Body Age and Proportion

Did you know that the body can be measured relatively at any age, in heads? That's right: an average adult's height is eight heads, easily divisible in heads at the chin, nipples, navel, crotch, mid-thigh, knee, and then calf/foot.

Children's heads are much larger relatively. A baby's head is about one-quarter of its body, as are its legs. As a child grows, so do its legs, while the head size decreases relative to the body and the limbs.

Accurately seeing and measuring the proportions of a figure from childhood to puberty to adulthood is crucial for getting the look of the particular age group.

The male nude.

If you don't have the opportunity to sketch live nudes, try copying famous male nude sculptures, such as Michelangelo's David.

If you don't have the opportunity to sketch live nudes, try copying famous male nude sculptures, such as Michelangelo's David.

1. Start with a gesture sketch to capture the pose of a female nude.

2. Once you've got the pose, begin to refine forms and shapes.

3. Use negative space to further define the pose and enhance a three-dimensional effect.

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