Temescal Canyon High School

Advanced Painting and Drawing 

The Sketchbook

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Table of Contents:


Human Proportions:

Many artists consider drawing the human figure to be the ultimate artistic challenge. As with portraits, artists use figure drawings for documentation, for illustration purposes and for creative expression. The drawings also serve as starting notes for everything from paintings, sculptures, and prints to projects like fashion designs and digital film animations. Artists often fill their sketchbooks with figure drawings of all sizes, ages, and looks for possible later use in paintings. Their sketchbooks become almost like a clip file, from which the artist may select just the right figure type for just the right subject.

Making the Human Proportions page

  1. For this sketchbook addition you will need the following:
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Magazine(s)- Fashion Magazines work best for this addition
    • General human proportions handout.
  2. Prepare at least two sketchbook pages in your sketchbook for this addition.
  3. Select a large image of a standing figure from a magazine in which an arm is extended down the side of the figure(the image should be about as tall as your sketchbook page is) and carefully cut this image out of the magazine.
  4. Next, using a pencil, divide a page in your sketchbook so that the left 1/3 is separated by a vertical line from the right 2/3.
  5. Divide the right 1/3 in half by a horizontal line at the half way point so that you the top half is the same size as the bottom half.
  6. In the large section of your the page you've just divided, mount (glue) the image of a standing figure that you've selected allowing room for a page title.
  7. In the top half of the left hand side of your page, draw a thumbnail sketch of a stick figure from the magazine image as accurately as you can. Be sure to accurately position the hands, feet, and head.

Mounting the proportions handout into your sketchbook:

  1. Carefully trim the excess paper from your General Human Proportions handout
  2. Mount (glue) the information into your sketchbook in such a way as to allow room for the page title and annotations.

Authoring the Human Proportions page:

  1. Creatively title your pages, “Human Proportions.”
  2. Down one side of the space in which you've glued the magazine image of a figure draw a “measuring stick” that extends the height of the figure so that the highest point is level with the top of the head and the lowest point is level with the bottom of the foot (bottom of the heel of the foot). Divide the measuring stick into increments that are the same height as the figures head.

In the empty space below the stick figure answer the following question correctly in full, complete sentences and in a visually creative way:

  1. Where do the following body parts line up? (use points of reference on the body):
    1. Where do the tip of the hands with the arms extended downward relate to the figure (Mid-thigh, Waist, Knee?)
    2. Where do the elbows of  the figure align to or relate to the body?
  2. Also note the following:
    1. How many "heads" tall is this figure?
    2. How many "heads" wide is the figure from shoulder to shoulder?
    3. About how far is it from the bottom of the heel to the ankles in "heads"?
    4. About how far is it from the bottom of the heel to the knees in "heads"?