Gesture Drawing – Make your own Human Figure Manikin

Seeing-Drawing the ‘gesture’ is a fundamental skill in being able to draw a human figure. I teach drawing at Emily Carr and elsewhere and developed a sequence for correctly scaling a gesture so as not to ‘go off the page” in life drawing. Here are some pix of an 11 inch aluminum wire sculpture armature I made to create poses for drawing without needing a live model or manikin. I also include a handout I give my classes.

To create your own wire manikin: Draw a stick figure on 8 1/2 x 11 paper first. Bend wire on top of your drawing to get a proportionate figure. Aluminum sculpture wire from an art store is best, and use a pliers to bend accurately for the initial figure. You can photo about 10 or 20 poses to create a library to sketch from for practice.

Thank you K.G. – Teachers love to hear from appreciative students. Good Luck!

Hi Tony,

Thank you so much for your reference letter. I received the offer from UBC
Environmental Design Program!  Your courses really helped with my portfolio. Especially the museum  project, it made my portfolio stronger and more complete.  Additionally, remember you persuaded me from quitting the application last time we met in the hallway? You have no idea know how much I appreciate that.
Best,  K.G.

1, 2 & 3 Point Perspective Basics (Single Video) TAS Shadbolt (Mar 2017)

There are many perspective videos on this site. This video is a fairly brief treatment of  1, 2, and 3 point perspective in overview. More detailed treatments, such as, cylindrical and spherical perspective can be found in the Perspective Category.


Perspective Grids

You can purchase or make grids of various kinds and use them as underlays for your perspective drawing. They break down into ‘exterior grids’ for FORMS and ‘interior grids’ for SPACES. You can google images of these to get the idea of the variety. I have used these quite a lot and they are one of the 4 major ways of doing ‘measured’ perspectives, perhaps the quickest for many projects:

1 – computer (try Sketchup),

2 – photoperspective (see the many vids on this on this site – use the Search Box),

2 – Plan Projection (also use the search Box);

3 – Underlay Grids. I plan more videos on this in future.