Representing the human figure appears to be one of the oldest recorded human activities that shows an urge beyond the instinct for survival. It seems to be where the impulse to make art begins. There are certain ways of representing the figure with charcoal or chalk as it was done between the 16th and 19th centuries in Europe that we tend to think of as the ideal style of figure drawing. In fact, when viewed from the global perspective of today we can see that, over time, the figure has been represented in incredibly diverse ways. These reflect the equally diverse ways humanity appears and has viewed itself across cultures and through the centuries. Modernist artists of the early 20th century such as Matisse, Picasso, Bonnard, Klee, and Modigliani understood this and showed the way to the infinitely expanded possibilities that exist today for those who wish to portray the human figure.
Here is a recent article about my approach to the subject: