How to get better at proportions

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Creativeone 3 years ago.

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    Hi. I'm struggling a lot to get the proportions of the whole body right. I'm practicing from reference and I'm slowly getting better at it, but i wanted to know if someone knows any kind of specific exercise to get better at it.

    Edit: Now that I think of it, I'm not sure if this was the right place to ask this since there is no photo to critique

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    Hi Caballero porcino,

    One good thing to start with is to first place the lines that help to place the whole drawing so you can draw a little line to show where does it start and a little line where does it ends so that you instantly put the big proportions without going into the details. It allows you to whether fix it quickly since you just put a few line and make sure you focus only on proportions instead of drawing all those bumps on the body. You could also draw a big shape that contains the drawing. Keep in mind that it requires patience and a lot of practice. Hope this advice will help you. Good work :)),

    Louis Gennart


    Thanks!, I'll try doing that


    hello!, from my experience, when I first started out drawing I thought that all I needed to learn was proportions as well. Its good knowing this but this wont help you draw in a more dynamic way you will just be copying flat shapes. What really improved my ability to sketch the face or figure or anything really was to learn how to feel the movement in whatever you are drawing and with that feeling of movement you can design you're shapes easier. Of course this takes alot of practice to understand what im talking about, but just think about it like this drawing is like music, feeling the motion,action and rhythms of the object you want to draw. For example a sky scraper consists of angles and lines going downard (these lines could change with perspective though) while the figure has more curves,angles and they all come together as a beautiful flow. Even with bad proportions you still could tell a story but practicing this concept will eventually lead you to get good proportions once you get hang of this way of drawing. No one ever told me this when i started on my journey they just say "just keep practicing'' but really you just have to find out with dedication and passion. so hopefully this helps! This helps me aswell to teach my self what im talking about, hope fully i can help more other beginning artists in the future. Best of luck and keep that pencil moving! oh and by the way remember that you are anaylyizing and not copying the contours, a perfect example of someone who does this is glenn villpu he's the top when it comes to this type of stuff.

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    Thank you! I'll try pay more attention to the motion and gesture


    Nice job on your typed post, Jowey. But, aren't you gonna show us a visual example of what you're working on right now, pretty please??


    Right now I'm having technical difficulties with my cellphone camera xd Sorry


    Idea: Why don't you do some figure proportions, in 30 seconds, please? It's not meant to be for the final product, but, it's just practice.


    All the advice about gesture and the line of action is great! Another thing that can help if you're struggling is to print out a photo of a pose and trace it. This can help your eye and hand feel what it's like to draw the proportions correctly. And most importantly, keep practicing regularly. Even if you feel that you aren't making progress, just keep going, even if you need to do only a few minutes a day. We believe in you!

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    Polyvios that's what I'm doing! Nice to hear that from other person too


    Thanks Anna!, I'll incorporate that to my practice too


    If this is referring to studies and not gestures, may I suggest plum lines and negative space.

    Plum lines refer to horizontal and vertical straight lines that help line-up the proportions of what you see.

    Negative space refers to the abstract shapes outside the figure, it helps take your mind off of what your memory believes to be correct anatomy and moves it to actually considering what proportions really are.

    If this helps? Great! If you were refering to gesture proportions, which means you do it quicker (ranging from mere seconds to 3 minutes time) it doesn't really matter if the proportions are correct as long as the energy conveyed in the pose seems right. Studies on the other hand range from 5 minutes to unlimited time, where proportion should matter.


    They way i learnt (and im still learning) is by figuring out how each part of the body works. So like the head then shoulders hands etc. Then where these parts join i see how that works and then ill draw the upper portion or bottom part of the body ann lastly ill see how well full body goes. But drawing from references is good because its builds up your storage and it will become natural after a while. I wish you luck on ypur journey😊and hope this helps

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