Learning how to draw girls can be one of the toughest task in figure drawing. It is definitely more difficult than drawing a man, because with drawing men, you can use hard edges and lines and your figure will still look good.
However, when drawing girls, you have to pay attention to the subtle curves, otherwise your drawing will look off.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you step by step how to draw a girl.
The Processes Of How To Draw A Female Figure
To begin the process of how to draw a girl, I first look at my subject for a while and try to find what it is I want to say, or rather, what it is trying to tell me.
It is usually something very personal and exciting, something so compelling that I must share it with others. It might be a moody cascading light effect, an elegant gesture, or a combination of the two.
The process of drawing must be subservient to this original idea that the artist envisions.
Use the principles of drawing to create a well-crafted and competent drawing, while staying flexible enough in this process to capture the original vision and beauty that gave you your original motivation to choose the particular subject in the first place.
Female Figure Drawing Step One: Choose Your Subject Matter To Draw:
In this case it was a girl’s face, Natalie Portman actually. I was interested in her subtle expression and how the shadows and light fell across her face.
With this in mind I began to lay down my first construction lines being careful to have these first lines indicate the subtle tilt of her head and general placement of her features.
Step Two: Drawing In The Basic Outline Of The Facial Features
A further refinement of the placement of the features being careful to focus more on placement of the features in relationship to each other than the accuracy of the drawing of the features themselves.
At this step of how to draw a girl, avoid details because you might have to move an eye or lower the mouth. If you are trying to convey likeness you must accurately place the facial features in relationship to each other.
The varieties of facial features that allow us to distinguish one person from another are often very subtle and require careful observation. So keep your drawing fluid enough to move things around while you focus on these relationships.
Don’t worry so much about the correct shape of the eye, first make sure you have put the eye in the right place.
Drawing The Female Figure Step Three: Adding In The Shadings
At this stage, begin to find shadow shapes and try to find the simplest shape (use as few lines as possible to define these shapes) that corresponds to what you see.
At this stage, if the features are in the right place, begin to find the shapes of say, the eyes, nose or mouth that makes your drawing look like the real person.
Avoid generalizing the features, don’t just draw an almond shape for the eyes, every one has a unique shape to their eyes.
If you find this distinguishing shape and put it in the right place in relation to the other features, your drawing will look like that person.
Step Four: Adding Tones
Adding tone to clarify shadow shapes will help you to more accurately measure to see if you have things in the right place.
Keep you tones light because you might have to erase them if they are in the wrong place but make a sincere effort to put them in the right place the first time, don’t just do a stab in the dark.
If you are wondering where to place the mouth, for example, find comparisons of distances from the features that you have already placed.
For instance, the mouth might be one and a half eye widths across and two eye widths from bottom of the nose to the edge of the bottom lip.
Step Five: Adding Details
This is based on the assumption you have every thing in the right place and have captured the likeness of the girl you are drawing.
Adding detail is the least important step of how to draw a girl because it will not matter how well you execute this step if you have inaccuracies in the previous four steps, no amount of adding detail will fix your drawing.
Meaning if you are not starting with a likeness, no matter what you do in this step of how to draw a girl, it is not going to help your drawing if it’s wrong to begin with.
And yet, even now while you think you have got it right you may notice something wrong with your drawing.
Don’t panic, you can still fix things; hopefully you have kept your lines soft and light enough so that you can do this easily.
You will notice I made this mistake with Natalie’s left eye, I put it too wide on her face and had to move it over in the subsequent level of refinement.
I would have been better off to catch this mistake before I started adding this much detail.
Now I feel pretty good about my placement and feel I have captured her likeness. So, I can now with confidence, add the finishing touches.
In this case, some white pencil to bring out the light shapes on her face. Be careful to not overdo this, less is more when adding the finishing touches of white chalk or pencil.