Female body shapes can be as hard or as easy as you want to make them. In this tutorial we’ll cover the standard hour glass shape but don’t limit yourself to that. Females come in all shapes and trying to stick to our perception of a female shape will limit your creativity when creating female characters.
Thank goodness for digital imaging. I couldn’t draw a straight line with a pencil if my life depended on it, or a crooked one either if that’s what I needed. Digital graphics programs can open a whole new world in creative drawing for you if you let it. CorelDraw is an excellent choice for the type of images we are going to create today.
The first thing to start with is a canvas about 400 x 400 pixels. Draw a standard rectangle.
Go to the Arrange menu and choose convert to curves. You’ll notice that besides the resizing handles you’ll now have four nodes, one in each corner of the rectangle.
We need to add a couple of nodes. To do that, right click on the top left node and choose Add. Then right click on the bottom right node and choose Add.
You should now have 6 nodes.
The next step is to smooth the nodes. Right click on each node and choose To Curve and right click again and choose Smooth from the pop up menu.
Pull in the left and right nodes to form a pillow type shape.
When you’re done you’re shape should be looking similar to below.
Since we’re talking cartoons here we want to exaggerate the curves so, pull the left and right nodes in a bit more and move them down a ways.
You can leave the bottom of the shape the way it is or add another node and move the new node up a bit. This area is what will be the bottom of the shirt or the shirt hem below the waistline.
I like working in color so I filled the first shape.
Draw another rectangle so that it is the width of the hip line as shown below.
There are lots of ways to create legs. For this tutorial we’re just going to alter our rectangle.
Start by adding three nodes to the bottom of the rectangle. To do that, right click on the bottom left node and choose Add from the pop up menu. Repeat that. Then right click on the node second from the right and choose Add from the pop up menu.
You should end up with something similar to below.
To create the legs simply pull the middle node up towards the hour glass shape.
Because I want my gal to have a neckline I’ve added a flesh colored oval to the top of the hourglass shape.
Just to get used to using the Trim tool I cut the shape from the neckline using the Trim tool.
To get the shape to fit nicely I cut it in half using the Knife tool.
I deleted the top half.
I then positioned the bottom half in the cut neckline.
This gal needs some arms. Arms are a lot easier to create than a first glance.
Create an oval and remove the outline by selecting none for the line style.
Create another oval and repeat the steps above.
Rotate the second oval and fit it to the first one. When you have it looking the way you want use the weld tool to merge them together.
Once welded, add a 0.5 line style.
Position the arm the way you’d like. You may have to do a little rotating to get it to look correct.
Copy, paste and position the duplicate on the other side. You can use the flip/mirror tools to mirror the duplicate so you don’t have to rotate it.
Add some shoes. Create a black oval and rotate it a little bit. Draw a skinny black rectangle and place it as shown below. Once you have one shoe, select both shapes, copy, paste, mirror and position the copy.
You’ve just completed a basic female body shape. I’ve added hands below created with the hands tutorial.
Once you’ve got a head on her shoulders add the garnishments. A little hair, some jewelry, a hat, and there you have a cartoon gal all ready to go.
Basic body shapes for cartoons are fairly simple once you break them down into separate shapes. I generally use three shapes for creating bodies and body parts and mold them as needed.
Below are some other body shapes you can create. All three of the body shapes below use the following shapes:
One of my body type libraries is represented below. This is my basic library.