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Anatomy Lesson 5, Part 3 – Human Head Proportions

Human Head Proportions Video

In this video lesson, you will discover the human head proportions.

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The human head proportions in full-face view

In the head-on view of the head, a virtual vertical line represents the central line of the face. It serves as an axis of symmetry. This line can be divided in half. In the middle, there is the horizontal axis of the eyes. The ratio of width-to-height is approximately two thirds.

When it comes to the human head proportions, you need to remember that the distance between the eyes is equal to the length of one eye.

Another important proportion of the human face that every fine artist must know is that the distance from the chin to the base of the nose is equal to the distance from the base of the nose to the eyebrow line, which in turn is equal to the distance from the eyebrow line to the line of the hair roots.

An eyeball has a spherical shape; it is in fact a liquid-filled ball about one inch in size. Therefore, to define its volume, you can literally draw a circle and then create eyelids that wrap around its shape.

The iris of the eye usually appears in such a way that the upper eyelid slightly covers its upper edge, while there can be a small distance between the iris and the lower eyelid.

The eyebrow line that we defined previously is now very handy to position the eyebrows where they should be.

Human Head Proportions

Human Head Proportions

Human Head Proportions

Human Head Proportions

According to classical human head proportions, the width of the nose is equal to the length of the eye. To measure this proportion, you can draw two virtual lines that run vertically from the inner corners of eyes to the base of the nose.

When it comes to the human head proportions, here’s one amateur mistake you need to be aware about to avoid it. Don’t place the mouth in the exact center of the distance between the base of the nose and the bottom edge of the chin. It is, in fact, located slightly higher than that.
The contour of the upper lip is sometimes called Cupid’s bow, because of its resemblance.

The shape of the lower lip contains two ovals. Its length is slightly shorter than the upper lip.

The ears are located between the line of eyebrows and the base of the nose.

The width of the neck is about one half the height of the head.

The human head proportions in profile view

When marking the human head proportions, remember the following rules.

The eye line divides the height of the head exactly in half.

The distances between the hairline, the eyebrow line, the base of the nose, and the bottom edge of the chin are equal.

The line between the lips is located a third of the way from the base of the nose to the bottom edge of the chin.

In profile, the upper lip protrudes slightly compared to the lower lip, creating about a 30 degree angle.

In profile, the width of the neck is also about one half the height of the head.

The line that runs from the eyebrow to the ear channel separates the cranial section of the skull from the facial section.

The line where the ear connects to the head is not perfectly vertical; it is slightly tilted.

The upper edge of the ear lies on the same level as the eyebrow, while the lower edge is level with the base of the nose.

To learn more about human head proportions, enrol in the Anatomy Master Class.

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