Mastering Anatomy & Proportions in Character Art with Clip Studio Paint

The Importance of Anatomy for Character Art

Studying human anatomy is very important for character artists.
Anatomy is the study of the structure of the human body, including the skeleton and muscles, their functions, and how they work together.
Understanding human anatomy is a fundamental aspect of character art that helps artists create believable and expressive characters.

Anatomy to learn the skeleton and muscles correctly

Draw bodies accurately

When referring to drawings, pay attention to body proportions, including the size and shape of each body part, to be able to draw accurate human bodies.

Draw various poses

With knowledge of anatomy, you will be able to draw the character’s body without hesitation, using the entire body, for things such as action poses. The more poses you can draw, the more familiar and attractive your characters will seem.

Draw according to the character’s age and gender

Men and women have differences in their physique. And bodies change with age as well. By making use of your knowledge of anatomy, you will be able to draw young children, teenagers, and elderly characters.

Draw deformed characters

In addition to being useful for drawing real characters, knowledge of anatomy can also be applied to drawing deformed characters. By understanding the structure of the body, you will be able to choose which parts to emphasize and which parts to omit when drawing deformed characters, making them look more natural and lifelike.

Enhancing Character Design with Clip Studio Paint's Pose and Drawing Reference Tools

Clip Studio Paint has 3D tools to help character artists improve their skills.
If drawing the human body is not your expertise, try using 3D figures. The body shape of 3D figures can be adjusted according to gender and age, enabling them to be used for a variety of character types and styles.
Posing can be done freely with 3D figures. Don’t worry if you are not good at making poses. Loading the pose materials available on Clip Studio Assets will enable you to pose characters with just a click. You can select from more than 20,000 poses, making Clip Studio Assets great for practicing drawing character poses and action.
You don't need to find the pose material that perfectly matches what you are looking for either. Using the Pose Scanner, which can apply poses from photos taken with a smartphone or other device onto a 3D figure, you will be able to make poses right away.

Pose Scanner for using photo poses with 3D figures

Angles can be freely changed, and an exaggerated perspective can be set like with manga characters, so you can consider deformation that shows off the character in addition to accurate human body perspectives.

Exaggerated perspectives like with manga characters can be easily created.

Best Practices for Using Clip Studio Paint to Improve Anatomy and Proportions in Character Art

You need to practice drawing regularly in order to learn human anatomy and body proportions and to improve your drawing. It is a good idea to set aside some time every day to practice drawing. You will improve faster if you keep the following points in mind instead of just drawing on your own randomly.

Use reference books

Read and study various anatomy books. Knowing the structure of the human body is important for correctly drawing the proportions of a character. It is important to draw correct proportions without falling back on old drawing habits.

Develop observational skills to capture the shape of the whole body

A good way to learn to draw the whole body is to go out and try sketching people walking down the street. Spend 5 to 10 minutes observing the model and train yourself to capture and draw the shape of the whole body. You will improve your observation skills and at the same time learn how to draw the basic human body.
It is also recommended that you draw a variety of body shapes different from those of models in books and photographs.

Sketch capturing the human body

Pay attention to details

To draw more realistic and attractive characters, pay attention to details such as muscle tone and bone structure. Drawing from a collection of poses is good, but observing and drawing your own limbs will allow you to discover different things.

Utilize tools

If you want to draw action poses and other poses that cannot be found in pose collections and the like, try using Clip Studio Paint’s 3D figures. 3D drawing figures can also be used to draw low-angle and high-angle compositions that are difficult to draw with models. In addition to body proportions and poses of the characters, you can also practice techniques such as coloring on a daily basis. This will broaden the expressiveness of your characters.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: Drawing Characters with Correct Anatomy and Proportions in Clip Studio Paint

Practice making correct poses using the 3D drawing figures in Clip Studio Paint. Here we will show you how to load 3D drawing figures and poses onto the canvas.

1. Select a 3D drawing figure

From the [Layer] menu, select [New Layer] then [3D drawing figure].
When a screen for selecting a 3D drawing figure is displayed, select the body shape of the 3D drawing figure you want to use, and then click [Next].

Select a drawing figure

2. Select a pose

When a screen for selecting a pose is displayed, select the pose for the 3D drawing figure, and then click [OK].

Select a pose

The 3D drawing figure is loaded to the canvas.

3. Determine the angle

You can change the camera angle by dragging on an empty area of the canvas.

Determine the angle

4. Draw a character by using the loaded figure as a reference

If you place a layer over the 3D drawing figure, you will be able to use the figure as a drawing reference.

Draw a character by using the loaded figure as a reference


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