How to draw the female breast

How to draw realistic breasts.

Learning how to draw the female breasts is a lot easier than some may think. That is, once you understand the basic makeup of the breast. Although when we attempted to draw our first nude we stuck two circles at the top of our females chest. Then 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 to draw the female breasts 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 How to draw realistic womens breasts
The breasts made up mostly of specialised tissue called glandular tissue. This 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. However the shape of the breast, and how it sits on the chest is always determined by the connective tissue and ligaments supporting it. You can see examples of this later in this tutorial.

What a breast should look like.

The fact that its 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. Instead it moves and reshapes itself according to the position or pose of the body. This 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. Notice how the breasts sit naturally on the chest and the nipples are positioned more realistically. Due to gravity they tend to always point slightly down and out. Whereas in Fig 2 the breasts are more solid looking. They also appear to be stuck on the chest with the nipples pointing forwards.How to draw the female breasts. How to draw natural looking breasts

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.

There is no hard and fast rule on how breasts should look.

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, and 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.
Shown throughout the pages within this tutorial are many examples on how to make the breasts look natural in your drawings. With both 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 learn how to draw the female breasts and create a more convincing rendition of your subject. Unnatural looking breasts on your subject will more often than not ruin the overall look of your drawing.

Decide how you want your breasts to look.

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 don't want to create a hard edge. This 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.

Breasts from varying angles.

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 breasts are connected to muscle so when the arms or body move the breasts move accordingly. With this in mind try to allow for the movement when drawing them. For example with the arms raised the breast will lift slightly. Here are two front views showing the body straight and slightly twisted. In these views, the shoulders are back lifting the breasts slightly up.Front on view of a womans breasts

Breasts side view
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 its again slightly raised.

Uplifted breasts, Arms 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. Then I 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 lets first look at the most well known natural types of breast shape.