Figure drawing: A beginner's guide

Now let's focus on how to draw a male figure. Our figure here is in a contrapposto pose – this Italian term means counterpoise, or counterbalance, and refers to a figure balancing more weight on one side, usually the straight-leg side of the body, in a standing pose. The most famous contrapposto artwork is probably Michelangelo’s David.

Art terms like this are a great way to get your head around the creative process. Check out our art terms glossary for more explanations of commonly used terms.

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Patrick J Jones is an artist, teacher and the author of Sci-fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Techniques, The Anatomy of Style and The Sci-fi & Fantasy Art of Patrick J Jones.