Look for the line of balance or the centre of gravity in a standing figure: it begins at the top of the skull and passes through the middle of the nose, straight down the middle of the chest cavity. With a back view, the line starts from the back of the neck on the spinal column. From a side view this line of balance starts at the back of the ear and travels down to the weight-bearing foot. The line indicating the central axis also helps indicate where the body mass or majority of the body weight is placed. If the figure moves or if the model sits down, the weight or mass changes to a different area of the body.
Move around the model before you begin to draw to get a sense of where the figure is in its allotted space and to identify its centre of gravity and gesture. Mark the central axis in your initial sketches of the standing figure. Ask the model to change poses every two to five minutes. Draw as many quick poses as you can.
In these quick sketches explore where the central axis is and also where the majority of the body mass is directed. This is marked as an arrow through the body on the drawings. As weight is distributed from one leg to another the head tends to follow and a plum line dropped from this point helps to locate the direction of the body weight. It is harder to see in a crouched pose. These studies will be useful as reference material for future work.