YOU have to measure, first of all, with your eye; and by studying the model judge the comparative measurements of its several masses. Then measure mechanically. When measuring mechanically, hold your charcoal or pencil between the thumb and fingers and use the first finger and the tip of your charcoal to mark the extremities of the measurement you are taking. Your arm should be extended to its full length and your head so tilted that your eye is as near as possible to the shoulder of the arm you are using in measuring.
From the model, the space registered from the first finger to the end of your charcoal or pencil may be one inch; but on your drawing this measurement may possibly be two or more inches. In other words, all your measurements are comparative and if the head spaces seven times into the length of the figure and registers, say, one inch on your charcoal or pencil, obviously the height of seven heads should be marked off on your drawing regardless of the size of your drawing, which size you had, in a general way, predetermined and may be anywhere from miniature to mural. The arm has
its axis at its connection with the shoulder blade. The eye, being above the arm and more forward, has an entirely different axis and radius; arms and necks vary in length. Also, in measuring, as in target practice, it is natural for some to close the left eye, others the right, and still others to keep both eyes open. So, with these varying conditions it is difficult to set down any fixed rules for the technique of measuring, your own physique and tendency to use one or both eyes are such important factors. In any case, however, you must keep your eye as close as possible to the shoulder, your arm extended and stiff.
On a figure, there are no marks that may be used in proving your measurements correct. Again, the model may be far above the level of the eye, causing violent perspective. Only at the eye level can the pencil be held perpendicularly. Above or below the eye level, the pencil or charcoal must take some studied and given angle, and to determine this angle accurately requires some practice. To find this angle, take a panelled wall or a vertical pole and upon it mark off six or seven spaces a foot or so apart. Then seat yourself several feet away and at arm's length, with eye close to shoulder, incline charcoal or pencil to register correctly each of the spaces you have marked off. As in revolver practice, you will become extremely accurate in judging the ,, angle at which the charcoal should be held at different distances. This same method of angles may then be applied to measuring the figure.
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