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Leonardo da Vinci’s Inspiring Foot Studies and Drawings

Have you ever struggled with drawing feet? Often overlooked or saved for another day, the foot is a crucial part of the human body that can make or break a composition. While it may be tempting to ignore it, mastering the art of drawing feet can greatly enhance your artistic skills. Take inspiration from the beautifully painted and drawn feet in famous paintings, and learn how to simplify and deconstruct this seemingly complicated anatomical feature.

Table of Contents

  • Foot Drawing and Studies by Leonardo da Vinci
  • How To Draw Feet Step by Step
  • Drawing The Foot From Side View – Inner & Outer
  • Full Front View Foot
  • Drawing The Foot From The Back – Flat and Lifted Foot
  • Practice Drawings – Various Views and Angles of the Foot
  • Foot Drawing References You Can Use For Practice

Let’s dive into the process of drawing feet from different angles to help you get started. Keep in mind that every foot is unique, with variations in arches, toes, and overall shape. Observing and adjusting for these differences is key to achieving realistic and accurate foot drawings.

Once you’ve mastered the art of drawing feet, you can explore the next step: painting them. With just a simple one-color wash using ZenART Supplies’ Burnt Sienna from the Allegro Palette, you can create a quick sketch of feet from the back and bring them to life on the canvas.

Foot Drawing and Studies by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci’s meticulous foot drawings serve as a valuable source of inspiration and information. While we won’t delve into the detailed ecorche method he employed, we can still appreciate the beauty and knowledge gained from his studies.

How To Draw Feet Step by Step

To begin drawing feet, start with the less complicated views. We’ll focus on the side view from both the inner and outer perspectives. This method breaks down the foot into simpler shapes, making it easier to capture the overall structure. Gradually add details and curves to transform these basic shapes into realistic feet.

Drawing The Foot From Side View – Inner & Outer

Begin with a bigger circle for the ankle and a smaller one slightly outward for the heel. Add a wedge-shaped section to represent the foot’s height and general shape. You can choose to add the toes section now or later. Once you have the rough shape of the foot, make necessary adjustments before going into detail. Attach the wedge to the leg, adding gentle curves and, of course, the toes. Remember that foot shapes and sizes vary, so draw according to your reference or model.

Repeat the same process for the outer side view, paying attention to the visibility of the toes. The big toe points slightly upward and has only one joint, while the other toes have two joints and point downward. Adjust your drawing based on the unique characteristics of the foot or feet you are depicting.

Full Front View Foot

Drawing a foot from the full front view can be challenging due to foreshortening. The actual length of the foot is not visible from this angle, resulting in a peculiar shape. However, with shading and additional detail, your foot drawing will gradually resemble a realistic representation.

Drawing The Foot From The Back – Flat and Lifted Foot

The back view of a flat foot on the ground is also subject to foreshortening. By carefully adding shading and shadows, you can bring the form to life. For a lifted foot, overlap the heel circle with the ankle circle, considering the height and curve of the lifted foot. Pay attention to the details of the foot’s bottom, arch, and heel, capturing the natural curves and shapes through lines and shading.

Practice Drawings – Various Views and Angles of the Foot

While learning to draw feet may seem daunting, daily practice will lead to improvement. Use your sketchbook to make quick sketches from various angles and views. Focus on capturing the subtle curves and nuances that make up a foot, even if they are not refined drawings. The goal is progress, and consistent practice is the key.

Foot Drawing References You Can Use For Practice

Having references or models to study and base your drawings on can greatly aid your practice. Here are three approaches you can take:

  1. Using photos of other people’s feet: Ask someone to pose for you or use photographs to capture specific foot poses that you want to study and draw.

  2. Using your own foot or feet: Start with your own feet, as they present a different set of challenges. Take photos from various angles to study and draw from.

  3. Using feet seen in paintings by the Masters: Take inspiration from the works of renowned artists and study their depictions of feet. Analyze how they capture the natural and dynamic forms.

Remember, practice is the key to improving your drawing skills. Share your progress and ideas with the friendly art community, Painting Inspiration Daily, on Facebook. Join our group to connect with fellow artists, watch live tutorials, and get inspired to paint!

We hope this guide on how to draw feet step by step has provided you with the knowledge and confidence to tackle this often overlooked subject. Take your time, observe the different angles, and appreciate the slight variations across individuals. With practice, drawing feet will become easier, enhancing your overall artistic abilities.

If you’re interested in learning more about drawing techniques, don’t miss our blog post on Sketching Techniques for Beginners. It covers essential tools, step-by-step guidance, and exercises to help you improve your sketching skills.

We value your feedback! Let us know which view of the foot you found the easiest and most challenging to draw. We’re also open to suggestions for future content. Share your thoughts in the comments below. Join our friendly art community, Painting Inspiration Daily, on Facebook to connect with other artists, share your art, and find inspiration.

Stay tuned for our next article: Watercolor Christmas Cards. In the meantime, have fun and keep practicing how to draw feet!


Kathleen is the Wordsmith at ZenART, a resident artist, and art editor. With a range of talents in painting, sculpture, costume and set design, Kathleen brings a wealth of practical knowledge to her writing on various art techniques and theories. She also shares her passion for the arts through teaching and creates handmade wirework jewelry designs.

Drawing Feet

Leonardo da Vinci's Foot Study

Foot Sketches

Foot Drawing References

Michelangelo's "Libyan Sibyl"

Masaccio's "Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden"

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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