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Perspective 17: Drawing the Figure in Perspective with Erik Olson

Perspective 17: Drawing the Figure in Perspective
Learn Perspective for Artists Erik continues his perspective series with this advanced lesson on drawing the figure in perspective

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  • Transcript

In this lesson, veteran NMA Instructor Erik Olson shows you that an understanding of perspective benefits not only the construction of scenes with buildings and large objects, but also of the figure itself. As you move toward learning 3-Point Perspective, it’s important that you’re able to place your figures in realistic perspective. Using a mental model of the human body, it’s major landmarks, and their relationship to whole, you can accurately place a person in a scene to ensure harmony between your setting and subject. Erik starts by showing that setting up a grid to model your figures helps in understanding proportions and location, but ultimately is not necessary. Through a series of drawings, Erik shows the use of ellipses and box forms are useful in training your ‘3D Brain.” He also drives home the point that perspective drawing still needs the three elements of gesture, proportion, and structure. Erik draws the figure in various standing, walking, running, and dynamic seated poses.


  • 45-45-90 Transparent Triangle Ruler
  • 30-60-90 Transparent Triangle Ruler
  • Alvin Pro-Matic Lead Holder – 2H Lead
  • Alvin Rotary Lead Pointer
  • T-Square Ruler
  • Protractor
  • Prismacolor Verithin Colored Pencil – Red/Blue
  • Paintbrush
  • Kneaded Eraser
  • Hard Eraser
  • Helix Technical Compass
Intermediate / Advanced

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