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How to draw a human (cartoon proportions)

How to draw a human (cartoon proportions)

Learning how to draw a human also means learning how to play with proportions. Indeed, to draw an accurate man or woman, it's important to use proportions that are genuine and conform to reality. Fortunately, this site is about drawing cute cartoon characters which mean that we can cheat a little.

Most guidelines usually suggest that the height of a character should be equal to seven heads tall. Other guidelines are suggesting eight heads tall. Of course, these proportions are different between man and woman while babies and children will have a lower scale of proportion. Let's see a few examples of characters that are not included in these common units of measurement.

a little bit shorter than the standard height

The first character that we are studying is a nice cartoon boxer that is six heads tall. If you look quickly at the character, this one could have measurements that could be found in real life. The waist is a little bit narrow for a male, but otherwise these proportions are close enough to reality. Just like several real boxers, this cartoon character didn't exercise both legs enough compared to the rest of the body. ;)

How to draw a human (cartoon proportions)

Not realistic, but still good enough

Our second example is also quite interesting. Although most proportions are not realistic at all, this adorable cartoon cowboy is appealing and seems believable. Of course, a lot of things just don't work properly for a normal human being. The head is the same width as the body and legs are barely longer than the head. Still ... being only three heads and a half tall, this character looks pretty good (in terms of proportions that is).

How to draw a human (cartoon proportions)

Cheating even more ...

This is another good example that you can cheat a lot and still end up with a relatively "normal" character. Indeed, when looking at this cartoon dentist, this one seems pretty interesting despite having round hands and large feet.

Being just a little bit more than two heads tall, this character should look very strange by our standards. I personally don't think that this character looks abnormal when looking at him. Arms and legs are a little bit short and the head is large, but it's still a convincing version.

How to draw a human (cartoon proportions)

cartoonish template with many variations

The short cartoon character below is an interesting one. Indeed, the character is not quite two heads tall. Even more fascinating is the fact that the head is much larger than the body and legs combined. Of course, being mostly made from rectangles is also unique to the cartoon universe. This is a nice example that cute cartoon characters can have a mix of various shapes and proportions without looking too awkward.

How to draw a human (cartoon proportions)

One last example featuring a large oval head.

This cartoon doll is also slightly below two heads tall. This time, the character is mostly made from oval shapes and circles. Indeed, the large head is taking a lot of space compared to the rest of the body. Legs are hidden behind a dress, but it's safe to presume that they are short and thin.

How to draw a human (cartoon proportions)

time to learn how to draw a human using various sizes

Now that you are a little bit more aware of what it takes to create cool proportions, feel free to experiment. In the wonderful world of cartoon illustrations, possibilities are endless. You can draw animals and characters using all the shapes and proportions you can think of. It's a little bit like playing god. However, if you want to learn how to draw a human that looks realistic, then you need to study carefully what Mother Nature has to offer. ;)

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