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Proper Proportion with the 'Big Three'
skeleton drawing
Ed Hall, licensed to About.com, Inc.
So with that very simple set of relationships in mind, I always try to roughly sketch the skeleton and its three main elements in first. I also pay close attention to how these are influencing the contrapposto. Contrapposto is the Italian term (literally meaning “opposite”) that refers to the angular relationship of the shoulders to the hips. Think of any classical statue of a standing figure and you'll remember how it looks. (Michelangelo's David is a good example). As the skull, ribcage and pelvic bone rotate on the spine they shift and oppose each other. They are never parallel. Keep this in mind as you are building the structural elements of your drawing. Sometimes you have to look really hard to see the shift, but it’s always there. Sometimes it’s so obvious you can actually emphasize or exaggerate it. The figure is dynamic, and therefore never resting or moving in parallels.
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