Female Anatomy

In this blog post, I will be discussing the female anatomy especially in comic book style and how to accentuate the female figure. I am Lalit M S Adhikari at LTY.



Female Anatomy

A video to help understand Female Torsos

Before starting I want to clarify that I am fully focusing on the comic book style art form, not the realistic figure drawing.

Again the first thing I will start with is “construction”. Whenever most of the artist, illustrators and animators draw figures weather its cartoon or realistic, they always start with a simple foundation.

Sometimes it might feel daunting or complicated when you look at someone’s final artwork and you admire their art and you want to draw like that. But most of the art you’ll see that looks a bit of something like this.

female anatomy study
Female stick figure construction

We have steps, when we take those steps backward it starts with a very raw sort of aesthetics. So, using this deconstructed method moving forward this is usually the way I like to go about it.

I start off with the core or more solid shapes that is the part of the skeleton like the rib cage and the hips or the pelvis.

Then I use simple lines and shapes and adding things like limbs if they are in a particularly tricky pose and then slowly using silhouette over the muscles.

And slowly but surely, I refine my silhouette until I have the final shape. If you are making these sketches digitally I advise you do each of these drawings in a different construction layer.


Identifying the key features of female anatomy

female anatomy study
Line of motion

Here I want to tell you about the process of identifying the features of the female form that are most notable that you can use as a bit of a foundation and things to think of when you are drawing females in your illustrations.

So, in the above visual example, you can see the blue lines are my construction lines and the grey pencil lines on the top that are the final and refined details.

But the blue lines and the construction lines show the shapes of the skeleton that I roughed up first and slowly used to build up the silhouette.


I want to start this topic by outlining some key difference between male and female anatomy and some key features of female anatomy:

Difference between the male and female torso

male anatomy vs female anatomy
Male Torso Vs Female Torso

The shape in the inside often referred to as the “hourglass figure”. So, we first go “in” at the waist just under the rib cage and then out towards the hips.


Hip and Shoulder Ratio

female anatomy study
Female’s Hip & Shoulder ratio

It’s always good to keep in mind to draw the hips the waist of the female figure at least as wide as the shoulders if not slightly wider. It’s quite different from a male physique which is often having shoulders that are quite wide.

So, when we are drawing typical comic book style females, we need to use some of these that are clichés that help us communicate femininity.


Back Arch

female anatomy study
Back arch in female

When accentuating femininity the reason having particularly arched back is that it pushes the chest up and the hips out and this creates a visual emphasis on those two areas on the top and the bottom half of the female torso.


The limb shape

female anatomy study
Slender legs

Female limbs are softer in comparison to the male limbs. It means wrapping the skin around the muscles and bones in a way that isn’t over the top and maintaining smooth curves and an elegant feminine look.


The curves

female anatomy study
Curves in female anatomy

Here, when I say curves, I mean lines of motion of the body as a whole for example in this above figure. Rather than keeping the line of motion in a straight line try to keep it in a curvy line in an “S” sort of shape.

And the result will look much more appealing and feminine than something that has no motion.

And hope you’ll find these tips I find it useful.


Drawing Black Widow

So, while experimenting with female figure drawing I re-imagined the character of “black widow” from marvel universe and try to give it my own twist.

black widow female anatomy step 1
Black Widow – Work in Progress – 1

Keeping in mind with all the female anatomy features I’ve described above I first created a construction lines skeleton.

black widow female anatomy step 2
Black Widow – Work in Progress – 2

After satisfying with the construction lines I slowly started moving on with the refined detail.

After completing the detailed body sketch, I moved on to the dress part. I tried to recreate the fight scene of the black widow from the Iron Man 2 movie.

black widow female anatomy step 3
Black Widow – Work in Progress – 3

Here, I’ve experimented with various base colors.

black widow female anatomy step 4
Black Widow – Work in Progress – 4

And then with the details and adding more features.

black widow female anatomy study
Black Widow’s Digital Painting

Then after a bit of lighting, color dodging and working with the background. Here, is the finished artwork.

I hope these tips will help you to understand the basics of female anatomy especially for drawing the comic book characters. In my next blog in anatomy and figure drawing series, I will be discussing the anatomy of the male figure.


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Lalit M. S. Adhikari

I am Lalit Adhikari. I'm Blogger, Graphic & Web Designer.

Articles: 101

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