I have written about figurative painting, about painting unclothed bodies of male and female. I have also risked painting female body in her natural beauty, too. But I had never thought about writing on a subject like ‘drawing bare breasts of a woman’.
Details of A Woman Reading
While meeting many artists and students who face problems in figure drawing, we would find it necessary to let them know how the breasts of a woman could be drawn. As our psychology works in a certain manner, we draw and paint figures as we think about the same. Before taking pencil in hand or putting colours on canvas, we conceive a shape in our mind and then proceed. So we draw the thighs of women with extra pads of fat; we draw the female breasts looking like balloons. That is what we generally believe and do. Here are echnical details an artist must keep in mind while drawing human figure in general and breasts of a woman in particular.
How to Decide Location of Female Breasts
Breasts are the biggest identifying parts of body of a woman. If we draw a strait line in the middle of chest of a woman, the breasts would be located at 45 degree angles from the said line. Were we to draw the woman from the front side, both the breasts would take almost identical shape. The shapes can vary from perfect round to oval; the position of the breasts could be tight to the hanging downward. If the breasts are to draw round, then the nipples would be placed in the centres of the breasts.
How to do Pencil Shading of Female Breasts
Once the drawing to shape out the breasts is done, the shading part could be done into the marked area. In shading the breasts of a woman we should follow the curves of left and right breasts differently. The shading of the left breasts should be done by left to right strokes. The shading would become less and less dark while going to the spot of nipple. The nipple should be shaded with 4B pencil or applying more pressure on the tip of pencil. The shading of right breast should be done by right to left strokes. Ensure that the strokes are done from upward to downward. Pencil shading done in this manner would bring out the shapes of both the breasts.
Drawing Different Types of Breasts
Technique of shading and applying the idea of shapes of the breasts of a woman is very much demanding. It is because there would be different types of breasts, which would require specific changes in drawing and shading technique. According to the shape and the volume they carry, the female breasts are classified in different types.
A Woman Reading, in Her Natural beauty -by Kenyon Cox(1856 -1919)
Rounded breasts are ideal for drawing and the flat breasts would occupy larger areas on the wall of the chest. After pregnancy, the breasts of a woman would look saggy. Where the nipples would look bold and drawn upward, the cleavage of the would make a curve on the chest wall and make the breasts to look swooping. Keeping in mind the various types of breasts and different shapes you are drawing, you will have to change the technique of drawing the lining and then shading accordingly. (Images courtesy By Kenyon Cox (Library of Congress)[see page for license], from Wikimedia Commons )