FashionLifestyle

PROPORTIONS OF THE FASHION FIGURE

All fashion artists apply a certain amount of creative license to the proportions of a drawn figure – some more so than others. This is because elongating a figure enhances the appeal of the design. The extent of the exaggeration can depend of the final outcome and purpose of the piece, but a fairly standard female fashion figure is seven and a half to eight and a half heads tall, and a male form is around nine heads tall. It helps when drawing a figure to think of it as a human body, envisaging the skeleton that supports it, the organs it encases and protects, how and where it bends and twists, the joints and muscles that enable those movements, and the distribution of weight and how that shifts as the body moves.

It is equally beneficial to consider the physical space that the body occupies, and how perspective affects our view of that space. Taking life-drawing classes can be hugely advantageous as it will expand your knowledge and experience of drawing the human form and probably enable you to try out a range of media too. As with anything, practice makes perfect. These sketches show a simple static pose and demonstrate how a stylish figure can be drafted using heads as a measurement guide.

Note the characteristic differences that define a male and female form: the female figure has narrower, sloping shoulders, a smaller waist and larger hips (approximately the same as the shoulder width) than the male. Her bust is rounder and placed about midway above the waistline, while the neck and limbs are slimmer and less muscular.

Conclusion

The male figure, on the other hand, has shoulders that are wider than his hips, a thicker and perhaps shorter neck, and his body is proportionately a little longer, which results in a lower waistline and a more square-shaped chest that sits a little higher than midway above the waist. The limbs are heavier and generally a little more muscular and larger feet plant him more firmly on the ground.

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