A gift for art_attack
Before I start, you should know that this is just the way that I use, and is by no means the only/perfect way to do things. Also, this is my way of sketching things out, and it's not always anatomically correct cuz I usually don't check the sketch til a little later.
Now, the basic unit for the body is the head, so that's a good place to start, don't you think? :) This tutorial is focused on the body, though, so I won't be going into detail about the face itself.
If you're new to drawing, then a good way to start drawing heads is highlighted in red:
1. Sketch out a quick circle, it doesn't have to be perfect.
2. Make a t-sign in the circle, with the vertical line a little longer than the horizontal. (The horizontal line should match up with the edge of the lower part of the circle.)Notice how the t doesn't line up exactly with the middle of the circle, but it is actually a little lower than the center. This is because the T only serves as a basis for the front side of the head/face, while the circle is a basis for the rounded part of the skull. It becomes clear when the head is turned to the side, and you see the basic shapes come together.
3. Now, draw a curving line connecting the bottom of the horizontal line to the sides of the circle, and you're done.
Many people use the beginner's way, as it's a good basis for most facial shapes. It can have it's drawbacks, though, such as having the face becoming too small for the skull, or vice versa.
Here's the slightly faster way to drawing heads, or the way for those who just got tired of drawing circles. The steps are identical to the beginner's way:
1. sketch out a slightly oblong circle, sort of an eggy shape.
2. Put in the t-sign, right about in the middle.
3. (Optional) draw the chine shape.
Now that we have the head drawn, we can go to the next step.
Most humans are about 6-6.5 heads tall, so if our mystery person is of normal build, than he/she will be anywhere in between the green-to-purple or green-to-green lines. It helps sometimes to measure out the exact length of the head and put it down, just so that there is already a good idea of how tall the person will be, even before you draw them.
I'm going to make our mystery person male, as I think they are easier to sketch out full-length like this.
If you look carefully, you will notice that I had to erase some on the legs. I had originally made him to the purple line, but then he looked weird, so I stretched him out a bit.
Now some notes on his anatomy (lol):
1.) His torso is rectangular, yes, but it's not a strict rectangle. It's more like a upside-down trapezoid. The crossmark I put on his chest demonstrates the general area of his pectorals and the line his abs would follow, assuming he had a six pack.
2.) His arms. The upper and lower arms are both about the length of his head, and when they are fully extended straight down, his fingertips rest at about the middle of the fourth head, or about the middle/upper area of the thighs. His hands should be about 3/4 the lengths of his face, or from the chin to the middle of the forehead. (I forgot to sketch them in.)
3.) His groin area is pentagon shaped, at least at this stage of the drawing. If it's a view from behind, his backside would be a sort of rectangle shape.
4.) His legs are about 3.5 heads long, and they basically split that length evenly between thigh and calves. The feet add a little bit to the calves, and are usually about a fourth a head tall, and 3/4 head long, heel to toe.
5.) The major joints (shoulder, elbow, knees, crotch) are represented by circles except the crotch. That area is still made of circles, but the thigh covers most of it. It's good to remember this, because the joints are the linking areas of the human body.
Now for our lady. Again, it's not much different from the male anatomy, except for a few key points:
1.) Her chest. Yeah, I know I didn't draw her boobs. I purposely left those out, so I could make a few important statements about them. A) Breasts, under normal circumstances, never grow larger than the woman's head. B) If they were, the poor woman would suffer from extreme back pain.
So, try not to kill your female characters with large boobs. They will thank you.
Now, about her actual chest. It's more of a cylinder that's been stretched a bit than an actually hourglass or a rectangle. Her elbows would reach right about where her waist is (see the line?).
2.) Her height is just a little more than 6 heads, the average for girls, although again, it could be anywhere from 6-7 heads.
I hope this works as a sort of rough guide to the average adult/teenager human anatomy. Remember, mine is not the only truth out there. Lots of pros have made whole books on the subject. I would suggest that you read some of them; they're really helpful. :)
Good luck on your drawings!