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May 26, 2007
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Human Figure Tutorial 1 by Gknowsbest Human Figure Tutorial 1 by Gknowsbest
Measuring Stick-Man/geometrics/proportion

If the Human Figure seems like a daunting thing for you to draw, it's probably because you're not very good. However, please do not use this as an excuse for you to go to your next level of artist's despair, just pay attention as I guide you through some basic principles that will help you to bolster your deficiencies.

Now, as you can see in the above example, the two isolated forms on the left and right symbolise the Union of male and female polarity, symbolism not to be confused with the precise technological process of "metapholiteracal hemifusion".

The subtle gradient in the centre then draws your attention to "MAN" with all the complexities of its living counterpart.

This complex form will be the focus of this tutorial and please do not be discouraged if you feel this is a standard you can't achieve:

"the key to succeeding in life is perseverence, perserverance makes up for a distinct lack of talent every time"

GEOMETRIC SHAPES - Stick-Man eats Sausage

You can overcome your inability to draw naturally, quite easily, by breaking down the human form into shapes. For this example I have used elipsoid sausages, primarily organic and slightly under-cooked. You may also have noted the use of transparency shapes at the joints denoting mild arthritis.


If you struggle to guage the proportion of the human figure, you might want to study yourself in the mirror. However, if you find that you, yourself, are hideously disproportionate, then this process can be counter-productive. Also, due to insecurities you feel about the fact that you, yourself, don't measure up, you may find accurate representation of others becomes problematic, as you project your own desires onto the subject. It is not uncommon for obese models to be portrayed as size zero, small people as tall people, small as big, or even for artists to forget to clean their brush before attempting ginger hair. In extreme examples of this, they may neutralise with a colour leaning towards dark and handsome or find themselves with a strong aversion to red, hysterically recalling some vague childhood memory involving a fire engine, while asserting that Daniel Craig was a great bond.

So please, I urge you not to feel inadquate; your constant desire to measure up is ultimately pointless.

Measuring the Figure

Here is a technique: Always keep your arm straight and knees bent while holding a pencil in front of your eye. Be careful not to poke yourself or significant distortions will occur.


The average human figure is between 6-8 heads high or 1/25 of a tennis court (not including net). This will vary from individual to individual, court to court, but is a good standard to use. Figures also tend to be twelve 1/4 heads width from shoulder to shoulder, however, this technique can result in a jail term.

This concludes this turorial. I hope you understood it ok.

*Advanced students may also have observed my excellent use of foreshortening on the left leg, however, this is outside the scope of this tutorial.
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TicklesPickles Feb 20, 2014  Student General Artist

FuzzyPanduh Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconshibeplz: wow                             very tutorial
         much stick man
                                            elipsoid sausages

accurate measurments              dont poke urself
Sirius-Shiriusu May 20, 2013  Student General Artist
TheChickKnownAsPanda Apr 30, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
You, sir, win an internet. :D
eecoli Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
xXdreamincolorXx Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
MysticMagicks Nov 21, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I'm so glad this isn't serious! XD It's hilarious
CannibalxGoats Jan 16, 2012
I just laughed my ass off.
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