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What is proportion in drawing?
One of the most valuable abilities to visualize, analyze, learn and solve problems is the ability to correctly grasp the relationship between one object and another. This relationship, in painting, is called proportion. The proportion in the painting is very important, since it gives the represented object the necessary harmony by properly linking all the elements that compose it.
The perception of relative proportions, and especially spatial relationships, is a special function of the right hemisphere of the human brain. People whose work requires an assessment of size proportions (carpenters, dentists, tailors, surgeons, etc.), develop a great facility for the perception of proportion. Creative thinkers, in all fields, find it helpful to be able to see the trees and the forest at the same time.
The proportion in painting is related to the representation of the dimensions of an object. In the lines made on the paper, that is, what we see as large, we represent it smaller, maintaining the differences in the dimensions that exist in the original model.
By that we mean that we will try to keep the size of the objects we draw in a particular relationship. Let’s imagine that we are going to draw a man with a bouquet of flowers in his hands, and then we will draw the man smaller than he really is. We will also reduce the size of the flowers in relation to the size given to man.
This means that in our drawing we must maintain the same proportion of metrics so that these elements are proportionate. The problem begins when we want to reduce or increase the proportions to the size of the paper that we are going to work with.
There are proportional problems in any painting, whether it be still life, landscape, figure painting, or portraiture, and whether the style is realistic, abstract, or completely non-objective (i.e., without forms familiar from the outside world). Realistic painting, in particular, relies heavily on precise proportions. Because It is very effective for eye training. Until they manage to see things as they are, with their fair relative proportions.
Most beginning students have problems with proportion: they draw certain parts that are too big or too small in relation to the whole shape. The reason, it seems, is that most of us tend to view parts hierarchically.
Seeing an object in parts can cause us to see it larger than it really is. The same happens with the pieces that we decide Are bigger, or we think they should be that way and vice versa: the parts that we don’t consider important, or that we decide that they are small, or that we think that they should be smaller, leading us to the mistake of considering them as if they were smaller than they really are.
Moment if you have read this far you may be interested in isometric drawing
Proportion in a drawing
A useful and practical advice when framing the painting is to put it in front of a mirror, in this way we will know if our work is proportional and if it maintains the appropriate symmetry; It is very useful especially with face painting and portraits.
Sometimes our eye tends to deceive us while we paint and it turns out that when we finish a job, from our point of view it may seem correct and fit well, but when placed in front of the mirror some errors of proportion are revealed. It should not be forgotten that it is so and the viewer will see it.
It is fixed with practice, how? Observing in detail so that we can correctly link all the elements of the object to be drawn and thus our representation is correct.
Using the proportion we determine the ratio of indices between the parts and the whole of the model that we are going to draw. The beauty and appeal of a painting depends largely on its proportions.
Proportion in art
There are certain proportions, which due to their balance, naturally satisfy perception. As for the representation of the human figure, since ancient times, the Greek canon served as an ideal proportion: the total height of the human body standing is equal to an amount seven times the height of its head.
The golden ratio or golden section is another method that can be done in the drawings and that basically consists of dividing a straight line in such a way that the smallest part is the largest part and also the largest part is total.
It is interesting to know these conventions to implement them if we want, but we must be aware of it. Disproportion can be used intentionally to express feelings, emotions, and ideas.
Another very useful tip to be able to calculate sizes easily is to use the pencil as a ruler.
We hope you have found this topic interesting and good luck with your illustration projects.