Proportions of the Body

Total height of the body - 7 1/2 times the head or seven and half times unit
Praxiteles’s law - body is equal to 8 head (Units)
width of the body = 2 heads / units
Umbilicus - present int he 4th head / unit
Unit 4 also marks position of the elbow and height of the waist
Hand length = face length
Knee is located in the 6th unit /head or junction of the 6th / 7th Unit
Weight is to be distributed evenly or equally - keep the line of the neck, the hips and the feet aligned
Female body - Narrow shoulders and wider hips
Children -
New born - height is 3 times head - middle of the body at navel
1 year - height 3 1/2 times head
4 years - heigh 5 times head
12 years - height 7 times head - middle of the body above pubic area
In elderly - make nose and ears big as they are the only two parts of the body that do not stop growing even after the adulthood.
2 1/3 heads is the width of the male body
space between the nipples is one head
wrist drops just below the crotch
Elbows at the level of the navel
Knees just above the one fourth of the body line
Shoulders - one sixth of the body line from the top


Scale is the mathematical relationship that exists between the actual dimensions of your model and those of your sculpture / painting / drawing, which represents it.

The scale is defined by two numbers that determine a ratio between the drawing and reality.

The first number (numerator) of the proportion refers to the drawing.

The second number (denominator) of the proportion refers to reality.

SCALE = DRAWING / REALITY; that is, if my scale is E = 1/4, we will interpret that one centimeter of my figure is equivalent to four centimeters of reality.



Scale is a graphical method that allows us to draw any object larger or smaller than it really is. 

There are the following types of scale:

Reduction scale: The drawing / sculpture is smaller than reality. It will be necessary when we want to draw or design large objects, such as roads, buildings, stadiums, ships, etc. Can you imagine working with a map the size of a shopping center? On reduction scales, the first number is less than the second . Therefore, the scales will take the following possible forms: 1: 2, 1: 3, 2: 3, 1:10, 1: 200, etc.

Scales of enlargement: The drawing / sculpture is bigger than reality. We will use them when the object is so small that we need to see it larger in order to understand it. For example, it is used in the design of watches, electronic devices, mechanisms, etc. On magnification scales, the first number is greater than the second. They will look like this: 2: 1, 5: 1, 4: 3, 10: 3.

Real scales: It is represented as 1: 1, that is, our model measures exactly what is represented.



Imagine that you want to paint a 60cm human figure on canvas, at what scale would your sculpture be?

The first thing is to know how much a human actually measures and the "ideal standard" measurement for a human is 180cm , this is very important, you always have to know the actual measurement of the figure you are modeling in order to calculate the scale.

Now you just have to divide the real measurement by the measurement of your sculpture, which is 60cm 180/60
= 3 So you can say that your sculpture would be at 1: 3 scale

Examples of scales in the human figure that are usually used (ideal standard of 180 cm):

Scale 1: 1 = 180cm: 1 = 180cm, your painting would be life size.

Scale 1: 2 = 180cm: 2 = 90cm
Scale 1: 3 = 180cm: 3 = 60cm
Scale 1: 5 = 180cm: 5 = 36cm
Scale 1: 6 = 180cm: 6 = 30cm

Well now it's time to calculate all the averages of your canvas of 60 cm or 1: 3 scale and for that we have the canon of 8 heads, essential to work the human figure.

The first and main point is to know the head size for your 60cm painting figure

Now, let's go step by step:

1º Calculate head size: 60cm: 8 = 7.5 cm

2º The shoulders measure 2 heads: 7.5 cm x 2 = 15 cm

3º The hips measure 1 and ½ heads: 7.5mx 1.5 = 11.25cm

4º The legs measure and feet measure 4 and ½ heads: 7.5cm x 4.5 = 33.75cm

5th Arms measure and hands measure 3 heads: 7.5cm x 3 = 22.5cm


Proportions of Head

Ratio of the head to the the width - is approximately two thirds
Width of the nose is equal to the length of the eye
Width of the head is equal to 5 eyes or eyes are placed after dividing the head width into five parts - middle part is left blank then eyes placed on either side
Length of the lower lip is shorter than upper lip though the thickness of the lower lip is 2/3rd and upper lip is 1/3rd
Contour of the upper lip is called cupids bow because of the resemble to the cupid
Ears are located between the lines of the eyebrows and the base of the nose
Width of the neck is one half of the the height of the head
A virtual line divides the face into two halves called central axis of the face
This line is divided in half (middle) - there is horizontal axis of the eyes.
Human head equals - 3 1/2 times the length of forehead or 3 1/2 units
Top of the head - Natural headline
Starting point of the drawing of the face is the tilt line in the vertical axis
Head = 3 unit wide or 3 fore heads
Distance between the eyes is equal to the width of the one eye
Lips at the line dividing middle of the third part horizontally
Upper line - hair line
Second line - eyes
Third line - Nose
Last line - chin
The mouth is located in the center of the center of the last segment (middle of the third part horizontally)


Distance between the wrist and the knuckles = Knuckles and the tip of the middle finger
Index finger is equal to the ring finger
Little finger is equal to the final joint of the index finger
Length of hand = length of the face
Pelvis & Hips
Lines formed by the shoulder and the hips - horizontally gives the tilt of the body
The tilt of the both of these lines marks the equilibrium of the pose.
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