How to Draw Feet
Hello and welcome to today’s tutorial!
If you’re new here, my name is Leah and this is Anatomy of a Sketch, where I teach you the basics of human anatomy and how to draw it.
Today’s lesson is all about how to draw feet!
Is it hard to draw feet?
Well, I think that the #1 reason it feels hard is that most people don’t like to look at them.
Reason #2 is that feet bend and move so much, and the toes and small, and often it’s just hard to get the shape right.
So if you don’t want your characters to always be wearing shoes, let’s learn how to draw feet together.
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How to draw feet from a front view
In today’s tutorial, we will learn 4 different angles to draw feet.
The first one we will go over will be from the front view.
Before we start drawing though, I want you to find reference photos for each position of the foot:
From the front,
the foot and heel from the back,
the foot from the side,
and a top-down angle.
I always use references, especially for anatomy drawing.
It will make life a lot easier, and give you something to base the image off of.
Pinterest will be your friend when looking for references!
Have your references?
Okay, let’s get to drawing!
Step One: Draw the BASIC outline
In step one, we are going to sketch out what we see as the outside line of the foot.
This is just a sketch, so down worry about perfection.
Next, we will look at the basic shapes of the foot.
Breaking down the foot into simple shapes will help you to see it more clearly, and draw it more easily.
The ankle (purple) is almost like an upside-down diamond shape.
The heel is like a ball or hacky sack shape.
And the toes are a rounded triangular shape.
The major shapes in the heel, ankle, and toes will be what we want to make the most prominent in our final art.
Next, let’s outline the foot and toes.
We are going to do this with a pencil (or on a new layer if you’re working digitally).
The reason being is that working with a pencil, we can still change the shape if we need to.
Step Two: Draw the toes
So far we have our basic outline of the foot, and in this step, we are going to draw the toes.
Below, you can see I have highlighted the toes to show exactly where we will be drawing.
I have colored everything from the knuckles of the toes to the tips.
When working with toes (or fingers) you really want to have a solid grasp on the shape before moving on to drawing each individual toe.
You can see in my image that the big toe is separated from the smaller four toes. This is because of the stance my reference character was standing in.
It feels like a very natural stance, and it lets me show some real separation in the toes.
Maybe the hardest part when we are drawing feet is drawing the toes, but I am going to give you some tips for that!
When drawing the toes from the front, start by drawing balls for the ends of the toes.
This will help you with spacing and proportion.
From there, start to draw the lines that lead up the foot and outline each toe.
Toes actually have sort of wavy lines moving upward instead of a hard straight outline.
Step Three: Coloration
The last part I always work on in my illustrations is coloring.
I think it’s really important to like your linework before jumping into color.
You can see below that I finalized the linework, and filled in the skin tone.
To me, this always makes the image look finished.
If you really want to deep dive into it, I will be posting my full-color shading tutorial on my Patreon for Hero tier patrons, but we will talk more on that at the end of the post!
How to draw feet from the side
Next, let’s learn how to draw a foot from the side.
Step One: Draw the basic shapes
From the side, the foot in its very basic form looks similar to a scalene triangle.
I always add a circle to represent the ankle initially, and then draw what will be the shin.
Step Two: Outline the foot
Next, I do a rough outline on top, adding in the toes, the bend in the top of the foot, and a defined arch and heel.
The next step is to draw the toes
NOTE: The sketch above could easily be turned into the inside of the foot by drawing just the big toe, instead of drawing all five toes.
The sketch below is of the outside of the foot.
Step 3: Draw the toes
The toes, as I’ve said, are typically the trickiest part.
Honestly, the best way to learn how to draw them though is to study your reference photos.
Taper the toes down the front of the foot from the big toe to the pinky.
Lastly, I will color in the image and do some light shading.
(I’ll give you a link to my shading tutorials at the end!)
How to draw feet from behind
When drawing a foot from behind, start with a circle for the heal, and a guiding line for the direction of the back of the leg.
Next, we will draw the “ball of the foot”, the front half of the foot where the toes will be.
Because we are drawing the foot from this angle though, you won’t see much of the toes.
Next, let’s draw a lopsided diamond shape that represents the ankle.
Above this, we can outline the back of the leg.
Here is a reference guide for the shapes of the foot!
I like using colorful reference guides because I feel like it helps us see it in a different way.
The next step is to outline our shapes and create what will be the back of the foot.
Once you have this step down it’s time to color!
How to draw the bottom of a foot
The bottom of the foot is probably the most recognizable shape in the beginning stage.
Below, you can see my basic initial sketch, excluding the toes.
In this next sketch, I added the toes and the ball of the foot.
The two big circles represent the padding towards the front of the foot.
In this next step, I used circles to outline the pads of the toes and outlined the foot again.
I have also added some curvature lines in the center of the foot.
In the image below, I have finished my linework and added some new lines to represent creases in the skin.
And lastly, I added a lot of color and shading!
How to draw feet from a top-down angle
Last but not least, let’s look at how to draw feet from a top-down angle.
For this last image, I drew two feet next to each other.
The feet look very pointy and triangular in the beginning stages.
This is a good place to start though and is a pretty recognizable shape for the feet.
Below, you can see that even though this is a top-down angle, I still drew the tips of the toes as balls.
This is to get the proper shape and length of each toe and to get the proportions correct.
Next, let’s work on our final outline for this image.
Here we will define the ankles, the inside of the feet, the outside of the feet, and the toes.
After this step, I added one solid color so you can see my finalized line work!
And of course, after the image is finished I added more color and shaded.
Thanks for learning with me!
Thank you for choosing Anatomy of a Sketch to help you learn how to draw feet, and any other anatomy drawings you may want to pursue.
If you have any questions about today’s lesson, feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I will try to reply as soon as possible!
Also, if you have ever wanted to take your art to the next level and add more color and depth, consider joining our community on Patreon!
I do monthly full-color art tutorials showing how I shade, highlight, and add depth to my characters.
On Patreon, I post monthly FULL-COLOR tutorials for my Champion and Hero tiers!
These are so much fun, and Patrons are able to comment and ask questions as well as “like” posts and answer polls.
My Hero tier also receives a monthly vinyl sticker from me via snail mail!
These are such a big hit. Some of the ones we have done so far are Harley Quinn, Princess Leia, Aloy (Horizon Zero Dawn), and Jane Foster from the Mighty Thor
And if you are a Patron, we do take polls so you can help pick which stickers I send each month.
Thank you for being here today and learning how to draw feet from me!
Be sure to share this post if you found it helpful, and I will see you in the next lesson!
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Hi there! My name is Leah, and I am going to help you learn how to draw, and take your pictures to the next level. I have college-level experience with form drawing and multiple art classes under my belt that have helped me create these tutorials. Let's learn how to draw together!