Saturday, September 11, 2010


I think I'm not far off in guessing that most haunters build a humanoid figure at one point or another in their haunting careers. I also think I'm not far off in guessing that most of us have problems with having an end product that looks "right." Our perception of a person's beauty is based on proportion and symmetry of both body and facial features, so it's important to design and build with this in mind.

Sometimes, it's hard to get the proportions right because some animatronics or pneumatics need to be hidden inside the prop, so we're limited by the size requirements of the mechanical bits (my stirring witch is one of those.) Sometimes, the head we use is what's available to us in the eleventh hour, and is not the right size for the body (also my stirring witch!). All that aside, let's assume we're starting from the ground up and we're not pressed for time. (Like that's ever going to happen at this time of year!)

I went hunting for some images of both male and female figures and their proper proportions. Here's the male figure:

Here's the female:

From these images, you can get a very good idea of how the body is divided up into eight head units, and you can see that the hand, from heel to fingertip, should be able to cover the face.

Now that we are aware of perfect facial proportions, we can mess around with them to make monster faces, like Dick Smith's mask of Quasimodo, here:
It goes without saying that we can alter body proportions to make it anywhere from subtly disturbing (in a "something's off about that, but I can't put my finger on it" way), to creepily deformed.
O.K. I included that last one to see if you were paying attention. But you get the point. Elongate one arm or one finger of the hand to longer than the others, and you're sending the message that this creature is evil and your victims should be scared of it.

Then, there is something called "heroic proportions:"
Heroic proportions for both male and female are based on nine head heights.

For a more in-depth look at proportions, go here! Hope that helps!


  1. ok, that one pic to get our attention had me nearly falling off the blog entry!

  2. I am the owner and copyright holder of the face proportions graphic, published on my blog at
    Your illegal use of this image is copyright infringement.
    Remove the infringing material immediately. You have two days to do it.

  3. Maia- Nastiness is never a way to approach someone, and threats are completely unnecessary. My first response to your "two days to do it," did not inspire me to cooperate in any way, particularly two years after the fact.
    You could easily have sent me a nicely phrased email asking me to remove the image, which, by the way, is a generic representation of proportions that any book on drawing would have. If I had posted one of your paintings without your permission, that would have been something else entirely, and I would have understood your outrage.
    I'll replace the image with another generic representation of facial proportions and give that person credit.
    Calm down. Not everyone is out to screw you.

  4. Does she have proof SHE owns the copyrights to that image? I do not see any copyright or trademakes on the image itself. Hmmmmmm makes you wonder.

  5. What I find both amusing - and highly suspect - about this is, as you pointed out, that it took two years a for this unpleasant individual to say something - curiouser and curiouser said Alice! - and, honestly, those drawings are a bit on the generic side - as in I've seen them far before her "claim" - I'm no attorney, but isn't there something about "public domain" involved here?

  6. O.K. so I've removed the "offending" pic.
    First, I find it interesting the post's date is September 11, and someone is trying to bomb me....
    Secondly, from what I understand from a friend, there are people out there whose sole source of income is suing for copyright infringement. The copyright laws are so ambiguous that people who have bought stock images who cannot produce proof of payment (because it was purchased 10 years ago or more)are getting sued for infringement.
    In a case like this, I don't think that "intellectual property" comes into it, since obviously, this individual certainly did NOT invent this concept. It's likely just someone with a history of having her artwork stolen, which of course, is a bad thing.
    What's sad is, had she been the least bit pleasant, I could have included a link to her blog (which I normally do, but for some reason missed this time) and increased her traffic, which may have increased her sales.

    As it stands, I will never promote her work. If I'm ever on a jury and see her work submitted, it's not getting in. I would never want to ruin other people's art experience (vendors OR buyers)with someone who is so abrasive, combative, and downright rude.

  7. Ideal proportions for women had her wearing heels --what moron thinks women are born in heels


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