Most artists should be aware of the method of drawing where one uses "heads" stacked on top of each other in order to create their figures. This has been a time honored approach which has been effectively expounded on by such masters as Andrew Loomis. (PDF of method found here. Download Figure Drawing For All It's Worth for one of the best descriptions of the method. WARNING: Nudity in book.)
I came across a method called the Reilly Method (Scroll down to the heading "Figure Drawing" to start learning about it). It opened up some new ways of thinking about creating figures and forms but the information here is somewhat limited and incomplete. It might be further explained in the book.
Then of course, one could take the "Cartoon" approach with the line of action. I've mixed an matched all of these together.
So, that said, the "heads" method for me has reached it's limit for me - and here's why: After studying real people - they don't fit the so-called construct. Generally, regular people are around 7 - 7.5 heads tall, heroes 8-9 heads tall. And in general, roughly the different parts of the body land supposedly on the different measurements:
Head to chin (1 head),
chin to nipples (2 heads),
nipples to navel, (3 heads),
navel to crotch (4 heads),
crotch to mid-thigh (5 heads),
mid-thigh to knee (6 heads),
knee to mid-shin (7 heads),
mid-shin to bottom of feet (8 heads)
The above is all true...except when it isn't. (And the system works...except when it doesn't) There are times when someone's head is 1/4 taller or their crotch is a 1/4 or even a half lower or higher, or the measurements are all just off by a bit, or a lot - or their torso is actually equidistant, but their head and lower body not so much...
Anyway, enough of my rambling - just curious if anyone has seen or knows of an alternative way/method/system of making and maintaining figures?
I feel like, even with years of training and doing art for a living, I'm missing a piece of the puzzle. Any help or suggestions appreciated.