How large should a figure be?

The issue that is often overlooked in initial discussions is the scale of the sculpture. Location and viewing distance will determine how large a sculpture should be. If a monument is meant for an intimate setting such as a garden where it will be viewed close-up, 2/3 life size to life size scale may be a perfect choice. Elevating a life size figure enhances the viewing distance but, the greater the distance from the sculpture to the primary observer’s location, the larger the scale that will be required. If you aren’t sure about the size you should consider, have someone stand in the location of the sculpture and then observe them from all the perspectives on that scene. If the person looks small, a life size scale will be too small. A statue at 125% scale will increase the viewable distance while not overpowering a closer perspective. Increasing the size of a sculpture does have implications for your budget.


Examples of scale for a sculpture of a life size figure that is 6’ tall.


1 1/4 scale = 7 1/2 feet

1 1/2 scale = 9 feet

1 3/4 scale = 10 1/2 feet

2 X scale    = 12 feet

3 X scale    = 18 feet


Consider that a human figure that is to be visible from a passing highway should be around 3X life size.

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