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Tutorial: Proportions by Cataclysm-X Tutorial: Proportions by Cataclysm-X
As promised, because I love you people:

My proportions tutorial!

Since every drawing is unique, I explained the techniques I used. It's up to you to practice them, yay! :)

You know... sometimes it makes me wonder why I keep posting tutorials since there are still a couple of people out there who say "I give people false hope" or "everything's fake anyway".

But when I read all the comments of fellow artists, e-mails of art students or people who just happened to come across my gallery and private notes of people who are happy to see my tutorials and find them really useful, I just melt! :heart:

And you know what? Even some art teachers are using my tutorials for school assignments after they've asked for my permission, lol!

What a strange world we live in.


It's a shame I just don't have the time to publish my art book yet, but someday I will... :nod:

Have fun everyone and keep up the good work!
If there are any questions left, please feel free to note me about it!

Watch my other tutorials here!
1. Eye tutorial
2. Nose tutorial
3. Hair tutorial
4. Shading & Blending tutorial
5. Drawing Progress tutorial
6. Detailed Hair part 1
7. Detailed Hair part 2
8. Editing Drawings <-- got a Daily Deviation!
9. Drawing Materials
10. Male Lips tutorial
11. Female Lips Tutorial
Add a Comment:
OneFromNorthKarelia Featured By Owner May 25, 2015
I've understood, that Leonardo da Vinci would have used grids and shapes when he designed Mona Lisa and his other paintings 
fireytika Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much~!!^^
AlmaUralt Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014
Thank your so much for this! I tried out the mirror and the shapes technique and they've been incredibly helpful!
Griffinchef Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I believe talent (in art) is only the ability to enjoy the long processes involved in making art. Your work is beautiful and your tutorials are incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for your time and patience, you have a passion that is contagious.
NicoleLaneArt Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I am musing to myself about your tutorials and how even here people think you are talented. I say I use Free hand and lining, but I also use one similar to the shape method you describe and one other that isnt on here, and that is called Boxing in.
Maybe we could swap Ideas sometime. I really enjoy your drawings.
Anyways, Even with a proven method and practice people still refer to your hard work as talent. Do we call a doctor talented when s/he learns to keep a steady hand and has spent years learning his/her craft? I sure hope not because my life may well be in his/her hands. But with artist, I keep getting told its a talent...I wonder why that is?
MorningMacchiato Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013
They didn't teach this in art class. ;D
D-Shot247 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013
Take no notice of those who say its a False hope?.. Hope, self belief, and a love to draw and create drives us and lessons from someone with your talent is inspiring which gives us new hope and a desire to perfect and aspire to your level to create something as to be proud of we may never get to your level but we will get better and be able to be proud of our improvement ;)

ShakeyPaul Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great tutorial :D thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and skills. :hug:
Teebag180 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I find your tutorials very interesting. Sorry to read your note that people leave bad comments. These type of drawings take commitment, patience, effort and practice.

You also don't claim they people can draw such brilliant pictures straight away. so that is NOT false hope.

I expect those that say you offer false hope are just not trying hard enough and give up straight away! And are more committed to putting others down than practicing your tutorials

They also have the option to leave your page and search elsewhere.

Please don't give up! I'm positive many, many, many, MANY more people will support you and I hope this message gives you some hope that people out there do appreciate your efforts!!!!
sujithadr Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
great tutorial
UtsukushiiAhiru Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013  Student Filmographer
you are so amazingly talented and helpful! thank you so much!
startraveller776 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is great. Thank you so much!
jazmocamp Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Nicolien, I was checking out some of David Desbois work and it was a tutorial on shading and proportion (all that color and layers! don't know how he does it!) I'll stick with my pencils for another decade or so. Anyway, he refereced your tutorial with a link, which I thought was really cool and besides I spent a day downloading and faving all of your tutorials awhile back. Studying every one and of course overloading my brain with too much info! Some how, I missed this one! This is so great! I love how you discussed these five techniques together. I had seen the grid idea mentioned and used it on a few drawings and after kinda altering that technique to save time I always wondered, am I doing things correctly? I love your tips at the bottom, they are so valuable and this now gives me a complete set of Tutorials by you! Thank you so much for giving to others.
Riemea Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for making this! I featured this very helpful tutorial here :)
plastic-geektastic Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
This is a lot of help thanks so much!
Dj94 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Student General Artist
I usually hate using guides and such, but this one was extremely useful! I almost gave up on a portrait of a friend... thank you very much! ♥
dreamerboyfreak Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i do it too! the mirroring i mean... :) thanks for sharing!
Painirl Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, you are very kind and very generous indeed. :)
aqvavitae Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Cool! :pat:
EldalinSkywalker Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is very interesting! Personally I have never used anything but the freehand technique. I am self taught, perhaps that's the reason. I tried using a grid two years ago, but found it impossible to work with, erased it and finished the drawing freehand haha. I never start with the eyes though. In fact, they're the last thing I draw. I start with the jaw, then mouth, nose, eyesbrows, hair and then eyes (outlines only on all of those). But most people do start with the eyes, I think. Anyway, thanks for sharing!
wolfgirl17946 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
"My Katie drawing doesn't look okay anymore after it's mirrored"
Yeah, and I'm not a human being. If I could draw your mirrored Katie, I would have accomplished my goal in life.
Theres-is Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I my old days I am allowed to learn drawing - thank's to you! It is so fun to look at your humorous descriptions! Thanks so much![link]
jessicassketchbook Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm really happy I happened upon this tutorial. I knew the grid technique, but I never had much patience to draw straight lines. At first I was just doing freehand, but I never was totally happy with the proportions. Then I started doing a mix of lines (2) and shapes (3), and now I know that those are actual techniques. I do a lot of measuring with my pencil (or whatever I'm using), too, to compare the reference with my drawing.
YaZaynab Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks. Great tutorials!
melime6 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is incredibly helpful. I'm giving my first shot at non-free-hand drawing and I'm loving the results. I used the gridding technique, took so little time to get everything right! A realistic drawing was never so fast. Here is the W.I.P: [link]

sebastien-baillou Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012
very strange world^^ you are awesome !
ChinoDT Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012
Thanks a lot!!!! :D great tutorial!!!
LaBelleMelange Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Student General Artist
these are great, thanks :D aswell as great techniques and tips there, loving the little inspirational comments
armandoartist Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
for over 20 years i have drawn with nothing but FREE HAND! i get extremely frustrated and i'm glad there are plenty of better ways and i won't be considered a cheater. In my mind i always felt bad about doing it that way. i can't explain it at this moment. But i will be using all these techniques going forward and many others i see online. thanks for posting this. I see a myself entering a new level.
Civilized-Monster Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for this, I'll definitely be using this tutorial to improve myself!
George-anims Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012  Student Filmographer
Awesome! I wonder why my drawings are off, I'm beginner and i free=hand. XD
Devilsbutterfly Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Pyrovampiress Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Real People are Asymmetrical. Just personal opinion, (I think your a fantastic artist!Way better than me!) I see what you're going for with the mirroring, but I think it's a bad idea. I actually enjoyed your "Normal Katie" better....
artofuldis Featured By Owner May 8, 2012
Mirroring is always useful gives fresh look, so you can see mistakes right away! But for proportions.
I think the easiest way is to use Human Proportion Calculator I am using android App
SPisharam Featured By Owner May 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Your Gallery is mindblowing!! Love realistic drawings and you are as close to perfect as I have seen! Your attention to detail is impeccable! All the very best to you for a creative lifetime ahead!
Your tutorials are all amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing! I am trying to get back into drawing full time after a really long hiatus and you give me impetus to want to try harder :D Thank You!!
sweetpie2 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks, this will help me alot. :)
Printed-Shadows Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wonderful tutorial! Been trying to work on my people for a while now.. that way I don't look like a total people noob in art class next year.

Nice car by the way....
AlexWinterstorm Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Oh, this is so useful, thank you so much!
I have never had any teacher, i only knew about freehand from... since i got bored at school for the first time and started drawing :D
And it was frustrating until i saw that it's not cheating if you use some help and this (your tut) is exactly what i needed. Thank you!
Chezzie-B Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
Thank you, your tutorials are a great help and your work is exquisite!
gabyta7 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you a lot, this helps me a lot, right now Im trying to draw a portrait of a baby and his mother as accurately as I can but it is really hard...I just did the sketch and then I went damn how do I continue.
MikolasShadows Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh i have so many problems with proportions this will be so helpful. Thanks for creating it.
Gristof Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012
thanks ! :D
Klatte Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have trouble mirroring the drawings :( when I use the hand mirror I barely can see the flaws... so I have to flip my drawing and put it to a window with a lot of light to see them :( its a bit frustrating ...
tosaanime Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thank so much, I just start to learn drawing so this help much
thafreeradikal Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
Thanks for sharing your knowledge... Now my drawings are going to improve!
katanaswordfish Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011   General Artist
Thank you for this tutorial! (And all the other great tutorials, also!)

Your work is beautiful and very inspiring.
Even though I've been trying to learn digital painting, looking at your tutorials and your super-refined pencil artwork has been significantly helpful to me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to make and post tutorials. I bet many people who have reached your level of skill wouldn't bother taking the huge amount of time that it takes to help others. So I have to say I really appreciate it! =)
LoudSkies Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
These tutorials are extremely helpful. It didn't cross my mind that someone might complain. That's just silly. You're not giving false hope, but tools to make us better artists.
Unlike some tutorials, you don't skip any steps, and provide with enough information to follow them. Thank you :heart:
a0ife Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011
really surprised to see people having any sort of complaints about your tutorials! I think they're fantastic! thanks for posting them!
anmeher Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome! Thank you!
l-u-m-o-s Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011
I definitely needed this. But I'm still having trouble with this one drawing, even after doing a grid something just looks off... Anyways, thank you so much for your amazing tutorials!
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Submitted on
February 6, 2009
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