Atelier saint André The half length Pantocrator
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The proportion of the bust

The interior size of the board for this icon should be constructed using a 3 X 4 ratio. These proportions may need to be increaseed depending on the individual figure's height (i.e crown etc.) and to allow an artist to give his work more vertical dimension.


  • The placement of the center line of the board is the first step : this line is always calculated from the outer edges of the board.

  • The height of a bust is three times the height of the head circle.
  • To establish the proper placement of the figure on the board, a nose module is to be placed between the top of the head circle and the inner edge of the board.

  • The figure is positioned on the vertical axis with the highest point of the halo placed up from the inner edge approximately one third of the top frame width.

  • The distance from the top of the halo to the bottom of the inner frame should be measured and divided by thirteen to determinate the basic nose module. This is essential for the construction of the bust. Doubling the module length gives the radius of the head. Using this radius, three circles, one above the other, can be drawn with the compass starting at the inner edge of the bottom of the board .

  • The figure must fill as much of the board space as possible. The garments should widen out gradually to the lower edges of the frame.

The blessing hand

The hand size is equivalent to the length (or a little less) of three modules. Another way of saying this is that the hand is the length of a beardless face. The fingers should be elongated and gracious. They should come to a narrow tip and not be a round-off.

Hand drawing

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Last update : Mon, Dec 8, 2008, P. Grall © ASA 2000 - 2009 All rights reserved.