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Construction Of The Figure

The Art Of Painting - Construction Of The Figure - 2, a brief series of articles on the art of painting and drawing
 
 
The head and features must now be not only indicated, but fairly carefully drawn, for many reasons. Firstly, because any serious subsequent changes in the head might result in an increasing or reducing of its size, and in the loss of the set standard of proportion. A good likeness of your model is one of the best tests of the correctness of the proportions of the features, and until these features have their definite position on your drawing, it is not possible to place the ears. It is from the ears that the lines of the neck begin.
Refer constantly to your hand-glass, holding it so that your drawing and the model's head can be seen in it at the same time ; for it is well-nigh impossible to get the character of your subject without almost constant reference to the glass. It is the best of masters, and will solve many a knotty problem throughout your artistic life.
When the head is satisfactory, and not till then, begin to draw the neck and shoulders, referring to the " background spaces " on either side, and calling to your aid any lines or markings in the background, wherewith to compare the direction of those of your drawing.
Note at which points under the chin the line of the neck starts ; and be particularly careful that the little bay made by the outline of the chin, the neck, and the shoulder at B should be
the counterpart of that space in Nature.
AIDS TO CONSTRUCTION AND PROPORTION

Then observe the sweep of the back line of the neck and its relation to the ear and jaw.
Find under which point of FIG. 5 the jaw the centre-point of the neck falls (E).
Draw the collar-bones, and see that the nature of the triangle contained between the collar-bone, the mastoid muscle (which always falls from behind the ear to the centre of the body), and the shoulder line is like the model's (that is, the trapezius muscles at C), and that the whole mass of the neck is just in its proportion to the head and when you are satisfied that it is right in every respect, proceed to the rounding of the shoulders (D).



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