How I use it
Below is a rough sample of how I use the eight-head rule when I draw. This is not an absolute way of using it, it is simply my way. Its how I see the female form, its how I find the beauty of the female form. Hopefully it will be useful to you (as a reader).
[tabs slidertype=”left tabs”] [tabcontainer] [tabtext]Head to Chest[/tabtext] [tabtext]Chest to Hip[/tabtext] [tabtext]Hip to Thighs to Knees[/tabtext] [tabtext]Knees to Foot[/tabtext] [tabtext]Conclusion[/tabtext] [/tabcontainer] [tabcontent] [tab]
I basically sketch the general length and shape of the head, and drawing a guide line to how and where the chest will be angled and posed, I will refer to the head counts as HEAD 1, Head 2, etc.
I make HEAD 2 stop somewhere in the bottom of the sternum. Its where the ribs meets below.
From the sternum, HEAD 3 should stop just above or by the belly button (belly button height in humans vary, so this is variable).
HEAD 4 starts from the belly button and ends just between the perineum area.
From the perineum area, HEAD 5 ends by 3/4 of the thighs. Again, this is where I make variations on proportion slightly, if I want to make the character taller or shorter.
But for the general eight-head rule, HEAD 5 should fall along 3/4 of the thighs. HEAD 6 starts from there and would end just below the knees.
[/tab] [tab]From the knees, its just two more HEAD counts. HEAD 7 will pretty much fall halfway along the length of the foreleg, with the last HEAD 8 below the ankle.
Again, this varies for me, depending on how short or tall I want to make the character I’m drawing. The foot itself is a variable for me, which is why some illustrators draw at 8-and-a-half heads high. Variation in height also occurs depending on the type of shoe you’ll be drawing.
[/tab] [tab]In conclusion, these measurements are in no way the absolutes. I use them as a guide, but as you can see from the sketch, its only a rough layout.
Adjustments will be made before the final line art is done, but this visual guide to proportioning your characters is effective to get you to know where everything falls, and makes you aware that somewhere along the drawing some part is too long or too short and you make the adjustments.[/tab] [/tabcontent] [/tabs]