygomatic;

– Two planes going from the cheek to the edge of the lower jaw;

– Two orbital planes;

– Two planes going from the orbital to the nose and corner of the mouth;

– Two planes going from the mouth to the zygomatic bone and the masseter and;

– One plane goes from the nose to the end of the chin.

All human faces have differences in the forms of these planes, but the number of planes and borders between them remains the same in every face.

The face planes listed above do not necessarily need to be drafted every time you draw a portrait. However, the knowledge of those planes will help you to make believable and realistic constructive drawings. You can keep an image of those planes in your head as an invisible wireframe of the face and draw a portrait using this information.

In the Drawing Academy, I have presented numerous video lessons on the subject of how to draw a head and you may refer to those lessons to refresh your knowledge of the anatomy of the human head and its proportions.

Practice life drawing as often as you can to become a proficient and skilled fine artist.

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