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Human Proportion for Figure Drawing: The Ultimate Guide

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Uploaded on Apr 15, 2010

LINK- http://merrillk.com/?part=fineart&... get started.
with the most common unit of measurement- a head length. Head lengths are the most common measurement in figure drawing From antiquity through the Renaissance, artists painted and sculpted figures that were 8 or 9 head lengths tall. For instance, Michelangelo's David, when measured, is 8 head lengths tall. The proportions of the David are idealized and heroic and different than the proportions of the average person, such as myself. I measured 7 1/4 head lengths tall. Now, I could never get a consistant answer on how many headlengths tall the average human body is....so I decided to construct an experiment. have read in some places that the body is as short as 7 head lengths and as tall as 8. I measured 100 people. 50 males and 50 females....right now you are seeing only a small sample... I made sure to include various body types to make this study scientific. I was able to learn that a humans proportions in head lengths is directly related with a persons height. The shortest person measured only 5 and 1/3 head lengths...the tallest was 8 and a half head lengths. ...But the vast majority were very close to 7.5 head lengths....and When I averaged the 100 people together, the result was 7.47 head lengths. Merrill! What the Hell is that .....and how does this relate to figure drawing? ......Oh dont worry, this chart shows you a normal distribution of heights. All that you need to know is that you can use 7.5 head lengths as a fairly accurate measurement, 95 percent of the time. So there its settled. The average human is 7.5 head lengths tall. Spaces on our bodies equivalent to one head length are...on our arm, 1.) from the top of the armpit to the joint of the elbow 2.) From the bottom of our chin to our nipples 3.) From our nipples to our navel 4. ) The height of our rear end. While females have differences in their anatomy, these measurements will work on them as well.Where do two head lengths fit on the human body?
1.) Its two head lengths down the upper leg
2.) It is also two head lengths down the lower leg
3.) It is two head lengths between the clavicle and the anterior iliadic crest...also known as the bony area that protrudes slightly lower than and on either side of your navel.
4.) It is also two head lengths from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger
5.) It is also two head lengths down the back, not including the neck
Across
1.) Two heads across the shoulders

What about three head lengths?
1.) 3 head lengths from the top of the head to the belly button
2.) 3 head lengths from the top of the armpit to the tip of the middle finger
and Four head lengths?
1.) The length of the leg is four head lengths
I have an important suggestion for when we draw the entire body. We know that the average body is 7 1/2 head lengths. Split up these head lengths in to three from the top and four from the bottom, with the extra half head length in the middle of the body. Splitting up the body in this way allows us to identify the landmarks more easily. We know that the height of the leg is four heads and the nipples and navel are landmarks that can be used from the top down.
Another suggestion that I have is to remember the belly button rule. This comes from Leonardo DaVinci who states that if a persons legs are chopped off below the knee, the belly button becomes the center of the body.
Also, it is the same distance from the top of the head to the tip of the middle finger, as it is from the ground to the belly button.
Davinci also said that the width of a persons shoulders is 1/4 of their height. I have found this measurement to be less accurate than head lengths but it is still applicable most of the time. Knowing this information also gives us the ability to break the body in to four parts.
1.) Head to nipples
2.) nipples to groin
3.) Groin to kneecap
4.) Kneecap to ground
Now lets talk about size relationships between similar body parts. On average, the arm is about 25 percent smaller than the leg. The hand is the same size as the face. It is also the same size as the foot without the toes. The head is very similar in size to the foot. Finally there is about one hand length between the rib cage and the pelvis. The video was planned and created by me (Merrill Kazanjian). All music is from Incompetech.com, a site with royalty free music. The intro song was: Brandenburg No4-1 BWV1049 (Kevin MacLeod). This song was followed by "Zap Beat" (Kevin Macleod). In addition to my own photographs, I used creative commons royalty free images. For instance- 1.) http://www.flickr.com/photos/felipesk... 2.) Ming- http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjsharkt... 3.) Wadlow- http://www.flickr.com/photos/fallout/... 4.) Skeleton- http://search.creativecommons.org/?q=... 5.) http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/...

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