eol - ex oriente lux!  Tutorial: drawing and sketching basics
DRAWING SKETCHING COURSE: Measuring while drawing

Measuring while drawing

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A strategy to determine distances and sizes in the motive is to set an easy to measure length of the motive into relation to other lengths.

For example: I have drawn the head of a man as an oval, now I want to know the height of the total figure.
In an grafic programm or a print I would measure directly and I would find out, that the length of the head fits 5,6 times into the figures height.

But you can also measure it directly (optically) during drawing. Therefore you stretch your arm and measure with the help of a stick, pencil or brush how often the length of the head fits into the sitting man. The way to do this is described in detail on the next page.

 

Zeichenkurs: Messen mit Vergleichslängen

Fig. 1:
The initial value is the length of the head. The body length is approx. 5 and 2/3 head lengths. The width of the sitting person is at about 3 to 3.5 head lengths, the distance between the knees is approx. 2 head lengths.

With the help of basic units, here the length of the head, you can “measure” optically the distance between salient points, the length of lines or the width of areas.

Zeichenkurs: Messen mit Vergleichslängen

Fig. 2:
The "basic units" being used without the motive.

Zeichenkurs: Messen mit Vergleichslängen

Zeichenkurs: Messen mit Vergleichslängen

Fig. 3:
Of course you can use any easy assessable length as “basic unit”. Here is used the length of the lower leg (green line) and the distance between tip of the foot and the interior seam of the trousers (red line).
All you need is a definable starting and endpoint, and you should be able to keep them in mind and to recognize them again. With growing experience you will use vague “points”, small areas. The "units" do not have to be perpendicular or horizontal, as the green lines the can have arbitrary gradients.

 

 

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