Human Proportion Reference for Artists
By: Mario Furmanczyk

This tutorial is designed for individuals that are interested in an introduction to standard human proportions. Also, this tutorial can be used as a reference for the more experienced artist incase something about proportions is forgotten.

I learned this information mostly from courses I've taken including figure drawing and anatomy. Also, I've read some books on anatomy including Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy, which I highly recommend for the beginner and advanced figure drawer.


- Draw an oval

- Next, softly sketch a horizontal line across the MIDDLE of the oval. This will be where the eyes will fall.

- Inbetween the chin and the eyes, sketch another line for the nose.

- Draw another line inbetween the nose and the chin. This will be the line where the mouth will be.

- Finally, between the eyes and the top of the head, draw the hairline. Once you have the proportianate lines sketched out, fill them in w/ the eyes, nose mouth, etc...

- when you draw the eyes, nose and mouth, there are a few things to remember. The inside corner of the eys will line up w/ the outside off the nostrils. **note the inner lines in the drawing above**

- A line drawn from the midpoint of the eye down will end up as the outer corners of the mouth.

- Also, the human head is 5 eye lengths in width. For example, take the horizontal measurment of the model's eye and measure five times across the width of the head. It should measure up to 5 eye lengths across.

- When drawing the ears, the top of the ear will line up with the horizontal line that also represents the eyes. The bottom of the ears should line up with the bottom of the nose.

These are some of the beginner rules for proportions involving the human head. Others include the profile of the head which I will get into some other time

Now, here are some basic proportions for the human figure.

1. You can draw the human figure at about 7.5 or 8 heads high, as a standard proportions. I chose to use 7.5 for this example.

- After the oval for the head is drawn, measure its length and count down aboutt 7.5 heads. The second head will meet at the breatbone. The third head will meet at the belly button. 4th meets at the pubic bone. 5th usually meets above the knee while the 6th just below. The 7th meets at the ankles and the other half down at the heels.

2. The standard width of the human male is 3 times the head. So take the width of the head and measure it across three times. The three heads should fit inbetween the shoulders. The hips are usually about 2 heads wide.

- For women, the proportions are switched around. Instead of the shoulders being 3 heads wide, the hips on the female are 3 heads wide while the shoulders are only about 2. Essentially, the hips and shoulders are opposites in females and males.

any questions? email me
All rights reserved © 2003 Mario Furmanczyk