Thursday, February 16, 2012

5th Grade: Figure Drawing–Structure


In class today I decided to prepare 5th grade for a painting project that will focus on having figures in their picture. The website below was a great way to show them visually the basic shapes of a skeleton and how to draw the basic structure of the body.


I had wood figures on each table. Students were to draw the three main body masses first (head, chest, and torso), then joints, arms and legs. This was to be drawn quickly and very lightly. After a couple of minutes students were to rotate to the next table and sketch a new pose. Everyone was very reluctant when I set such a short amount of time to sketch but after the second drawing they were gaining confidence and getting excited about beating the clock.


After they sketched three different poses, they were to draw around their original structure and create thicker arms and legs.


Next week I will have students drawing each other using the same structure they used to draw their figures. Stay tuned for an update.


  1. I just posted a figure drawing lesson too! Some great tips here: it's an area I really struggle with teaching. Will have to invest in a bunch of those wood figures.

  2. Great idea giving them a time limit - sometimes it 'works' to be pushed out of your comfort zone, and as you found, it's not so scary once you're there!!

  3. My kids love those wooden figures. I don't have enough for each student, but there is one that sits on my desk and holds my pens for me. They love it when I pull him out for an actually figure lesson.

  4. I used the wooden figures in the center of each table and let the kids take turns changing the poses...doing 4 quick gesture drawings in a similar way. Worked great into Keith Haring-type images and has plenty more possibilities! The investment is well worth it

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