In the previous drawing post, I touched upon the differences between males and females when attempting to draw correct proportions. This time around, we’re going to look at the differences in the human form as it progressively ages.
We all know that a small child is not built to the same proportions as a grown man/woman – so in order for your drawing to accurately represent a human in all walks of life, you need to understand the ratios for those specific age groups.
Note the following proportion differences:
- Adult = 8 heads tall, with a head size of 9 inches
- 15 year old = 7 1/2 heads tall with a head size of 9 inches
- 10 year old = 7 heads tall with a head size of 7 1/2 inches
- 5 years old = 6 heads tall with a head size of 7 inches
- 3 years old = 5 heads tall with a head size of 6 1/2 inches
- 1 year old = 4 heads tall with a head size of 6 inches
According to Andrew Loomis, the creator of this chart from Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth – there is a gradual increase in the size of the head of about 3 inches from a toddler to an adult. As the body progresses to shape itself, you’ll note that the legs of the subject will extend at about twice the rate of the torso. These heights are all relative, but act as a great guide for creating proper proportions for a man, woman and child if they are all in the same viewing area.
Try out the following exercise:
- Much like the previous entry on proportion, do some freehand sketches to note the difference between a child’s proportions and an adult’s proportions. Remember the number of head units needed for each.
- Try an anterior, posterior and lateral set of views.
- Remember to modify the look of the young child to resemble a young child (pudginess, wide eyes, lack of muscular definition) otherwise you will run the risk of drawing your figure to resemble a dwarf/little person.
- Move on to your computer and try out the exercise using the guide lines from your drawing software to create exact proportions.
- Compare and adjust as necessary.
You should now understand the concept of proportions and have a better grasp of creating realism through the use of varying sizes and shapes and body types of the human form. Check back for my next entry which will deal with proportions in relation to space/perspectives.