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Proportions of a Portrait. Learning to Draw Faces. The proportions of a portrait is based on an “Idealized” set of proportions represented in the Ancient Greek Sculptures. . But first, we will take a brief look back to discover where this “idealized set of proportions originated.

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proportions of a portrait

Proportions of a Portrait

Learning to Draw Faces

in the beginning
The proportions of a portrait is based on an “Idealized” set of proportions represented in the Ancient Greek Sculptures.

But first, we will take a brief look back to discover where this “idealized set of proportions originated.

In the beginning…..

They have been adopted as a guide for the mechanics of portrait drawing.

greek archaic period
Characteristics:

Kore – clothed female figure

Kouros – nude male youth

Freestanding

Frontal stance

Left foot forward

Clenched fists

Puppet-like Pose

Idealized

Originally painted to emphasize natural appearance

Illustrates the “Archaic Smile” (the sign of life)

Earliest (625-480 BC)

Greek Archaic Period

Peplos Kore, about 530 BC, Marble, 4` high. Acropolis Museum, Athens

greek classical period

(480 -323 BC)

Greek Classical Period
  • Peak of Greek Art and Architecture
  • Idealized figures
  • Represents Idealism and Humanism
  • Athena
  • Gown gathers at the waist and hangs in natural-looking folds, suggest the presence of a real body underneath.
  • Form and Posture of a real woman
  • Demonstrates the classical contrapposta position (natural “s” curve on body) “weight shift” A real breakthrough in the art of representing the human figure.

Athena, by Myron

Museum in Frankford Germany

greek hellenistic period
Greek Hellenistic Period

323-31 BC

  • More dramatic / melodramatic
  • Nike of Samothrace
  • (about 200 BC)
  • Symbol of Winged Victory, her great wings spread wide as she lands on the prow of a ship.
  • The force of the wind whips the drapery into wonderfully animated folds.
  • Sweeping and energetic forward movement

Nike of Samothrace

(about 200 BC)

the search for perfection
The Search for Perfection
  • Greek Idealism
  • Today most of us know that there is no such thing as a “perfect” human being, but the ancient Greeks had a different idea. They believed that perfection of mind and character must be contained in a perfect body. As a result, Greek figures are idealized appearing heroic, athletic and well proportioned.

The Discus Thrower

idealism and humanism
Idealism and Humanism

Perfect but Human

Idealism has to do with the concept of perfection.

Humanism (Realism): “Man is the measure of all things.” Realism or Humanism is defined as a view of life based on nature, dignity, and interest of people (Rather than superstitions like the Egyptians.)

Athena: Classical Greek Art Period

idealism and humanism9
Idealism and Humanism

Perfect but Human

Archaic Greeks represented man in an idealized / perfect manner.

The believed that “Man is the measure of all things” they looked toward nature rather than spiritualism to produce art.

The Classical Greeks built upon the “Idealism” and included a more life-like / humanistic representation of man including such things as contrapposto and natural looking folds.

Athena: Classical Greek Art Period

roman realism
Roman Realism
  • Roman Realism is represented in the ancient Roman busts illustrating real human characteristics of individuals and not idealized puppets of the Archaic and Classical Greek periods.
  • Your job is to use the “Idealized” proportions to draw your portrait but to include the Humanistic or Realism elements that make you who you are – aim for the Roman Realism
proportions of a portrait11
Proportions of a Portrait

Archaic Sculptures

Provides a “sense of life” quality.

proportions of a portrait12
Proportions of a Portrait
  • The proportions of a portrait is based on an “Idealized” set of proportions represented in the Ancient Greek Sculptures.
proportions of a portrait13
Proportions of a Portrait
  • Therefore, to draw a portrait memorize these “idealized proportions in order to set up the mechanics of your portrait.
step 1
Step 1

Draw an oval.

step 2
Step 2

EYES

Divide in half.

step 3
Step 3

NOSE

Divide the bottom in half again.

step 4
Step 4

Divide in half vertically.

step 5
Step 5

EYE PLACEMENT

On the eye line divide length into 5 equal parts.

step 6
Step 6

MOUTH

Place this line between the nose line and the bottom of the oval.

step 7
Step 7

CHIN

This is just a suggestion for a minimal amount of shading for the chin.

step 8
Step 8

WIDTH OF MOUTH

The width of the mouth is as wide as the center points of the pupils of the eyes.

step 9
Step 9

NOSE WIDTH

The width of the end of the nose is as wide as the space between the eyes.

step 10
Step 10

EARS

The ear placement is between the eye line and the nose line.

step 11
Step 11

NECK

The neck begins at the base of the ear and slants inwards.

assignment
Assignment
  • Draw a self-portrait in pencil starting with the mechanics of the proportions of a portrait that is rendered in such a way that is reflects the “real you”.
    • Using the steps in Proportions of a Portrait, lightly draw the guidelines on your drawing paper.
    • Using a frontal photocopy of your photo place the proportions of a portrait transparency over the photocopy and noice the variation that must be made in order to render your portrait as your likeness.
assignment26
Assignment
  • Draw your likeness in contour lines. At this point a teacher / student critique is required. Bring your artwork and come see me.
  • Make a copy of this contour drawing and set aside for a future project.
assignment27
Assignment
  • Shade your portrait using plenty of values to give you a rich value drawing that includes black and white and at least 3 values in between. You may use a mirror on an easel to check the values and details of your likeness. At this point a teacher / student critique is required. Bring your artwork and come see me.
assignment28
Assignment
  • When you are finished turn in your project for evaluation with the following:
    • Teacher Rubric (fill in your name, class period and the date that you turned in your project.
    • Self-Assessment (Completing this is included your final rubric assessment.)
assessment
Assessment
  • Fill in the blank for questions 1 – 7 using the words from the list above.
  • Hellenistic is the most dramatic period of Greek art exhibiting high _____________ and __________________.
  • __________________________ is the second ancient Greek period of art.
  • __________________________ is the first ancient Greek period of art.
  • __________________________ is the third ancient Greek period of art.
  • Classical art fuses _______________________ and ____________________ philosophies into the art.
  • The mechanics of portrait drawings are based on the ancient ____________________ statues.
  • The archaic smile of the Greek sculptures was an attempt by the sculptors to give work a ____________________.
assessment30
Assessment
  • Short Answer – Answer in complete sentences.
  • What is Roman Realism and explain how and why they produced their sculpture busts? (slide 10 – 10 pts)
  • What is meant by Idealism and Humanism in relationship to Classical Greek Art? Why did the Classical Greeks produce the art that they did? Give two examples of how the Classical Greeks of Idealism and Humanism in their sculptures. (slide 9 – 30 points)
assessment31
Assessment
  • Draw an oval and place the mechanics (lines) of the proportions of a portrait.