How to Balance Your Figures Properly in a Drawing Composition

Watch this instructional drawing video to draw people within a landscape.

How to Figure Out Sizes of Figures in Relation To Each Other in Drawing

In this Drawing with Robert Burridge free art lesson, Bob will show you how easy it is to add figures in landscapes.

Even in a relatively ‘featureless’ landscape, the artist can manipulate elements to improve composition and drama. One helpful technique is the use of a viewfinder – two L-shaped corners of card that you hold at arm’s length, creating a frame around your subject. By using two Ls rather than a rectangle or square, you can change the height and width to create any format you wish. These are easily tucked in your sketchbook; though if you’re into a very minimalist kit, an empty 35mm slide frame is a portable option.

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I’ve been meaning to do a tutorial on how to do a crowd scene illustration, and in late November I was assigned a tough one for MAD that I thought afforded the opportunity to demonstrate how to approach and execute a crowd scene. In consideration of that thought, I saved conceptual sketches and stages of this particular job for MAD so I could use them to illustrate how I go about constructing a crowd scene.

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How to Draw Crowd Scenes – The more comics you draw, the more comfortable you become with drawing your regular cast of characters. Into every comic, however, a crowd scene must fall. Unless your characters are on a deserted island or in some other companion-deprived setting, that is. There are a lot of ways to present the idea of a crowd from the very detailed to the more abstract, but some things are universal no matter how you choose to draw it. Here I will go over those elements.

Landscape doesn’t just mean hills and trees. Landscape can include any outdoor scene from wilderness and farmland through to suburban views and urban cityscapes. It can encompass a broad vista and distant mountaintops, through to macro studies of small details. Sometimes landscape drawing is a way to pay homage to your environment – many landscape artists have a passion for the outdoors and nature. But it can also be a way to make art about the human condition because we all exist within our landscapes, urban, suburban, and rural. Images of the external world are often allegories for internal states. Here are some landscape drawing ideas to get you started.

Placing Figures in a Landscape or Composition in Correct Proportions

‘Typical’ depends on where you live – here in Australia, mountains are quite hard to find, and our trees are much more sparse and ragged-looking than the dense foliage of European trees. But the basic elements of a country landscape, with foreground, middle ground and background are fairly consistent. We look for distant hills or the horizon, and an interesting shape created by groups of trees or hills, and some foreground detail to add contrast. This is the foundation of the classic landscape.

Drawing with Robert Burridge-How to Draw Figures in a Landscape [Video]

Learn all about drawing in figures with perspective theory such as one point and two point perspective with the following drawing tutorial and guide.

Landscapes don’t need to be huge, grand vistas. Forests and trees can create remarkable enclosed spaces. Or try zooming in: details of bark, leaves and moss, stone and wood, can be interesting in their own right. Try zooming in on some interesting shapes of foliage against a contrasting background. Remember to look with a compositional eye: you don’t have to draw everything that is in your field of vision. You can ‘edit’ the background as you draw, leaving out distracting detail.

Painting landscapes is one thing. But once you start adding people into a scene, things can get tricky.

The way landscape changes over time lend itself to a sustained art project. One approach is to record the progression of time from a certain viewpoint. You might record changes over a single day, paying attention to the direction of the light, and the direction and length of shadows. You might even record the passing seasons. For this, if you can, mark your viewpoint (take a photo identifying your position) so that you can return to the same spot each time. Differences can be heightened if you take care to establish your composition from the first drawing. What has changed? What remains the same? Some major elements may change in your landscape: people coming and going, animals moving, cars being parked. Think about light and tone, color, mark-making, and texture, as a means to express the changes you observe.

This painting lesson will show you how I move from an original idea, through the entire process as I paint an equine subject in my studio.

Figuring out what size to draw people, animals, figures, and objects within an illustration is one of the hardest aspects of drawing, in my opinion. However, using perspective techniques will allow you to properly size things in relation to each other. The following cartooning tutorial will guide you through the process.

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This brings us to the problem of sizing and placing more than one figure in a drawing or painting. There is a guide which deals with standing people all the same height on level ground (which almost never happens!) Not greatly helpful, but neverthless here it is:

Balance your figures properly. Don’t rake them appear as if they seem about to tip over ;`If you find it difficult to do so, then draw up and down lines upon your cardboard (‘as indicated by dotted lines) where the figures are to stand. These lines will guide you in keeping the figures plumb.

HomeNature DrawingA Scenery Or Landscape With Human Figure Drawing A Scenery Or Landscape With Human Figure Drawing

To place a figure well in a landscape without having it on the spot, so that not only it composes well but seems to stand in its place on the ground, is really a most difficult thing. Many people never learn to do it. Their figures are either too large or too small for the place they occupy.

Including people in your composition can add an important element of drama to the piece. There’s always an element of story-telling when a human being is in the picture: Who are they? What are they doing there? Where have they been, and where are they going? Even if these questions are not significant to the artwork, the presence of a human figure always sets of some workings in the viewer’s subconscious. On a purely compositional level, human figures help to show scale – which can be very useful when trying to express a grand vista – and their forms can add visual ‘punctuation’.

How to place people and figures nature and landscapes drawings. How to Draw a person in landscape scenes with helpful tutorials to create beautiful illustrations and drawings with these free drawing lessons.

Find something interesting in your urban environment. Perhaps it’s a dramatic cityscape of skyscrapers against a stormy sky. Perhaps it’s a crumbling wall with fifty year’s worth of posters and graffiti. Perhaps you find nature, against all odds – a sapling growing between cobblestones or a bird nesting on a window-sill. Try exploring ways to contrast the sharp edges and hard lines of the manufactured environment with the organic forms of plant life. How might you convey modernity, in all its clean minimalism? Or the textures of urban decay? Consider your choices of paper, medium, and use of color and monochrome.

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