How To Draw Body Proportions?

Tutorial / 22 February 2019

Hey guys,

I received this question from one of my AMA on Instagram. I gave a brief answer there, but I believe I did not cover all the important things “the trigger cores”. So here are some of my thoughts & drawings to help answer the question and I hope they will help you improve your art and learn something. =)

Note for copyright:
- People photos I took from Pinterest. I do not own their photos and do not know who the photo belongs to... so if you know please message me!
Link of the photos are attached underneath.
- All the drawings are mine and for education purposes only. Please do not copy or sell. You can use it for your own learning, and NO selling or reposting without asking me. Thank you. =)

HOW I start my character proportions. 

1. Look for references (photos, real person, animals, etc. anything)

I normally like to go to a Gesture drawing session for this. I find it is more personal that way. Sometimes I draw in the bus, event or a coffee shop which is also fun and I can see different types of personality, shapes, and colours, also helps the wallet by being free. =)

2. Look for "Line of action" - LOA

You can draw LOA before or after sketching out the characters, totally up to you and your timing. However, I believe this is a very important guideline to the character's gesture to hold all the shapes together, simplify and strengthen the pose. 

3. Quick sketch following the LOA. Give the line art "a meaning" (ex: soft, harsh, happy, energy, exhaust, sad, confuse, melt, etc.)

Very quick wrapping lines of shapes following “C” and “S” curves. Looking for shapes, and really ignore all the details.
I suggest to make the most ugly lines you can make in this stage. The most important thing is to keep your hand moving fluently and relax.

Have you seen my early sketch before it is all polished? How embarrassing, I know! 

4. Exaggerating, balancing & weighting.

Exaggerating, balancing, and weighting to give the gesture an attitude, a believable, a sense of story (who she is, what she doing, how she feels, etc.). Pretty much, a life!

5. Color palette. Breathe life into the sketch.

Pick color palette suits the purpose and try on quickly. This will quickly give you a sense of the finishing piece. Sometime I find it's looking just perfect the way it is imperfect. =)
Since it is still an early stage you can change things quickly before going into details. 

6, 7, 8, etc.

The stages coming after will be staging, texturing, lighting, composition, polishing and finishing touch. This is where you will be adding the details. However these stages are all important. I believe none of them are more or less important than the others.

Annnnnddd... after all...
Relax, let your hand flow, have fun!

If you want more information of Gesture drawing or Figure drawing, I suggest to look for the master Michael Hampton. I learnt a lot from him. =)

I hope this will help anyone who needs a kick-start to hop onto character design train or whichever you name it.

Remember, it is always about having fun. =)