Drawing feet can be quite challenging. The human foot is made up of various elements, including a padded bony heel, a set of arched metatarsals, and flexible toes. Putting all these different parts together may seem daunting at first. However, like any other subject, the foot can be broken down into simpler forms before adding the details. In this article, we will explore a five-step guide on how to draw feet.
Step 1: Top Plane
When viewed from above, the top of the foot slopes away from the ankle down to the toes. Start by drawing the overall shape where the toes will fit, and then divide that space by adding lines between the toes.
Step 2: Inside Plane
The inside plane of the foot resembles a triangular shape, running from the ankle to the big toe and heel. Use a rounded shape to establish the positions of the heel and ankle, as their relationship is crucial for the stability of the figure.
Step 3: Underside
The underside of the foot has curves that are more pronounced, similar to the imprints left on sandy beaches. However, these curves still fit within a broad triangle.
Step 4: Angled View
In reality, you rarely see solely one plane when looking at the foot. The idea is to break down the complex shape into simpler elements, using the concept of planes, before progressing to a more accurate representation of what you observe.
Step 5: Back of the Foot
The calf muscles gradually taper towards the Achilles tendon, creating a noticeable edge on the back of the foot where it connects to the heel. You can also observe the ankle protruding to the sides, with the foot extending forward.
Give it a Try!
Follow the steps below to practice drawing feet. This exercise should only take around 20 minutes.
What You’ll Need:
- Your feet
- A mirror
- Your preferred drawing medium
- A sketchbook
- Lean a mirror against a wall at floor height and sit down with your shoes and socks off, ensuring you can see your feet in the mirror.
- Make five-minute studies of your feet in your sketchbook, using the suggested structures mentioned above as a guide.
- Try drawing the top plane, inside plane, and angled views of the foot. To capture the underside or back of the heel, you may need someone else to pose for you.
- Repeat these studies as often as possible to enhance your observational skills and develop a personal drawing style that suits you.
For more art-related tips and techniques, check out our articles on sketching the head and shoulders, drawing hands, and gaining confidence in drawing figures.
This article was originally featured in Artists & Illustrators magazine. To receive a monthly copy delivered to your door or a digital edition, subscribe here.