Step 2: THE PROPORTION CHART
A proportion chart is very much like a map showing you where to go. It really makes your life a lot easier when building the armature and can be a very simple sketch like a basic stick figure. The main thing is that it be fairly accurate when it comes to the head proportions as mentioned previously. By creating this proportion chart you will relieve yourself of many headaches later on during the clay stage where mistakes in proportion caused by the armature become very difficult to fix. Things like the armature poking out of the hip area, or an arm being to short or too long, can all be avoided by laying out the armature over a proportion chart beforehand. Be patient with this step and take your time to get it right or it will make your sculpture a frustrating experience later on!
When you draw your proportion chart make sure you draw it the same size as the figure you intend to make. For example a 12" figure will require a 12" tall chart; an 18" figure will require an 18" tall chart, so on and so forth. You will need to lay down the armature wire over this chart so it is important that the chart be of the correct size.
Follow the chart below [see photo] to help you draw your own. Alternatively you could search the net for a proportion chart with equal results. Then simply scale the chart to the correct size (using photo editing software or a photocopier).
For this example we are going to use a proportion of 8 heads tall. This will keep our figure more realistic but not dumpy or too elongated. If you wanted to create a more heroic figure, like a larger then life super hero, then 9 heads (or more) would be even better.
One last thing to mention is that you should make (or find) a proportion chart for a female figure and one for a male figure, as the body structure between the two genders is not the same. If you were to use a male chart for a female figure often you would find that your girl would look a little on the manly side (having wider shoulders and a narrow hip area) when in fact you would want the opposite (females have wider hips and narrower shoulders then men). It helps if you treat male and female figures as though there were two entirely different creatures to ensure you have men that are manly and women that are feminine and graceful. It is good to have a very different mindset when approaching each individual gender.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
-1/8th aluminium armature wire
-1/16th aluminium armature wire
-Small gauge galvanized steel wire (18 gauge or thinner is best)
-Apoxie putty (Aves Studio)
-A base made from plywood or similar
-A Marker (Sharpie)