Part 4 of the Beginner Figure Drawing Fundamentals deals with proportions and balance. This is the last part of this figure drawing module.

Head and Neck Proportions

  • don't skip the process
  • draw the head gesture line: the center line
  • draw the eye-line: almost in the middle of the face (vertically)
  • head is roughly 5-eyes width
  • eyes sits in 2nd and 4th parts
  • bottom of the nose: 1/2 between eye-line and bottom of the chin
  • bottom of the lip: 1/2 between bottom of the nose and bottom of the chin
  • distance between nose and chin gives distance between nose and eye brow line
  • ears fill the space between the nose and brow line


  • 1/3 of the head
  • thinner and longer on women
  • thicker and shorter on men
  • on muscular characters, it can get as wide as the head

Shoulders and Ribcage Proportions


  • maybe the most complicated area of the body
  • for now, the shoulder line:
    • is the corner of the arms
    • sits on top of the ribcage
  • through the pit of the neck
  • connected to the neck by a triangular shape
    • larger on muscular characters
    • smaller on women and children


  • pit of the neck to bottom of the ribcage is the same as pit of the neck to top of the head
  • preferably use egg shape for ribcage
  • ribcage is tilting away from us

Pelvis, Leg and Arm Proportions


  • bottom of the ribcage to pit of the neck is the same as bottom of the ribcage to pubic area / bottom of the pelvis
  • other measurement system:
    • nipple line: 1 head bellow the bottom of the chin
    • belly button: 1 head bellow the nipple line
    • bottom of the pelvis: 1 head bellow the belly button
  • the pelvis tilts forward


  • start around 1/2 of the pelvis or a little bit lower
  • measure 4 heads down from there to get the bottom of the feet
    • this makes the whole body 7 1/2 heads
    • some artists prefer an 8 heads body
  • knees are 1/2 (or 2 heads from the start of the legs)
  • ankles are about 1/2 head from the bottom
  • if the legs look too short by applying this template, just extend them a little bit


  • the elbow terminates somewhere between the bottom of the ribcage and the belly button
  • the forearm to the wrist is about the same length as the upper arm
    • it aligns about the pubic area line
  • hand extend beyond this point
    • finger finish around the middle of the thigh

Sex Variations

  • the male will have:
    • thicker neck
    • wider chest
    • thicker wrists and hands
    • bulgier obliques
    • narrower waist
  • boxier structures will make the figure more masculine
  • curved structures will make the figure more feminine


  • more difficult because there is no centerline
  • start with the head
  • draw the neck cylinder
  • ear sits close to 1/2 of the face


Drawing Process

  • draw big gestures first
  • alternate gesture, construction, gesture, construction… so that you get a ballance between them
  • check proportions every 30 secs or so
  • work from big to small


  • we need for the center of gravity
  • look for how (where, what direction, …) the weight is distributed


Once you've completed the lecture part of the lesson, draw along with the Demonstration video and then move onto doing the 15 minute Timed Drawing Session. Focus on the Proportions and the Drawing Process of the full figure as outlined in the Lectures. Get as much of the full figure down as possible but don't put pressure on yourself to finish. Pause the video if you need to. Follow along with the Drawing demo and come back as often as you need to practice. Previous videos have other Timed Sessions you can try also. PDF Transcript of the Lectures are attached.


  • 3 x 5 minute sessions
  • 2 images per session
  • Do one or both if you have time
  • Focus on Proportions and the Drawing Process

Poses 1-4
Poses 1-4
Poses 5-6
Poses 5-6