In all kind of drawings, the character’s head size can be used to calculate the head/body ratio.
With this technique, we can obtain the proportions of different characters. Let’s have a look at it in details…
A human of average height has a body proportions of 1:7 or 1:8. It means that the size of his head fits 7 or 8 times into the whole body. However, in manga, the body proportions are different.
First, it is well understood that in real life, it is impossible to see a such head/body ratio! Indeed, this head’s character can only fit 3 times into the body.
If you want to draw a manga child, it must be 4 heads tall. It corresponds to a one-year-old baby height.
The different manga’s characters follow a precise hierarchy.
Aged from 12 to 16 years old, they are called pre-teens and have a body proportion of 1:5. We can notice that feminine curves appear on the young girls’ bodies. This kind of head/body ratio is frequent in many manga such as K-ON!
Teenager and young adult
A 6 heads height is required to realise a character aged between 16 and 30 years old.
For these female characters, the breast, the hips, and the legs are clearly formed.
These proportions are common in mangas. Love Hina and Negima are two examples of mangas that very often use them.
In adulthood, a manga’s character is as tall as a real teenager. The size of its head fits 7 times into the whole body.
Beyond a height of 7 heads, a character belongs to the realistic style.