There are many drawing tips and tricks once we’ve learned we often take them for granted and forget that there was a time when we did not have those tips to help us draw.

This post is about two of those drawing tips and they are very VERY important tips to learn and use in drawing or painting.

They are comparative measuring and plumb-lines. Use of these two have become so intuitive¬† that I often don’t realize I’m doing it but do use it throughout the early stage of drawing to help insure an accurate drawing sketch to work upon.

Comparative measuring and plumb-lines help us to place our landmarks and proportions,  of the head or landscape or anything we are looking at, into its correct placement on the paper or canvas.

In drawing we continually observe and make corrections to our line placements as we take in new information.

Fore example in drawing a portrait we use the width measurement in comparison to the length measurement of the head of our subject to get a better likeness of our subject.

Next we use plumb-lines to place one group of features into correct proportion and placement to other features. For example with your pencil held vertically, making a plumb-line, from points on the model’s collar and note what areas or features that vertical line of your pencil crosses.

In this photo the vertical plumb-line from Leonard Cohen’s shirt collar crosses an outside edge of his hair. Use this information to quickly correct placement of your initial soft lines.drawing tips Leonard+Cohen shirt plumb line

Use another set of plumb-lines to correct the placement of eyes to nose. In this photo the corners of the eyes fall close to the outside of the wings of the nose and come close to but just inside of the corners of the mouth.drawing tips Leonard+Cohen face plumb line


Comparative measuring and plumb-lines help us to place our landmarks and proportions into its correct placement.







Bradwynn Jones
Welcome to my blog on drawing techniques I am learning in art school. By focusing on the core attributes of drawing, there is enough time in your day and it's NEVER too late in life. Visit me on
  • dale perkins

    Love your videos, keep it up, having some financial issues so I’m not currently in the watts classes. your work keeps me studying

    November 8th, 2015 17:24
    • Bradwynn Jones

      I totally understand the financial thing. Keep up the training it will pay off BIG. Thanks for watching the videos!

      November 12th, 2015 18:11

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