How To Draw A Stick Man
The stick man is one of the easiest things to draw. Alongside simple houses and trees he can be Daddy, Mommy or an imaginary friend for a child to start them drawing.
However, it is not only children who draw these stick figures!
Far from it. There are thousands of people doodling away - adding stick figures to cards, tees, websites and anything you can draw on.
Cool cute figures are in adverts and books. There are popular comic strip sites on the net with a variety of stick designs.
The stick idea is in logos and graphics throughout our world - an easily recognisable image to give the viewer a message.
From fun to business there is more to this simple character than might first appear.
This page covers the basic stick figure from the classic shape with techniques and examples to take him a little further. The images are variable in quality because they were drawn over a period of several years. As my technique hopefully developed then maybe so did the designs. There are a lot of pictures on this page so apologies if it takes a while to load. Draw a stickman while you're waiting.
The images are variable in quality because they were drawn over a period of several years. As my technique hopefully developed then maybe so did the designs.
There are a lot of pictures on this page so apologies if it takes a while to load.
Draw a stickman while you're waiting.
About This Page
This page was created when I first started drawing stick figures. It began as a small set of ideas about the classic guy.
Sometimes I come back and add new tricks in. So the page begins with the basics and expands into a number of things you can do with a stick figure.
It is a bit long, random and messy but might be fun and useful.
Here is your basic stick man.You could look at him and think "What the heck, I could draw that".
That is the whole point. You CAN draw him. So get your pencils out.
The first drawing shows everything the basic stick guy needs.
Some people may disagree and have their own ideas. That is fine. There is no set rule that says exactly how he should be drawn.
The next drawing is a stick man profile. It is a joke but there is a purpose to it.
With one line and a few words you have a cartoon. A stick guy is the beginning. What can you do with him?
A stick guy is the beginning. What can you do with him?
Different Types of Stick Figure
There is no right way to draw a stick figure.
This is obvious when you look at the variety that people produce. No one can sayone style is more correct than others.
Art should be enjoyable. As you doodle, play and experiment your own style will begin to appear.
A few stick figures are shown below as examples. There must be an infinite number of ways to create a stickman.
Add in the infinite possibilities of what he can do and you have a very large number indeed.
Probably more than fifty.
What Pen to Use?
For drawing on paper I use reasonable quality black felt pens with fine and fatter points. A good quality printer paper (80 gsm plus) and a few color felt tips for highlights. It is important to get the quality right if you are planning on scanning and uploading your creations.
The classic stickman probably looks best with a solid black line.
On a tablet or drawing pad there is every pen type available. Brushes, chalks - you name it. Although I still tend to stick with a black line as the start point for any stickman design.
Most of the drawings on this site are created using aWacom Graphics Tablet. After a short learning curve it becomeseasy to use, saves on paper and pens and reduces general clutter. Now I would never go back to pen and paper.
Going digital has many benefits. No need to be stuck with a drawerful of static paper creations when you can revisit, improve and play with digital images as often as you like.
Hands and Jointed Limbs
Here are four stick guys.
A basic one.
Waving and thumbs up.
Pointing with other hand on hip.
They are simple sketches to show the variety that adding joints and simple hands allows.
Once you experiment with jointed limbs there is no limit to what your stick guy can do. Climb, sit, walk - all that good human stuff instead of standing there with a silly grin on his face.
Climb, sit, walk - all that good human stuff instead of standing there with a silly grin on his face.
The Arm Position Debate
The traditional design for a stick man is shown in figure 1. The arms are part way down his body. That seems like the right position for the basic figure.
Some people draw the arms higher up towards the head.
When you need elbows and hands things get complicated. That is when position three seems to be the ideal place to position them.
You have to leave a little space for the neck.
The head under arm position shown below is less for drawing tips and more about the simple fun that drawing stickmen provides.
These stickman faces illustrate the variety and frustration of finding the 'right' way to create your drawing.
- Early stickman face with eyes and mouth for expression.
- Adding a pink tone seemed a good idea for designs on dark background.
- Removing all facial clues and minimalising the image.
- Another angle on simple expression.
With each type of face design I was initially pleased and then unsure as time went by.
Self-doubt can get in the way of drawing anything - so ignore it.
It is amazing how expressive a stickman can be. Easily enough to cover requirements for illustrations, cartoons, web pages, product and so on.
Below are a few simple faces. They show how the mouth and eyes offer scope to draw emoticon style expressions. You can think of a stickman as an emoji with arms and legs. There are thousands of possible expressions to let people know how your stickman is feeling. Social media tries to reduce the complex range of human emotion to happy / sad and love / hate but there is a lot more variety in the real world.
There are thousands of possible expressions to let people know how your stickman is feeling.
Social media tries to reduce the complex range of human emotion to happy / sad and love / hate but there is a lot more variety in the real world.
Shades and Sunglasses
The usual face (fig.1) contains a couple of round eyes and a line for the mouth.
A simple trick to make your stick guy look cool is to draw shades instead of eyes. Sunglasses are easier to draw than eyes and make an instant effect. See figure 2.
In figure 3 he is wearing mirror shades. It didn't work so well but you get the idea.
Experiment with rim colours and shapes and upgrade your stickman!
The classic stickman has no hair but drawing some is an easy way to add difference, color and interest to your stick figure designs.
The examples shown are in order of how I developed my preferred hair style - from 1 to 6. Here is a brief explanation.
- classic style - no hair - some people said they lookedbald.
- stylised hair - straight lines - got bored with that.
- similarly stylised - alternate style for stooge in two character cartoon.
- more random hair - more natural and arty.
- similar random strokes - this time across the forehead.
- real hair with color- well nearly.
Here is another way to draw hair and fill with color.
It makes for a fuller, more graphic feel.
- Draw the face.
- Add a vague hair shape.
- Rub out unwanted lines.
- Fill with color.
The simple stick figure head shape is round.
Round head, with a stick body, arms and legs. It is the easiest and quickest way to draw a stickman.
When you want to show different head positions, looking up, down or whatever, a more human oval shape helps.
Add a Hat!
Although stickman should be fairly stick like in appearance there is no rule to say he can't wear a hat. There are no rules anyway so you can do what you like.
There are many good things about hats.
- Easy to draw
- Give a clue to what he is
- Chance to add some color
So don't forget a hat if you feel like it!
The baseball hat is a fun and easy thing to add to your stickman's head.
Draw a line through the top of the head, come out one side, and colour fill the hat.
The ultimate original stick figure (see 1) has no hands. Hands look stupid. They are unnecessary additions to the simple classic design.
Things get more complicated when you need him to do stuff. My next step in stick design was guy number 2. He has two stick fingers to hold things or point at them. That is pretty much all you need.
Some people draw him with the shapes in figure 3 - a weird oval blob which seems pointless to me.
Figure 4 shows simple hands in cartoon style. They have a few fingers and are colored in pink for contrast. They are more than good enough for cartooning.
The subset of hands below shows a little more detail.
- a - thumbs up
- b - pointing
- c - a hand
Why bother? Because I want my stick man to be a little fuller, more colorful and look good on a black tee. Black lines don't show on a black background but color does.
Once you get relaxed doing cartoon style and forget about drawing perfect human hands it becomes a whole lot easier.
More on Hands
This is a fun technique which helps when your stickman needs to hold some stuff. Drawing proper hands is pretty tough even for real artists. The graphic shows a simple method.
Our stick guy is holding a baguette. That is a French bread stick to save you time on Wiki. The bread is brown and his arm and fingers (the important bit) are pink.
You can see how the suggestion of a thumb and fingers are easily created. Simple ovals for those overlapping fingers and a continuation of arm into thumb. Adding color helps to give the impression of a hand holding something.
The standard quickly drawn stick figure has no feet. A couple of legs, arms, body and head is more than enough.
But if Michelangelo had been satisfied with stickmen without feet he would never have drawn the Sistine Chapel.
So feet are, bad pun warning, the next logical step.
Here are some examples of stickman feet and shoe suggestions.
However you drew the hands will probably determine the foot style - simple straight lines, ovals or cartoon style with a suggestion of toes and shape.
One of the good things about adding feet is drawing shoes which help show extra detail, color and clues as to what your stick guy is doing.
The flip-flop wearing foot in the pic is kind of fun.
Use simple tricks to make it look like your stickman is moving.
Check images of people performing the activity on Google Images and try to draw the body, arms and legs in a reasonably accurate position.
Add flowing hair plus a few optional extra lines for movement clues.
Add picture clues to what the stick guy is doing.They can be easy to draw and add color, interest and meaning.
Here are some examples. Eating a burger, raising a hat, reading a paper.
Does anyone raise a hat or read a paper anymore? Probably not.
Think of something your stickman might like to do and draw it.
Stickman Comic Strips
Why not spend the rest of your life drawing stickman comics? It seems a cool thing to do.
Here is a simple idea where our resident stick man draws his own image.He does a good job of showing how to draw one. The figure is so lifelike that it shouts and starts to run off.
Could an artist become so proficient that a realistic drawing comes to life and becomes a living thing?
Color v Black and White
The stick man is black lines on white paper. There are no ifs and buts about this, it is a fact.
If you checked Wiki and they had bothered to write an article about it, which they haven't, they would say "Always draw in black pen on white paper".
However. A little color will add interest to any picture especially when it contrasts well with the basic design.
Of course there will always be a sarcastic traditionalist waiting to pounce.
Once you have the basic figure there is so much he can do. Sitting, walking, climbing, shouting, praying, talking, the possibilities are endless.
Each activity takes a little practice and before you know it your creation will be able to master anything you throw at him. Not that you should throw anything at him. There is no need to be mean, unless you feel like it.
In proper art lessons they teach the basics of human figure drawing by using the stick man as a tool to get the movement and posture. I wouldn't know about that.
Google Images has pictures of pretty much everything the human being can do and a little studying and effort can soon achieve a reasonable looking character.
The Science Cartoon started with an idea for a couple of characters and a third hapless stooge.
Plus some semi-realisticrandom chemistry equipment.
Adding extra details and a little color make a simple image into more of a proper picture.
Less Is More
What on earth does that mean?
Less can't be more because scientifically speaking more is greater.
Graphics don't need science. They need strong instant understandable appeal. The less extra detail, the more the important bits stand out.
Another major benefit is - the less you draw the fewer the mistakes. The science cartoon above has lots of twiddly bits but is not a pure simple graphic.
These kite designs are examples of images drawn a year or so apart. May 2017 to September 2018 to be precise. They show how an idea can be created with fewer stronger lines.
Removing unnecessary detail can improve an image.
Stop Children From Drawing Stick Figures!
After years of drawing stick figures and putting favorites on the internet it was disappointing to get a visit for the above search term.
It sounds like a worried parent wanting to move their child away from the basic figure and onto other things. Seeing a dividing line between proper drawing and graphic design.
A stick drawing is a graphic image. It is good enough for lots of things including info-graphics, simple illustrations and company logos. It is certainly good enough to have fun with which should be one of the main benefits of drawing.
Trying to produce a realistic still life can put people off art at school. Well hey - they have cameras for that.
Aparent should celebrate any lines their child draws on a page.
A 3D Stick Man
This is the worst 3D picture on the internet.
There are wonderful examples elsewhere and it would be great to be able to draw a realistic stick man climbing out of the page.
This quick drawing plays with the idea. How easy is it to draw a stick figure standing up on a piece of paper?
I forgot to add shadow and light which are important perspective clues but it almost works. Another problem, he is four times the size of the guy lying down.
Adding Shading For Depth
Some months after trying and failing to draw a 3D figure I discovered the fun of shading. Adding a little light grey wash brush around or inside lines to give the impression of depth, shadow or rudimentary 3D.
Like all new techniques this needs practice which will come from overuse, mistakes and eventually add to my small artistic tool box. The guy crawling out of the paper is from the early stages of learning how to shade. It's not his fault. He had no choice over his graphic designer.
A couple of things worth mentioning in that drawing are as follows.
The stickman is fleshy. Not really a stickman at all. This makes the contrast between figure and background much easier to achieve. He can be color filled which is fun and shaded which is even more fun.
The '3D' shading effect is done using a wash brush in a grey color. Go round some of the lines and shade as it feels right to do.
The paper tears or rips don't work so well. Another technique I need to learn.
It might be a good subject for an art teacher to irritate his pupils. "Draw a stickman crawling out of a page" he could say. It would make a change from detention. That is about the time I gave up art, and regretted it years later.
Here is another guy busting his way out of the page. It is a small step forward from the previous effort.
3D is hard.
Stickman (and Woman) Curves
Here are a couple of examples of creating a body shape in stick style. A fat guy and a sexy lady. A stick figure
A stick figuredrawing does not have to be the straight lines that come as standard when trying to draw something in MS Paint. It is possible to put curves in.
The fat guy shape could easily be turned into a pregnant stick woman or he could exercise a bit and develop a six-pack.
As the artist it is entirely up to you.
Dressing Your Stickman
The basic figure is fine without clothes. He is a stick man - therefore he needs that black thin body.
However, if you want to add some color - clothes will make it happen. It can be very easy to do. There is no need to spend time creating realistic shirts, jeans and shoes if you either can't or can't be bothered.
A simple wash brush or colored felt-tip can add an extra layer to your stick figure. Use the wash brush or highlighter to overlay the black lines.
Here is stickman choosing and wearing an outfit. He chose suede shoes, blue jeans and a tee.
These three stick figures show the effect of different ideas for clothing.
- color replacing part of the black lines for a tee and jeans
- using the wash method over lines for clothes
- drawing clothes shapes and coloring in
Fleshing Out a Stickman
Here is a simple way to add more detail to a stick figure design. No great art talent is required but you get a fuller looking character at the end of it.
Use the stick design to layout the basic person. To design what they are doing - standing, sitting, walking, whatever.
Add the basic clothing outline for t-shirt, pants, shoes and accessories. This is rough and ready work - adding a few simple lines. Create arms by adding extra lines to the existing arms plus hands if you need them.
Finally - color in the new details. Modify as you go along and make your stickman a more fully rounded person.
You can draw stickmen for ever. They can stay the same basic shape with your ability remaining at whatever level. You can even give up altogether but then why read this page?
Or you can push yourself. As you want to do more with your stick style drawing fresh challenges emerge,
Need a car? Draw one.
Want some background? Draw it.
Add tools and sports equipment? The same answer, extend yourself.
Each new challenge results in additional skills. If you try to get better you probably will, and if you draw lots you will get better without even trying.
If that sounds like one of those awful improve yourself speeches it is not supposed to be. It's more of a self-analysis of the effort I have put in over the years from a background of no art talent whatsoever.
The graphic below is one of my current favourites. An example of pushing beyond my comfort zone to try to move forward. These are not great art but they give me pleasure to create.
Thanks for reading if you got this far down.
One small note about stickmen in lines or fleshy style.
Fleshing out stick figures seems the next logical step in learning to draw like a proper artist. The problem is he doesn't look like a stickman anymore. Without care he looks like a dork. There is much to be said for keeping stick figures in a simple classic style.
Whatever you do with your stickmen always try to keep it fun. Some people turn their much-loved hobby into a chore by taking it too seriously and that can spoil the enjoyment.
Don't forget to share this page with friends or maybe better to keep quiet about it.
More Art >>
The Chapman Stick is a 5 and 1/4 octave, stringed and fretted musical instrument played with a two-handed tapping technique. Both the instrument and the technique were created by American musician and inventor Emmett Chapman.Who invented stickman? ›
The Chapman Stick is a 5 and 1/4 octave, stringed and fretted musical instrument played with a two-handed tapping technique. Both the instrument and the technique were created by American musician and inventor Emmett Chapman.What age do children draw stick men? ›
Around age 3, the stick figure emerges. Your little one's first stick figures will likely be circles with lines sticking out (again, children across cultures tend to draw stick figures similarly).What are the 5 rules of drawing? ›
- You can't say you can't DRAW. ...
- Trust yourself. ...
- There is NO right or wrong way to draw. ...
- Follow through and try. ...
- There are no mistakes (and no erasers). ...
- Don't be critical of your own or someone else's drawing. ...
- Take risks and experiment.
- Face your fears. You need to overcome your fear of being judged by the quality of your drawings. ...
- Practice makes perfect. ...
- Don't focus on the visual quality. ...
- Use colours and shadows. ...
- Learn to draw long lines. ...
- Sketch in layers. ...
- Rotate the page. ...
- Use templates.
Start with simple shapes and lines
One of the best ways to start learning how to draw is by working with basic shapes and lines. Begin by drawing simple geometric shapes like circles, squares, and triangles. Then, try adding some simple lines to these shapes to create more complex drawings.
What are the controls of the game for keyboard? WASD-keys for moving/jumping, right-click to block, left-click to punch or shoot, and F for throwing weapons. Enter is chat.What is the Stick Man art called? ›
A stick figure, also known as a stick man, is a very simple drawing of a person or an animal composed of a few lines, curves, and dots. Often drawn by children, stick figures are known for their simplistic style.What is a Stick Man in slang? ›
slang. a person who aids or acts as an accomplice for a pickpocket.Is Stick Man an art? ›
Stickman aims to create a style of art that brings these iconic figures and songs back into our lives in a unique way through fine art. The concept of Stickman's work is to combine realism, pop-art, impressionism and other disciplines of art to express the feelings and emotions of the subject or musical inspiration.
- Act Confident. ...
- Don't Be Afraid Of Getting Rejected And Go Say Hi. ...
- Turn On The Charm And Make Her Laugh. ...
- Listen To What She Says And Try To Add On Your Experiences. ...
- Play Hard To Get. ...
- Be Nice and Compliment. ...
- Don't Be Hesitant To Ask Her for A Second Date.
One of the most effective things you can do to make a character look more masculine is to widen the jaw and make it more angular as well. Body fat is also linked to testosterone, the primary male sex hormone… The more testosterone your character has, the less fat tissue you might want to give him.Why do kids draw stick people? ›
The stick men children draw are a good indication of how they perceive their body. Children begin to show an interest in drawing stick men at a young age and progressively improve their ability to do so as they become more aware of their body parts and how they work together.Why do kids draw stick figures? ›
Sometimes kids just want to have fun, and their stick figures are just that. But other times, they can reveal inner thoughts and feelings that we can surmise by taking a closer look. We can be over-analytical and draw too much from what we see.What is the golden rule in drawing? ›
The golden ratio is found when a line is divided into two parts such that the whole length of the line divided by the long part of the line is also equal to the long part of the line divided by the short part of the line.What is the 1 3 rule in drawing? ›
Putting the horizon line 1/3 of the way from the top or 1/3 of the way from the bottom creates a more attractive composition. This is the rule of thirds in action. And of course, using the rule on art with vertical elements instead of horizontal ones works just as well.What is the first rule of drawing? ›
Rule #1 suggests that it's easier to work from the general to the specific rather than the other way around. Start with the largest shape you see. Forget everything else and draw that shape. It may be the outer silhouette of a person or subject, or it may be a shape that includes more than one object.How do people draw so smoothly? ›
For smoother lines, try not to draw from your fingers and try to draw from your elbow or shoulder. This might require a change of grip. This is a great comparison of hand positions for drawing. Try ghosting the stroke in the air before you commit.How do you score a draw a man test? ›
Using a blank piece of paper and a pencil, the seated patient must draw an entire man. The picture is scored by giving one point for the presence of each of the following body parts: head, trunk, right arm, left arm, right hand, left hand, right leg, left leg, right foot, and left foot.How do you make a simple stickman? ›
You need couple of sticks, ideally one with a Y shape for the legs. Place one stick across the other to form the arms. Hold it in place by using a pipe cleaner wrapped around. Then you can dress your stick person by adding things that you have collected and your googly eyes.
Later, the first systematic scoring system for children's drawings was developed by Goodenough  in her Draw-A-Man Test (DAMT). In the DAMT, children between 4 to 10 years of age are asked to draw a single picture of a man.