“Do you have a book on how to draw stick figures?”

You could have knocked me down with a feather when someone asked me that question the other day. I’d never even considered it, because

  1. it seemed too simple.
  2. my newsletter subscribers get free access to my videos on how to draw good stick figures (and turn them into cartoons).

Any-hoo, because the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement,  I have put together this tiny book. Follow the lesson here on the blog, and/or download the ebook as a PDF.

Or both!

Ali’s Stickman Recipe – How To Draw Stick Figures (Step by Step)

Or rather, Stick-by-Stick 😉

It sounds so simple because it is! A stick figure is made up of a few simple marks on paper or screen.

First we tackle the ‘head and upper body’ section

You will need: 

  • a circle for the head
  • a long, vertical line for the neck and spine
  • 2 shorter, horizontal lines for the shoulder girdle and hip girdle respectively

how to draw stick figures











Now for the legs

You will need:

  • 2 x 2 short, equal vertical lines (one for the thigh, one for the shin)
  • 2 ovals for the feet


how to draw stick figures step by step











And finally the arms

You will need:

  • 2 x 2 short, equal (almost) vertical lines (one for the upper arm, one for the forearm)
  • 2 ovals for the hands.

draw good stick figures











What about joining them all together?

Putting it all together is what counts, because you need to make use of some strategic joints in the body. Certain joints are the difference between a Stickman who tumbles and leaps, and one who remains rooted in one spot.

You will need:

  • 12 tiny circles (to represent the shoulder, elbow and wrist; hip, knee and ankle joints)

Now it’s time to draw your own stick figures

This is what a ‘standard’ height stickman will look like once you’ve put all the body parts together and used the 12 tiny circles to indicate the strategic joints:

stick figure guide















There’s so much MORE you can do with a Stickman

You can:

  • change its age by varying its leg and head sizes
  • make it dance and leap by changing poses
  • add clothes and turn it into a cartoon character.

Here are two things you can do IMMEDIATELY

  1. Mail me here if you want me to explain anything, or add something extra to the book.
  2. Access free video demonstrations here to help take you from drawing simple Stickmen to Cartooning



Showing 5 comments
  • Lucy Blackman

    Love your book! A really handy reference.A request .. a simple face

    • Alison

      Hi Lucy

      Thanks, I’m glad you like it. I’m updating it to include all the improving feedback I received, so it’s about to get even better. Watch this space!


    • Alison

      And for a simple face, I’ll be happy to oblige.

      In the meantime, take a look at the Drawing Faces section on my YouTube channel:

  • Chris

    It a wonderful thing when the artist gets to use the word
    ‘Strategic’ to describe their method!

    Thank you!

    • Alison

      Hi Chris

      Ha! I’m all about strategy 🙂
      Learning to draw well is a process as much as it is art.

      Thanks for stopping by.


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