All you need to draw a figure or a group of figures are three shapes: a horseshoe for the upper body, an oval for the head, and an elongated W for the hips and legs. That?s all that?s required! At first, your figures may look a little stiff, but they?ll become lyrical and graceful the more you practice.

Three main shapes: This is gesture drawing at its simplest. Using the shapes above, draw the upper body with a horseshoe; add the elongated W for the legs; and top it off with an oval for the head.

Sketch the masses: Try some figures in groups. Notice how narrow the horseshoe shape of the torso becomes when the figures are turned to the side.

Lisa Wurster is an assistant editor for The Artist’s Magazine and Artist’s Sketchbook.

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