Proportion: The Rule of Thirds and Fifths

14 Oct


When composing a sketch of the human face, artists follow a guideline referred to as “The Rule of Thirds and Fifths.”  Remember, naturally no face has perfect proportions, and the following is a mere guideline.

The Rule of Thirds

The face can be horizontally divided into thirds.  From the hairline to the glabellar line (eyebrows) is 1/3, the brow to the base of the nose 1/3, and the base of the nose to the chin one-third.

The Rule of Fifths

By using the width of the eye from corner to corner as a point of measurement, the face can be vertically divided into fifths.  Starting from the very outside edge of one ear to the other the face ideally would be 5 eye widths apart.  The width of the base of the would be a fifth.

Subdividing the Rules

Unless you are an artist, it really isn’t necessary to know the rest of the ideal facial proportions.  But each feature has an ideal mathematical relationship to the rest.  If you want more info, check out this post: Beautiful Proportions of the Face.


7 Responses to “Proportion: The Rule of Thirds and Fifths”

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