Human Proportions

Human Proportions - Front Cover

Figure It Out! Human Proportions:
Draw the Head and Figure Right Every Time

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When the proportions are right, the drawing looks right! Most artists whose work features the human head and figure don’t have the time or opportunity to draw directly from models, so it’s essential that they acquire the skills and tools to draw them accurately without using direct reference. Now, thanks to Chris Hart’s foolproof method, even beginners can quick-check the proportions of their head and figure drawings, identify errors, and swiftly fix mistakes. Richly illustrated with drawings from various angles, this follow-up to Hart’s bestselling Figure It Out! includes step-by-step demonstrations and lessons that lead readers through the process.


Preface 8

Proportions of the Head 10
Outline of the Head 12
Guidelines and the “T” 13
The Planes of the Head 14
Height and Width 15
The Side View and Asymmetry 16

Features of the Face 18
Simplifying the Eye and the Eyebrow 20
The Eyebrow and the Temporal Ridge 21
Eye Length and the Width of the Head 22
The Distance Between the Eyes 23
Where the Eyes Go 24
The Cornerstone of Correct Eye Placement 25
Eye Placement in Action 26
Eye Level Variations 27 Age and the Eye Line 28
The Eye in Profile 30 Front View vs. Side View 31
Aligning the Eye 32
Eye Placement Variations 33
The Nose 34
Nose Length in Profile 35
Using the Nose to Size the Head 36
Nose Width 37
The Mouth 38 Mouth Width 39
The Depth of the Mouth in Profile 40
The Angle of the Jaw 41
Where the Jawline Starts 42
The Ears 43
The Ear, Side View 44
Quick Check:
Simplified Proportions of the Head and Face 45
The Effects of Head Tilts on Proportions 46

Step-by-Step Tutorials: The Head 48
Neutral Front View 50
Front View, Slight Up Tilt 52
Profile 54
Drawing the 3/4 Angle, Facing Left 57
Drawing the 3/4 Angle, Facing Right 59
3/4 View, Down Tilt 60
The Body: Overall Measurements 62
Height and Proportions: Male/Female Comparison 64
Using Height to Convey Stature 66
Variations in Height 67
Body Length 68
The Halfway Point 69
Head and Body Width 70
Exceptions to the 3-Heads Rule 71
Posture and Proportions 72
Shoulder-to-Hip Ratio 73
The Torso 74
Neck Width 76
The Adam’s Apple 77
The Angle of the Neck 78
The Chest 79
The Shape and Size of the
Chest Muscles 81
The Chest and Rib Cage 82
The Hollow of the Rib Cage 83
Placement of the Navel 84
The Two Essential Landmarks of the Torso 86
The Widest Point of the Lower Body 87
The Arms and Legs 88
Arms and Legs: Overview 90
Arm Proportions With and
Without the Hand 91
The Level of the Elbow 92
The Elbow in Different Positions 93
What to Do When the Arm Is Bent 94
The Wrist 95
The Effect of Motion on
Wrist Placement 96
The Legs 97
The Calf 98
The Back 100
The Shoulder Blades 102
The Height of the Shoulder Blades,
Side View 104
The Length of the Shoulder Muscles,
Rear View 105
The Hands and Feet 106
The Hand: Overall Size 108
The Fingers 110
The Length of the Thumb and Other Details 111
The Foot 112
Step-by-Step Tutorials: The Figure 114
Quick Check:
Simplified Proportions of the Body 116
The Effects of Age on the Body 117
The Torso, Hands on Hips 119
The Torso, Arms Up 122
The Torso, 3/4 Rear View 125
Standing Pose, Front View 128
Standing Pose, Side View 131
Bending Pose, Side View 134
Bending Pose: Cheating a Side View 137
Twisting the Torso and Hips, Rear View 140
Index 143