History of Figure Drawing
The Earliest form of Figure
• The human figure was
depicted in prehistoric
cave art as rough art
compared with the
images of bison, cattle,
horses and deer.
Neolithic Drawings -
later part of the
• We see this early form of
human stick figure
animation in the hunt
scene, where slightly
greater detail, sense of the
more correct proportion,
particularly about the head
A fight, apparently for and horns, is given to the
possession of a bull body of the bull.
• Figures in Egyptian
art, based on
relating to images
rather than on direct
and frontal views
into the same image
• Differences in scale
Duck hunting and fishing scene,
detail of wall painting from tomb
• Later, Greeks and
skill in depicting the
complex form of the
relationships of its
parts and principle of
Karneia Painter - 410 B.C.
• Foreshortening - the
term that applies to
organic and bodily
structure forms seen
Such as the knee ->
• How: Careful
4th Century to
(300s to 1300s) A.D.
• With the emergence of Christian art in the
fourth century, and for almost a thousand
years thereafter, human drawings of the
human figure were replaced by more symbolic,
even stylized forms stressing the spiritual
rather than the physical qualities of its visual
Human Body Drawing
• In the years of the European
Renaissance (1400) with its heightened
focus on the visual, the need to
understand natural phenomena and
their interrelationships led to merging of
artistic and scientific inquiry.
• Study of human anatomy.
These powerful bodies -
with their small heads,
hands, and feet, and
their great torsos,
thighs, and arms - are
they are based on a
knowledge of the bone
Figure Study, Pen and
Ink, by Michelangelo
and muscle structure.
• With their new understanding of the
human body, Renaissance artists
moved from direct observation to
creating ideal figures by establishing a
system of proportions as the ancient
Greeks had done.
• The best known
example of this
approach to human
Sculptor - Adolf A.Weinman
• Artist Adolf Weinman, drew skeletons
and cadavers in a class in anatomy for
artists, 2 times a week for two years.
• An awareness of the body’s basic
construction is of obvious assistance in
drawing the human form, since inner
structure influence outward appearance.
• The act of drawing from live models in
order to record the movement, gesture,
and essential physical capabilities of the
human body as an aesthetically
pleasing art form. Also, drawing from
life in order to gain a mechanical as well
as visual understanding of live forms
and how they exist and move in space.