Basic Shapes

Before drawing anything, an artist must first understand the basics. Any image—from a photograph of a live model to a character out of your favorite manga—can be deconstructed, or broken down into a series of basic shapes and lines that make up the overall form. Use basic shapes, like circles, squares, and cylinders, to create your character’s form. Breaking down complex drawings to basic shapes helps artists understand why certain shapes and forms move the way they do. It also helps to easily identify areas that need correction when it comes to proportion, or foreshortening, which can be complex. However, don’t get caught up in the details; the idea is to learn how to build a figure from the bottom up, one step at a ...

Get Drawing: Manga now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.