Body proportions


In this part of the tutorial, we'll talk about body proportions. Although I realize that most doll bases don't have realistic proportions at all, it's still good to know the rules.

The standard body:

In art, proportions are usually measured in head lenghts. A body of eight head lenghts is considered ideal, so let's work with that.

In the following sketch, I've divided up a body into eight equal parts:

Looking at the sketch, there are some important things to note:

- As said, the head is 1/8 of the entire height.
- The distance between the chin and the nipples is one head lenght.
- The distance between the nipples and the bellybutton is one head lenght.
- The waistline is a little bit above the bellybutton.
- The elbows line up with the waist.
- The legs are about half the total height.
- The wrists just about line up with the crotch.
- The knees are halfway down the legs.


- The hands are about as big as the face, from chin to hairline.
- On a female, the hips are usually at least as wide as the upper chest, but they can be as wide as the shoulders.
- On a male, the hips aren't much wider than the waist, though.

Bending the rules:

Now that you know the rules, it's time to play with them! For instance, you can give your base a bigger head... or longer and thinner legs. It's all up to you!

But, if you've made your sketch and something feels off, go back to these guidelines to see where the problem lies. It's usually a good idea to keep at least some of the proportions right. For instance, if you give your base longer legs, she might look like a fashion model... but if you were to make the arms longer than they're supposed to be, she might end up looking like an orangutan!

So, be creative, but also... be careful with what you change!