Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Drawing Stick Figures - How Tall Am I?

Drawing Stick Figures — How Tall Am I?

We humans are in tune with ourselves. We recognize each other immediately. In fact, we spot ourselves so readily, that we even see faces in the fronts of automobiles and can mistake a tall skinny road sign for a person. No wonder we have no trouble using stick figures to represent ourselves.

I actually love stick figures. They are easy to draw and, with a little effort, they can be quite expressive! With that in mind, here are a couple facts and suggestions to make your next stick figure be all that she or he can be:

How tall am I?
Proportions can be tricky, but a couple rules of thumb can help—
  • The average man is roughly 8 heads tall (meaning that if you started on the ground and stacked 8 of his heads on top of each other, they would be the same height as he is). So if you are drawing a stick man, figure out how big you want his head, and then do a rough approximation of that oval 8 times, and that’s how tall he should be. If he won’t fit in your space, try making his head smaller and repeat the process until he fits in the space you have.
  • The average woman is roughly 6 to 7 heads tall.
  • Children will vary based on their age, but a 3 year old might be 2.5 to 3 heads tall and on up. Here’s another fun fact: Children’s heads are a little bigger compared to their bodies than adult heads are. Cartoonists will often take advantage of this fact by exaggerating the size of a child’s head to help their readers know that they are drawing a child (you can do that too).
Where is halfway?
Another helpful thing to find when you are drawing a person is the halfway point from the top of someone’s head to their feet. Many people automatically assume that it’s our bellybutton, but this is not the case. Halfway is generally around where your legs join your body.

Above is an example from a student—(Since these are hand drawn, there is a fair amount of variation in the stack of heads, so things don’t align perfectly. But you can see that the ratio of upper body to lower body feels about right, and that’s the point!)

In our next post we’ll talk about adding a couple new lines to get even more from your stick figures.

To see other posts on Drawing Stick Figures, look here: How Am I Made? and How Do I Move?


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