Drawing Tutorial: Simple Stick Skeleton

Every drawing has to start somewhere, and for me, I start with a skeleton made of simple lines and shapes.

Sounds lame, but here me out. I try to look at everything as a simple shape (apples are circles, bill boards are rectangles, etc). A character’s build is no different. The skull is a circle, the torso is a rectangle, and the hips are a mix of an oval and triangle.

For this tutorial, I’m gonna show you how I start drawing by creating a simple skeleton, building a manikin, and combining the two into the base.

Before we start, if you are working with pencil, try to use light strokes. To me, this helps with erasing mistakes, and with shading later. Heavy strokes leave ghost lines (dent lines) in the paper, and those are no fun for making clean sketches.


Once I’m done, it’s off to creating details, which again are just simple shapes. I erase any old lines to clean things up, and make it easier to sculpt out the drawing.

This is my go to technique for most of my drawings, because it creates a map of my character (pose, direction, etc). It also useful for getting a general idea of the character’s pose and shape.

This tutorial is based on what I’ve picked up while drawing, and it may not fit everyone’s style. Everyone has their own approach, and this is just my opinion. However, I hope some might find this useful in building their characters.

Artwork and Tutorial by me, anbumsw

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