Learn to draw people with croquis

Learn to draw people with croquis

It is said that "croquis" are the best exercise to learn how to draw people. Here you will learn what croquis are and how they improve your drawing skills to create drawings faster and more spontaneously.

Croquis is a drawing exercise technique through which you learn to draw all sorts of things, including comics and animations. Croquis drawings of people teach you to realistically depict the balance, joints and limbs of the human body, and also improve your observational drawing skills.

So how about a croquis warm-up before you draw your next illustration?

What are croquis?

Croquis is all about getting into to draw something quickly in a short time. The trick is to reduce the intricate details of the human body to the essential elements (proportions, balance, mood, etc.).) and put them on paper as quickly as possible. No special equipment is needed to draw croquis. All you need is a sketchbook and a pencil. Practicing with croquis drawings will improve your drawing skills because you will learn to recognize and draw the most important characteristics of a figure faster.

You can use photos as templates for your croquis, but even better are real people or objects. Avoid fancy poses, because you will learn the most with natural everyday poses. So you can just ask your family or friends to model for you. Croquis of animals are also very instructive. You can also practice on your pet, if you have one. If all these are not options for you, you can also just use any object from your room. For example, you can try drawing your favorite model figure from different angles.

Drawing utensils for croquis

– paper

You can use any kind of paper, such as. B. Drawing paper or copy paper. The best thing to have is a sketchbook, because you can have all your drawings in one place and see how your drawing skills improve over time.


For croquis drawings, it is optimal to use a soft pencil, preferably between 4B and 6B. You can also use a mechanical pencil, but then the lead should be a little thicker so it doesn’t break too quickly or damage the paper. Recommended here are 2mm.

It is important that you do not use an eraser for correcting!

Other pens

Instead of pencils, you can of course also draw with other pens such as ballpoint pens, felt-tip pens or fountain pens, if you prefer. different pens create different lines. For example, the lines change with Fountain pen depending on the strength of the pen.

Some also prefer it with Brushes to draw because they like the fine textures they create. In addition to conventional brushes, there are also brush pens or watercolor brushes. But make sure you use appropriate paper if you want to use a pen other than a pencil to draw. A sketchbook is rather unsuitable in this case, as paint can bleed or print through the paper.

Just try out different pens or brushes for different drawing objects to find out what you like.

Croquis Draw digitally

You can also create your croquis with a drawing program on your computer or with an app on your smartphone or tablet. If you draw with the computer, you will need a graphics tablet and a pencil. With some apps, you can also draw with your fingers if the necessary touchscreen features are available. Of course, drawing on a smartphone screen is not ideal, as the screen is not large enough to capture the entire figure. This doesn’t mean you can’t use your smartphone, because drawing with your fingers is still a good exercise!

Another advantage of digital croquis drawings is the wide range of pens and brushes that can be downloaded. You can use them to create exactly the same brush strokes as you would with real pens and brushes, and adjust them exactly to your personal preferences.

Although real people are still best for drawing croquis, 3D modeling features from drawing software or 3D figure apps can also be very useful. Here are some examples of 3D modeling software.

Magic Poser

Magic Poser is an app for posing 3D figures, where poses can be intuitively created by dragging the different body parts. Only the male model can be used in the free version. In-app purchases for other figures and accessories are possible. Only available in English.

Easy Poser

Easy Poser is a 3D figure posing app that lets you view a figure from different angles. In the paid PRO version you can use and save even more models. Only available in English.


CLIP STUDIO PAINT drawing software has 3D drawing figures with freely customizable body shapes, sizes, proportions and poses as well as hands. With 3D drawing figures as a template, illustrations – from sketching to line drawing to inking – can be created quite easily! Available for PC and iPad in different languages.

Learn to draw people with croquis

3 rules for croquis drawings

1. Set yourself a time limit!

First think about what you want to draw. Living models like friends or family are best, but photos from magazines or photo albums are also fine. Set yourself a time limit for drawing of 10 minutes! You can stop time with your phone, for example. In the beginning there will probably not be enough time, but that’s normal. For now, the only thing that matters is that you practice as much as possible. After some time you will be able to finish your croquis within the 10 minutes without any problems.

2. Draw the big picture, not the details!

When drawing croquis, it is very important to draw the lines quickly. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and draw as many lines as you need. Once you get used to it a bit, you can also try drawing the lines in different widths to make it look even more realistic.

When drawing croquis, never start with the eyes, but always with the silhouette of the whole figure. Only then can you move on to the more detailed, characteristic parts.

Over time, you’ll learn how to correctly depict body shapes and proportions, such as silhouette, bone shapes, and the length and width of arms and legs. You also develop a sense of where the center of gravity of the body is, which is essential for drawing natural poses.

3. Capture the mood!

Compare your croquis drawing with your model and check if the proportions and disposition match. When illustrating, it is important to capture the state of mind correctly. When children draw, they tend to focus on the emotional state of the person rather than the physical details. When drawing their parents, for example, it’s always obvious how they’re humored, even if the facial features aren’t accurate. Of course, it’s also important to get the details on the face and the hands right, but never forget to capture the mood as well.

What are the benefits of practicing with croquis?

By practicing croquis drawing you can increase your drawing speed because over time your brain remembers the different body proportions and poses, so you no longer need guide lines for sketching body outlines.

Most famous manga artists can draw characters without sketching them first. They can do it because they can imagine in their head exactly what they want to draw. It’s not easy to get to this level, but practicing with Croquis definitely helps to do so. Professional artists really create countless croquis drawings, using a variety of materials and references. Many always carry around a sketchbook and pencil so they can sketch the people or animals they encounter at any given moment.

If you want to improve your drawing skills but don’t know where to start or how to do it, the best thing to do is just get a sketchbook and a pencil and draw croquis en masse! Your drawing and observation skills will definitely improve!

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