Some Proportional Facts

Imaginary Skull Landmarks

The similarities among human heads are more striking than the differences. Artists have a name for the major type of similarity: proportion. Proportional patterns in the head have been the subject of artists' attention since classical times. We use the skull as our guide because its landmarks are the most stable. The most consistent, and useful, proportional rule regarding the skull is the location of the halfway point. It almost always falls in the middle of the orbit, which on the face is the middle of the eye: The eyes are halfway up the head. Exceptions to this rule are rare. Another important pattern is the rule of thirds. From the top of the forehead, the skull divides into three equal sections: forehead-brow; brow-base of nose socket; base of nose socket-chin.

The similarities among human heads are more striking than the differences. Artists have a name for the major type of similarity: proportion. Proportional patterns in the head have been the subject of artists' attention since classical times. We use the skull as our guide because its landmarks are the most stable. The most consistent, and useful, proportional rule regarding the skull is the location of the halfway point. It almost always falls in the middle of the orbit, which on the face is the middle of the eye: The eyes are halfway up the head. Exceptions to this rule are rare. Another important pattern is the rule of thirds. From the top of the forehead, the skull divides into three equal sections: forehead-brow; brow-base of nose socket; base of nose socket-chin.

A. UPPER THIRD

B. MIDDLE THIRD

C. LOWER THIRD

D. HALFWAY POINT

Location of the Eyes

The smaller forms of the skull help determine the locations of the features. The eye socket, for instance, determines the position of the eyes. Since the eye socket invariably falls about halfway up the skull, the eyes are always found on or near the midline of the head. To be more precise, the inner eye corner usually sits on an imaginary line drawn through the middle of the head. This rule alone would save many students a lot of grief. Because people tend to make the features too big, the eyes tend to go a lot higher up the head than just halfway.

The Rule of Thirds

The skull can be divided in another way. A point is located just below the top of the skull called the "widow's peak." This is the spot where the frontal bone (corresponding to the fore

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  • mauri
    How to proportion a human head?
    8 years ago
  • quinn
    How to draw expressions on skulls?
    8 years ago
  • alix
    How to draw a proportional face?
    8 years ago
  • Rowan
    How to draw anime big skulls?
    8 years ago
  • CALOGERO
    How to draw face proportions step by step?
    8 years ago
  • Laura
    How to read facial expressions?
    7 years ago
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    How to draw anime expression?
    7 years ago
  • awate
    How to draw a simple human head?
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  • Stephanie
    How to draw a skull with a mohawk?
    7 years ago
  • hagosa
    How to draw human skull step by step?
    7 years ago

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