Learn to Draw Feet From Any Angle!

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0. Introduction

Drawing feet can sometimes seem as daunting as drawing hands, if not even more so.

And while drawing feet is more easily avoidable than hands, today I’ll be sharing some tips and hacks to help you and make you want to tackle drawing feet the next time you draw.

1. Understanding the Basic Sections of the Foot

Before drawing the feet, we need to know what parts they are composed of. To make it easy to remember and understand, we will simplify the foot into six sections.

These sections are shown in the illustration below and are as follows: toes (green), ball of foot (yellow), base (light blue), heel (orange), arch (purple), and the ankles and leg (dark blue).

Knowing what these sections look like from different angles will make it easier to visualize them in a reference and focus on getting each simplified part right separately rather than tackling the feet as a whole.

Here are three more helpful things to keep in mind about the feet:

The inner ankle is slightly higher than the outer ankle.
The inner side of the foot is visibly higher than the outer side of the foot.
Both the big toe and the small toe have a single joint while the other three middle toes have two joints.

In relation to the legs, the length of the leg from the lower ankle up to the upper end of the knee is approximately double the length of the foot from the heel to the big toe.

Similarly, the distance from the upper end of the knee to the pelvis is also double the length of the foot.

Here is a standard default Clip Studio Paint female 3D model to demonstrate this:

2. Simplifying the Foot into Simple Shapes

For easier construction of the foot, we can convert it into simpler shapes that are easier to work with. The six fundamental sections are still present here but in a simplified form.

The length of the foot, from the heel to the toe, is three times its height from the ankle to the heel.

Since these shapes are not strictly geometric, it is easier to get a more organic-looking foot from this construction.

Here is how you can go from a rough sketch to a complete foot drawing with this type of construction.

It is also a great way of doing quick foot studies and understanding the different foot sections from various angles.

3. Using References Effectively

References are crucial whenever drawing anything, especially if it is unfamiliar and complex like the foot. Apart from the simplified construction method, you can study from references the following way:

Create a sketch while paying attention to how each of the six sections of the foot are placed in correspondence to one another.

Start from the leg and ankle. Moving on to the heel, arch, and base, you can jump between them instead completing one and then the other and next. Lastly, include the ball of the foot and the toes.

Once satisfied with the sketch, duplicate its layer and place the duplicated sketch onto the reference. By doing so, all the areas and angles that are incorrect will become more pronounced.

Now with the insight of the modified reference, adjust your sketch to make it more accurate. Finally lower the opacity of your sketch and do the lineart. You can also add shadows to create more depth.

Here are some demonstrations of the complete process:

4. Creating Silhouettes

Shapes are easier to detect in comparison to the angles between lines. So if it is difficult to detect exactly where you went wrong and how to fix it, you might want to try creating silhouettes instead of line drawings.

Once the basic silhouette is complete, flick your eyes back and forth from the reference to the sketch.

Doing so will help you detect the differences between the two and correct them.

For these changes and adjustments, you can also use the liquify tool to correct the angles and widths etc.

Here are two demonstrations:

Silhouettes will help you focus on the overall impression of the poses without getting lost in the details.

5. Using 3D Models

Clip Studio Paint’s 3D models are great for anyone who wants to quickly draw the feet in any angle.

After adjusting the model for the pose you want, trace a general sketch. The sketch is just supposed to be accurate enough to be a sound base and does not need to look pretty.

Once done, lower the opacity of sketch and do the linart with more decisive lines and varied line weight adjusted to your style.

Here is a demonstration:

You can also use this method to make shoes using 3D models of shoes from the Clip Studio Assets.

Bonus: Making Shoes using Flat Brushes and Border Effect

By following the planes of the foot we can easily add shoes to a foot from any angle. Here is how:

You can use any brush as long as it is flat and its angles can be adjusted (like the Flat Watercolor Brush).

Have your foot drawing ready. To make the shoe we will be using the “Calligraphy” Pen, which is a default Pen sub tool.

Create a new folder above your foot layer. In the [Layer Property] panel, choose the first icon for border effect and set it to black with three or four points thickness.

Create a new layer in this folder. With the brush angle adjusted to the angle of the heel, draw the sides of the sole. Then in a new layer below this one, draw the silhouette of the top of the shoe. Erase any extra areas with the transparent color.

In a layer below these two, we will make the bottom of the sole.

However, since the plane of the bottom of the foot is at a different angle than the sides, we need to adjust the angle of the brush first.

Then, we can complete the shoe by including the bottom of the shoe.

For outlines around the sides of the soles, go to its layer’s [Layer Property] palette and apply the border effect with less thickness than of the entire folder.

You can add details to the shoe using another layer with the border effect.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways of drawing feet and knowing even a few can help overcome the reservation from including feet in your artworks.

I hope these tips and tricks were helpful and made it easier for you to draw feet and shoes.

In conclusion, I will leave leave you with two of my illustrations that would have felt incomplete without feet and shoes:

Thank you for reading! If you any questions, please let me know in the comments.

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