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  • Hey, my name is Stan Prokopenko. Welcome to Proko. Studying the average human proportions

  • is a common practice among artists. Even though everyone's proportions are slightly different

  • it's very useful to have a guide - something to keep your drawing from looking wrong. Knowing

  • the average proportions gives you something to measure from.

  • Dr. Paul Riche, a pioneer in human anatomy says there are two reasons why artists study

  • human proportions 1. We try to find harmony, a reason why we

  • are the way we are. The Greeks tried to find that perfect model of beauty.

  • 2. We want a method to help us during the drawing process. We want an easy way to make

  • our figure drawings proportionally accurate and a guide to fall back on when our drawings

  • feel wrong. These guides are useful when we observe the model, but especially when we

  • draw from imagination. When familiar with a system, we can choose to deviate from it

  • in whichever way we want. After all, we are artists.

  • "Proper proportions lie not in pages of statistics, nor in the dogma of scientists, but in the

  • mind of the individual artist. Proportions are entirely his responsibility, his decision."

  • Robert Beverly Hale

  • The Pitfalls

  • The most obvious drawback of any proportion system is that it works only when the figure

  • is not foreshortened. These systems work great when a person is standing up straight, but

  • not so well in other poses.

  • "drawing the ideal average results in a drawing without character. Also the figure must be

  • eye level, upright and rigid. Bending of the body changes the proportions visually, but

  • not actually" Bridgman p.17

  • So in the end, it's just a guide. It won't solve all our problems. We have to combine

  • it with careful observation and frequent study from live models. Doing so will help you to

  • visualize the proportions of the masses in 3D, to sense when a body part is too large

  • or small in relation to the whole. Also helps to study perspective and construction to develop

  • the ability to turn the forms while retaining the dimensions.

  • With that said, let's take a look at a few of the commonly used systems of proportion.

  • Richer System - 7.5 Heads

  • Dr. Paul Richer's "Artistic Anatomy" presents a scientific system for an average European

  • male as measured by Anthropologists.

  • He uses the height of the head as 1 unit and says that the average person is 7.5 heads

  • tall. The head and torso together make up 4 units. The leg, from the top of the femur

  • to the ground, is another 4 units. The top and bottom overlap by half a unit, creating

  • a total of 7.5. The halfway point is at about the pubic bone.

  • When the arms are extended to the side, the width between the fingertips is just a smidgen

  • longer than the height - about 4% longer. It's an insignificant amount, so for practical

  • purposes we can just consider them equal.

  • From the chin, down one head unit are the nipples. The next unit down is at the navel,

  • which is the top of the glutes in the back. The next head unit down is at the bottom of

  • the glutes and crotch.

  • Another useful measurement in the back is 1 head length from the 7th cervical vertebra

  • to the bottom of the scapula. And 2 units to the PSIS.

  • Similarly, from the acromion process down to the ASIS measures 2 head units. The same

  • for the width of the shoulders including deltoids. So this section of the body fits into a nice

  • square. However, on a female the shoulders are narrower. About 1 ? head heights.

  • On a female, there's 1.5 heads between the two greater trochanters. The hips on a male

  • are slightly narrower.

  • The Femur measures 2 head units. Or, in the back you can remember that from the bottom

  • of the glutes to the bottom of the femur is 1.5 units.

  • The length of the lower leg, including the foot is also 2 head units.

  • The middle of these 4 head units is at the connection of the femur and the tibia. Remember

  • that when the leg is extended, this connection is at the bottom of the patella. When the

  • leg flexes it gets more complicated. So, study the bony protrusions of the knee area so that

  • you can identify the bottom of the femur and top of the tibia.

  • Richer points out that the distance from the ASIS to middle of Patella is equal to the

  • distance from patella to the ground. And the foot is a bit longer than the head.

  • Finally let's move on to the arms

  • The length of the arm, from the armpit is 3 head units. The top point is somewhere below

  • the shoulder joint. The second one is above the olecranon and the third above the wrist.

  • Because these units don't align well with the anatomy of the arm, Richer prefers another

  • method. From the acromion to the epicondyles is equal to epicondyles to the knuckles.

  • Alrighty! That's the first Proportion System I'll be covering. In the next video I'll go

  • over Robert Beverly Hale's System, based on the cranial mass instead of the height of

  • the head.

  • I've created a downloadable diagram that you can print out for your reference. Find the

  • link in the description below. And I have posters available for purchase at

  • What's in the premium section this week? The premium section has a third system of proportions

  • based on Loomis's idealized 8 Heads tall figure. These proportions are widely used in fine

  • art and illustration. If you want to see that video and other premium videos from the figure

  • drawing fundamentals series, visit

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Hey, my name is Stan Prokopenko. Welcome to Proko. Studying the average human proportions

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Human Figure Proportions - Average Figures - Dr. Paul Richer

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    YanCi Zeng posted on 2015/06/05
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