When carving human figures, whether realistic or caricature, a knowledge of
some human anatomy is essential. Although the study of human anatomy can get
deep and involved, I have neither the space nor the expertise to get that
far into it on this page. I have however tried to provide a few simple
drawings and some suggested guidelines that I think may be of help to some
of you. Keep in mind that these drawings and guidelines are only
approximates, God made each of us different and unique inside and out.
The Human Head
(Front View Tips)
A. The human head is oval or egg shaped.
B. The human head is five eyes wide, with an eye space between the eyes and
to the outside of each eye.
C. The eyes are located on the center horizontal line of the head.
D. The tip of the nose is one and one-half eye lengths down from the eyes.
E. The top of the ears are even with the eyes and the bottom of the ears are
even with the tip of the nose.
F. The mouth opening is three-fourths of an eye length down from the tip of
G. The outside edges of the nostrils are even with the inside corners of the
H. The outside edges of the mouth are even with the center of the eyes.
The Human Figure
The human figure at the left is a simple line drawing of a male figure. Most
artists use the head as a unit of measure. The three rows of rectangles at
the top and at the bottom of this drawing are roughly the same height and
width of the head of this figure. In my drawing and carving I try to
maintain a 7½ head length when determining proportion. Feel free to print
this drawing out for your own use as a reference.
The Human Head
(Side View Tips)
A. The depth of the head is nine-tenths of the length.
B. The ear is located just behind the vertical center line of the head.
C. The bottom of the back of the skull is even with the tip of the nose.