Figure Drawing, Continued
The beginning draftsman initially tries to draw figures with too much detail.
Until you develop your ability to draw figures well, you shouldnt sabotage
your efforts by overcomplicating the task. Draw figures without clothes and
Another difficult aspect of figure drawing is understanding proportion.
Figure proportion refers to the relative length of the arms, legs, torso, and
head. To simplify figure proportion, use the head as a standard unit of
measure. The distance from the chin to the top of the skull is used for
vertical measurements and the distance from ear to ear is used for horizontal
measurements. The head unit cannot be specified in inches; measure each
figure in terms of its own head size.
height with the
The average adult human figure is 7 ½ heads high. But, most peoples legs
are short compared to the rest of their body and drawing them this height
makes them appear stout. Round the average adult human figure to 8 heads
in height. Although the male is usually taller than the female, use 8 head
units for both. Remember, you measure each figure by its own head size.
To apportion the 8 head unit height for the adult figure, use this table:
1 head high
l/3 head high
Torso (from the bottom of the neck to the
2 2/3 heads high
Upper leg (crotch to just below the knee)
2 heads high
Lower leg (below the knee to soles of the
2 heads high
Continued on next page