## Body Height

The law of proportion for the human figure is based on a unit of measurement that corresponds precisely to the measurements of the head. According to the classical laws of proportion, the total height of the human body should be equal to seven and a half heads, or seven and a half units. Praxiteles s law established a new idealization of the human body: according to this model, the total height of the human body must equal eight heads. In the early twentieth century, scientific analysis set the proper height of the human body at eight and a half heads. All of these models are valid, but for our purposes, we will use the measurement of eight heads to simplify our study of the academic figure.

Often, artists will use a law of proportion based on ten heads for the human body, suggesting a more stylized, elongated figure with a more expressionistic character.

Matching Units

A law of proportion based on units is useful primarily because it allows you to compare the relationship between the extremities by referring to the divisions between the units.

In a proportional model, the figure will be eight units tall and two units wide. Each unit is equal to the length of the head.The nipples coincide with unit number two. The armpits also coincide with the borderline between the second and third units; and the navel is located in unit number four. Unit number four also marks the position of the elbows, and is a fairly precise mark for the height of the waist. The hand is as long as the face, and the knee is located slightly above the sixth unit.The knees are located in the dividing line between the sixth and seventh units.

The unit system also lets us reference other significant points that are of great help in understanding anatomy and facilitating the representation of the figure; they are also a useful width reference when we need to check the more important demarcations.

The size of the head and the rest of the distances between parts of the body can be measured with a pencil. Then, we simply transfer those proportions onto the paper, especially the measurements for the height and width of the body (which, as you may recall, should equal two heads).

The same imaginary line that divides the frontal view of the body into two halves can also be seen in the rear view of the body. The line is more visible in the rear view thanks to the ridge of the

The Back

When a figure is pictured from the back, the first feature that we notice is the clear definition of the figures vertical axis.The line marking the vertical axis is accentuated by the backbone, by the ridge that the spine forms, by the separation of the buttocks, and by the line describing the inside of the legs.

### The Outline of the Body

The outline that marks the limits of the body is described by the muscular reliefs of the body. Muscles are fleshy masses that mold the body, made up of a special tissue that has the property of contracting and changing shape when the figure performs an action. The forms we appreciate on the surface of the body result from the volume of all the muscle masses, including the deepest ones, but the ones closest to the surface are of greater interest to the artist.

The line that marks the spine should be drawn as the axis of symmetry; this way, it will serve as a reference for placing the parts of the body on either half of the body.

The curve that describes the spine, and the extension of this line down to the feet, is a guide for capturing the figure's gesture as viewed from the rear.

All muscles are paired and symmetrical, but a woman's muscles are less pronounced, which softens the contours of her body.

When drawing a standing figure, the weight of the body should be properly distributed. To distribute the weight correctly, keep the line of \ the neck, the 1 hips, and the feet aligned, no matter \ how much the 1 body twists.

All muscles are paired and symmetrical, but a woman's muscles are less pronounced, which softens the contours of her body.

The shape of the body is defined by the bone structure and the layer of muscle covering it. The muscle is what gives the body its contours. Like the other parts o f the body, the shape of the muscles can also be broken down and sketched geometrically.

### Muscle Pairs

When drawing the volume of the body, it is important to remember that every muscle belongs to a pair. If you draw a figure from the front, the muscles should be symmetrical. Another important thing to remember is that the muscles in the extremities are long and overlapping, while muscles in the torso are flat and expansive. Even though a woman's musculature is essentially the same as a man's, the female body has a layer of subcutaneous fat that softens the external form. For this reason, the male body will always display a more pronounced, voluminous musculature.

portions of the male e body are not nt.The main ifference lies in the y's narrower shoulders ips.

f chest is slightly lower in lale body than in the male. ie male's, the female's waist ed on the dividing line *en the third and fourth ueh a woman's waist is ioser to the che than a man's.Viewed from the side, the arch of the back is more pronounced than a man's, and as a result, the buttocks appear more prominent. One of the most important factors in making a a good drawing of the female figure is placing the waist at the right height, somewhat lower than a mans; this is one of the anatomical features that gives the female body its characteristic form.

Despite the differences between the male and female anatomy, they both follow the igkt-head law of proportion, although the onfiguration of the female's anatomical relief is noticeably different from the male's.

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### Responses

• michelle
How to draw human body proportions?
6 years ago
• TOINI
Is the torso half of the entire height?
6 years ago