1) The head measures one-eighth of the height of the body and therefore constitutes a unit of measure.
2) The distance between the temples forms the basis of the width of a shoulder from the base of the neck to the shoulder joint (AB = a'b').
3) When the figure is viewed from the front, the median axis divides the figure perfectly in half.
4) The shoulders are as wide as the pelvis, the waist two-thirds of the width of the shoulders,
5) The shoulders are drown extending beyond the upper body, with the joint emphasized by drawing a small circle
7) The width of the thigh is equal to that of the legs g) The foot is the length of a unit of measure and is therefore equal to the height of the head By dividing the height of the body into two equal parts, we will see that the head and the upper body take up four units of measure, whilst the legs take up the other four,
By canon we mean the guiding code which establishes by means of mathematical rules the ideal proportions of the human body, dividing it into standard units of measure. From antiquity the human body has been a subject of study for many scientists and artists who have established canons of proportion suitable for the age in which they lived and for the conception of the Figure prevailing at the time.
Among the many canons which have been proposed we have chosen the Greek one, because we regard it as the simplest and the one most adapted to our purposes. In this canon the head is regarded as a unit of measure to establish all the other subdivisions, resulting in a total height of the body of eight units of measure, In order to achieve a harmonious reproduction of the female figure in accordance with the language of fashion, it has been necessary to modify slightly the relative size of some parts of the body, whilst leaving the overall body and the division into sections unchanged.
By comparing this diagram with the preceding one it will be noted that one half of a unit of measure has been added to the bottom of the feet, as the fashion plate is very often drawn with the foot curved. This particular and rather unrealistic posture gives more élan and elegance to the leg, moreover allowing visualization in detail of the type of footwear worn when viewed from above.
Another slight modification is the elevation of the waist and of the pubic region shortening the pelvis a little, allowing the figure to appear taller and more slender. Finally, to accentuate the height further, the bulk of the body has been slimmed down. We shall call this modified code the fashion canon. The measurements of this canon serve as a means of creating ideal proportions, hence they are rare in reality. However, the aim is to find a way to achieve an accurate and harmonious representation of a female figure. Having made these basic introductory remarks, let us move on to the examination of the various aspects of the canon, outlining the fundamental points in order of occurrence.
This diagram provides a further schematization of the outline in geometrical building blocks, making the figure resemble a robot. In order to emphasize better the articulation of the figure, the lower and the upper limbs have been made to rotate around the body.
In this way the shoulder is included in the upper body and the leg in the pelvis as they are raised laterally, As you can see, the figure has been made thinner and the pelvis is narrower than the shoulders. The half unit of measure which has been added is for the extension of the foot.
All of the joints have been represented by small circles drawn inside the body.
Drawing the diagram
Draw the vertical axis which measures the height of the figure (H) and then the horizontal guidelines. Draw the median axis, which in this case is parallel to the vertical axis, then the oval shape of the head, being careful not to make it too wide.
The distance between the temples will determine the width of the shoulders, and in their turn the shoulders will determine the width of the pelvis in the fourth segment of the diagram, The pelvis is drawn in a condensed fashion to obtain a more slender figure, The chest, the waist and the pelvis should be drawn in a schematic way.
Finally the structure of the legs and the arms should be sketched emphasizing all of the joints. It is also necessary to proceed with this method when working with other positions, always correctly portraying the relationship between one figure and another.
The diagram shows the Female-body in various basic stationary poses. They are static and rigid postures of which the outlines have been greatly simplified so that the body and its constituent parts arc better characterized.
Looking at the various diagrams we can conclude that each segment contains:
1 the head
2 the neck and the shoulders
3 the breasts, the lower part of the chest and the waist
4 the pelvis and the pubic region
5 the central part of the thighs
6 the bottom of the thighs, the knee
7 the central part of the leg and the calf
S the extremity of the legs, the ankle and the feet 8.5 foot extended forward.
The arms and the hands extend from the second to the fifth segment.
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