How to draw the female breasts
How to draw realistic breasts.
Drawing breasts are a lot easier than some may think once you understand the basic makeup of the breast although I'm sure when we all first started attempting to draw our first nude we stuck two circles at the top of our females chest, stuck a small circle in the middle for the nipple area and thought, right that's the breasts.
How to draw women's breasts.
So if you want to learn the correct way to draw breasts on a woman you are in the right place. The first thing you need to understand is that the breast is not a solid object stuck to the woman's chest as is often portrayed, Shown in Fig 2
It is made up mostly of specialised tissue called glandular tissue which produces the milk, and adipose tissue which is a group of fat cells that extend from the collarbone, to the underarm and across the rib cage.
The amount of fatty tissue in the breast determines it's size, while the shape of the breast, and how it sits on the chest is determined by the connective tissue and ligaments supporting it. Examples of this can be seen later in this tutorial.
The fact that it is made up mostly of fatty tissue means that it does not protrude out of the chest like a half round football as often portrayed when you first attempt to draw a female nude but instead moves and reshapes itself according to the position or pose of the body which I will try to demonstrate throughout this series of tutorials.
Below are two examples, Fig 1 being the more convincing feminine interpretation of the breast with the breast sitting naturally on the chest and the nipple positioned more realistically as due to gravity they tend to always point slightly down and out. Whereas in Fig 2 the breasts are more solid looking and appear to be stuck on the chest with the nipples pointing forwards.
I will try to explain and simplify the above and help you to understand and, in turn, produce more natural realistic looking breasts on your drawings including how to shade and blend your drawing to give them a three-dimensional appearance on your subject as shown above.
The fact that all female breasts vary so much in shape and size means that there is no hard and fast rule on how they should look on your subject unless of course, you are rendering a drawing from an existing picture or life model.
Another important fact is that natural breasts are never perfectly shaped, nor are they exactly the same size, the nipples and areola's can vary also so if you are trying to render a convincing life drawing of a naked female you should always keep this in mind.
Many examples of how to make the breasts look natural in your drawings can be seen throughout the pages within this tutorial both with the model posed front on or in various other positions, such as bending over or laying down. There are also many examples of varying breast sizes demonstrated throughout for you to examine and to help you create a more convincing rendition of your subject as unnatural looking breasts on your subject will more often than not ruin the overall look of your drawing.
The key to getting this right is to first decide how you want them to look on the body, their size, be it large or small, and then, of course, practice their shape and overall appearance until you are happy with the finished look. Never press hard with your pencil as you do not want to create a hard edge as I will explain on the next page. (See Breast size)
I try to always imagine a right angle on my subject roughly starting at the centre of the collar bones and pointing out to just below the armpits as shown in Fig1 at the top of this page when positioning the breasts. This angle will vary however depending on the type of breasts you are drawing.
It is really in the mind's eye how they appear on your female, just try to make them look believable. If they work for you then chances are they will work for everyone else.
Obviously, you won't always be drawing your female front on so below are some more examples of the more realistic positioning of the breast in relation to the rest of the body. The breast is connected to muscle so when the arms or body move the breast moves accordingly, so try to allow for the movement when drawing them. For example when the arms are raised the breast will lift slightly. I practised these for ages so don't be put off.
Here are two front views showing the body straight and slightly twisted. In these views, the shoulders are back lifting the breasts slightly up.
Here is a side view showing the body straight and slightly twisted. Again you can see how the breast sits over the rib cage and how it is again slightly raised.
Again when shaping the breast In profile, or if my female is slightly twisting I imagine a right angle where I want to position the breast and then add the shape of the breast. I make sure the top line is longer than the bottom and curve both lines to form the shape.
For more examples of how the breasts look in difrerent pose please also see the tutorials on drawing Arms
It is important that you make the top line longer or your breast may look out of proportion. Obviously, if the pose needs this to be different then again use your eyes to decide what looks best. With that said, all breasts vary so next lets first look at the most well known natural types of breast shape.