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When drawing women, the breasts are a key point that many artists want to get right. It’s important when drawing sexy poses, but also for simply making your characters look believable and anatomically accurate. It’s easy to fall into the trap of making the breasts look unnatural and hard, or as if they are not properly connected to the body. Today we’re going to go through some great tips to help fix those areas, and draw natural, believable chests for our characters.
The breasts are made up of fat and soft tissue, and are therefore their shape is easily influenced by things like gravity and clothing. Let’s keep this in mind when drawing.
Remember about the décolleté (the area between the neck and breasts) when drawing. Don’t just draw the breasts immediately under the collarbones – we want some space here, for a natural balance.
When drawing the straps on clothes and underwear, remember to think about the thickness of the body.
The basics of drawing breasts
One of the main reasons for failing to draw natural breasts is that the artist has been unable to imagine the breasts as soft, almost “fluid” shapes, and are too focused on the swell of the breasts, making them totally round and hard looking. They also often don’t think about how and where the breast is connected to the body.
Thinking of the breast as a water-balloon laying against the flat surface of the chest with really help fix both of these issues. This helps us to see how and where the breast is connected, and where it swells out the most. We can see that the part at the top where it is connected is stretched, and the main weight of the breast comes at the bottom where gravity is pulling it down.
This works for any size of breasts – simply change the size of this “water balloon” to create larger or smaller breasts.
Of course the way the breasts are shaped, and how they move will change drastically when drawing different poses, but for now let’s be sure to get this default shape and position perfect!
Next, let’s take this “water balloon” technique and see how we can use it to draw real breasts on a body.
Here we have a totally flat chest, which could be a man’s chest, but this is what we want to use as our base. Having an understanding of the shape of the chest under the breasts will help us attach them naturally.
We’re starting with very simple shapes, so let’s just place these two circles to get an idea of the position.
Now we adjust the shape of the breasts, drawing in the “anchor” part of the breasts – the part where they are attached to the chest. This makes a kind of teardrop shape. Remember to keep the décolleté in mind when drawing, so the position of the breasts is correct. The décolleté should be a triangular shape.
There are countless different shapes and sizes of breasts, but when viewed from the front like this, try to think of the water balloon shape we looked at earlier. Have the balloons originate from up by the armpits and bend down and around to lie on the chest.
Also, keep in mind that breasts do not naturally have the “cleavage” that we are used to seeing when a character is clothed. Naked, unsupported breasts will naturally lie apart, to the left and right of the chest. Bras and tight clothes are what push the breasts together to create a cleavage.
With some final linework adjustments, we have our completed image!
We hope this will help you with your work! Keep studying hard, and we’ll see you at the Academy!