Building your own Canon of Proportion

It’s very common to draw a figure, and know that something looks… wrong, but not be able to tell *what*. Having a juicy set of “ideal” proportions can help you course-correct when your instincts lead you astray. Beginners can use ready-made sets of rules, but as you become more attuned to exactly how you want your figures to look, it can be helpful to generate your own. 

Step 1: Learn a few existing canons of proportion. Try using them to measure real people, to measure art you like, and to measure your own art. See what happens if you take one of your own drawings, and adjust it to match the system you’re studying. See what rules make sense, and are easy to use, and which rules are confusing, or hard to see.

Proko has a couple great videos on different systems of proportion; here’s one system I think is particularly effective (but lots and lots of people use Loomis’ system and other skull-to-chin systems to great effect):

Step 2: Gather a number of references of figures whose proportions you like. If you want realism, you should use photos. If you want to make superhero comics, find panels that especially speak to you, instead. Ditto anime, Egyptian sculpture, whatever. If you’d like to draw people who are fat, or exceptionally tall, or very muscular, be sure to add them to the mix. We’re trying to capture your artistic ideals, not anyone else’s. You’re looking for two kids of figures: first, neutral figures, standing up straight, facing forward or directly to the side, with arms out of the way. These figures make it easy to see the proportions. Second, you’re looking for dynamic poses. These figures will help you test if your canon is useful.

Step 3: Start looking for shapes and distances that are easy to identify. Classic examples are the distance from top of the head to the chin, from the base of the hand to the elbow, the width of the hips. However, it can be extremely helpful to take a page from Robert Beverly Hale’s book, and use volumes instead of lines when you measure. Use the cube that contains various parts of the body – like Hale uses the cranial mass. You could also use a clenched fist, or the volume of the hips.

Step 4: Start looking for relationships. Move your chosen measures around each of your neutral reference figures, looking for structural points in the figure that are simple, whole-number ratios of your measurement. When you think you’ve found a good match (“the width of the rib cage is the length of the forearm”), start testing it out on the dynamic poses. Still seems reasonable? Great! Be sure to make note of when the measurement is a little too big, or a little too small, and see what effect that has on the way the figure looks.

A canon is just a big collection of these rules. So make it as simple or as complex as you feel comfortable with! Feel free to get creative with your comparisons, too. IIRC, Polyklietos mentions that if you draw a square with each side being the length of the hand, the diagonal of that square is the length of the forearm (from pit of elbow to base of palm). Any relationship that’s easy to see and to measure is fair game – find what works for you. Mine existing canons for good rules, but test them. Don’t blindly believe anything – there are plenty that won’t quite suit your tastes. Pay specific. attention to areas you struggle with the most! I tend to draw people’s hands much too small – so I keep a number of rules around that I can use to verify when I’ve done it right.

Step 5: Draw it out. This is the fun part, because you get to play at being Da Vinci. Draw a good, clean, neutral figure, and note out all the relationships you discovered. If you can, find geometric, visual ways to show the relationship off (like the stacked squares in the video above, or like the Vitruvian Man’s circle-in-a-square). That will make it easier to remember.

It will probably take you several tries to draw out a figure that *you* think looks right *and* that has measurements that are easy to remember – so don’t fall too much in love with your first attempt. In the worst case, you’ll spend a few hours studying the figure, improving your instincts. In the best case, artists of the future will busy themselves trying to learn the secrets of YOUR system of proportion.

If you do this exercise, post your results! Knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied!

"Handsoap Shimada"

I don’t post, but I need help with something, can someone explain to me why calling Hanzo “Handsoap” is racist??? I’ve heard it was bad and I want to know why… I don’t ever want to be racist so I’d really appreciate someone telling me why its bad , thank you

Getting the Girl

Request:  Can you write #48, “Is there a special reason, as to why you’re wearing my shirt?” And #32 “I’m so stupid to make the mistake of falling in love with my best friend.” With Liam Dunbar please. Thank you!

For: @do-not-worry-just-be-happy

Word Count: 1998

A/N: This went a lot farther than I had ever meant it to go…I was gonna go some cliche route and then my mind was like BOI YOU BETTER NOT.

Originally posted by urnotsprayberry

Liam was…protective of you.

And by protective I mean he’ll rip someone’s throat out with their teeth if they were mean to you or looked at you the wrong way.

And that was before he became a werewolf.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

i was in english class once and i had only just found out my female crush (i'm also female) was straight and when i told the girl next to me what was wrong she looked at me with more pity than anyone else has ever looked at me in my life. english class girl for president.

awwww you poor thing :(

anonymous asked:

Hi! Some info about Poppy as Ginny? Thanks!

She’s awesome. She’s strong and fearless, but also very warm and kind. Pure canon Ginny, basically. Poppy plays the “So is mine!” line so well. She gets right up in Draco’s face, looks him straight in the eye and shouts loud enough that it echoes through the theatre. It’s funny, because different audiences have different reactions. The first time, Alex/Draco looked so shocked and wrong-footed that everyone laughed. But sometimes there’s a shocked silence. (I like when people laugh better.)

She great against Harry/Jamie. You completely believe in them as a couple who’ve been married for quite a while, know each other intimately, and are still very much in love. When Harry has nightmares, he ducks away, fakes laughter, hides his face, and Poppy chases him, forcing him to look her in the eye. And her expression, when she’s watching Harry talk to Albus, is warm and concerned. She communicates everything through her stance and expression. She’s just a brilliant actress.

Basically Poppy manages to play the whole Ginny spectrum. The moment just before the kiss, when she tells Harry she’s going with him to Godric’s Hollow makes you love her so much. It made me love her, at least.

She’s really nice as a person too. When I met her in the stage door queue I told her she was a perfect Ginny and she gave me a lovely smile and said thank you, looking genuinely pleased.


Amaryssa apologized and hung up the phone.  She was kind of shocked at the tirade she caught and wasn’t really sure how to respond. She wanted to just hang up at first, but the person on the other end had obviously been through a lot, she didn’t want them to think it was the person calling them again.

As she hung up the phone after apologizing, she wondered how she got it wrong. She had it stored in her contacts.  Pushing end, she thought she heard her name coming through the phone, but was already in the process of pushing the button.  She wanted to call back, but was too afraid to upset the person who had answered.

She looked down at the phone number and checked it agains what Dillon had written on the card.  It was the same. Maybe he had written it wrong.

She looked up to see Aniyah staring at her.

“So…. What happened!?” Aniyah asked excitedly.

“No answer. He’s probably at work. Speaking of, don’t you have some work of your own.  I know you’re off today, but you still have homework from the other days.”

“Ugh, fine!  Don’t think you’re distracting me.  Our deal includes you talking to him.” She pulled out her school book and started flipping through the pages.

“I will talk to him. I promise.  I’ll try again later, ok?”  Amaryssa smiled and stood over her, ready to help.

“OK. I just don’t want you to be alone and he really did seem nice.” Aniyah smile and started in on her work.

“He did seem nice.” Amaryssa agreed. If that was Dillon on the other end of the phone, what had he been talking about?


That was probably the wrong answer…

me normally: its cool, characters with no explicit mention of their gender or sexuality can be headcanoned any way you want, just don’t be mean to other people about their headcanons and everyone can play this awesome game and relate to these characters :)

me after seeing this shit: actually you know what fuck you Blanche is totally agender now, Candela is a trans woman and her and Blanche are FUCKING MARRIED and Sporky my son is a bisexual trans boy FUCKING  F I G H T  M E