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The Ideal Proportions Of The Human Figure
     The figures above (12 13 14) show the male figure standing at attention, seen from the front, the side, and the back, proportioned according to the eight-head canon.
     First note the overall proportions, comparing the height with the width, in fig.12 as seen from the front. You will see that it is; eight heads high by two heads wide.
     By drawing a rectangle that measures eight units long by two units wide, we will have a "box" that will enclose an ideally proportioned human figure. Now carefully study the following basic points, which are automatically determined by the dividing lines or modules of the canon. Notice that I have numbered the modules respectively, from 1 to 8, in order to identify more rapidly the following dimensions and positions: Also observe the following relationships, which are equally important for correctly representing and proportioning the male figure:
  1. The space between the nipples is equal to one module (one head length).
  2. By joining points "B" and "C", we obtain:
Finally, observe the male figure standing at attention in profile (fig.13). In that position, the calves project beyond the vertical line drawn from the shoulder blades to below the buttocks (points D, E, and F).
The points above are of the utmost importance. Study them closely and assimilate them, since they provide information that will be indispensable when you come to do your own figure drawings.

Canon-Block Perspective Of The Human Figure
     Until now, we have taken for granted your knowledge of perspective, Horizon Line, and Vanishing Point, and although you may understand what they are it would be helpful to review the basic facts again very briefly.
     The fundamental elements of perspective are the horizon line, which is situated at eye level when you are looking forward, and the viewpoint (VW) and the vanishing points (VP), at which the perpendicular and oblique lines converge (fig. A).
     There are two basic types of perspective: parallel perspective, with only one vanishing point, and oblique perspective, with two vanishing points. Note that the rectangular solid is the ideal basic form with which to construct any body (fig.A).
     Forget all you've heard about cylinders and cans, and imagine the figure encased within a parallelepipe, that is, a long, thin, rectangular block constructed to the proportions of the canon: eight modules high, two nodules wide, and almost one and a half modules deep. Put this block in perspective, and, of course, the dividing lines A, B, and C, and so on will converge at the vanishing point. Similarly, by putting the human figure in this box, we see that the lines or levels formed by the shoulders, nipples, elbows, hips, and so on down to the feet are seen in perspective (fig.B).

How To Place Several Figures In Perspective
     The artist often has to draw several figures in relation to a given horizon in a single picture. When this need arises, the problem of perspective may be solved in the following manner:
     When we draw a single figure, we've already seen that the perspective is resolved by means of the forms in the human figure, along with the application of the canon model as a guide to the lines and forms that converge on the horizon. But what happens when we include two or more figures?
     When a painting or illustration has two or more figures in it, there is always a relationship of sizes based on proportions and perspective. But let me go further in explaining this interesting problem of perspective.

    So there you have it. I hope that this will help those of you who often get the proportions and perspectives incorrect in your drawings. Often I have had students who rebel about the multiple person exercise. They contend that they have painted many, many paintings, none of which had multiple figures, and deem the whole thing a waste of time. Nothing could be further from the truth! The day will surely come when it will be necessary to do this and if you do not possess the knowledge, you will be lost. The ability of an artist is in direct relationship to the amount of knowledge he/she possess.