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How to Draw Feet – the Easy Step-by-Step Guide

How to draw feet easy
Drawing feet study by Gvaat

So you want to know how to draw feet that look like actual feet, AND you want to learn the easy way to do it. You are in the right place, this is a tutorial on how to draw feet, the easy way with a helpful step-by-step method.

Drawing the feet involves breaking up the foot into three basic geometric shapes, drawing in the arch of the sole, and then further refining the drawing with organic lines.

We will go over this method with multiple exampels, and there are some demo videos on this page to help you get it right. Remember to keep checking proprotions throughout the entire drawing, if you see that something is wrong, fix it before moving on.

Medial drawing of the foot by Gvaat. Always start with basic geometric forms.

Why are feet hard to draw? Feet are hard to draw for two reasons:

  1. The shape of the foot is not easy to imagine or draw. It starts narrow at the heel and expands outward to the toes. The form also thins down from the shin bone to the toes.
  2. Making things more difficult for artists is the fact that the shape of the foot twists and turns depending on position. It is hard to keep track of these changes and even harder to draw them.

However, this four-step method makes drawing feet much easier. In my drawings, I noticed that I can now draw feet much faster and with much less effort than before. I am confident it will help you in your drawings! Let’s go over it now.

Drawing the foot: from simplified form, to drawing to a refined drawing.

Step One – Break Down the Foot Into Three Simple Parts

Drawing feet - breaking up into simple easy to understand forms.
Foot simplified and broken down into three sections.

Break up the heal into a separate section, it steps out from the leg as it descends down. Breaking it up into a separate section will help remember to watch out for the change in angle.

Takes pictures of your foot or look in the mirror, the heel does not continue straight down from the leg, it extends out. This is an important feature to get right and will help you draw more believable looking feet.

Drawing the sole of the foot
Drawing of the sole of the foot: 1) abstraction, 2) simplification and finding the arch (shaded in) 3) drawing 4) refining the drawing.

Why break the foot up in three parts for drawing? This divides the foot into movable sections with various shapes as the foot moves and twists.

Let’s focus on understanding and representing the shape of the foot correctly when drawing. To do that, we break the shape down into simple smaller parts so it is easier to analyze. We can then focus on the shape of each part before drawing in the details of the form.

Step Two – Add the Arch to the Middle Section of the Foot

Adding the arch of the foot to your drawing
Arch indicated on the medial view (the thumb side) of the right foot.

The medial side has the highest arch point on the foot. The arch can extend across to the other side but it is usually much less prominent there. The bony bits are indicated at 1, and on the other side at 2, we will cover these below.
Arch indicated in simplified form
See the arch exaggerated in 1, it is the highest on the thumb side of the foot. The simplified form is drawn over at 2, and refined at 3. See padding on the sole indicated at 3.

The arch slows and distributes the amount of force applied to the foot from your weight as the foot lands on the ground. The arch allows the foot to stretch, thereby distributing transfer of force from your weight to the sole. In this way the arch functions as a shock absorber.

When drawing in the arch of the foot, carefully observe where the curve begins and where it ends on your reference. Then refer to your drawing and compare it to the reference.

Step Three – Draw in the Bony Pointy Bits on Each Side

Drawing the bony bits of the foot
Tibia bone indicated at 1, on the inside or the medial side of the foot. On the lateral side, indicated at 2, is the fibula bone.

The bony bits that stick out on each side of the foot are the base of the tibia and the fibula of the leg. They are important landmarks, find their placement and indicate them on the simplified geometric drawing that you made in step 1.

On the inside of the foot (medial side and also the thumb side), it is the pointy base of the tibia that sticks out, and on the outside of the foot (lateral side and also the little finger side), it is the pointy base of the fibula bone. Fibula’s pointy bit is lower than the tibia’s, so draw it in that way.

Drawing feet, the bony bits
Indicating fibula’s pointy bit on the outside of the foot, and tibia on the inside, creating an easy to memorize shape.

A good way to remember which bony bit is lower is to remember that when the feet are brought together in a normal standing position, a line drawn through the bony bits creates a roof. So the bone on the outside – the fibula (lateral), is always lower than the bone on the inside, tibia. (medial).

Arch indicated. Tibia bone indicated at 1, and the pointy bit of the fibula is out of sight on the other side.

Step Four – Use the Underdrawing of the Foot as a Guide

A simplified form on the left, and a more refined drawing of the foot on the right. Step 1, 2, and 3 on the left, step 4 on the right.

Now that the basic structure of the foot is drawn, and you worked out where the arch is and sorted out the bony bits, it is time to go over the drawing with organic lines. Doing so will make the drawing appear more natural.

Pay attention to how shapes wedge into each other by looking at references of the foot, you can indicate those connections with overlapped lines. If you are looking for references to draw from, I collected some drawing references on my Pinterest page here.

Check out the step-by-step process implemented in the video below. In the lateral view, the arch of the foot is often hidden and therefore should be drawn subtely.

Additional Examples of the Structure of the Foot

Pay attention to the rotation of the foot

Foot joint rotation
Remember that the joint at the foot articulates the foot up (1) and down (3), but it can also roll the foot side to side.

Pay attention to the shape of the foot

Shape of the foot
Remember that on the medial side (the big thumb side) of the foot, the form of the foot extends further outward.
A difficult angle of the foot is first simplified into basic shapes to make the drawing of the foot easier.
Rhythms of the foot
Rhythms of the foot
shape of the sole
Remember that the shape of the foot is narrower at the heel (1) and wider at the toes (2).

Drawing the foot review
Arch of the foot indicated at 1 and circled at 2 is the tibia bone.

How to Draw Feet Well – Final Thoughts

Drawing the foot is made much easier by first simplifying its irregular form into simple geometric shapes. In addition to drawing in this way, find good reference to draw from and you will be on your way to drawing feet well!