Proportions and Measuring in Drawing Faces and People Made Simple!

By: Todd Harris

Proportions and Measuring in Drawing Faces and People Made Simple!

Proportion and Measuring

Proportion is a word often associated with another word for artists, stress. But I'm here to share with you that it doesn't have to be a stressful word.

Proportion...How big should the head be? How long should the legs? How long should I draw this line? These are questions, we as artists, face everyday. There are several tools and methods to help artists with proportions.

There are certain proportion formulas, such as the figure being a certain many heads tall, or the head of the figure being so many eyes wide.

I like to know these formulas and use them as a guide. The human form being so individual you can never go strictly off of these formulas alone. As an artist, it's important to know these formulas to be able to recognize the deviations from the formulas in the model/subject you are drawing.

Measuring is a little bit different for every artist. It is a tool for proportions not to overlook. Just as someone aiming a poolstick or firing a gun does it differently than the next person, so goes it for the artist. Some artists, while measuring, will shut the left eye and some the right, while others will keep both eyes open (just never keep both shut LOL). You'll need to see what's right for you. Then, hold your pencil between your thumb and fingers with your fingers wrapped around the pencil. Measure from the top of your thumb to the end of your pencil. You can hold your pencil vertical or horizontal for this technique, keeping it at shoulder high.

Your measurement from your thumb to the end of your pencil may only be ½ inch, but on your drawing it could be an inch or more. All of your measurements are comparative. For example, if an artist wants to know how long a leg is, he can compare it's length with the length of the subjects head. Using the measurement method we discussed with the pencil, it's easy to compare.

About the Author:
This is a brief overview on proportions and measuring. For more information on proportions, measurements, drawing people or faces, and much more...Please see Learning2draw.com is a resource web site that focuses on elevating artists of all levels in figure drawing and drawing faces. This site will teach you tips, tricks, techniques, and more on how to draw the human figure and make it come alive. Todd Harris is a concept art director for a multi-billion dollar company who was trained in the Florence Academy Method for figure drawing. Please visit http://www.learning2draw.com.


TUTORIAL: How to Draw Face Proportions (From a Photo)



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