# Drawing Accurately Proportion Pics

Get Instant Access

Add values over the lines to give the scene depth and definition, and to make it look more realistic.

Gauging proportions is as simple as making sure that the width and height of the objects in your drawing are proportionally similar to those in your reference. Believable art starts with correct proportions, so learning how to gauge proportions accurately will be invaluable. You don't need to know the actual inches or cen

### Gauging Proportions With a Pencil

Gauging Proportions can be done by "measuring" each part of the subject with a pencil. Use the top of your thumb to make the distance from the end of the pencil. Now compare this measurement with those of other parts of the image. In this example, the teapot's height is equal to its width.

timeters; instead, measure the relative sizes of the elements to achieve an accurate representation of your subject.

There are many tools available for gauging proportions, from a simple pencil to tools made specifically for measuring, such as sewing gauges or dividers. Dividers, both standard and

### Gauging Proportions With a Pencil

Gauging Proportions can be done by "measuring" each part of the subject with a pencil. Use the top of your thumb to make the distance from the end of the pencil. Now compare this measurement with those of other parts of the image. In this example, the teapot's height is equal to its width.

Lock in Accurate Proportions

To correctly gauge proportions in this manner, lock your arm straight in front of you, holding the pencil straight up. Look at the pencil and the subject you're measuring through one eye. A bent arm may result in inaccurate measurements because you may bend your arm at different angles from one measurement to another.

### Lock in Accurate Proportions

To correctly gauge proportions in this manner, lock your arm straight in front of you, holding the pencil straight up. Look at the pencil and the subject you're measuring through one eye. A bent arm may result in inaccurate measurements because you may bend your arm at different angles from one measurement to another.

proportional, are used to gauge proportions of two-dimensional reference materials, such as photographs, rather than of three-dimensional objects, such as those in a still-life setup. Proportional dividers enable you to enlarge or reduce by measuring the reference with one end of the tool and then using the other end to determine the size of the image in your drawing.

Using Standard Dividers

Measure the subject in your reference with the dividers and transfer the length to your surface. You can only measure a one-to-one ratio with standard dividers. If you wanted to enlarge this window to twice its size, you would have to double the divider's measurement.

Proportioning can be done loosely for a quick sketch or more precisely for a finished drawing. The subject also influences how accurate the drawing needs to be. You may be less concerned about the proportions of a tree than you are about the proportions of an automobile.

Using Proportional Dividers

Proportional dividers are used not only to compare proportions but also to enlarge or reduce. Measure the subject in your reference with one end of the dividers, then use the other end to mark the measurement for your drawing. The notches in the center of the dividers let you determine just how much you want to enlarge or reduce the size of the image.

Using a Sewing Gauge Align the edge of the object with the end of the sewing gauge, then move the slider up or down to mark the other edge. Transfer that measurement to your drawing.

Get It Straight

Straight lines can be drawn using a straightedge or ruler. Another method is to place the side of the hand holding your pencil against the edge of your drawing surface, then glide your hand along the edge.

Measuring

Measuring angles sounds technical, but drawing angles mostly involves observation. If you want to take the guesswork out of drawing angles, use an angle ruler. Correct angles will make your drawings more successful.

Duplicate the Angle

First, duplicate the angle of the subject by aligning a pencil with it.

Transfer the Angle to Your Drawing

Keeping the pencil at the same angle, hold it over the drawing and adjust the sketch as needed.

Using an Angle Ruler

An angle ruler (see page 12) also can be used for duplicating angles. Line up the angle ruler with the subject, then hold it over the drawing. Then transfer the angle to the drawing by placing the angle ruler on the relevant area of the drawing and marking along it.

Images from books, magazines, greeting cards or the Internet that allow you to observe a particular subject are called reference materials. It is good to practice observing actual subjects such as the birds in your backyard. Firsthand observation will help you to capture the essence and nature of your subject. The problem with observing from life is that the subject, especially an animal, may not stay still for you. Moreover, the lighting and colors will constantly change. A still life, in which you set up your subject matter with a consistent light source, is another option. You can sit down and take your time observing your subject at your leisureâ€”be sure to warn your family that the fruit bowl is being used for study, or your reference may be eaten by mistake!

Reference Materials

Observation of a subject can be enhanced with reference material. Start a reference file by categorizing photos and magazine pictures in an accordion folder.

### Reference Materials

Observation of a subject can be enhanced with reference material. Start a reference file by categorizing photos and magazine pictures in an accordion folder.

How to Approach a Challenging Drawing

Some subjects may seem so daunting, you may not know where to begin. Even finding the basic shapes, which is the best place to begin, may be hard. The following method may help.

Reference material

Trace the Basic Shapes

Lay a piece of tracing paper over your reference and trace the basic shapes of the image.

Reference material

Trace the Basic Shapes

Lay a piece of tracing paper over your reference and trace the basic shapes of the image.

Initial source reference

Basic-shapes reference

Initial source reference

Basic-shapes reference

Use Your Tracing as a Reference

Use the tracing as another reference to determine the placement of the shapes and their proportions as you begin the drawing.

Use Your Tracing as a Reference

Use the tracing as another reference to determine the placement of the shapes and their proportions as you begin the drawing.