How to Draw Arms on Fashion Figures

When making fashion sketches, you have to draw the arms in proportion to the rest of the body, or your drawing will look very off-balance. A common beginner’s mistake is to make the arms too short, so use the correct head count. Arms should be 2-1/2 heads long, not including the wrists and hands.

The elbows should line up with the waistline, about 3 heads from the top. Use your stick figure proportions as a guide to find the correct arm lengths.

Draw a figure’s arm like this:

  1. At the end of each shoulder line, lightly pencil in two cylinders for the upper and lower arms. A circle between the two represents the elbow.

    The length of the upper arm is about 1-1/2 heads, and the forearm is about 1 head long. End the first cylinder at the elbow, which is across from the waistline. The waistline is 3 heads down.

    The second cylinder ends arounds the top of the thigh (or 4 heads down) and tapers down to where the wrist and hand begin.

  2. Turn the sides of the cylinders into gentle curves to represent the muscles.

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