How to Draw Plus Size Characters: A Beginner’s Guide

To draw plus size characters, adjust body proportions and shapes to reflect realistic body types. To do this, proportionally increase the size of body parts like arms, legs, and stomachs.

Drawing plus size characters requires careful attention to body shapes and sizes. Artists must adjust body proportions to reflect realistic body types. This means proportionally increasing the size of certain body parts like arms, legs, and stomachs. Drawing plus-size characters also involves greater attention to details like skin folds and wrinkles.

By paying attention to realistic body shapes and proportions, artists can create realistic depictions of plus-size characters that will resonate with diverse audiences. In this article, we offer some tips and techniques for drawing plus-size characters that will help you develop a diverse body of work and appeal to wider audiences.

How to Draw Plus Size Characters: A Beginner's Guide

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Understanding Body Proportions For Plus-Size Characters

Creating plus-size characters can be a bit challenging if you are new to digital art or character design. The most important aspect when it comes to creating plus-size characters is to understand their body proportions. In this post, we will explain the basic principles of proportions, show you how to create a well-proportioned character, and discuss the different body shapes you can use to create your characters.

Basic Principles Of Proportions

Before we dive into the techniques, let’s go over the basic principles of proportions. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Every human body is unique in shape and size.
  • Proportions vary depending on a person’s height, weight, age, and gender.
  • Understanding basic principles of proportions is essential for drawing plus-size characters.
  • The fundamental principles of proportions include balance, rhythm, and proportionality.

How To Create A Well-Proportioned Character

Following the basic principles of proportions can help you create a well-proportioned character. Here are some tips:

  • First, decide on the height and shape of your character.
  • Pay attention to the relative size of body parts. For instance, the head should be proportional to the body size.
  • Take note of the overall balance of the character. Ensure the body parts complement each other correctly.
  • Avoid drawing extremely oversized or undersized body parts.
  • The character’s clothing should fit the body shape nicely, emphasizing the character’s positive features.

Understanding Body Shapes

Understanding the different body shapes can help you draw more realistic and relatable plus-size characters. Here are the different body types you can use when creating your plus-size characters:

  • Pear shape – this body type features a larger hip area compared to the bust and waistline.
  • Apple shape – this body type highlights the round tummy and emphasizes the bust section.
  • Hourglass shape – this body type features well-balanced upper and lower halves with a defined waistline.
  • Rectangle shape – this body type features a straighter waist and hips.

Following these body shapes can provide a basic blueprint for creating your plus-size characters. However, remember that every person’s body is unique, so make sure to tweak and adjust accordingly.

Creating realistic plus-size characters is an incredible artistic endeavor. Understanding the principles of proportions, creating a well-balanced character, and choosing the body shape type that fits the character, can help produce fantastic characters. With these techniques, you can create exciting plus-size characters that break through the traditional societal norm of stick-thin models and embrace all body shapes and sizes.

Sketching Techniques For Plus-Size Characters

Creating diverse characters in drawings can do wonders in representing different groups and changing representation in the industry. The fashion industry is a perfect example of how traditional representation of slim figures has left an entire population out. If you want to create plus-size characters, it’s crucial to learn the right sketching techniques.

In this section, we’ll walk you through the following key points in drawing plus-size characters:

Drawing Basic Shapes

Sketching basic shapes is the first step in any drawing, and it’s no different for plus-size characters. The basic shapes help in giving your drawing structure and proportion. Here are some elements to take into account when sketching basic shapes for plus-size characters:

  • Start with a simple circle for the head and larger ovals for the body.
  • Draw straight lines to indicate the character’s posture, such as the shoulder, waist, and hips alignment.
  • Using rectangles, draw the limbs starting from the upper arms, forearms, down to the lower legs and feet.
  • Avoid exaggerating the shape, as such characterizations can come across as insensitive.

Sketching Lines And Curves

Sketching lines and curves can grant definition and detail to your plus-size character. Here are some principles to keep in mind:

  • Use fluid lines when sketching out the character, especially when drawing curves for the body.
  • Give importance to the proportions of the character. Draw lines to connect the limbs with the torso. Draw a line in the middle of the body to indicate where the belly button is.
  • Draw more rounded curves with varying intensity to show the curves in the right places.

Creating Volume And Definition

Adding volume and definition is the most important part of drawing plus-size characters. You’ll want to capture the character’s body shape without perpetuating stereotypes or misrepresenting the body. Here are some ways to add volume and definition to your drawing:

  • Highlight the natural curvatures of the body.
  • Add details to the clothes, like soft gathers or pleats, that emphasize the character’s curves.
  • Avoid emphasizing the character’s precise weight by using subtle shading techniques.

Remember to keep your drawing unique and respectful to plus-size people. With these techniques, you can create accurate and realistic plus-size characters in your artwork that will not only be respectful but are visually striking and interesting.

Clothing Design For Plus-Size Characters

Understanding Clothing Styles

When creating clothing designs for plus-size characters, it’s essential to understand various clothing styles and what looks good on different body types. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Avoid shapeless styles that hide the curves; instead, opt for clothing that flatters their body shape.
  • Have a clear understanding of different clothing types such as a-line, peplum, wrap dresses, and maxi dresses.
  • Use vibrant colors and bold prints, but avoid large prints as they can make the character look bigger.
  • Be mindful of sleeve length, neckline, and dress length as these can impact the overall look of the character.

Designing Clothes To Suit Proportions

To draw plus-size characters, it’s essential to take their proportions into account when designing clothes. Here are the key points to remember:

  • Choose fabrics that are stretchy and comfortable to fit the character’s body shape.
  • Use vertical lines to create an illusion of length and draw attention away from areas they may feel insecure about.
  • Experiment with different shapes and silhouettes – for instance, a fitted waist with fuller hips and thighs.
  • Be mindful of the scale of patterns and avoid using too small or too large prints.

Creating Outfits That Fit Well

Creating outfits that fit well is crucial when designing for plus-size characters. Here are the key points to remember:

  • Layering is an excellent way to create a cohesive and flattering outfit.
  • Define the waist by wearing a belt or high-waisted pants/jeans to enhance the hourglass figure.
  • Avoid bulky or too-tight clothes, as they can detract from the overall look.
  • Choose undergarments that will provide support and flatter the character’s shape.

Remember that the most important thing is to make the character feel comfortable and confident in their clothing. By designing flattering, well-fitting, and trendy clothes, you can make your plus-size characters stand out while feeling and looking their best.

Coloring And Shading For Plus-Size Characters

Understanding Color Theory

Color theory is an important concept to learn when it comes to coloring plus-size characters. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Choose colors that complement each other. Avoid using colors that clash or are too similar, as this can throw off the balance of your artwork.
  • Think about the mood or emotion you want to convey with your colors. For example, warm colors like red and orange can evoke feelings of passion and energy, while cool colors like blue and green can convey calmness and tranquility.
  • Consider using neutral shades to balance out your color palette. Neutral colors like black, white, and gray can help make your other colors pop.

Adding Shading For Dimension

Shading is an essential technique for adding dimension to your art, especially when drawing plus-size characters. These tips can help you get started:

  • Observe real-life objects and notice how light falls on them. This will help you understand how to apply shading to your artwork.
  • Decide on the direction of your light source. This will affect the placement of your shadows and highlights.
  • Use gradients to create smooth transitions between light and shadow. Pay attention to where the light source hits your character’s body, and darken areas that are farther away from the light.
  • Practice using different shading techniques, such as crosshatching or stippling, to achieve different effects.

Tips For Coloring Plus-Size Characters

When coloring plus-size characters, there are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Use darker shades to create depth and contrast. Plus-size characters often have more curves and contours, and using darker colors can help emphasize these features.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different textures and patterns. This can add visual interest and make your characters more unique.
  • Consider using warm colors on areas you want to highlight, such as the face or hands.
  • Remember that there is no one “right way” to color plus-size characters. Embrace your own style and have fun with it!

By keeping these color theory and shading techniques in mind, you can create beautiful, dynamic artwork featuring plus-size characters. Happy drawing!

Portraying Confidence And Personality In Plus-Size Characters

Drawing plus-size characters is a skill that requires practice, patience, and knowledge of anatomy. It’s also important to keep in mind the character’s personality and emotions when drawing them. In this section, we will discuss how to portray confidence and personality in plus-size characters.

Understanding Your Character’S Personality

Before you start drawing your character, it’s important to establish their personality traits. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is their background, and how does it shape who they are?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What motivates them?
  • How do they react in different situations?

Once you have a clear idea of your character’s personality, it will be easier to draw them with confidence and authenticity.

Creating Realistic And Confident Poses

Body language is crucial when it comes to portraying confidence and personality in plus-size characters. Here are some tips for creating realistic and confident poses:

  • Avoid stooping or slouching. Draw your character standing tall with their shoulders back.
  • Use asymmetrical poses to give your character a dynamic and confident look.
  • Add weight to your character’s poses to make them feel grounded and stable.

Remember to use references to make your poses look realistic. You can look at photos of people in similar poses, or even use a mirror to see how your own body looks when striking a pose.

Portraying Emotions

Emotions are an essential part of any character’s personality, and it’s important to portray them accurately in your drawings. Here are some tips for drawing plus-size characters with different emotions:

  • Use facial expressions to convey your character’s emotions. Draw their eyebrows, eyes, and mouth in different positions to show how they are feeling.
  • Use poses to reinforce the emotion. For example, if your character is angry, you can draw them with their fists clenched or their arms crossed over their chest.
  • Don’t be afraid to exaggerate the emotions to make them more visible in your drawing.

Remember, drawing plus-size characters with confidence and personality requires practice and attention to detail. Use these tips as a starting point and continue to refine your skills. Happy drawing!

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Draw Plus Size Characters

How Do I Draw Plus Size Characters?

To draw plus size characters, start by studying different body types and proportions. Focus on curves and create a foundation with basic shapes, adding detail as you go. Be mindful of angles and body language to create a natural and realistic pose.

What Are The Common Mistakes In Drawing Plus Size Characters?

One of the most common mistakes is to draw plus size characters as caricatures, exaggerating their curves or making them overly cartoonish. It is important to remember that plus size characters can be just as complex and nuanced as any other character, so take the time to create a well-developed and thoughtful design.

How Can I Learn To Draw Plus Size Characters From Life?

To draw plus size characters from life, consider attending body positive events or seeking out models with different body types. Study the way weight is distributed and pay attention to how curves and lines change when shifted. Practice sketching different poses and angles to build your skills.

How Do I Make My Plus Size Character Realistic?

To make your plus size character realistic, pay attention to details such as body language, clothing choices, and personality traits. Consider their weight distribution and how it affects the way they stand or move. Remember that plus size characters are just as diverse as any other group, so take the time to create a unique and multi-dimensional character.


As we conclude, drawing plus size characters might seem challenging at first, but with practice, you will become a pro. It’s essential to have the right mindset and approach your drawings with a positive attitude. Remember that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and as artists, it’s our responsibility to reflect that in our art.

By focusing on proportions, body language, and the details that make each character unique, you can create realistic and relatable plus-size characters that everyone can appreciate. Don’t let societal pressure dictate your art, and always remember that diversity is the key to creating a more inclusive and representative world.

So, embrace your skills and portray plus-size characters with confidence and pride. Happy drawing!

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