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None of this is final till it's final!I may introduce other sections like drawing the head/hands, anatomy, clothing if I am able to. No guarantee!

• 3d shapes (Cylinders, boxes and spheres)
• Breaking down complex forms into simpler shapes using references and tracing
• The 8 parts of the body (Head, ribcage, pelvis, spine, 2 arms and 2 legs)
• Hierarchy in drawing. (Using cooking as an example)
• Gesture vs anatomy, why its important to do gestures first vs anatomy/details
• Ribcage/Pelvis/Spine relationship
• Balance/Contrapposto
• Line of action
• Asymmetry vs Symmetry
• Wrapping Lines
• Using simple lines in gesture (C,S,I)
• Curves vs Straights (rounder curves vs angular curves)
What to keep in mind vs what to apply
What can be applied to other things not only figures
---------Gesture drawing
• The importance of gesture drawing in character creation vs using boxes/mannequins/armatures
• The Bean (Ribcage, Pelvis and Spine simplified) [Including fat section]
• Squash and Stretch
• Adding volume to the bean
• Landmarks on the bean (Advanced)
• Arms/Legs in gesture (simplified) [Using Asymmetry and curves vs straights)
• Adding volume to Arm/Legs using cylinders and wrapping lines (Including fat section)
• Landmarks on the arms and legs (Advanced)
Bringing all these together to draw a gesture (Simple and Advanced versions)• Proportion
• Perspective and Foreshortening
• Overlaps
Drawing different body types using these same concepts• Exaggerating your reference• Reductions/Stylization (From realism to cartoony)
• Body language
• Telling a story with body language
Drawing gestures in different styles


You don't have to follow anything in order BUT it's helpful to do that because some terms are only explained in early chapters and referred back to often.

As with every other book, online resource, tutorial, anything mentioned on this site should not be taken as the "one rule." I will link resources made by other people to help support my own. I encourage you to take a look at them!


About the site

Consider this site as an online book to learning how to draw gesture from start to finish!

About the creator

Hi, my name is Dai/DaiDai/Diana, (anyone you call me is fine!) I'm a self taught artist that has learned all I know from online resources. I love studying and teaching others! Making art resources is a hobby of mine and I only want to share the things I've learned with others :D


In order for this site to truly be completed, any monetary support is highly appreciated. Click the support link below and pledge any amount!Pledging to my Patreon allows me to continue working on the site as well as feed me I guess :^)


If you use this site in any way or form you need to follow these very simple rules. They are very easy to follow, I promise.DO NOT REPOST ON ANY SITE/PLATFORM
Whether public or private. Everything you see here, stays here.
HOWEVER, I allow the reposting of only 1-4 images for the sole purpose of promoting the site with credit and a direct link back to the site being necessary.
What does that mean? If you want to tell people about this site, sure go ahead as long as they can click on a link and be directed here. If you want to post anything here for the sake of posting, do not. Especially referring to repost accounts. Do not.
A direct link means it's click able. For now Instagram does not allow for links in posts so I do not allow reposts on any Instagram page.
• You are not allowed to post more than 4 images. That includes screenshots/screencaps/screen records.You are not allowed to pin any image here on Pinterest
If any image is on Pinterest without a proper link back to the site, I will take it down (kindly).
Do not edit/redistribute/sell/print/publish/translate any image on this site
This includes saving all images and sending them to friends, simply just direct them back to the site.
• As a user of this site, I expect you to follow and respect these rules.


You've reached the beginning of Figure it Out!!
Even though it says it’s completed I can always come back to add more!
Follow me for updates!
Please also be patient with me. If you want to speed up production of this site you can pledge to my Patreon



My method of teaching is more skipping around unnecessary bits and only focusing on parts I believe is most important. And that's what I'm going to do in Figure it Out!!I'll be honest, nothing in this site is anything new. I'm not going to show some super secret technique to getting better with the snap of your fingers.
The only way you're going to get better is through practice and putting in the effort to getting better.
I will help give you ways to practice through assignments and exercises which will be listed at the end of each section.Assignment- work to understand a concept
Exercise- work to do repeatedly
That's how I define them on this site.
Ideally you'd do your assignment first to understand a concept. Then exercises come later to help you keep what you learnt in your head. I hope that's a simple enough explanation!
I will also link resources I feel can help support my explanations! I encourage you to check them out as well so you can broaden your knowledge. Don't only rely on one source for a concept, research more! Not only will you understand better; the more you learn about something from different places, the more it stays in your head!Finally a personal introduction! I'll be the one running this site and making the resources you see here! This is me!

Now that the general intro is done with, on to the main intro!I hope you find anything on this site helpful. If you did and you're able to, pledging to my Patreon really really helps me out! If you're not able to, just doing the assignments/exercises is good enough for me!


Learning to see and think from flat shapes to more 3 dimensional forms will help you greatly in any kind of drawing.
We'll be using simple cylinders, spheres and boxes as these shapes apply to the figure we are going to be drawing later on!
We will go over more complex forms in much later chapters, but for now, keep these 3 shapes close to your heart!


Your assignment is to draw spheres, boxes and cylinders in different views. Something that can help is getting an object that closely resembles these shapes and draw them! So get a ball, grab a box case and a bottle and start drawing!
Draw from above, from below, tilt it and more!


For this exercise, try to draw objects with the shape of cylinders, spheres and boxes. Familiarise yourself now with these shapes for they'll be really handy later on.Tip: It can get boring to do these shapes over an over again, I know. So try to add some color to it. Make it into a collage. Doodle with these shapes. Try to connect them. Forget about them looking pretty and presentable! You are still learning there's no need to make anything pretty!


We now know our simple shapes, so how can we see them in more complex forms?
It can be hard to see any kind of shape in reference photos or real life but hopefully after this section you will be able to see shapes easier.

In order to breakdown any complex form, we need to delete all the details that we see.

You can break down shapes by directly tracing on your reference and I encourage you to do that! If you trace it enough I assure you that you won’t even need to do it anymore! Because then you would have trained your eye enough to see those simple shapes just by looking at your reference. But tracing comes first!

Try to look for the 3 simple forms in any reference. The sphere, the box and the cylinder. If you can’t find any of these shapes exactly try to first look at their forms. Is it rounded? Is it curved? Is it a flat surface? These will all help you in identifying the shapes.
And if you still cannot see those shapes then they are probably the combination of one or more of the simple forms.

Remember that we are no longer thinking in 2D shapes but now in 3 dimensions. Try to think of how an object is from behind not only what you see in front. Think of how it wraps around the back and the form as a whole.


Where do I start breaking things down?
The thing that catches your eye first. Usually the biggest object/form in the reference.

It’s harder to draw in my style even after breaking things down/I rely on the reference too much it doesn’t look like my style anymore

You can make your first sketch your breakdown following the reference. Then your second sketch can be done in your style using the first sketch as reference. I often recommend this method because it’s really hard to not follow your reference as you see it. You end up making your drawing more realistic that your style really is.
But also remember that your reference is a tool and not something we have to follow 100%
Keep this in mind as you draw!


Although difficult, your assignment is to breakdown the human figure into the 3 simple forms; sphere, box and cylinder. I have already given the answers to some parts above. If the head is a sphere, the arms, legs and neck are cylinders, try to guess and breakdown what the other parts of the body is.
Remember to think of the form underneath. Is it curved or flat?
Do about 5-10 breakdowns of the human figure. Understand how the 3 simple forms work on the body. Try drawing them in different poses. Trace them and draw them separately!


Your exercise to breakdown and trace over any reference photos of non human figures. Breaking down complex forms into simple shapes is a fundamental skill that can be applied to just about anything. It’s important to learn this skill! Try doing of animals, houses, environments, props and more!
Simplify them and try to draw them on your own. Do as many as you wish!


Shapes & Forms
This video sums up the entire introduction nicely.


Start counting how many times I say gesture in this chapter lol



While the body seems so complicated, we can simplify it to these 8 parts.



Think of gesture as your sketch and anatomy as details. As with hierarchy, we would do one before the other.We do gesture before anatomy because when we are focusing on the details of the muscles and so on, we do not see the full body. Gesture allows you to focus on movement of the body before details.This is particularly why I stress gesture above everything. You can guess where muscles will be. No one is going to point out that hey your latissimus dorsi isn’t drawn accurately. But they can see that your pose is stiff.So if you’re wondering why your poses are stiff, it is not because of anatomy! Rather your gesture.

Funny enough, as you learn gesture, you learn some anatomy. If this gesture chapter is the only thing you learn, take it and run!!



Funny enough, as you learn gesture, you learn some anatomy. If this gesture chapter is the only thing you learn, take it and run!!


By learning the different types of lines, you’ll be able to know when to use them to draw different things, not only gesture!



The point of gestures is getting the action of the pose down in as little lines as possible. Learning these lines allows you to simplify details and avoid over complicating your gesture, because remember that gesture is meant to be simple!
If you start adding complex lines and shapes, you are moving on from gesture!



Time to make asymmetry your friend!

There’s asymmetry in fabric too! And plants, of course in animals and MORE!!If you pair asymmetry with other concepts like curves vs straights, you’ll be able to use these to create interesting lines and shapes!


It’s important to know what to keep in mind vs what to apply.
Line of Action for example you should keep in mind when you’re drawing AND apply it to your figures. Before you draw a figure, you should be thinking about your references line of action and you should show it in your work as well.
Where as types of lines, you should always be applying it in your work when you can.
*After practicing these concepts enough times, it becomes second nature to you that you will no longer need to think about it. You just do it.
If you watch your fave artists draw, they aren’t thinking much about what line to use or where. They already know, probably even ahead of time.
And personally, I just do what looks good, but I will go back later and correct stuff if I need to!

The application of types of lines is something of a personal preference. I like when the elbow is drawn with an angular curve. But people prefer rounder curves, that is fine too!Learning types of lines will go a long way in drawing not only gesture as well. You’ll find yourself using straights vs curves on some parts of the body because it is anatomically correct. You’ll find yourself using the concept of asymmetry in environment design and so on!

Learning types of lines will go a long way in drawing not only gesture as well. You’ll find yourself using straights vs curves on some parts of the body because it is anatomically correct. You’ll find yourself using the concept of asymmetry in environment design and so on!


Your assignment would be to identify the Types of Lines, Line of action and Asymmetry in reference photos and draw these out for yourself!
Try use wrapping lines on your figures to show perspective!


Your exercise would be to continue trying to get these concepts down. Do mini studies showing a clear line of action. The drawings should be small so you eliminate detail!
Do studies of people doing a specific action like sitting, kicking, falling etc and make the line of actions either a C, S or I line!


Gesture Drawing | Tips for Expressive and Dynamic PosesGesture by Proko