Female Body


The Torso

triangle1.jpg (38232 bytes)

The Triangle TrickAn interesting rule I
have learned not too long ago is to invision an upside-down triangle when you’re drawing
the torso.  The sides should be twice the size of the base.  This helps
you with a couple of areas in the torso.Point A, at the corner of the triangle’s base should be the point of the shoulder.
That should be where the shoulder bone ends.  (Though, like in my example, the
arms can move out a bit more.)

Point B, about 3/5 the way down the side, should be where the hip ends, and the
body starts to move towards the waist/buttocks area.  (If you’re laughing at me
writing “buttocks,” grow up.  ^_^  Ok, I laughed, but still…)

Point C, the tip of the triangle, is where the crotch begins.

Of course, these points can be mirrored to the opposite sides.  And this can be
used at a 3/4 angle of the body.  You just have to skew one of the angles towards the

Note: This is only to be used as a guide for the female torso.
Remember–a woman’s body is supposed to have no straight lines; only curves.

shoulders2.jpg (19861 bytes)

The ShouldersThe shoulders are a simple thing to draw
as long as you keep one thing in mind, as I have said earlier.  There are no straight
lines.  The shoulder curves out from the neck, and, depending on the pose, may bump
back up a bit and roll down on to the arms.If the length of the shoulders is short, this generally creates the look of a child,
while lengthening the shoulders can make the character look more mature.

Also take note of the collar bone.  It can be shown in several ways, such as two
lines on the left, or the two lines and curve on the right.

shoulders.jpg (22147 bytes)

BreastsAre the breasts really the holy
grail of drawing a sexy character?  Of course not completely, but drawing them right
has always been a trouble for many artists.  Expecially men.  (Including me ^^)
Maybe they feel perverted practicing drawing them?  Or possibly they’ve never
seen any.  *Cough Cough*
bossoms.jpg (21992 bytes) When somebody thinks of breasts and anime at the same time,
they think…  big…  (Not that it’s a rule…  I’ve seen plenty of good
characters without them.) So, when drawing large breasts, keep gravity in mind.  Even
when you consider the bra on, they are not a perfect half sphere off the chest.  Some
people may argue that is the style of manga.  I argue it’s that some artists just
claim it to be.  The breasts start off at a base, normally the same no matter the
size.  Gravity pulls down the fat the same way old me without any necks have,
umm…  do you really want me to finish that?The main point being…

b.gif (17764 bytes) The base starts below the armpit area.   In fact, the
breasts grow from the armpit line.  There is also a space between the two
bases.  Remember that.  From the base, the fat of the breast expand in ever
direction, but mostly downward.Of course, when you consider putting a bra on your
character…  (I hope you do dress her…)   A portion of the gravity could be
pulled back, so the end result would be somewhere between my bad and good example.

raised.jpg (17539 bytes)

When the arm is raised, such as in the figure on the left,
this will illustrate how the breast grows from the armpit line.  This also pulls the
breast upward.As for the figure on the right…  As I’ve said before, the bra is
there to support the breasts.  Hopefully, you will be dressing your character.
The bra pulls the two together to create the pressed together look as on the right.
It also pulls up, creating less of a hanging effect.
bra.jpg (21590 bytes)

seventen.jpg (20416 bytes)

The Seven-Ten GuideIt’s a fact of
psychology that men generally regard women with a hip to waist ratio of 7 (hip) to 10
(waist) as being “sexy.”  Ratios like 8 (hip) to 10 (waist) work
well.  I wouldn’t recommend going below 6, because than she looks anorexic.Please, don’t get out a ruler.  It’s just a guide so you can just
guestimate.  There are more important things to worry about, such as the face of the

And while I’m here, I may also point out that, yes…  there is a space between
the two legs.  The crotch is something people beginning to learn about artistic
anatomy forget, not jsut on female bodies, but male bodies as well.

buttocks.jpg (14812 bytes)

ButtocksLike from the front view, you can
also see the 7-10 figure on the back.Now, think in terms of 3-Dness.  The buttocks is coming out of the normal plane,
so it will overlap near the bottom where gravity is pulling down on it.  Also note
that you can see part of the crotch.   The legs branch out near where the crotch
meets the buttocks    (o_O Getting a bit graphic here, eh?)

back.jpg (17607 bytes) The back viewYou shouldn’t just conquer
the front of a character design.  The back, as well as the side, is just important if
you’re trying to express a scene in your picture.  As mentioned above, you can still
see the seven-ten figure on the back, and the triangle trick works just the same.
The difference is…  it’s the back.  You basically draw the body in the same
way, except you don’t put breasts on it.  (I hope you knew that before you read what
I just wrote.  o,o)There are a few lines to signify bumps on the back.  Mainly, they’re simplified to
the spine and the shoulder blade.

side.jpg (19269 bytes) The Side ViewThe side view is a bit
strange.  It follows it’s own rules.  However, even on the side, you can make
out the distict hourglass shape of the body.  Not only does the waist become concave
on the front view, but the side view as well.I can’t think of many more tips for the side view, because it becomes something you
learn over time and practice.  Try drawing the sideview like the one shown, and make

The Legs

legs.jpg (20201 bytes) Legs, straightThe legs can be split into
three parts; the thigh (top of the leg), the calves (lower part), and the feet.
Proportional-wise, the calves are longer than the thighs.  Though sometimes in manga,
the two are exactly the same.  It may be some type of a style issue.With the legs, there are plenty of curves you must learn to get right.  The side
profile of the leg has a much more curvaceous figure than the front view.  On the
calves, there’s a larger amount of fatty tissue towards the knees.  On the thighs,
the curve is not as noticible than on the calves.  The knees can simply be a slight
depression. Don’t make it look like the legs have just been near strangled to death.

legsbent.jpg (18270 bytes)
The legs, bentWhen drawing bent knees,
such as the figure on the left, it’s important to consider how the legs are actually 3-D
objects.  The knees create the end to an imaginary three dimensional box, with
rounded edges.  The knee will not bend like a gummy worm; it has corners like a box.
ex.jpg (15474 bytes)

foot.jpg (17518 bytes)

The Toe

toe.jpg (12154 bytes)

The Bare FootYeah, yeah…  it’s a
foot, so what?  Ah, yes, but it’s harder to draw then you may think.  It’s about
as curvaceous as the rest of the body.  Just look at your own foot when I describe
every crook and nanny.  It’s actually rather complicated.  Then try to draw it.The foot sort of branches out from the leg.  It slopes down at a slight angle,
increasing more until you get near the toes.  On the bottom of the foot, you have the
calcaneus bone, which is that large bump at the back of your foot.  Above it is the
ankle.  On the side facing in towards the body, there’s a large pyrmaid shaped bone.
On the opposite side–the side facing away for your body,–is a smaller pyramid
that is lower down the foot than the larger one.  The foot isn’t flat, obviously.
The foot becomes concave and curves inward towards the foot.

And the toe is something you must think twice about.  It’s not simply stubs coming
off the foot.  The toe, like the finger, bends in 3 joints.  The first is a
little bit off the toenail, followed by one about 1/3 the way down from the first.
And finally, there is one that connects the toe to the foot.

The Arms

armstr1.jpg (20000 bytes)

Arms, straightIt’s important to see the
shape in the arm.  It’s actually much more simple when you look at it as two ovals
rather than a mass of flesh around a bone.  (Though, it’s better to think of it as
both.)  Draw two ovals over your basic outline of the character.  The upper arm
is a bit thicker than the lower arm.  And the lower arm is half an oval, with the
other side sloping down slightly to connect to the hand.  This gives you a good base
to work off of.Remember, if the arm looks too thick, you can always redraw parallel lines and erase
the extra.  A child’s arms are chubby, but a full grown, slender woman more along the
lines of longer, thinner arms.

armbent.jpg (14455 bytes)

Arms, bentFor the bent arms, I used the
same process as the straight, I drew two ovals as the base.   Now, when looking
at the arms from this angle, there’s generally a little mound on the outward side of the
arm that forms due to the squeezing the muscle and fat as the arm is bent.  Also, the
elbow isn’t a perfect half-circle, nor is it a box.  It’s a bit of both, going down
at a straight angle where the bone is, and curving around.

HandsExpect a hands tutorial to be up
within a few weeks.  It will be too large to fit in this little box.  For the
mean time, take a look at Wynd’s gallery of hands.  It’s
a good source of hand models to draw.