Level & Plumb Two Figure Drawing Must Haves

Level & Plumb Two Figure Drawing Must Haves

The real risk when drawing the figure is to take a key technique for granted. You know how life goes, us humans get bored with stuff pretty quickly. Trust me this is the one technique you do not want to get jaded on.




You really want to practice drawing with the Angles & Measurements technique on a regular basis. Even if just for the fact that it will keep your eye hand coordination in check.


You see the artists who continually complain about not being able to draw a likeness hate this technique. They understand it, they have used it, but they have not incorporated it into their practice.

I remember when I first started teaching at the School of Visual Arts back in 1997 this technique was one of the first that I taught. Since then I have learned a lot of new drawing techniques. I have also designed dozens of diverse drawing courses. Within all of these courses the Angles & Measurements technique always rears it’s little boring head.

Practice is something every artist has to do.  I challenge you to incorporate these techniques into your weekly practice schedule.


Here are some key reminders for you to jot down in your sketchbook.


  • Always find what is level and what is plumb. Compare every other angle on the models body to what is level and what is plumb.
  • The distance of each angle with determine the models likeness.
  • Always draw the main macro angles first, then get into the little micro angles. The macro angles make up the proportions, the micro angles make up the likeness.
  • Don’t just draw angles on the edge of the models body, draw interior angles as well.
  • Shade in some shapes. Most artists see in shapes, not just line.
  • Practice this on a regular basis even if  it’s not the most exciting drawing technique out there.

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Learn How Draw A Likeness Of The Figure Every Time

See The Figure In Simple Shapes

See The Figure In Simple Shapes

Okay so you are struggling with drawing correct proportions. Maybe when you draw the figure the head is two big, or the legs to long. Frustrating I know, trust me.

Through many bad figure drawings I learned that it is best to see the figure in three simple shapes.

1. You should consider starting with the biggest part of the body, the torso. Don’t get all hung up on drawing the head first. Remember there is no one way to draw the figure. Every pose you draw presents a new problem to solve. You choose the best technique to solve the problem.

2. The second shape is truly up to you. I like to draw the legs together first. Again we are going for big shapes. It’s super important to connect the feet with an imaginary line. Doing so closes the second shape. The legs should start at the top of the butt. Basically the iliac crest of the pelvis.

3. The third shape completely depends on the pose. At this point I usually draw in the shape of the hair and face together as one unit. You could also draw the models upper arm and lower arm together as an organic triangle.



All of the shapes you draw should be organic. Round all of the corners of every shape basically. There are no straight lines on the figure.

Practice this technique when ever you get the chance. This drawing technique can also be used when designing characters. Making them easy to draw in just about any pose.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting the blog. Leave us a comment below. We would love to hear from you.


Three Shapes Blog Post




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