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As most of you have noticed, I haven't given you any crazy instructions about stick figures. Not the blocked out shaped figures I've been giving you. Real sticks. You know, real ones. The stick figures that are just a bunch of lines that make us all angry?

C'mon... it's not 'cause you and me both know it's bull poop, but because the Matsuwara (me) does not think in lines. I think in shapes so I draw in shapes. So I've subsequently taught my way first. Recently, someone e-mailed me about how he still didn't get it(trouble with proportion). It made me realize that I shouldn't ignore this subject.

It actually is important for those of you who may need a new technique.


If you can't think or draw in shapes then try starting out with lines. Shapes can be confusing because they are complex, and conveniently, lines are the opposite. (Some people can argue this but I don't have time for intelligent conversations about trivial topics).

For this lesson I'm going to start by drawing a vertical line (doesn't have to be done with a ruler). Depending on the pose, it may be curved. The line is the torso and replaces the box method mentioned in earlier lessons. The head will still be a circle or an oval...

The torso from which the arms, legs, and neck are attached will be broken down into three basic lines: shoulders, middle, hips.

I suggest drawing the middle first but if it's easier then you can start it by the shoulders or the head and neck. Whatever works!


The middle line isn't necessarily considered the spine. It's more of a representation of the whole torso. Depending on the pose, sometimes it is the spine, but overall the line is there to imply the direction of the shoulders, waist, and hips.

Most importantly though, the middle line decides the length of the torso. Be careful not to make the line shorter or longer than you wanted it to be.


I'm giving you steps, just in case. On the next page I'll quickly go over legs and arms.

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