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I was trying to think of what I could write about today for this blog. I had turned off my alarm this morning thinking “Awe, it is Saturday! I can sleep in!” Well that only lasted a short time, as I am so used to getting up early. After my quiet time, I started checking in on comments, and had a request for some help with drawing cartoons.  That is when it hit me that today’s post could be an exploration into the fundamentals of proportion. Most people who don’t think they can draw think that because no one ever bothered to teach them about proportion and how to see things.

Like did you know that the body is 8 heads tall? Did you know that eyes belong on the halfway mark vertically on the face? When a body bends over to touch it’s toes, it bends at the halfway mark of the eight heads? Did you know that there is a formula for where to place the nose, eyes, mouth, and ears? Did you know that when you draw the hair you are actually looking at some of the top of the head, so the bangs are not at the top of the circle most people draw. Did you know that in Fashion design school they taught us to draw people with block heads? Did you know the everything in the world is made with circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles, and a few other shapes with lines connecting them?

Did you know that drawing is more a way of seeing than of talent? You can learn to see, but you have to learn what to look for.  When I draw a face I have practiced these principles for a long time, and  now they are just ingrained in my head, but you can learn them too. When I was in Graphic Design College there were some people who did not have the art background that I had, and some of their first drawings looked like a small child had drawn them. I remember shooting of an email to one of these friends with the proportions lined out for him, and the next day he showed up to school having made an amazing transformation in his drawing skills. It really is really not that hard.

So some basics outlined in graphics for you:

These are the basics and you can get a lot of help from just doing a google search, as the proportions stay the same, but different people have slightly different approaches to them and one graphic may work better than others.  After you get a basic sketch done you can then go through with line and add skin, features, and clothing (clothing part seems to be optional among artists, but I like my figures to be able to be viewed by everyone, so I clothe them.)

I have posted some of my illustrations of faces throughout this post. You can see that I use the basic proportions, but I really don’t see people as having circles exactly for heads. I think I am more akin to the block head for humans and then take off some corners. I have been drawing faces for too many years though and I have learned to just free hand them. I start with the eyes, nose and mouth and then at the face around it, but that is actually supposedly the hard way to do it. Hey it works for me, but I suggest you start with a shape of either an oval or rectangle and then remove areas to make it look right. Then add your division lines. If you are drawing say a cartoon that will be the same size all the time, then you can make some underlays (I can not place my finger on the name of them right now) which are the figures sketched out in different poses and then just draw them on your final paper laying over them to see them use a light box to draw on. That is how I do fashion drawings. Here is a full human drawing. I did this one on the computer in Adobe Illustrator.

Below is what I call Two Faced, another example of a face or faces.

My Personal Logo is also a face. If you look at it carefully you will find in it my initials Sj. The blond hair is my S and the blue eye dots my j and the jaw line is my j.

The only thing in common these faces have is that they all have the same proportions. You will notice though that I exaggerate eyes and mouths when I am not doing realistic faces. Now here is a “Cup of Joy” for you, so enjoy it!

And just one last image… This is a poodle that I drew on the computer in Adobe Illustrator only using shapes. It is an example of the Cubism Movement in art and what you can do just playing with shapes.

All images are copyrighted by Sallyjane Woods. For more information you can email her at sj@essiejai.com.

Hope you enjoyed this little art lesson on this Saturday, and remember Shush, Don’t say it, because everyone can learn to draw if they have the desire to.

Peace and Harmony