We can get as analytical as we like, using just a pencil or a ruler to measure our subject, though some artists like to use a plumb-line. A plumb-line is simply a piece of thin string with a weight attached to the bottom providing a horizontal standard for us to compare the figure to.
We'll talk more about the plumb-line in a future tutorial.
The following steps are an example process:
- Look for horizontal and vertical angles first. This might be difficult in some poses but try to find relationships between areas. For example, the ear might line up perfectly with the foot, so we can use this line as a primary angle.
- When we feel like we've exhausted all the horizontal and vertical angles we can now start to find our 45° angels. Of course, there might not be any present, just try to simplify what is observed.
- Now we can start to draw all the in-between angles. Focus on the contours first, meaning the edge of the figure forms.
- We should check our angles repeatedly. The more we check, the more accurate our drawing will be.
This framework is now a strong base for an accurate contour sketch.
When we're completely satisfied with our angles we can start to round things off, creating a more detailed contour sketch.