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Tutorial: Proportions

By Cataclysm-X
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492 Comments
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As promised, because I love you people:

My proportions tutorial!

Since every drawing is unique, I explained the techniques I used. It's up to you to practice them, yay! :)



You know... sometimes it makes me wonder why I keep posting tutorials since there are still a couple of people out there who say "I give people false hope" or "everything's fake anyway".

But when I read all the comments of fellow artists, e-mails of art students or people who just happened to come across my gallery and private notes of people who are happy to see my tutorials and find them really useful, I just melt! :heart:

And you know what? Even some art teachers are using my tutorials for school assignments after they've asked for my permission, lol!


What a strange world we live in.


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It's a shame I just don't have the time to publish my art book yet, but someday I will... :nod:

Have fun everyone and keep up the good work!
If there are any questions left, please feel free to note me about it!



Watch my other tutorials here!
1. Eye tutorial
2. Nose tutorial
3. Hair tutorial
4. Shading & Blending tutorial
5. Drawing Progress tutorial
6. Detailed Hair part 1
7. Detailed Hair part 2
8. Editing Drawings <-- got a Daily Deviation!
9. Drawing Materials
10. Male Lips tutorial
11. Female Lips Tutorial
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Comments492
anonymous's avatar
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RWright6532's avatar
Pleaaase don’t stop tutorials. You are amazing for ding this. Tytyty!!!
OneFromNorthKarelia's avatar
I've understood, that Leonardo da Vinci would have used grids and shapes when he designed Mona Lisa and his other paintings 
fireytika's avatar
Thank you so much~!!^^
AlmaUralt's avatar
Thank your so much for this! I tried out the mirror and the shapes technique and they've been incredibly helpful!
Griffinchef's avatar
I believe talent (in art) is only the ability to enjoy the long processes involved in making art. Your work is beautiful and your tutorials are incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for your time and patience, you have a passion that is contagious.
NicoleLaneArt's avatar
I am musing to myself about your tutorials and how even here people think you are talented. I say I use Free hand and lining, but I also use one similar to the shape method you describe and one other that isnt on here, and that is called Boxing in.
Maybe we could swap Ideas sometime. I really enjoy your drawings.
Anyways, Even with a proven method and practice people still refer to your hard work as talent. Do we call a doctor talented when s/he learns to keep a steady hand and has spent years learning his/her craft? I sure hope not because my life may well be in his/her hands. But with artist, I keep getting told its a talent...I wonder why that is?
MorningMacchiato's avatar
They didn't teach this in art class. ;D
D-Shot247's avatar
Take no notice of those who say its a False hope?.. Hope, self belief, and a love to draw and create drives us and lessons from someone with your talent is inspiring which gives us new hope and a desire to perfect and aspire to your level to create something as to be proud of we may never get to your level but we will get better and be able to be proud of our improvement ;)

ShakeyPaul's avatar
Great tutorial :D thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and skills. :hug:
Teebag180's avatar
I find your tutorials very interesting. Sorry to read your note that people leave bad comments. These type of drawings take commitment, patience, effort and practice.

You also don't claim they people can draw such brilliant pictures straight away. so that is NOT false hope.

I expect those that say you offer false hope are just not trying hard enough and give up straight away! And are more committed to putting others down than practicing your tutorials

They also have the option to leave your page and search elsewhere.

Please don't give up! I'm positive many, many, many, MANY more people will support you and I hope this message gives you some hope that people out there do appreciate your efforts!!!!
sujithadr's avatar
great tutorial
UtsukushiiAhiru's avatar
you are so amazingly talented and helpful! thank you so much!
startraveller776's avatar
This is great. Thank you so much!
jazmocamp's avatar
Nicolien, I was checking out some of David Desbois work and it was a tutorial on shading and proportion (all that color and layers! don't know how he does it!) I'll stick with my pencils for another decade or so. Anyway, he refereced your tutorial with a link, which I thought was really cool and besides I spent a day downloading and faving all of your tutorials awhile back. Studying every one and of course overloading my brain with too much info! Some how, I missed this one! This is so great! I love how you discussed these five techniques together. I had seen the grid idea mentioned and used it on a few drawings and after kinda altering that technique to save time I always wondered, am I doing things correctly? I love your tips at the bottom, they are so valuable and this now gives me a complete set of Tutorials by you! Thank you so much for giving to others.
Riemea's avatar
Thanks for making this! I featured this very helpful tutorial here :)
plastic-geektastic's avatar
This is a lot of help thanks so much!
Dj94's avatar
I usually hate using guides and such, but this one was extremely useful! I almost gave up on a portrait of a friend... thank you very much! ♥
dreamerboyfreak's avatar
i do it too! the mirroring i mean... :) thanks for sharing!
Painirl's avatar
Thank you, you are very kind and very generous indeed. :)
EldalinSkywalker's avatar
This is very interesting! Personally I have never used anything but the freehand technique. I am self taught, perhaps that's the reason. I tried using a grid two years ago, but found it impossible to work with, erased it and finished the drawing freehand haha. I never start with the eyes though. In fact, they're the last thing I draw. I start with the jaw, then mouth, nose, eyesbrows, hair and then eyes (outlines only on all of those). But most people do start with the eyes, I think. Anyway, thanks for sharing!
wolfgirl17946's avatar
"My Katie drawing doesn't look okay anymore after it's mirrored"
Yeah, and I'm not a human being. If I could draw your mirrored Katie, I would have accomplished my goal in life.
Theres-is's avatar
I my old days I am allowed to learn drawing - thank's to you! It is so fun to look at your humorous descriptions! Thanks so much![link]
jessicassketchbook's avatar
I'm really happy I happened upon this tutorial. I knew the grid technique, but I never had much patience to draw straight lines. At first I was just doing freehand, but I never was totally happy with the proportions. Then I started doing a mix of lines (2) and shapes (3), and now I know that those are actual techniques. I do a lot of measuring with my pencil (or whatever I'm using), too, to compare the reference with my drawing.
anonymous's avatar
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