How to Draw a Figure Skater

Written by simone wood
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How to Draw a Figure Skater
Sketch each dynamic leap and pose. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Graceful and athletic, figure skaters mix balletlike movements with stunning jumps and wonderful speed, and are lovely and challenging subjects to draw. By breaking down the human form into more basic shapes and gestures, it is possible to render these dancers on ice realistically. Freeze your favourite pose, spin or jump and capture it with a pencil and paper. While a stationary figure is easier to draw than a moving one, either of the two is feasible.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Drawing board
  • Tape
  • Eraser

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    Drawing the Figure Skater

  1. 1

    Tape paper to your drawing board. Position the drawing board vertically so that it leans steadily against your work surface, wall or easel.

  2. 2

    Draw a thin, vertical oval approximately 3 inches long in the centre of your paper with a pencil. This will be the skater's thigh. Draw a smaller, tapering oval of about 2 inches directly below the first, so that their ends touch. This will be the skater's calf. Draw a small circle around the place they meet. This is the skater's standing leg. At the base of the leg, draw a skate pointed to the left.

  3. 3

    Draw another, 3 inch-long oval that overlaps with the top of the standing thigh. This oval should come out to the right side at a 50 degree angle from the standing leg. This is the lifted thigh of the skater. Draw another, 2 inch-long oval attached to the end of this first one, allowing it to slant upwards slightly from the thigh. This is the raised calf of the skater. At the end of the leg, draw a skate pointing slightly down and behind the skater.

  4. 4

    Draw a wider, 3-inch-long oval coming up from the top of the skater's thighs. This is the skater's torso. Allow this oval to be broader at the top and tapered at the bottom, which will be the skater's waist. From the top right side of the torso, draw a slender, 1-1/2-inch oval that is parallel to the skater's lifted leg. Draw another slender, 3/4-inch oval coming off of and in line with the first. This is one of the skater's arms. Draw a soft, outstretched hand at the end of the wrist. From the top left side of the torso, draw another 1-1/2-inch slender oval reaching out and upward to the left side of the page. Add another 3/4-inch slender oval to it, and draw an outstretched hand at the end.

  5. 5

    Draw two vertical lines of 1/4 inch each, roughly 1/3 inch apart from one another coming out of the top centre of the torso. This will be the skater's neck. At the top of the neck, draw an oval approximately 1 1/4 inch in height and 1/2 inch in width. This is the skater's head.

  6. 6

    Draw the skater's hairline and a high bun at the crown of her head. Add her costume by drawing a short, triangular skirt from her waist to her mid thigh, and adding a neckline and sleeves to her torso and arms. Erase any smudges or extra lines.

Tips and warnings

  • Practice sketching a regular, standing figure before you try to draw the figure skater. This will give you an idea of the proportions of the body before you begin.

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