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Sketchbook Activity

Fear Not, Proportions Are Here....

Learning to draw a human figure in correct proportions is an important skill in any artist's toolbox. It will take time and effort to master this process, but there is a system and method to helping everyone gain confidence in their figure drawing. Not only is the human body one of the most sophisticated animal structures in nature, it is has a lot of variations. Think of all the different sizes, ages, skin colors, hair styles and so on that an artist might encounter. So, this is a challenging process and no young artist should feel frustrated for having trouble drawing people; it is an ambitious undertaking.


We’re going to build up this skill from the ground up, starting with a simplified skeleton (a basic stick figure), moving on to the volumes of body's muscles and fat, and finally we move to details of like clothing, hair and facial features.


The foundation piece for figure drawing is basic proportions. We’re going to be practicing building the human figure to get familiar with standard proportions.


Lecture & Vocabulary

Basic Terms


Pertaining to the process involved in the initial stages of art-making (i.e., the initial conception, or idea).



Conception is the birth process of an artistic idea, from the initial creative impulse through aesthetic refinement, problem-solving, and visualization/realization. Execution is the second half of the creative process: the actual carrying out of the idea, in terms of method and materials, which often involves compromises and alterations of the initial conception. Artists often see the initial conception as the guiding force for their aesthetic decisions, in terms of formal elements of design, and in terms of the expressive content desired.




As opposed to subject matter, content is the "meaning" of the artwork, e.g., in Moby Dick, the subject matter is a man versus a whale; the content is a complex system of symbols, metaphors, etc. describing man's existence and nature.



graphic/graphic arts

The graphic arts (drawing and engraving) are said to depend for their effect on drawing, as opposed to color. The term graphic describes drawings or prints which lean more toward drawing (line) than color (mass). I think that this division is less pertinent in modern and contemporary art than in traditional art or art of the past.




A preliminary drawing for a painting; also, a work done just to "study" nature in general.


subject matter

As opposed to content, the subject matter is the subject of the artwork, e.g., still life. The theme of Vanitas (popular a few centuries ago) of vanity, death, universal fate, etc., used in the still life, can be considered the content. The still life objects used in the image are the subject matter. (See also content.)

Section 1 - Lecture 1Visual Communications Program
00:00 / 01:15

Sign-Out Activity

27-1024.00 - Graphic Designers

Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Sample of reported job titles: Artist, Creative Director, Creative Manager, Design Director, Designer, Graphic Artist, Graphic Designer, Online Producer, Production Artist, Publications Designer

Learn More: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/27-1024.00

Careers In Art & Design - Graphic Design