Here's part 2 of my figure drawing tips. Sorry for being so late. Part one can be found here.
GOLDEN RULE #4. NEGATIVE SPACE AND POSITIVE SPACE ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT. You've probably heard that said a million times, but what does it really mean? OK. Take a look at the figure below. This is the order in which most people would draw her legs.
Draw the first leg, and then the second. In doing this, you may often find that neither of your legs are placed correctly, and that your whole figure is out of whack. So what should you doooo? This is what. Draw the first leg (You should try to draw the straightest leg first; the one which is bearing the most weight from the body.) THEN, draw the negative space in between the two legs. LASTLY, draw the other leg. By treating the negative space in between as EQUALLY IMPORTANT to the positive shapes of the legs, you'll make sure everything is correct. It all should fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Learning to see negative space is difficult at first, but you'll get the hang of it soon enough. I have to remind myself to keep doing this as well; it's easy to get out of the habit and get lazy.
#5. MEASURE PROPORTIONS AND ANGLES AND DISTANCES WITH STRAIGHT LINES. Use straight measuring lines all over your figure. Go crazy with them until your drawing looks like St. Sebastian in a box of uncooked spaghetti. Measuring proportions, distances, etc against another part of the figure is a great way to avoid errors. See the figure below:
See how her right foot is sticking out about the same distance as her head? And how the back of her left calf is almost aligned to the back of her right arm? How her right heel is at the same height as her left ankle? And how the length of her head is about the same as her shoulder-to-ribcage area? Straight measuring lines have bestowed upon you all this amazing knowledge. There's nothing wrong with actually drawing the lines on the paper. As you progress, you'll be able to draw them in your mind.
#6. SCARILY DISTORTED POSES. Don't be a sissy like I often was in school and take the easy position so you can draw a head-on view or 3/4 view or whatever you're comfy with. Try some crazy foreshortened poses! Draw an action pose. A reclining pose (those are hard!) Mix it up, and you'll be amazed at how much these practices build your skills.
That's all I have for now. I hope you have acquired some new wisdom to use next time you are drawing the human figure! Feel free to ask me anything you want to know and I'll do my best to answer. Now it's time for me to put my own golden rules into practice. See you later!
Figure photos courtesy of http://www.characterdesigns.com