How to Draw the Head / Face / Portrait with Steve Huston PART 1 (3 HOURS!)

Hi, I’m Steve Huston, and I’m excited today
to bring you a free head drawing lesson. Over three hours of content. this is part of much
bigger series, over 15 hours of content. You can find the whole series at I hope you’ll check that out. But for now, let’s get to it and try and draw the head
with basic construction and good confidence. This is my basic head structure class. I’m
going to show you the basic drawing structure for the head. All the major planes, the major
shapes, how the features set in terms of construction lines. We’ll get that basic information
down. We’ll do some assignments where you’ll draw a little bit with those ideas. I’ll
draw a little bit with those ideas. We’ll look at the old masters and see how they did
it. And then we’ll bring it all together at the end and hopefully have a good, basic
constructed understanding of the head by the end of class. So I hope you join me. Okay, as we start with our head now, I think
of the head as the first gesture of the body. We’re going to talk about the gesture and
structure here. The head is the first gesture. As we look at the art, as you look at me,
you’re going to look here first and then move down through. So if this is a book, chapter
number one here. We have to get this right and then everything follows from that. In
fact, we can use the head as a yardstick to measure the rest of the body to make sure
it follows. So we want to get that head working, and we’re going to make it out of the anatomy
here. We have two major anatomical elements. We’ve got the skull, the full round shape
of the skull. And then we’ve got the mask of the face that holds the features. Those
two shapes have to work together, and then we flow off that. All the detail we’ll talk
about are going to work on these great structures, so we’re going to start with these great
structures. So let me set this here, and we’ll get going. Let’s talk about the proportions first.
If we look at the shape of the skull, it’s going to be an egg shape. Now, as we go through
different characters, and we’ll save that for a different chapter, but as we go through
characters we’ll find that egg shape can change in proportion. It can be a little more
spherical. It can be a little more elongated. We’re just going to do a basic egg shape
here. It could be this. It could be this. Anywhere in there. That’s going to be the
skull from a profile like so. It’s going to be crucial to get that egg right. I’ll
show you why in a moment, because it’s going to give us a good connection to our next problem.
We’re going to draw that egg. Now if we saw it from the front view or the back view
that egg, just like looking at a breakfast egg end on it would be a spherical shape,
and it’ll be masked behind the features. I’ll show you that in a moment. Or it will
be the skull that we see, and we’ll see that also momentarily. Shape of the egg, that’s our first shape.
The shape of the feature mask, mask of the features. Now we can do all sorts of shapes.
Let’s do a different shape here for a second. I’m going to do an egg, and I’m going
to do another egg. Now, the advantage of doing another egg is it gives us kind of a roundness,
and everything on the body has a certain softness, roundness. Maybe you’ll draw in a little
child that’s very round shaped. So it can be seductive to choose that egg shape. The
problem is that if we draw shapes that are too curvilinear, too rounded they start to
get out of whack. We start to have trouble getting their position. So if we can feel—notice coming back up
here now we did the nice, round egg because that was characteristic of what we saw. We
made the face shape, I made the face shape a little square, a little more boxy. By making
that second shape, the mask shape different in character from the first it distinguishes
them, and also notice we have a sense of where one ends and the other begins. So we can get
a sense of where the face shape comes off the skull shape. That’s going to allow the
position to be set more easily. We’ll get a quicker read of how that position is. Now
we know immediately that we’re looking down slightly with that head. Whereas in here sometimes
it can be a little bit out of whack. What if we have a character with a really full
nose and a receding chin? We’re not sure whether that would be right or that would
be right. It can throw us. But if we’re as little square, little flatter curve here,
rounded curve here, it gives us a good sense of positioning, and that’s what we want.
Notice we can shortcut this. I can also take this and kind of stylize it and simplify it
and group the two shapes, skull and face mask, into one bigger shape, a sailboat shape. The advantage of this is it is much quicker,
much simpler. The disadvantage is then we have some work to do to get it back to that
true skull shape. But quite often we’ll have a hair style, say a woman with a ponytail
bun that’ll cover that. So we have choices there. We can make it a little simpler. We
can make it a little bit more sophisticated. We can keep it a little more open. We can
keep it much more completed. You can choose whichever you prefer. What I want, though,
is something that’s simple enough for me that I can get it down quickly and effectively
so that I can get it down, have it work to build off of, add other shapes to it, or make
it simple yet characteristic so it not only gets down quickly and fairly easily—nothing
is easy in art, especially with the head. But it’s characteristic of what I see before
me, the character I want to draw, the thing I want to take simply and refine. If it’s
still characteristic of what I see, the refinement, in this case, shaving off a corn or adding
on some bumps and bulges, that kind of stuff, as we’ll learn to do in a minute. That’s
easier. So whatever I choose in my construction I
want to make sure it’s simple, simple enough that it’s—I can get it down easily, characteristic
of what I see so it reads well right off the bad as a head that’s looking down as a woman
with a certain hairstyle and characteristic so I can refine it and turn it into an advanced
finished rendering if I so choose. In other words, I’m going to think like a sculptor.
I’m going to start out with something simple, and then I’ll refine it. I’ll add to it,
take away from it, build it, and finish it. Now, that’s the structural idea. If you have or plan to go to any of my basic
drawing classes, you’ll find that I have two ideas, the structure and the gesture.
The gesture, there is actually two gestures to the head. There is the gesture of the skull
going back this way. Let me switch colors so you can see that. Gesture of the skull
going back and the gesture of the face going down. If we draw it again—you can see by
drawing that simple sailboat shape. It’s one of the reasons I like it for quick sketches.
It’s characteristic, it’s simple. But it still shows not just a characteristic shape
that’s useful, but a characteristic of the two gestures of the skull going back. One of the big mistakes people make is they’ll
have the mask of the face pretty well set however they’ve chosen to do it, but then
they’ll draw the skull this way. They’ll give it short shrift. It’ll be the wrong
proportion. There is not enough there to fit on a neck, for example. Look how skinny the
neck gets when you get that skull wrongly set. But also, we don’t get that drift back.
We get a rolling curve up off the face. We don’t feel that characteristic move back
from face to skull. It starts to look a little alien. Oftentimes, a hairstyle might fill
out somehow and hide that drift backward, but we still want to feel it. The other thing that we want here, and notice
I could make this much more boxy. Make much more square choices rather than round choices
so we have a continuum of choices there. Notice what happens when I thrust that skull back
with or without the hairstyle, and I’m really conscious of that move back to the skull as
opposed to that movement down for the face. Then I’m going to respect the fact that
the skull hits up high at the top of our construction. That’s going to give me a much better fit,
and we’ll go through this idea of connecting, fitting to the next thing, the neck, in more
detail. Notice that we come off the throat. We come off the back of the neck. We put in
a little bit of shoulder line so you can get a sense of where we’d be going with that.
Notice how high the skull and neck connect. They connect very high. In fact, they connect—let’s
do that so you can see what we’re after and visualize more clearly. Notice that the
head and neck—the skull and neck come together about at the eyeline. In other words, if I
check—I’m always my own best model. If I feel where the bone of the skull meets the
meat the neck, look at where that is right there. If I throw that skull off and make
it incorrect, make it too much of a ball, a little ball that looks alien, or a really
big ball like this, notice what happens here. The neck fits too low. If you have a real heroic guy, a superman
character you can kind of get away with that with the bull neck because the meat fills
up and takes us up to that higher or at least close to that higher level there, and we can
get away with that. Actually the books, the very fine books by Andrew Loomis, he uses
a stylization. But he’s doing these heroic fashion models, kind of fashion model meets
Superman character, so he can get away with that because he’s doing this heroic type.
But if you’re doing the average person it’s quite a different connection. Alright, so again from the profile we keep
that egg shape up high. That gives us the sense of the movement going back. We build
the face down. Notice I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. All those choices.
Simple, yet characteristic. As long as it’s that, pick whichever you want or myriad others.
So gesture going back, gesture going down. This is the one that really counts. If you
goof this up we have the problems that I suggested. The reason I say this one really counts is
this is the gesture that’s going to then flow into the rest of the body as we move
down. So it’s the face to the neck. The neck to the torso. The torso to the hips,
legs, all that good stuff. So we want to make sure we’re thinking of this movement down.
Now, let’s look at the proportions here. If I were to take this whole structure notice
it’s the mask of the face without the features, without the nose sticking out, without the
eye sockets digging in. It’s the skull without the hairstyle. But if I were to take that
bare-bones construction you’ll notice that it creates a square that is just slightly
longer in the face and slightly shorter in the skull. Okay, so it’s not a perfect square.
Let’s say this would be a perfect square. It’s a little longer. If you’re going
to screw up a little longer yet, and what that does is just give a heroic chin. Even
if you’re doing a woman it feels attractive. If you get too long, which can happen, then
it’s a problem. Just a little extra going down. Then notice once you add hairstyle and
features, nose pushing out, hairdo pushing back, that can reverse, of course. But that
gives you a sense of the construction. Let’s just take this farther. If we break
this whole thing in half, so equal part here or there more or less. Again, if I’m going
to screw up, always a little extra chin is kind of the default ideal, at least in western
art, in heroic art. But if we get that halfway point, cut it in half, that is basically the
eyeline. Let me put a little bit of the eyebrow in there just so you can see it. Notice the
eyeline where the upper lid meets the lower lid. That’s a halfway point. Again, that’s
about where the neck is, neck meets skull somewhere in there. If you ended up down here
or up here, anywhere in that range, you’re still good. More than likely the hairstyle
is going to cover it anyway. Or if it’s a male with short hair, you know, the filling
in of that more massive neck relatively more massive neck is going to take care of it. Without the hair skull to chin, cut it in
half, you have the eyeline. eyeline to chin, cut it in half and you’ve got the nose.
It can be a little shorter, a little longer, but that’s more or less the nose. When you
say the nose not the tip of the nose, but where the root of the nose meets the mouth
shape in there. Cut it in half again, the edge of the lower lip on average. Again, if
I have a little too much chin that’s better than a little too much upper lip here, upper
plain, and two little chins. I want to keep this a little shorter if I’m going to goof
up, the chin a little fuller and bigger if I’m going to goof up. It’s always nice as an artist to know which
way to screw up, where to error. If we generally as we go down, if we make each thing a little
bigger than it should have been—nose slightly longer, chin slightly fuller, then the neck
a little longer than it should have been, the torso, the limbs, the legs all the way
down. Adding that length it just looks more statuesque or more heroic. That’s usually
in western art especially, and western art has kind of taken over the world aesthetically
at this point. With lot of exceptions, but just in general that’s going to be more
idealized. That’s why women wear the high heels, longer fingernails, low cut gown here,
putting the hair up. It creates that length that seems more beautiful, more idealized. Let’s look at the front view then. Let me
go back here. If we come across to the front now I’m just going to do a sphere. Notice
that the eyeline here—let me switch here one more time. Notice that the eyeline which
was our halfway point wasn’t the skull. The skull could have been where the skull
meets the neck could have been at that point. It could have been lower. It could have been
quite a bit lower. It could have been down here. So it doesn’t necessarily have any
correspondence. It could even be higher in some cases. That skull is coming down and
crossing that eyeline point at whatever place it crosses it. But the bottom of the egg is
a little bit different. The bottom of the egg will make that a little bit fuller down
here. In general, if we cut the egg in half, the ball in half, I should say. If we take
that spherical end, cut the ball in half, one half, two halves, add another half. If
I’m going to screw up make it a little too long, a little more of a half, half-plus rather
than less. But we can use that
as a construction of the head, making it a little bit more heroic in the jaw or not.
Either way. Notice then what we have. We have a head without
the ears, without the ears, without the hairstyle. Put those on in a second. We have a head that
is one, two halves wide. We put it down here. And we have a head that is one, two, three
halves long. So this is almost a perfect square. It’s whatever by whatever. This is a 2 x
3 proportion, two across, three down. That’s because the lose the drift of the skull going
back. It’s now hiding behind the face. We’ll see it in a little bit, the face hiding behind
the skull. Let’s do this. So there is half the skull. There is the rest of that round
sphere for the skull. There is adding onto it the rest of the mask of the face, which
adds to the other half. There is our two by one, two, three proportion. In that middle
proportion, that middle half, the ears will tend to sit in there. They can drop down quite
a bit lower. Every once in a while they can rise up a little bit higher, although that
looks a little wolfish when you do that, a little like an elf or something. But the ears
tend to sit somewhere in that middle third. They tend to be symmetrical although you’ll
see a lot of people where one ear is actually lower than the other ear. We’ll talk about
how to draw ear shapes later in detail. But for now you can just do a little C-shape,
a little egg shape, a more chiseled boxy shape, or any variation of that. Make it more rounded
on the bottom, square on the top, any of those. You can curve these. Anything like that is
fine. We’ll find that the cheek, the side of our skull egg is overlapping that ear and
hiding some of it. So we want to have a sense of that idea, the overlapping. It’s behind
and below. The ear sits in there. And then this same rule is true, of course,
what’s going to be true from the profile will be true from the front view. Let’s
just switch back to this. So if I went back to my full shape and cut it in half, let’s
say here, this would be my eyeline in there. That’s where the upper lid and lower lids,
if we just think of it as a real simple almond, we’ll have to be more sophisticated than
that. But the eyeline where upper lid meets lower lid if it was a little Egyptian it’d
be where the makeup line is. That’s more or less our halfway point. It’s better to
make, again, our halfway a little more chin for heroic reasons without the hairstyle. Then if we cut that in half that’s more
or less the nose. The root of the nose where it’s meets the mouth. Not the tip of the
nose. It might turn up or it might hook down in relationship to that. Then if we split
that in half right in here, then that would be where the lips sit on that construction
line. The halfway point is where the lower lip rests. The rest below that is chin in
here. Now, when you do this front view—again,
it’s without the hairstyle. Oftentimes you’ll lay this out and you’ll go, okay, I did
everything I was told to do. It still feels funny. Sometimes you’ll lay that out and
you’ll realize that you’ve drawn the whole face and you haven’t really drawn the skull.
Sometimes you’ll need to come back then and add a little bit more skull, and maybe
even add a little bit more skull up this way. Once again, if you added a little extra chin
below then adding more skull above you’re balancing out. It’s not going to look funny.
It’s not going to look like an alien with a little face down here squished or a little
infant, fetus kind of thing. So having that extra chin can help for that. It’s real
easy from these front views to draw in effect an egg. That’s a real quick version of this,
but notice when I do that it has a certain character. The width up here is equal to the
width down here, whereas here even with a strong jawed male we’re going to have the
shapes diminish down towards the chin and fill out towards the skull shape. And so it’s
more of a true chicken egg kind of thing, where it’s tapering down. It’s a truer
egg rather than just an ellipse. The other thing I’ll do sometimes is notice
how adding that square mask of the face that we talked about earlier. Square this out a
little bit. When I do that notice how this line and this line are now
parallel to each other. In fact, they are parallel to the center line. We draw an imaginary
center line so that we can space the features. We have a little bit of nose on this side,
equal amount more or less on that side. We have a little gap here. Then the eye starts.
We have the same more or less little gap here, and then that eye starts. So we have that
symmetry. The eyebrows arch up, and they’re going to be symmetrical give or take an expression
or such off that natural center line. As soon as we draw then rather than the egg a pill
shape, a capsule shape, notice when we’re thinking that way then our center line tracks
in these more difficult positions. Then we have the tapering chin that is very square
into the, off the jaw, or we have the rounder chin that rounds smoothly off the jaw, whichever
the character suggests. Younger, feminine, child-like, be a little rounder. Square or
more heroic, more exaggerated superhero-ish, more male, a little squarer. Take your pick.
Once again, as we lay this stuff in, split it in half. There are the eyes. Eyebrow line
somewhere over there. We’ll look at hat. Nose, lips. The rest is chin. And you might
say, whoops, I gave them too much chin or her too much chin, and you can trim it off
before you move on to the next idea. We’ll figure out how to add that stuff on momentarily. And then you say, well, I have to get my ears.
They’re somewhere between the eyebrow line and the ear incidentally. Come back here up
to that third again, and you can see the parts of the eyebrows just on a broad average depending
on the expressions, the character, the arch of the eyebrows can be at that third line.
Notice that I can design the proportions of this head based on halves. Cut in half you
have the eyeline. Cut the lower half in half again. You have the nose line. Cut that lower
half in again you’ve got the lower edge of the lower lip line. So having down gives
you your information, or we can do it in thirds. We can say from the top of the skull without
the hair down one-third that’s the eyebrow line. Down another third that’s close to
the nose line. Down another third you’re at the chin. The hairline would be inside
that breaking that up. So there are several ways to do it. But in
any case, we’ll go in between the eyebrow line and the nose line for those thirds, one-third,
two-thirds, three-thirds. Nose to chin is the three-thirds. Eyebrow to nose is the middle
two-thirds. The first third is the top there. And then we add our ear somewhere in there
symmetrically placed. Then we realize, whoops, we need a little more skull maybe because
we just drew a capsule that was perfectly symmetrical. It showed the face shape, didn’t
give us that fuller skull shape. And then we build off there to build the hairline and
all that good stuff in the shape of the styled hair and all that. Okay, so that’s our basic idea. Coming back
now to this. Once I’ve got a good chin, good back of the skull, however I’ve done
it; good chin, good back of the skull can be rather sophisticated, very sophisticated,
more so than we do here, more like we’ll do later, or the simplest possible choice.
In either case there is relatively simple, yet characteristic. I can find now the neck
right off this chin. Notice what happens here. The chin goes back this way. That’s called
the digastrics plane. That’s the thickness of the face. One of the dangers of drawing
the mask of the face is it looks like just a mask. If you get it at some weird angle
it looks like a cut out cardboard Halloween mask with your cutout features on there, and
it’s not convincing. So what we need to feel is that bottom plane
to the face. It gives it thickness. That’s called the digastric plane. It gives thickness
here from different angles as we’ll see later. We’ll find that more clearly, and
it will give us great volume. It will keep this from looking like it’s flat and cutout.
Notice we’re working on a flat page, and yet we’re trying to get the idea of volume.
That’s always a hurdle for the artist to jump. So we go along that digastrics plane,
and then we go right down the throat. If there is a big Adam’s apple we ignore it and swing
back. Unless you’re a ballet dancer or a soldier at attention usually there is a little
bit of sag. I’ll exaggerate it. Little bit of sag. So that neck to chin, from the pit
of the neck to the chin thrusts forward. That gives us even in a fairly upright view there
is a thrusting forward that has this beautiful movement forward. We’ll find that that becomes
a dance of forms that plays all the way through the body. So chin through the simplified neck to the
pit of the neck. Anywhere in here is fine. You made it a little too long. You made it
a little too swinging back or a little too not quite thrusting forward enough. Anywhere
in there you’re probably going to be fine. Notice that making it too long is a much better
mistake than making it too short. Length for the next form, form number one, form number
two, construction number one to construction number two. Each time making the next structure
all the way through the body a little longer is a better error, better mistake to make
usually than the reverse. But anywhere in there we’re good. So let’s
pick one. Now I’m going to come off the back of the skull, coming off the back of
the skull. Anywhere in here is good. You’re only real guide will be not to make this too
skinny or too thick. Make sure the neck speaks to the character or the model. Is it a big
bull-necked guy or is it a long and wispy neck? Make sure it rings true for that. And
if you’re a little off or you should have made it a little chubbier, should have made
it a little skinnier, you can always add more on later as you come to that realization.
As long as you’re in the ballpark you’re good. Notice this great change here. Notice
how low the chin starts—I’m sorry, the neck starts in the front. Notice how high.
It may not be that high. It could be anywhere in here. Again, you have room for error. Notice
how high, let’s just pick this one in the middle. Notice how much higher the neck connects
to the head structure in the back. It connects very high in the back. It connects very low
in front. Getting that high-low is going to be what gives it credibility. Notice when
we put on our costumes here—let me button this—notice how my shirt tracks that same
high-low. Notice how the collar sits up high in back and sits down low in front, following
that same torquing dynamic of the neck. That’s going to lead us in a very interesting way
into the body. We’ll see that a little bit later, again. Tease, tease, tease on that. If it should be a little bit fatter, it’s
out here. Anywhere in there is good as long as this is ballpark and as long as that sits
up high. So my two parameters are to make the neck in the ballpark of the correct thickness.
Don’t make it super skinny. Don’t make it super fat. If it’s way out here it’s
a problem. If it’s way in here it’s a problem. Somewhere in that mid-range of thickness.
And make sure the neck connects into the skull or underneath the hairstyle. Maybe the hairstyle
does this. Make sure like the neck feels like it connects to that skull up high in back.
Make sure that it feels like it connects to the face down low in front, and you’re good. Now, if we go to a front view we will find
on a younger model child, young adult, you’ll oftentimes get a thinner neck. Not every time,
but just on average. So if you make it thinner it’s going to look younger and/or more feminine.
If you make it thicker it’ll look more male, a little older, mature, and more heroic. If
you then get a very aged model it can thin out again on you. But if you want to do a
heroic male as Loomis did as I mentioned before, you’ll make the neck almost as wide or as
wide, just depending as the jaw line on the male. If you wanted it to be more feminine
or younger you’ll make the neck a little more narrow than the fattest part of the jaw
line somewhere around that nose line, basically. Where the nose line is that’s the widest
part of the jaw because it’s coming off that big ball of the head, the skull, before
it tapers to the skinny, narrow chin. So anywhere in here is good. The only time you’re going to make it much
bigger is if you’ve got some lineman for the 49’s, you know, some football team,
some big massive athlete type, bodybuilder, you know, all that kind of stuff. Or you’re
drawing a superhero, a character that’s hyper heroic, you know, a comic book Captain
America, the Hulk, that kind of stuff. But the normal average person, average mature
athletic male, you’re not going to get any wider than that. Notice when we add—let’s
do it again down here. When we go down low in front high in back, pay special attention
to the thickness of the neck and correct accordingly. We’re doing an hourglass kind of shape.
Now the head can really articulate on the torso and twist that neck into all sorts of
stuff back and forth. It can pinch it like an accordion, stretch and pinch like an accordion.
But in general, most of the time you’re going to feel that hourglass idea. That kind
of thing going on. So when it’s more profile think of the hourglass. When it’s more front
or back view think of the tube, just a simple tube. It’s a tube that’s stiff and straight
if it’s a guard at attention. Or it’s a tube that’s curve if the head is in some
dynamic position in relationship to the body. So it can curve off like so. Alright, so now let’s start looking at other
positions here. We’ve got the basics. What happens if we get behind. Well, from the front
the mask shape with all the features dominates the skull. You don’t see much skull. In
fact, drawing that capsule or the tube idea shows you can do a pretty good head. Then
you just fill in with a little bit of skull you missed. On the back view it’s all skull.
And the face is hidden. That creates a different set of problems. So what we’re going to
find, and again we are our own best models. We’ll notice that the skull is now facing
you guys, facing the camera. Facing the viewer of our artwork. I notice it goes down into
the neck, of course. Whatever hairstyle in there is in there. But head, skull, and neck
flow together. The face is around the front, hidden. So as I said, it’s going to create its own
set of problems. The big simple shape is easier. We don’t have all those pesky features to
plot out carefully in proportions halves and thirds and all of our choices and proportion.
But, it’s going to be harder to place this thing in space and be effective with it. It’s
going to be real easy to make it look like a lollipop, just a ball on a stick. It’s
not going to be very satisfying. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to take special
attention to how the neck fits. Let’s go back to the front view again and do a quick
version of our face. We’ve got room for error on this kind of stuff. Just do that
much so you get the sense of things. Then we had that tube of the neck from a front
view we said. We just kind of stopped it there. It was curved or it was straight, but it was
just a tube. The fact is, when I’m learning any particular body part, the head, the hands,
the rib cage, whatever it is, I want to pay some attention; in fact, I want to pay special
attention to how it connects to the other or others, the other body parts. So I want
to know how the rib cage connects into the shoulder girdle and into the head and neck
and definitely how it connects down into the pelvis. I want to know how the thigh connects
to the hips and down into the lower leg. In this case I want to know how the head and
neck connect into the shoulder line and then into the rib cage. So we’re going to talk about that a little
bit. We’re going to depart from our subject so that when we get a mastery control of our
subject, get confidence in our subject then we can integrate that into the whole figure
that is probably our goal. Even if we’re doing a portrait, a bust shot, you know, portrait
commissions is our bread and butter. We still need to show that connectivity. Very seldom
are we doing to have a floating head without anything to it. So always pay attention to
the connections. When I’m drawing from life or drawing from reference, I’ll spend several
drawings, maybe every 5th drawing working on the connections. Or if I have more time
I lay in a good head then I’ll go ahead and lay in some of the connective tissue,
the connective shapes for the shoulder line, so I can feel how it moves into that new hole.
So if I was drawing these two together and I had more time, I’d go to the connection
at the elbow. Spend more time drawing and analyzing that so I feel a more confident
and a truer connection there for my audience and a better understanding for me. So the
connection, the joints are key, the transition points where you go from one part to the next
are key in our understanding so we need a little bit of information. So head and neck. Now, pit of the neck will
be somewhere down here. Again, another third of a head. So you can use the skull or hairline
with the heroic pose and with a fuller skull. Notice how the hairline is a good place to
pick a third, one third, two thirds down to the nose, three thirds down to the chin. Notice
I didn’t do all that great of job in doing my thirds. This is too much. This is too little.
Maybe this is just right. And it’s still forgiving isn’t it? It still feels good,
good enough. If it doesn’t feel like a likeness of our
model because we’re drawing some big chinned fellow, we can always a little bit more if
we needed. So we’ve got room for error. We don’t have to nail exactly. If we’re
sculptors we can always add a little extra clay later or take a little clay away as we
need. This goes down. The neck will end at the pit of the neck in front. As I said, it’s
another third equal to these, more or less. If I’m going to screw up better to make
it too long and make it more of a half. Oftentimes if you’re doing a statuesque woman you’ll
give her a longer neck. It’s more attractive. It seems to be more in terms of the Greco-Roman
classical sense, that longer neck is more attractive. The male, bull neck, little shorter
is fine. So anywhere from that third to half range
gets us to the pit of the neck. Let’s stay with the third which is usually more accurate
on average. Now what I’m going to find is I’m going to have a shoulder line, and the
shoulder line can be, you can pick out any of a number of anatomical points, and I won’t
go through the minutia of that. But anywhere in here is fine. Anywhere where you go from
top to side, that shoulder line into the arm transition. Here, here, here. We’ve got
room for error. Doesn’t matter. Pick a spot. You can pick it right at the collar bone—or
I’m sorry, right at the pit of the neck. It can be a little bit above, anywhere in
there. Usually it’s a little bit above is usually more accurate because we have that
slightly hunching posture that I talked about that drops to the pit of the neck. If you
come up like this at attention then it gets up closer to the shoulder line. But anywhere
in there is great. Shoulder line. Then we’re going to have the shrugging muscles, the trapezius.
They’re going to be the transition you have to take us from the tubular neck out to that
shoulder line. It’s just a sagging triangle. But it’s a triangle. It feels good to do
that so sometimes I’ll take extra time just to squeeze it, but basically what I’m looking
for is that goes right behind my neck. Where is it going? Behind the tube of the neck.
Here is the tube. This is a top and back muscle. It goes down all the way to the mid back,
trapezius. It’s a shrugging muscle. It does this basically. So all I’m going to do is do a sagging triangle.
The skinnier I make the neck the more I sag it. The younger and the more feminine it will
seem. The thicker I make the neck and the fuller—in fact, it can bulge over this way
even if you’re doing a heroic character. The fuller I make that triangle it’s going
to look more mature. Not old as in elderly but more mature and more male and also more
heroic goes with that, of course. So Superman might be here. Star football player might
be here. The average guy on the street might be there. An old man or woman might be way
down here. But anywhere in there is good so as long as it’s similar to what we see,
characteristic of what we see. Typically it’s a sagging triangle, as I said. Notice that we have—we’ll just default
to one type now, the more heroic male. This is the neck coming from behind the face, coming
down, and it just fades away actually. In subtle ways that we’ll deal with in another
lecture group. Not in the head group. This is the shrugging muscle going behind it. So
you can imagine going way up and attaching to the school and back. We’ll see that in
a moment. Then we have the neck in front of that sagging triangle. The tube is in front
of the triangle. The neck is front of the trapezius. And so if we were to draw this
as just a really simple tube that we’re slightly underneath we’d feel that. It’s
behind. So now when we come here I’m going to do
the same thing. I don’t have the mask of the face though. I’m going to draw the tube
of the triangle, and I’ll make it nice and fat and wide or nice and skinny, however seems
appropriate. I’ll do that. Let’s color code it. It’ll actually attach up here.
There is the neck of our heroic male, let’s say. It attaches up here even though the egg
sits much lower. It doesn’t come to a point. If you felt back there you could feel that.
It’s two cables basically that split around the spine. They have thickness so it comes
up like this, sags down this way, and sits on the shoulder line. We’ll doing more male
looking art because that’s a long, fairly full, let’s make it a little fuller trapezius,
and we have that nice wide neck. That’s what’s doing most of the work. Notice now over here we have the neck tube
in front of the triangle. Now we have the triangle in front of the neck like so. Pretty
sophisticated stuff there. Since we don’t have all the features to mark out this looks
pretty easy now to me. I just have to get this stuff plotted out basically with construction
lines and little dashes in effect for the placement, the rough placement of the features.
I can just do this little kind of robotic schematic hairline, all that good stuff. That’s
pretty easy compared to this. There is some sophisticated thinking going on. Notice that
we had the neck and then the mask of the face was in front of the neck. So the face is in
front of the neck. The neck is front of the trapezius, the shrugging muscle. From the
back view it reverses. The triangle, trapezius shrugging muscle is closest to us. The neck
is farther, and the face, unless we have a huge neck, we’ll see a little bit of face,
the face is the farthest yet. A little bit of face. A little bit of face for that wider
chin and skinnier neck relationship. Then notice where here the ears were almost
an afterthought. We stuck them on because they’re visible and they deserve to be there.
But they didn’t really add a lot of information, any new information to the mix. It was just
plotting out one more detail like picking out eyeglasses. When I put on eyeglasses it’s
not really giving me more information, just a new shape in there. And so from a front
view, this straight-on front view, the ears don’t add much other than a more refined
character of what we were seeing. But here, the ears are going to be much more important
because they are going to be the only feature that we see. All the other features are hidden
around that far side. So drawing those ears are important. Notice how I drew them. I just
drew them like this. In fact, I made a little double line or a thick dark construction either
way, and that shows the thickness of the ear. As we get into the ear construction we’ll
do segments, chapters on each feature in detail. There’s a lot to be understood with each
and every feature. One of the things we’ll notice is that C-shape or whatever hybrid
shape we drew for it has a thickness. Otherwise, it’s going to be flat and not be believable.
It’ll have a thickness just like the mask had that digastric plane thickness idea. So
we could draw the ear from a front view like this to show that thickness. Think of it as
a disc, a slice of a tube like that. So when we put the cheek on it we’re seeing this
much of that disc or slice, and the rest is hidden. From a back view then we’ll see
that whole back of the ear thickness here. That’s what we’re drawing. So drawing
a double line in effect shows us that thickness. All this subtle stuff in here we don’t have
to worry about because it’s just a construction at this point. This is the simplest, most
characteristic thing we can do. Again, it’s in that middle third range. But it’s harder
to see that isn’t it because the chin gets lost down here. The hair is here but we can’t
see the eyebrow line. We can’t see a hairline, so we can’t inch our way down to that or
inch our way up to that position. So it’s a little trickier. Then you’ll have the hairline, it’ll do
whatever it does, maybe a little ducktail shape in here, or it’s whatever, you know,
long hair covers whatever is going on there. But we’ll just do that. That sits in there.
Each of these little details, you know, you could have a little cowlick spiral here, or
this could be a bun or ponytail. Hair, any of those details will help. Notice that we
can take again the head of the skull, I should say the skull, the face, and neck, and we
can turn this whole thing into a simpler idea, just a tube, kind of this idea. So I’m going
to do a tube and then here is my shoulder line, let’s say. And then I need to go back
through those machinations we just went through. Let’s see, this is the center of the head.
It’s right here. That’s that. There is the neck. Here are the ears here. You can
turn them this way if it’s the complete back view you can turn them in the same direction
if they start turning into some kind of three-quarters. So if this head is starting to turn this way
a little bit then we can turn the ear that way. Then we can just place it in that mid
range of the structure. Maybe we see a little bit of the jaw going into the chin before
it gets lost. Maybe we don’t. That’s that. So that gives us a basis for connection. We’re
not showing any of the articulation yet of doing this kind of stuff. We’ll deal with
that later. But that gives us the basics. The last thing I want, I should have mentioned
earlier and I didn’t—let’s do this. The ear. When we place that ear we said if
see it from a front or back view the ear sits in the middle third of the head more or less.
You can use the top of the skull or you can use the hairline. I usually use the hairline.
It feels a little more accurate. It ends up making the features a little fuller, gives
the chin a little bit more oomph. When we use the top of the skull oftentimes the chin
feels a little shorter, and the nose may be a little too big. But anyway, anywhere in
there is good. So the ear sits in the middle section of the head. There is a section on
top. There is a section on the bottom. The middle section is where the ears float in
more or less. They fill up the whole section. They are smaller than that. They can be slightly
below it or slightly above it. But they’re in that mid range. When we get to a profile
we can see the same thing happening. Let’s put our box back in here and notice the way
I drew that. Bad teacher. It should be a little less here and a little more here. There is
our box there. There
is our box there more or less without features or hairstyle, a little longer in length, a
little shorter in width going across. Notice if we come in front of the ear that
sideburn area, cut it in half, the ear is very close to the halfway point of the head
there. So the middle of the ear or the whole ear sits in the middle of the head from top
to bottom, however you want to do it. The middle of the ear is at the middle, or the
ear sits in the middle third. Take your pick, doesn’t matter. Also, it’s in the middle
this way. The front of the ear touches or comes very close to that midrange. Give or
features and hairstyle. Like so. It sits in that midrange. That’s incredibly useful
because now look what happens. If I take that same I’m going to use as simple as possible
shape now. Take that same sailboat shape. If I take this section here and cut it in
half and put it in there, make sure it sits more or less in the bottom third. But if you’re
off some notice how this got much bigger. This got much shorter. It doesn’t hurt anything,
really, but you can adjust it down or trim it back accordingly. But when I do that it
feels like a nice profile like this. Let’s do it again. I’m going to draw that
same sailboat shape. Now instead of putting it in the mid-area more or less, I’m going
to push it really close or fairly close to the front of the face. When you do that, now
notice that the face, the jaw, the face, always sits in front of the ear. It ends in front
of the ear. It doesn’t go behind the ear. It sits in front of the ear. Some people will
draw that ear and then they’ll put the face back here. It’s got to sit in front of the
ear. Look how little face there is now. Let me flesh this out a little bit. I’ll show
you how to do this another time, but just so you can see it. There is a little bit of
the nose, a little bit of lips, eyebrow, eyelashes, hairstyle. Let’s do this to make it easy
on us. There’s the neck’s appropriate thickness. We’ll deal with how to articulate
this later. Let’s just leave it like that. Notice if I push the ear towards the front
of the face you’ve done this. You’ve gotten behind the head. The farther we push that
ear to the front of the face until it overlaps it slightly off axis, overlaps it perfectly
into a back view. That ear positions the head this way in the rotation. Now, when we’ve
got a front of the face it’s less important because we have all the features. Once we
get past the profile then those features—look at how the features, the nose. And again,
we’ll look at this more carefully later. The nose and the lips and the eyelashes are
overlapped by that cheek and jaw construction. We’re starting to lose those. So placing
that ear—let’s do it again. Now I’m going to push the ear back here.
I’ll keep it in the middle third more or less. I’ll make it a little smaller, a little
bigger, anywhere in there. I can always adjust it slightly if I need to. Notice now when
the ear pushes back getting very close to or equal to the back edge
more and less, more and less. Now we start
to get a three-quarter view. Notice now if we do the center line of the features it’d
be over here, and we’re in a three-quarter view
in there. So the placement of the ear, crowd
the skull. You’re more of a front three-quarter view. Crowd the face you’re more of a three-quarter
back view. Get the ears on the outside or very close to the outside, you’re in a full
or more or less full back view. Put them on the outside in front, ditto for the front
view. So where you push the ear this way or that
gives you incredible information. It gives your audience incredible information very,
very quickly about how it’s placed in space. Alright, so the ear is a wonderful thing.
This is the simplest of our choices is my favorite for these simple constructions. If
I’m doing a real careful portrait, I’ll break the shape of the skull down and the
face carefully. But I almost always start with this. Even if I’m doing a big painting
with a big full realized head, it’s just easier to place. So let me talk about the
ear again. So as I said, if we crowd the ear into the face we’re getting behind that
face. We’ll notice that the brow, check, jaw, start to overlap and cover our features.
They hide away. That’s true, of course. Same way if I crowd
the skull. Now it’s turning toward us. And we don’t need any more information than
that to start to get the idea that we’re now in a three-quarter front view. We’re
certainly going to want to do more, but immediately that gives us and our viewer, our audience,
a clue into what the position is. But also notice if I push the ear down lower—let
me do this. I’m going to more fully realize that skull. In fact, I’m going to make it
boxy because when I get into difficult perspectives the squarer I make things, the more clearly
it is placed in space. It’s the corners and the alignment of the sides that due to
our vanishing points if we were to be that ambitious and give us a sense of true position. If I do roundness—and again, look to my
basic drawing lessons for a full explanation of this. But the rounder things are it can
have a good sense of rendered volume, but it doesn’t have great sense of position.
Are you behind this ball or in front of this ball. Until you get something else in relationship
to it you don’t know. But here you know immediately how it’s sitting, that it’s
tilted facing, tipping in certain three-dimensional position. So the squarer things go, the better
in terms of working out difficult perspectives, difficult proportions because we can break
those corners down into measureable segments and difficult dynamic objects. Notice by pushing
that ear a little bit lower from a, just really generically let’s do this and this one,
two, three. Let’s say those are equal, and we put the ear right in the middle that way
and this way. That’s a perfect profile. We’d add on all the stuff. I’ll a little
bit of stuff just so you can feel the truth of that idea. That’s a perfect profile give
or take proportions, of course, of the character you’re drawing. If I move it this way it
turns. If I move this way it turns. If I push it up this way or if I push it down that way,
it’s now going to turn—well, not turn, tilt in and out of the picture plane. So by
pushing the ear down a little bit lower I’m going to exaggerate it here. We’ll see this
better when we get some reference and we do more sophisticated versions of these things.
But for now this is as far as we’re going to take it. There is that kind of stuff. Again,
I’ll help you work that out more carefully later, but just so you can see in context. Notice how we have the ear, less than an ear
away from the chin, or even let’s say a full ear away from the chin. Here we have
an ear and a half or an ear and two-thirds from the top of the head. That wasn’t true
here. We were very close here. So as the ear gets lower we start to get on top of it. You
can see it right here. Here’s my ear somewhere in the middle. Now as I do this the chin is
receding so the ear is getting closer to the bottom of the head structure, and the skull
is coming and revealing more and so we’re getting visually more mass on top. And then,
of course, the reverse would be true. Push the head down. We’re on top of the head
just we’re on top of a tube. Push the head up. I’m sorry, push the ear up. It’s going
to make us feel like we are underneath the head. Again, I’ll show you subtleties of this
at a later time. I’m just putting them in now so you can really clearly visualize what
I’m saying. Notice when you lay in these very simple shapes sometimes you have to modify
them to make them ring true for that particular dynamic position. In the simpler positions
we can do simpler shapes in more dynamic positions. It’s a difference between looking at a box
or looking at a box. In the more dynamic positions we have to articulate those shapes a little
more carefully. You might find you need to lift a little bit. You need to square out
a little bit. Notice also we can conceive of this as a boxy form. I’m going to make
it very simple here. Again, I’ll describe and explain that structural stuff later, but
we can make it rather boxy. So the ear can be on the side of the box. And the features
could be on the front of the box. The ear can be on the side of the box, and all the
other features are on the front of the box. Or we can have it as a tubular idea. We can
conceive of this, we’re underneath not a box but a tubular idea. And the ear is on
the side of the tube and the rest of the features are on the front of the tube like so. Front
of the tube. Notice what I’m doing here. Just generically I’m going to make the eyebrow
line, specifically the arch of the eyebrow, the height of the ear. That’s not going
to be true for every model or even most models, but it’s roughly true. Oftentimes the ear
will be close to the eyeline, but I love those arching eyebrows. We’ll see this when we
get into more sophisticated structure. If I use the eyebrow line to the ear I have a
natural construction line, whether I’m doing a tube or a boxy idea, a tube or a boxy idea,
notice that this is the eyebrow line and this is the movement of the ear. It can be a rounder
conception or a squarer conception. Here are the eyes. Here is the nose. We’ll talk about
how to do that. Here’s the mouth, the chin. Notice that now I have to flesh out my skull
or hairstyle to make it ring true. There is a square conception. There’s the rounder
conception. Chin is on the bottom of the tube, or the chin is on the bottom of the box. Take
your pick. Of course, we could do it egg like. We could do eyebrow line to ear high line.
Nose, mouth, chin. Adjust that jaw line. Again, make sure that you’re getting enough skull
there. Oftentimes you have to add a little skull on these things. Add a little skull
or refine the skull. Okay. And then we add the—if it’s more
front than side we add the tube. If it’s ore back than side we add the tube. If it’s
more side than front we can do the hourglass idea. If it’s somewhere in between, three-quarter,
you can take your pick; do either one. So this would work okay doing that too, hourglass
in those three quarters. Alright, so that’s the basic head shape in basic articulating
perspective. No deep perspective. We’re conceiving it as simple forms, simple shapes.
It can be a simple shape that’s square, a simple shapes that’s more tubular, a simple
shape that’s very round. It can be a hybrid of all those things. The choice doesn’t
matter as long as it’s simple, yet characteristic with what we see. It doesn’t depart radically
from what we see unless we’re doing a radical piece of art. We’re going to play very close
attention that whatever we do by the end of it we feel that the skull drifts back as the
face drifts down. Skull drips back, face drifts down. Unless it’s very close to a full front
or back view, we’re going to feel that skull having a motion back that’s distinct. You
can think of a parting of the hair. If you have a hairstyle like this where the part
is. The part is going to run along that axis back into the skull. Alright, there is one last point I want to
make here before we move on. If we look at our skull so we get this idea of our ear,
the ear is about right here. Remember the ear sits right behind the end of the jaw.
The jaw sits right in front of the ear. So this is a sideburn area of the hairline. The
ear sits in here. So just watch this little point or my finger here. As we turn this way
you can see how the ear is going to crowd the face and eventually overlap the face.
That was the point we were making earlier. Then as we come back this way the ear is going
to—let’s do this for the ear, I guess. The ear is going to crowd the back of the
skull and then overlap the back of the skull. So that ear gives us a great landmark for
how this turns especially in this back three-quarter range where we don’t have the features as
landmarks. These features are fantastic landmarks for plotting out the structure, the three-dimensional
position of the head. When we get into this three-quarter back view, back view to the
other side, we lose that ammunition. So then the ear becomes crucial. So there we have
it there. Likewise, if we tilt, say this is the top
of the ear, as we tilt the head down notice how the ear is now crowding the bottom of
the face visually and moving well away from the top of the face. So if you draw that ear
lower in your skull shape, your sailboat shape or whatever construction idea you’re using,
it’s going to help immediately put that head in that top orientation. Likewise, if
it comes this way and the top of the ear starts to crowd the top of the head, now we know
that getting underneath it. Again, it becomes a great landmark especially in these positions
to show that. So anyway, that little point. Now let’s
move on to our master drawings and have some fun. Okay, now we have our old masters to look
at. We have Hans Holbein on the left and Raphael on the right. If we look at the Holbein you
can see the egg. Notice we have a hat here and so the skull is up in here. If I draw
that basic egg shape we’d see the hat is up here. Remember, when we do the egg shape,
though, it’s going to be much more accurate to what we’re after if we make that egg
shape a little fatter at the top, more of a true chicken egg rather than an ellipse.
We can do that. Or, we could make it more of a capsule shape, which means flat on the
sides. Notice if we look towards the hairline. I’m going to modify the hairline just slightly
down into the lower jaw. You can feel that kind of flattening there. The problem with
that is, let’s go back again. Let me get that color back. The problem with that is
she’s got those wonderful cheekbones. So what I’m looking for is a simple shape,
egg or capsule, but the most characteristic. And so I want the sense of those fine cheekbones
popping out. Let’s do it this way. And so maybe the bulging egg. You might even modify
further. Notice with this particular character we could
modify. Maybe we use more of a diamond shape to show off those cheekbones. Again, watch
that the diamond doesn’t distort and lose the mass of the skull, but maybe through the
hairline we put a little diamond shape inside the egg. Notice that it’s simply a characteristic,
and there is a nice range of variations we can do. We can modify that shape. It can be
elliptical. It can be capsule-like. It can be egg-shaped. It has a fatter end and a more
narrow end. It can be more diamond shaped and more and more and more. Lots of choices
there. Round on the top, square on the bottom. You have lots of ways to go. As long as it
is simple, yet characteristic you choose. And if you’re doing refined heads, portraiture
or trying to bring in personality rather than a generic sense of an A-head but a personality
head, then you’d want to modify those shapes. Simple, yet characteristic. You want to stay
nimble with that. If we look at the Raphael it’s chubbier
features. So the egg is fuller and rounder and more—a little bigger here—and more
characteristically a classic egg. Whereas on the Holbein we could argue for a rather
square-ish bottom here because of that strong jaw of this woman. But with the Raphael that’s
the case. We’re going in, of course, for the little baby here too. We’re going for
that nice simple and much more true egg shape. In any of these cases there is great subtle
variations of the final contour. It wobbles, bumps, sharpens up, smoothes out, does all
those different things that a contour is going to do, but that’s in the finished stage.
So again, we’re making it simple, yet characteristic. As I’ve done the Raphael, the mother and
child, we can see then simple construction lines show us the center line, the eyeline,
the eyebrow line, the hairline, the line of the nose and the chin. Darken that up for
us a little bit. And so we can break that basic idea down in proportion, just a general
generic proportion about halfway. In this case it’s not quite true. Let’s
put it down there. It’s a little more than halfway on top. The top is catching more and
the bottom is a little less. And with the hairstyle it’s even more exaggerated. But
she is actually, the position of this head is actually slightly underneath us. She’s
tilting forward. So if we put a bucket on her head, we’d be on top of the bucket that
way. So that means if we were to draw our construction line that would stay the same.
This line, of course, then would turn this way. And so the eyes are on a slight arc moving
over. And as we find that tilt with the ears and such then we’re losing at it moves down
into the paper, we’re losing a little bit of face at the lower end. It’s getting a
little shorter. Head is coming up over the top towards us. We’re getting a little bit
greater lift of head. Notice that what I drew here is a more exaggerated version than what
our friend Raphael has done, and that adds even more skull to the view. This one has
more skull. This has less skull. This has much less face and this a little more. Here
is an exaggerated version of the slight tilt here. This is a slight tilt compared to this
one which is perfectly straight on and formal. Notice that even the craftsmanship brings
this up, but just in terms of design, when we have a very formal pose like this, notice
what it does to the feel of the piece. Notice how this is more distant. Now, she has that
character, but that’s one of the reasons he chose this front view. She’s very formal
and standoff-ish, whereas this is a mother who has great empathy. So we feel that empathy
and we’re drawn into it. So the slight tilt of the head off axis and the slight tilt of
the head into the picture plane adds to that intimacy and that informal or compassionate
view. Then this little baby is doing what he is doing this way. Those baby proportions
would have an effect that we’ll save for another day. Once again, always a big danger
when we’re drawing this egg-like, capsule-like constructions of the head. Notice that on
this mother figure here I drew the egg without enough skull. So the skull would really be
out here, a fuller egg this way. And so really pay attention to that. It’s a real killer
for your drawing if you don’t give that fullness of that skull. It loses character.
If you’re doing a cartoon or something that could play into the style actually, but in
realism you’ve got to feel that full skull. Usually you’re saved even if you screw up
your construction. Even if I had stuck with that original construction, by the time we
add the hair, the mass of the hair on there, that’s going to cover that mistake. But
still, we want to see it as a truism. So basically we’re going to draw the egg
of the head or whatever simple shape, the egg of the head. Then we’re going to draw
a T, center line, center line, eyeline. That’s going to split it halves. Two haves here,
two halves here. More or less, give or take the dynamic position of the head. Give or
take the portraiture, the personality, the quirky proportions to the head, but a halfway
point. Then we’re going to build off that. Notice that the band of the hat here acts
pretty much as our hairline. And so if we break it down into hairline and eyebrow line,
eyebrow line to nose line, nose line to mouth to chin. Those end up being about thirds.
Now if you’ve got a more dynamic, dramatic, heroic figure you can actually go up to the
top of the head, which would be the top of the skull minus the hairstyle and do thirds
down, fuller nose, and that’s actually truer in this case. Then the chin, despite its strength,
chin and jaw is a little less so because it’s a woman, more heroic character especially
if it’s a male, mature male, it’d be down here and you can break the thirds. But, typically,
on a realistic figure if you’re not trying to stylize heroism into the mix you go from
hairline to eyebrow line to nose line to chin, and that’s your thirds. eyeline is below
there, and that’s your halfway point. Top of the head to eyeline, eyeline to chin. Alright, here we have Piazetta in a more or
less perfect profile, somewhere around that. Let’s look at this from a couple of different
ways. Notice the strong line here. We want to be careful of that. What I really want
is the line of the face. I’m cutting off the features. Specifically, we’ll see this
more clearly when we get into the placement of the features and all their various structures,
I want to go where the forehead, more or less, where the forehead bumps into the nose right
there and where the lips bump into the chin right there. So these two points ending up
somewhere near the hairline. Of course, that can change radically depending on the recession.
It can be anything close to that. It doesn’t have to be right on the money but in there.
That’s the gesture of the face going down that I’m going to build my structure, my
mask on. The gesture of the skull going back, I don’t want to go down this way and make
that more or less a right angle. What I wanted to do is rise up and back. It actually does,
just the drawing fools us for a moment. So it goes up this way. Notice how that opens
up there. That angle opens up a little bit from a right angle. If we were to do that
sailboat shape it’d be here or here. Anywhere in there is fine. If it were to be the egg shapes—let’s
just bring this right back. You could actually, if you wanted to, start with the egg of the
skull I here, down in here. Anywhere in this range is good. Then you come right off that
egg, again down to your construction or your gesture line for the face. So this is an egg
that has an axis going back, but notice the way I drew it, it’s actually going back
and up a little bit. Again, it implies that opening up of that angle. Let’s make a clearer
point of that. Look what happens if I go the other way like that. It destroys the structure
of the skull. That’s bad news there. Or if we had the face coming down and the skull
shape doing this. We’ll see a Raphael towards the end of our little series here, and it
suggests this. We have to be, we have to look past a glance to see what he’s doing there.
But if we do that, where this is drifting down, it destroys the skull. You don’t have
enough brains in there to be a functioning human being when you do that. So we don’t
want to do that. We want it to open up. Then we can come off that back of the skull this
way and do a modified triangle, or as we said before we can use a simplified hairline in
front of the ear and over to the chin down here and feel the mask of the face, that mask here. Notice how the ear sits right in the center. Now he’s just barely turning away from us,
and so that ear is crowding just a little bit in this case. It varies from person to
person and also canon to canon. Each artist and art movement will idealize or distort
the figure in a certain way, and so that will play sometimes quite loosely with the facts.
In this case we have the ear or the center of the ear, as I said, right in the middle
of the head even without the little bit of hair lifting up. But anyway, it’s following
our idea truly enough, close enough to work with. Notice how the top of the ear lines
up with the eyebrow line. That’s one thing we want to pick up consistently wherever the
eyebrow line is. Usually where the arch of the eyebrow is we want the ear to be at that
or close to that. That’s going to give us a lot of good material to work with when we
get into more dynamic poses as we will in a bit. Notice how the bottom of the ear sits about
at the bottom of the nose there. And so the ear is sitting in that middle third. And by
keeping it well away from the top of the skull and well away from the bottom of the skull,
bottom of the chin/face, it gives us that sense that we’re looking more or less straight
on to this figure, maybe slightly on top. So anyway, the placement of the ear in the
middle from left to right, in the middle region from top to bottom, gives us a sense that
that’s a solid basic profile. Alright, here’s a Tiepolo. Here you can
see the simple construction idea never really taken any farther. We’ve got mom here with
a simple egg shape, but since she’s off axis, she’s in a three-quarter view, then
we’re getting a little bit of the skull back here. So let’s go back, look at that
again and see exactly what our friend is doing here. There is the center line of those features.
Here’s the eyebrow line or eyeline, the T idea. Notice how when we start getting into
these perspectives, we’re starting to get off axis from a perfect front or a perfect
profile then our T starts to get into dynamic positions. The head is tilting down so the
T tilts. We’re underneath and in a three-quarter view to the eyebrow line and eyeline. The
eyebrow and eyeline tilt up, and so that T throws off into a dynamic position. So let’s look at that one more time. There
are several ways we can do this. We can draw our sailboat shape, and we can take in the
whole head. Notice how we’re going back here. There it is there. Or, we could have
started with this center line going back and then add on a little bit more, or start outside
and put the center line. Either way is fine. Then the eyebrow line or eyeline. I usually
do the eyebrow line because you get those arching eyebrows. There is a clear, drawn-in
shape of the eyebrow rather than the little vaguer sense of where the eye is. So I use
that to place it and then work off your proportions from there. The other way we could have done
this, of course, is the egg shape. I do not want to do an egg shape for the whole thing.
That’s too crude. That’s simple but not characteristic. There are two shapes going
on here. As soon as we move from a front view towards a profile or even to a back view,
we’re going to see the face shape and the skull shape, so we need a construction strategy
that shows both. So I want the face shape as a mask. It can be rounder or squarer. His
is much rounder. Other artists would make it squarer. Center line is right through there.
Eyebrow line is right there. eyeline if you wanted that too is right there. Then we’re
going to add on a little bit of the egg of the skull. Notice as soon as we do that we’re
getting that gesture down for the face, gesture back for the skull that we have to have. Let’s
look at our little baby character here. Here we’ve got the face tilting this way, eyebrow
line, center line. Sometimes it helps to do the construction lines first. Sometimes it’s
better. Probably usually it’s better to do the big constructed face, gesture, structure.
There it is there. Then we add the center line on. We end up with that sailboat shape.
It’s very pointy. It’s got those corners. So maybe because this is a baby we’re going
to start with the egg of the skull first cause that kind of dominates. We’re in a three-quarter
view, and the head is tilted down. So we have that strong egg shape. Then we add on a rounder
mask here, picking up our construction lines on that like so. The eyes sit in here like
that, and you can mark off. Let’s do it one more time. There is the
skull shape. Here is the face shape. Here we can complete it through or leave it open-ended,
whichever way is appropriate. Since we don’t have a hairline, it’s a little easier to
imagine it as open-ended maybe. Here is the center line, eyebrow line in there. You can
see a little bit of the ear here. Right there is a little bit of the ear. Now notice, as you have already have, I’m
sure, the simple conception of this. He’s just breaking down ideas. This is a sketch
for a painting, some mural painting that was going to be up on some high wall or ceiling.
Notice that he’s conceiving of this. This is going to be this beautifully finished realized
little baby Jesus, beautifully lit, beautifully rendered, and he’s just starting this out
as an egg. Notice that the
whole conception of that skull if we remove it from the face construction and from the
idea that it is a head, it’s just an egg. If I were to draw just an egg and then light
that egg with a light source that’s equivalent to what we have here it would be very close
to that. It would do that or it would do that or it would do this. It would do some version,
give or take a variation of what we see there. And so drawing the basic shadow shape of the
forehead throwing the features into shadow in this case in any way that’s anywhere
close to a simple egg on a table is going to be what we’ll start with. And that’s
the secret of making things up out of your head. That’s a secret of animating things,
conceiving things as so simple of an idea that we can render quite detail on it. We
can move it in space. We can redesign it, re-imagine it into more dynamic, into alien
eggs and monstrous eggs and heroic eggs and all that kind of stuff for design. Let’s go back to our figure one more time
of the female. We can see how again the simple conception of mommy here, the eye sockets
marked out give us a clear sense of where their eyes would be, but not very accurately.
It’s just roughly true. This eye over here maybe drifts out a little too far to the left.
The nose gets a little darker here. The nose is probably a little too short for it. Maybe
even the face is a little long, but probably not when you get the bottom of the chin here
and the rest of this is the bottom plane, the digastric plane in here. But anyway, there are or could be quite a
few errors there. We finish that off and maybe we find should have had a little more skull
especially with the cloaked head or the hairstyle. All those little things. It should have been
here but it ended up here. It should’ve been here but it ended up over here. Those
little variations aren’t a big deal, and they’ll be easily corrected as we move on
through the drawing. As long as we get a fairly close approximation it doesn’t have to be
perfect. You don’t have to stress out about that. Simple but characteristic. And as we
simplify it and give it basic characteristics, the variations then don’t matter. Those
subtle inaccuracies don’t matter. They can be corrected or left as a stylization or as
a charming variation. Okay, here we have another Raphael. A beautiful
head, one of the most famous drawings ever from the Renaissance. We can see again the
simple conception. In fact, if you look at just the hair you can see the hair itself
is rather egg-like isn’t it? You know, we can feel kind of eggs in here and little eggs
in here, the Renaissance curls. A lot of roundness there. Eggs were huge in the Renaissance because
eggs suggested the Christian idea of rebirth. And egg was a potential life coming into the
world, and so it was used as a symbol for the religious painting that these often were.
This was a saint in this case, and so it fits in with that. Let’s go ahead and look for our shapes now.
So we have a little bit of a dynamic position. It’s a three-quarter view. That means we’re
going to see a lot of face and some skull, and we’re on top of the view. That means
the skull is going to dominate the face so we’re going to see even more skull and slightly
less face. Now, when you get a very difficult challenging position, and this isn’t extreme.
We’ll get into that another chapter, but it’s extreme enough when we’re starting
out to give us trouble, or subtle enough that if we throw off things a little bit we miss
the point of the position, and it goes out of whack for us. So if we have a difficult position or a difficult
shape, something that’s challenging, oftentimes I’ll go to the construction lines first.
Let me just mark this over here so I have that to sample later. Here is that center
line going down here. There is that construction line, eyebrow line going here, with or without
the eyeline. Take your pick. So sometimes it’s best to start way. Then you can build
on that sailboat shape. Notice how far off, let’s say this is the actual chin without
the beard. Notice how far off your constructed tips mind end up. This should end up pretty
nicely within—let’s put it here. Pretty nicely within the structure. These two tips
can stick way out, and we can chop them off later. Let’s do that again here. This can
come out here. We can chop it off later like so, just nip off those ends if we feel the
need like that. So a sailboat shape or—we always have several choices as long as it’s
simple yet characteristic. Let’s say I’m okay with not putting in the center line.
I’m going to draw the mask of the face first. I’m going to draw the simplified far side
of the face. I’m going to draw the simplified cheer into the jaw line in front of the ear.
I’m going to draw a simplified hairline. So just like it was a cut-out Halloween mask
I’m going to conceive it of that. This is going to get totally lost in this case in
those bangs. But that’s okay, I need a shape to work with. I could come way down here,
but it’s nice if I can canonize my proportions especially in the beginning. If I always draw
the—probably a little lower here actually—if I always draw the hairline then I’m seeing
a shape of the same proportion give or take the character of the model and not something
that’s radically changing because of an accident of costuming. Then I can add my center
line right on down through. I’m looking to where the forehead meets the nose and where
the lips meet the chin, anywhere in there. If I’m off a little bit that’s okay; I
can adjust it later or build around it later. Then it won’t be a problem. So there is my simplified idea. That’s a
mask of the face. That’s not enough. We need to get the shape of the skull. I’m
going to look for the shape of the skull without the fullness of the hair. Notice I have a
lot of room for error. I can be down in here, feel okay. It could be all the way out to
the hair, do just fine because the hair will cover it. I’d like to get fairly accurate,
though. Not because the skull matters in this instance because it will be covered by the
hair, but because it will matter oftentimes in how well I fit that neck in construction.
So there is that hourglass idea of the neck. Let’s get rid of this little pinch. We’ll
save that for a later structural talk. There is that hourglass shape. Then I put in the
ear at this point because it’s going to help hide that binding transition between
mask of face and hair. It’s going to show us how they fit together, and in this case—now
if we come back and add our construction lines. Maybe we didn’t do the center line. Let’s
do the center line. Now let’s do the eyebrow line. Notice that the center line of the face
and the eyebrow line of the features are all on the front of our shape. So if we continued
that around
with a bucket idea. Oops, let me adjust that a little bit. We put a bucket on the head.
Notice that the eyebrow line follows the front, in this case the right side of the bucket.
And the ear, if they’re lined up pretty well, as they are, follows a left contour,
left side of that bucket. Notice in that tilting. Also notice it’s almost always better to
screw up the tilt of that bucket by making it tilt too much. Cause what’s our real
problem here. The real problem is to fight off this flat paper or flat canvas we’re
on and give the idea, the illusion of three-dimensional form of tilt and tips and facing dimensions. So if we know we have to fight that flatness
to get the illusion, to the get the idea, I’d rather overdo the idea a little bit
to make it more exciting. If I’m doing a comedy as a film, as a story, I’d rather
it be too funny rather than not funny enough. You can always back off later. But if it’s
not funny that’s tough. Tough to fix it later. So if you’ve got a real flat drawing
it’s tough to push into a three-dimensional form. But if your form is a little too three-dimensional,
tilting a little too much, it’s easier to correct. Notice what’s going to happen. When I pick
up my—bring this all the way across here. We can take the hairline and let that be roughly
the top of the tube. Then notice that tubular idea starts to break down when we add that
skull going back. We don’t get a good sense of the gesture going back. We don’t get
a good sense of how the back of the skull finishes against the back of the face there.
But if we continue that down notice the consistency, and this is one of the powers of using simple
constructed forms. Once you have that construction conception, the tilt of the bucket, then that
is going to carry through on all the features and affect all the features. Notice how all
the features track that same tilted construction line on the front of our tube. Not the tip
of the nose, but from nostril to nostril, from corner of the mouth to corner of the
mouth, or the very front of the lip or front of the tip of the nose. The eyeline, eyebrow
from arch to arch. Bottom of the chin and even in this case the beard is tracking that. So we have all, and even the bangs, the hairstyle
tracks it with whatever little variations there are. They’re all tracking that same
tilt, and that’s what gives that dramatic, dynamic illusion of that head in that lovely
position. The ear is all alone isn’t it? That’s one of the struggles we’ll have.
We have all this feature stuff on the front of the face to build nice three-dimensional
positioning, but we only have the ear on the side to do it, at least apparently so. We’re
going to have to work at that to get that sense. But eyebrow to ear does a lovely job
of beginning the idea of that tilt. Then they’ll be other things like the jaw line. As it drifts
up it’s still giving a sense, an exaggerated sense, but especially that corner. We
get into that a little bit later. But that gives us a sense of that. Notice that we could have drawn this any number
of simple ways. We could have drawn and egg and played all this stuff along the curvature
of the egg. Jaw line comes up. Swing all the way around from the eyebrow line over to the
ear. Notice that that egg, though, is exceptionally unsatisfying for the skull. We’ve cut off
all the back of the skull. We’ve left it out. So we’d want to add another egg going
back so we get that drift back and get the fullness of the back of the skull. Then it
accepts our lovely hairstyle there and also makes for a much more satisfying connection
for the neck and body below it. And then we could also make it boxier. We
could make it a boxy idea
this way. And then all the features here, which sat on the front of the box and even
the bangs. The ear would be on the side of the box. And the hair and the skull would
sit on the top of the box. Some way we’ll have to figure out and show the back of the
box. We’ve got choices, choices, choices. It’s just a matter of which way you want
to go. It’s a great exercise to do as I’m doing here. Draw those old master drawings,
either draw over them digitally or trace over them with tracing paper and a book or sketch
them as you look at them as I’m doing here. Make those determinations. See which way Raphael
leaned. Did he tend to use one idea or another? Did he use all three—tube, box, and ball? Okay, here’s another Raphael. A more dynamic
position. A little baby here, of course. You can see now here again is that triangle idea
here, or since it’s a round baby and the egg is so important to the Renaissance, we
can do as he did. Let the egg dominant. Since the skull we’re in almost a full profile,
and we’re on top of that head. There is a slight three-quarter move to that profile.
And we’re quite strongly on top of the head. You can see how an accident in positioning—this
happens oftentimes on an adult or child. When you get on top of the skull quite a bit the
bottom of your constructed skull here gets very close to your eyebrow line. It gets very
close to both cause that skull cap, the mass of skull is dominating the face in this case.
So we feel it there. You’re still going to want to be very careful on its positioning.
You’ll see that quite a bit. And then here is the mask of the face in here
like so, and then the ear separates or makes the transition between those two constructed
ideas. Now when you have something very round like this, especially if it’s in a dynamic
position, it can throw things off. Let me show you what I mean like that. So if I construct
this, let’s say I constructed the skull like this, and I look at that model on the
model stand or that photograph on my drawing board and I see that the eyebrow line really
works nicely as the bottom of the skull, and so I’ve sketched in. But look what happened
here. I ended up putting my eye and eyebrow line here. And it distorts things off. Let’s
do this to make it worse. See how distorted that is? That’s way out of whack. So rather
than that, I’ll go ahead and construct it the same way. I’ll use my eggs because that’s
in character. It’s fairly easy to get big, simple shapes in space. In this case we have
that domination of the skull on top of the face shape like this so it’s almost this
kind of idea, you know, overlapping balls in recession. So all that’s great to show
the on-top-of-ness of our problem here. So I go ahead and do that but then I come
back and I construct more carefully the end as a tubular idea or as the egg tilting in
the correct position. I look to the nose and features. Again, the danger of these features
are they’re going around the other side here. Going around the other side and we can’t
see the other nostril. We can’t see the other corner of the lip. And so we see this
thing and this thing, and then eyebrow line and this thing. Notice when I just draw what
I see they’re all going in different angles and it’s going to ruin the cohesion. Remember
what we said before. You know, if we think of it as a tube the hairline, the eyebrow
line, the eyeline, the nose line, the mouth, the chin; all of those track together. They
have their own quirkiness. The eyebrows arch. The eyelids maybe droop. The nose sticks out.
The mouth changes expression and on and on and on. But, they’re going to track nicely
symmetrically from one side to the other. So, again, let’s look at our Raphael and
how to deceptive this can be. We look at these features. None of them track. And so we think,
well, he’s Raphael. He doesn’t make mistakes. I’m going to go ahead and draw what I see.
I’m going to draw this and this and this. And your drawing is not going to look very
good. So what Raphael did, and Raphael does mistakes but he didn’t make it here. Everybody
makes mistakes. In fact, the old masters that make mistakes (and they did consistently)we
call that their style. They’ve stylized the world into a direction that is not exactly
real, not true, no photographically true but beautifully aesthetically true. Most importantly,
whatever they’ve done it’s consistent. It’s the inconsistencies that screw you
up. So a Picasso might well make them all go off
in different directions because Picasso is after a different kind of truth, but this
character here noticed that the eyebrows do track. Here’s the center line. Even though
he drew the tip of the nose out and we can’t see that other nostril, it would be on this
same construction line. It would be over here. Same with the corner of the mouth. It would
be on that same construction line. It would be over here and the chin and such too. Go
back one more time. Here is that center line going down where the forehead meets the nose,
where the lips meet the chin. Notice the eyebrow lines. He works very hard to tilt that far
eyebrow up. In fact, he repeats it with a skull cap. Here is the casing of the skull
intruding. That little baby skull dominates the face in younger critters. Notice how those
all track beautifully our construction line. Let’s bring it over here and just make it
a bucket. Notice how the skull tracks back up here, here. High line tracks back up or
eyebrow line, whichever. Nose goes its own way. Lips go its own way. The chin tracks
back up. Then we add the big egg of the skull there. So back down here, chin tracks back
up to that beautifully. Now, let’s look at the other features that
failed us. We can’t get the other nostril, but the tip of the nose tracks back up. The
lower lid of the eye tracks back up. The lip, the kewpie doll curve of the lip even starts
to track back up here, and the lower lip tracks back up beautifully. Even when the accident
of information throws us off at the wrong angles he works very hard to find places where
we come back to the right angles here and here and here. And here and here and here.
Even the hairline is tracking that way more or less. So it does track beautifully but
in a tricky way, in a not quite apparent way to begin with. You could even see the tone
over here tracking with a cheek contour over here. That also tracks back up beautifully. Alright, so here we have Normal Rockwell.
But, of course, there is still going to be these drawn truths that we’ve been talking
about in the painting, or in a sculpture for that matter. We can find them wherever. Norman
Rockwell was famous for his characters. Each personality, the male or the female, the young
or the old, had a clear character to them. They were middle America and they were personalities
and even slightly caricatures he’d play up. So when we look at this young boy, for
example, we’re going to give a shape to him that is specific and different than the
shape of the adult who is giving him the lecture. Notice what our friend Normal here has done.
He has centered on a capsule shape. Notice it could be a tipped over tube, that bucket
idea this way. It’s tilted enough that the back of the tube, the tip of the tube there—let’s
do it over here—is not exactly right but close to the final shape of the skull. He
is still giving a little bit more back here to give that movement down and back for our
skull to face, the gesture of the skull going back this way in perspective and the face
going down slightly this way in a different perspective. But in the linear idea they are
almost in the same position. Anyway, he is picking up a capsule shape,
let’s call it. Down here probably. And so the very shape, the simplified shape that
he chose for the whole head started him out simply like any of these choices would have,
but more characteristic to his final thoughts, to his final goal. And so by picking a shape
that is specific, it’s less work. Think of it as a sculpture. If we get a capsule
shape of clay, that’s going to be a lot less work to finish it out than if we got
a big perfect spherical shape of clay. So we want something that’s close to the finish
line. That’s going to give us less work to render it out. Things are going to fit
better because we’ll be able to see clearer truths in proportion, and it’s going to
connect better to the next form, the neck, the shoulders, the hands in this case. All
that kind of stuff. Notice how we’re going to want to draw through
the interruption of the hand and through the distortion that the hand create to feel where
that chin would be. Then it’s going to get mucked up by the pressure of the hands against
it. So then our construction lines are pulling down this way, and he’s slightly mucked
with those construction lines, hasn’t he? The eyebrow here is a little higher, and the
eyebrow over here is a little bit lower. That throws our construction line off-tilt a little
bit. It tilts it rather than being over here. It’s falling down a little bit. He continues
that with the nose. The nose is tilting off axis a little bit. Then the lips come back
pretty well, but the lower lip and chin get tilted off. That’s because of that pressure
of the hand. This hand is doing more work because he’s trying to get away from this
way. He doesn’t want to hear what’s being told to him. And so the simple construction
of the capsule now has been slightly distorted. He has created a physical error in a sense
to tell a story. So this whole thing is starting to twist off. So it’s like the tube actually
tilted away a little bit. I’m exaggerating it. But he’s trying to get away from the
lecture. We’ve all felt that at different times in our life. So he’s bringing that
emotional truth into the constructed idea, and that’s good picture making. That’s
smart stuff. So anyway, that gives us that sense. Let’s
go back one more time now. I’ll just take this out and pick this up. There it is there.
We’ll just play this this way and this way and this way and go back to the generic truth.
When we draw the final eyebrow line, all that kind of stuff, we’ll give those distortions
maybe if we were to take it that far. So there we go there. Here’s a center line, of course,
doing this. As I said, drifting off a little bit. We can put that or save it for later
again. Get a more refined truth, the distortion idea later in the process. Stick with a more
generic truth to begin with. Then let’s look at our fellow over here. There is that
construction. Notice how the ear is pushing in a little closer to the front of the face,
a little farther from the back of the skull. That gives us the sense that he is turning
away from us. He is facing into the canvas to give his two cents to this young man who
doesn’t want to hear it, wants to do anything but hear it. So we’ve turned him in a little
bit. Notice what happens when that happens. There
is a construction line there, and notice how if we were to pick up the brow and the cheekbone
and the cheek and the chin, notice how the nose and lips are behind. Let’s play this
up a little bit stronger. He’s done a lovely thing. He’s even put the chin slightly behind
that jowl area. Notice what that does for us. We’ll see in later construction lessons
how to do this exactly. Notice how the construction line, this line can become the side plane,
the corner between where the side of the head sits and the front of the head sits.
Let’s do a more dramatic construction. See how that construction line there that just
looked like it was the front the face, as soon as we start to get in this dynamic that
becomes the corner of the face. And now all the features except the ear are around that
corner hiding from us partially. Then the ear is the only fellow, the only feature that
is on that side plane. So it’s doing this. Let’s change that color. It’s doing this
going around the corner. Really important interesting stuff. It was done—let’s do
it one more time. It was done at a really simple stage, real simple conception. Let’s do this. Here is just cut off those
features. They’re going to go around the corner eventually. But for now I’m just
cutting them off because they’re complicated and I’m getting the simple, yet characteristic
truth, not the complicated truth at this point. There it is there. There is my gesture line to the face down that’s
so important. Then I draw this shape on that. Maybe that’s more comfortable for me. Then
I build this all the way through from the back. Or if I do that maybe that goofs me
up and I think that’s the jaw line. Put the ear in the wrong place. So instead I draw
the mask of the face in front of the ear, that sideburn area. Front of the ear down
the jaw and chin and then the simplified hairline in here. Then I draw the ear to show the dynamic
transition between the two. Then I’m going to come right back to the chin and I’m going
to draw the simplified neck. Let’s make it really long so we can see that. That neck
is going away. I usually don’t bother doing the tube construction because the neck doesn’t
last long. It’ll fall onto the shoulders in ways that we’ll see. So there it is there. What was simple can
become much more complicated. I can refine that hairline as it zig-zags down in front
of the ear. Refine the back of the hair. Add the hairstyle on top of that skull construction
and build from there. So this is Manet. You can see with Manet,
kind of the father of impressionism. He kind of led the way from the more traditional looks
of Delacroix and Ange and even Sargent and that bunch to the impressionism, post-impressionism,
all the wild things like Picasso that came after. He was kind of that transition point.
Very important character oftentimes not looked at much by realists, people who like realistic
things. They like Sargent more or Bouguereau or those kinds of things. But he’s great
because he simplifies things down. Yet, that constructed truth is still there. We can see
the egg. You can see how relatively flat the rendering is. If we analyze we’d find that
all the structures, the key structures are still there. But he’s simplified and flattened
it. We’ll just leave it at that for now. It’s flat, simplified truth. Highly edited
truth, but the key information is still right there to be found. So we can see—let’s do this, I guess.
We can see that lovely egg idea. That doesn’t work so well, does it? Let’s do that. That
lovely egg idea is right there
right in there. Keep in mind again that when you draw the egg oftentimes you short shrift
the skull, so rather than drawing more of an elliptical egg. I harp on that because
I make that mistake and I see a lot of other people making that mistake. A lot of students
in class make that mistake. So there it is. Notice here we could end the constructed egg
at the chin or include that fold under the chin, that’d be the digastric plane, that
bottom plane. You can do either one, or as I’ve done here you can do both. Pick up
both of those. Here is slightly tilted, slightly tilted and slightly facing away. Not a perfect
profile. When I’m trying to get the positioning of
any form that I’m constructing I’ll compare it to a grid, to a perfect vertical and a
perfect horizontal. If I don’t think of that perfect vertical and horizontal I’ll
tend to draw all my figures unless they’re wildly dramatic in perfect vertical and horizontal.
So if didn’t look to it I probably would have drawn that like the Holbein, where it
was straight on formal looking at me like this, a T that’s perfectly standing up.
This T wants to tilt over a little bit and wants to face away a little bit. So we’re
going to have the center line crowd this, and we’re going to have the construction
lines rise up slightly on the right. Since we don’t have this dramatic position like
we did on that little baby Raphael, we can clearly see the construction lines. I’m
just looking from the corner of the mouth to the corner of the mouth. Some point on
the nostril or the wings of the nose across. Maybe the outside corners of the eye and the
arch of the eyebrow. The hairline does whatever it does, but you could see how we could come
back for a moment here. Find it here or maybe you don’t see it here, but maybe we find
it here or a bump in the hairline we can track across. If we could see both ears those would track
across and so on. And then we’d build the shape of the hair. When I do the hair shape
I want to make it simple, yet characteristic, so I give these kind of rounded, bun-like
forms building on top of each other to make it characteristic. Maybe even a little bit
of there. Then the ear has been place in there already. Notice because it’s a female—now
the collar is hiding it a little bit, but because it’s a female young woman we notice,
despite the costuming, that the neck is slightly thinner than the jaw and certainly the face
shape. Notice even through costuming, even through interruptions notice where we see
our construction lines. So you just find some convenient point for a shoulder line, and
you can do that sagging triangle on there and get that connectivity of head and neck
into shoulder girdle, shoulder construction that will take us beautifully down into the
torso and beyond. Raphael again. He’s great. I like his drawings
because he keeps things simple. He edits out all the dimple lines and frown lines. Keeps
it simple, idealized, and we can see those shapes more clearly. And because he’s Renaissance
he picks up these round shapes. You can see the egg shapes and the arm here, all these
little egg shapes and all the way through the forms are eggs shapes. Alright, this one
has a real danger to it, and it’s a danger of getting, of just sticking with eggs in
a way. We’ll see that more clearly explained when we get into stronger construction. We’re
going to find that the more constructed something is, the more architecture we want to put into
it, the more dramatic positioning of forms, one form overlapping another or the forms
themselves being in dramatic perspectives were way underneath or his three-quarter back
view. Then boxing things out is going to be very useful to us. The problem with the eggs
is that they get so rounded that their position kind of throws us sometimes. And so notice
that the wrap here, the head wrap fits like this. When we look to that and then we do
that face. We get that dropping skull idea again that goofs us up. It doesn’t look
right. Notice the ear is nice and low. Dropping skull
idea again that goofs us up. It doesn’t look right. Notice the ear is nice and low,
getting close to the bottom of the face, farther away from the top. That tells us we’re slightly
on top of this head, maybe about this much. But I need to feel that skull, make sure I
can get a skull, let’s put it all the way in there correctly. Remember, we need to have
it more than just a right angle. It should open up a little bit. Now when we get way
on top of this let’s turn it into a box. Slightly more dramatic position box. Notice
that this does tighten up this curve. The right angle construction starts to distort
into a pinching angle. Now the back of the skull rises up a little bit, and that fights
that. But that position does kind of reinforce that tightening up of that angle, but we don’t
want to do it too much. Here’s what I mean. Here’s the construction
line of the face. Here is—you can see that with this little sketching here, the bump
down in here. There is the skull right there. Let me do it again in a dark line. That’s
what we’re seeing there. Notice the difference now. Let me do it one more time. Construction
line of the face. There is the skull in its correct position. He didn’t screw up. How
about that? Then the ear sits here, that transition between the two. Notice that this bumps in
here a little bit. This digastrics plane actually even feels like it goes behind the ear and
it does, but the jaw itself is always in front of the ear, so make sure you’re aware of
that. You don’t want to attach the talking jaw back here somehow. Again, that ear does
wonderful work for us, doesn’t it? It shows by getting close to the front of the face
it shows that we’re turning away here, turning away. The face is turning away. And by dropping
down from the top of the head it shows that we’re slightly on top that position. Then
the head wrap helps. Even though it’s going its own direction it’s still wrapping around
the perspective of that tubular idea, that on-top-of-ness idea. We’ll learn more about
that again as we get into more sophisticated positions. Here’s that neck going back beautifully.
We have a little bit of that bottom plane going back. Here would be the other side of
the neck if we could see through our construction. Or shoulder line is in here going into deep
space this way. Then we build on top of that. So we only get a bare sense of that sagging
triangle idea in deep perspective. Alright, so here we have Tiepolo and we have
a back view and slightly underneath. Of course, in our back view the skull dominates. You
can see this growth pattern gives us a sense of the back of the skull. If we were to track
this down the center line of the back of the skull, the center line of the neck we follow
the spine. That takes us all the way down. That spine becomes a wonderful center line
for gauging that facing dimension, which way is it turning. You could also see the ears.
This ear is outside the contour of the constructed head. This ear is going to be inside the constructed
head with the face that we haven’t done. So let’s pull that back for a second and
do it again. We can see now we’ve got the gesture of the face going down this way. The
problem we have is all those features are missing. It just feels like you just got floated
away from your doc and you’ve got nothing to hold on to when you don’t have those
features. So we’ve got to work more carefully here. What I’m going to do is feel the neck,
and the neck—you can feel your own neck, and you’ll find that the neck comes from
right behind the ear. The actual muscle is called the sternocleidomastoid muscle. That’s
what creates that tubular shape of the neck from a front and back or three-quarter view.
You get into the side view, and then that sternocleidomastoid is inside the contour.
We’ll use it from there in different ways that we’ll see. But it doesn’t create
the contour. And so here is our nice bent tube of a neck
coming from off the ears. The face is outside that. We just see it on this side. We don’t
see it on this side. Then we have the construction line. The shoulder line here tilts this way.
When I see hunching shoulders like this, and they’re hunching partly because it’s a
figure well up above us which is typical of Tiepolo because he did a lot of murals on
the ceiling. He wanted to give the illusion that those figures were above us. So oftentimes
we get that underneath curvature like a tube. And so I would go ahead and draw a hunching
line for the shoulders. Let me take that off to be clear, a hunching line for the shoulders.
Then there is the shrugging muscle on that shrugging muscle. Notice that the shrugging
muscle comes inside the constructed neck, and the neck is inside meaning on top of.
The shrugging muscle is on top of the constructed neck. The constructed neck is on top of the
face, and we can’t see it over here. But we get this stairstep. Let’s do it over
here. Shrugging muscle is here. Neck is
behind that. And face is behind that. So we have this stacking of forms going away. Very
important from the back view. Then the ears. This ear is inside the constructed contour.
This ear is outside the constructed contour. That does most of the work. We have that hair
pattern that he has added in, but that is a secondary detail. The ears really are doing
most of the work to show that we’re in a, not perfect back view, but a slightly turn
to the left back view. The other thing that does the work is the asymmetry of seeing face
over here and no face on this side. So tricky stuff, isn’t it? We have to slow
down and work that out. Eventually it becomes intuitive and you can go after it. But in
the beginning it’s tricky. Doing tracing, constructions as I’m doing here is a great
way of working out those truths, to figure out the nuances, the little things that you
wouldn’t think of if you didn’t have to draw it, but are crucial for our audience
or lay people, our viewers to understand it when they see it. Let’s stop there with our old masters. Then
we’re going to come back with some drawing session exercises for you and for me to join
in on. So I’ll see you momentarily. Coming up now is our timed pose section. I
want you to go ahead and draw the head from the reference that we’re providing. It’ll
be timed, but if you go a little over or you finish a little quicker, that’s fine. What
I want to do is see that basic head construction done. Go ahead and give it a shot and see
how it goes for yourself. Now it’s my turn to work with the timed
pose. So I’m going to go ahead and do my basic construction based on the reference,
and we’ll see how it goes. Alright, so hopefully you’ve drawn your
own set of drawings. Now I’m going to go ahead and draw. You can watch me. You can
draw along with me, and I’ll give you my own tips and pointers as we go along. I should tell you my materials now. I’m
using just a fountain pen. This happens to be a Waterman Paris, a kind of a midrange
or low-range fountain pen and just a sepia brown ink. I’m also using Faber-Castell,
and these are just a sanguine tone. Any kind of brown range. These happen to be 9201-192,
and it’s a nice soft brown, kind of orange-brown. Alright, so now it’s my turn. So I’m going
to draw the biggest, simplest, most characteristic shape that I can. I’m working about an inch
and a half to two inches in real size, whatever it is on your screen. That’s what it is
to me. It can be down to about an inch. It can be up three inches. If you get too big
it just takes a lot of time to lay it out. You get too small. It’s too much minutia.
Every little move becomes a big deal on a big head, so the eyes can get out of whack
quickly. Sometimes you want to kind of plot out exactly where the features or roughly
where the features are to get a sense of whether it’s working for you. Notice I’m drawing
several marks for every one mark. I’m making sure the head connects into the neck. You
can even take it into the shoulder line. And don’t feel like you have to finish. Just pick out as much as you need to in the time you have. Okay, here we have a three-quarter view. Just
for the heck of it, I’m going to start with the center line of the features and the eyebrow
line. And then build around it. I’m going to draw the mask of the face since it dominates
the positioning of this head. But any order that works for you is the correct order. In
this case I noticed the ear is a little bit lower, more towards the eyeline. Now I’m
going to come in and refine the hairline to make sure it rings true for the mask of the
face. Of course, as you’re drawing you can stop it. Go back and do it several times to
work it out. But don’t get any more detail than this, just roughly the shapes that you
need. And I’m going to say, you know, I’m liking what I’m doing. I just want to clean
that jawline up. I’m going to cheat and steal five, ten, 20 more seconds. Nobody is
ever going to know. You won’t be downgraded. The New Masters’ police won’t show up
at your door. Just go ahead and do that. But don’t spend 20 minutes on it. Here we have that sailboat shape. I’m going
to take it back almost as far as I go down or as far, anywhere in there because her hair
style will make the correction. It’s not quite a perfect profile. I’m going to lay
in a little bit of that center line. I did quite a bit of work with the features there
to get a sense of how far down I want to go with that mask of the face and how far back
I want to go. Sometimes I’ll even kind of feel eye socket, cheekbone, sideburn area
so that I can be more clear on where that ear sits. Feeling that nice digastric plane
that is crucial when giving volume to that mask of the face. Okay, here we go. This is more of a perfect
profile, but we’ve gone slightly around the other side this time, so we’re going
to have a slight recession of those front features, all the front plane of the face.
That means the ears can get a little closer. If I’m going to screw up it’s better to
get a little closer yet. I can feel where the eyebrow and eyes sit in here, nose, mouth,
just marking off the information, not defining it, not analyzing it. Just positioning a few
of the little things so I have a better confidence in the big things. Sometimes I’ll even lay
in a couple of loose lines like that, and I’ll let the audience choose. Is it here?
Is it here? Is it here? Is it here? And you’ll decide which the best answer is and bail me
out. Sometimes that’s a, you can lay in a couple. You don’t want to do that everywhere
or you’re just committing and you’re not learning. But every once in a while you can
lay in a couple of those little marks and let the audience help you. Now we’re getting on top of the head. That
means the skull will dominate the face so maybe I’ll go ahead and draw the skull shape.
If there is a part down the center of her hairline it would run in here. The face is
going to be shorter than it normally would be. It’s foreshortening, so literally getting
shorter visually, just not actually. You’re not going to be sure where it’s at. So you
make your best guess. You build some of the secondary detail, the hairline again. Here
is the ear. The ear gets a little foreshortened too. Eyebrow line, eyeline, nose, mouth, chin,
neck. So we’re not trying to make these pretty
drawings. I’m going to start with a different procedure this time. We’re just trying to
get the basic big stuff, the big information, the big construction stuff. We’re framing
in the house. We’re not decorating it. And sometimes you’ll come up with some really
lovely little moments in the drawing even at this stage. That’s great, but that’s
not the point. The point is to learn to see, to learn to analyze, to mark down the key
important things, making the choices on prioritizing. What has to be there as opposed to what would
be fun to have there? What would be cool or neat or beautiful? Neat shows my age, I guess.
I shouldn’t say neat. Rad. How’s that? Or it should be phat. Alright. Sometimes you
might finish a little early. That’s fine too. You don’t have to keep going. But there
are always things you could do, getting secondary forms after you get the primary forms. Going
back and double checking those primary forms a second time. Maybe pushing it a little bit
farther than it is in the reference to make an aesthetic point or to play up a lovely
feature, all that kind of stuff. Here is the profile again. It comes down.
We’ll play out this whole big shape. I’ll draw it like it’s a flat profile, and then I’ll come back over it and feel
the constructed idea. Notice how I’m doing the eyebrow line this way. The chin line this
way. I’m exaggerating them to get that on top of the box idea. And doing something like
this in a difficult position early on you might spend all the first minute just getting
half of this as far as I am here. Don’t feel like you have to finish. Draw decisive.
I’ll draw fast so that I’m making clean, crisp motions. I’ll draw fast so it encourages
me to get the big ideas and ignore the little ideas. I won’t draw fast because I’m out
of control and desperate to finish. Make sure you’re drawing the speed that works for
you, not the speed that somebody else is doing and that you wish you could do. Alright, now we’re on top so the skull dominates,
and we’re getting behind the head. And so the skull dominates even more so we’re going
to have less face showing, and we’re going to have the face receding into foreshortened
position here, more like this
so that ear gets very, very close to the front of the face. Better to be a little too close.
And the ear gets lower. Better to be too low. The eye socket—I’ll do a little bump there
because we can’t see the eyes too well. There and the nose all sit very high. And
if you could see a part down the center of the hair, and you can kind of, where the hair
is being gathered and pulled back and tends to fall down there. Go ahead and pick that
up. Let me make a real quick point about this
for a moment. Notice what would happen if I did the same thing and then did nose and
the eyelashes, and maybe you could see some lips in there. It’s going to have the silhouette
maybe that’s very accurate to the, like a shadow on the wall, but it’s going to
look flat because it’s going to take the nose and the lips and whatever else, part
of the eye or eyebrow you see, and it’s going to take it from the front plan e way
over here and bring it around to the side plane. It’s going to kill that corner and
just flatten it out. So we want to make sure that in our constructed beginning here, notice
how I’m going to make it dark here. Notice how the cheekbone and the forehead and eye
socket bumps, but creates one continuous line. Sometimes it’ll break a little bit around
the chin, that line, like this. That’s fine to show or not show. But then we want the
nose and all the other features. There is no lip showing in this case. But if they were,
the lips as a line behind and I actually break them, bottom of the nose, bottom of the lip,
let’s say. Here’s the chin and here is the ear in here. I actually break them away
from the line so they are kind of ghosted back. I usually draw the bottom plane where
a light source would show. If we shaded this egg like that the light would hit the top
and it would get shadow on the bottom. I’m showing the shadow side, the darker side that
would be the most visible because it’s catching dark shadow on this white paper. So I do all
I can to kind of visually push that back, break it up, separate it away and keep it
just continuous throughout. Okay, fuller back view. I’m going to draw
the skull that I know is there and the ear. I always draw the front of the ear first so
I know just how close it is, the ear is getting. When you get well behind that ear I’m doing
a little double line. You can take it into whatever you see of the rest of the ear, or
you can just keep it as a double line. That shows the thickness. Again, a corner from
the back of the head to the side of the head that ear is showing. So pick up that. The
cheekbone is way up here. This pulls down here, and the skull, if there is not hair
or short hair, let’s do that so it looks like it’s just a skull with a face. It would
look something like that. In this last one I drew I drew really partly,
I began with a skull shape and then I quickly went to the hair shape. In this one I did
the skull shape mainly because it’s good practice and I wanted to show you, but what
I would have done in my own drawing is I would have just drawn the whole hair, making sure
I allowed for a full mass of skull in there and then picked up the bun. So I’m actually
drawing the hairstyle. And that hairstyle oftentimes I’ll look for, let’s do that,
where the top becomes the back right there. You can see here how this speeds up, comes
down here. That’s suggesting that top and back. Anytime we can do that it’s going
to give a little bit more volume. It’ll make sure I don’t cut off that skull a little
bit. I kind of punch it out just a bit. So you have your choice there. But do some practice
where you’re drawing the full skull through the interruption or the hat or the hairstyle
and then build that fashion, that costuming top of that. Okay, now we’re underneath so now this egg shape or capsule shape is going to get shorter. And we’ll go over this carefully. We’ll do a whole section
where we deal with difficult perspectives. But as this goes up and away, we’re underneath
it. All these distances, eyebrow, the forehead and such are going to get shorter on us. And
so you have to be a little more careful in your positioning of things to make sure you’re
respecting that new visual, most especially how short the nose gets underneath. We’ll
figure out exactly why that’s the case at another time. Notice because of the awkward
and difficult. And this is kind of an awkward view when you’re underneath because that
awkward view and the difficult view I’m drawing. This whole section is the underside
of the nose. I’m drawing the whole circle of the lips to feel the full volume of the
lips. Later I’ll rough out more detail as I need to. But I’m getting those full volumes
so I can break this space up and be more clear on where things end. Then I’ll find the
bottom of the chin and the rest of this that I lay in more or less. I’ll give it some
shadow here. That’s that digastric plane again. That makes sure that it doesn’t look
like a Halloween mask. So it’s really important whenever you see underneath the head that
you show some of that mass of the face going back to the neck, that bottom plane of the
face. Then there is that. I didn’t get any chance to do the rest of it. That would have
been fine. In this case I’m going to do it just to point out when you get underneath
look how low the ears get way down here. Notice especially in the underside view of the face
like this almost always you end up drawing just the mask of the face and not the full
skull with whatever hairstyle is going on. So make sure that you add that back in. Okay, three-quarter profile, and we’re way
underneath it again. If you think of it as a box or as a tube notice how this front side
to her, which is our left side, rises way up and then moves off along. This comes around
slower. This comes around quickly but then changes direction. That first movement where
all the features are except for the ear is going way up. You can’t underestimate that,
really. So better to make it much deeper than it really is than to make it less than it
is. Here is the root of the nose in here, the mouth in here, the chin in here. Notice
again it’s a difficult view so I take more time to work out the details. Always take
that little extra to get some of the neck connection there. Okay, in this case I’m
going to draw the whole mask of the face as an egg. It just feels egg-like to me so I’m
going to do that. Then I’m going to lay on my center line to show it’s facing. My
eyebrow line to show how it’s tilting in and out of the page, and then the ear is way
back here some place. Nose, mouth, chin. Notice even the chin goes in this same direction.
Digastric plane tucks under. You can even give it a little bit of tone there to mark
it off if you want, although we haven’t talked about how to do that. You can kind
of code it. Okay, so that’s my time on that, but notice
what I did with the last few seconds. I went back and kind of touched each of these areas
or as many areas as I had time to do to make sure they all related together. Because otherwise
you tend to kind of draw this, and then you draw this, and then you draw this and you
draw this. You kind of scan across but you’ve never taken a look at the whole until you
stand up and walk away from your piece. So I want to keep a process of where I’m juggling
all the balls at once. I lay in my construction lines here, and then I go over here to some
other constructed shape, but then I compare that shape back to those construction lines.
This to this, but this to this. These to this and this to that. This over here to this down
here. There are relationships throughout. You can find angles playing off that you can
pick up. There are all sorts of ways to feel your relationships back and forth. So as you
do your art constantly juggle. Keep juggling. Come back, find a little mark, maybe add a
little more detail, but just to bring you back to that place so you can compare that
to something else over here and this to something over here, and you’re constantly rhythmically
relating. I always think of an orchestra conductor who is drawing in the brass section against
percussions and the woodwinds and each instrument in each section is playing with and against
and through the others. So there is this mighty composition. This dance of ideas, forms, sounds. That eyebrow line to ear is just invaluable
when you’re trying to plot things out in dynamic position. Finding the chin to jaw
line back in front of the ear, that sideburn area is going to help us feel that underneathness.
We’ll get a better handle on that when we get into our second section on intermediate
construction. Okay, so here we’re way underneath and behind
so the ear is going to crowd the front of the face and crowd the top of the head. Much
better to overdo it. In other words, push it too high up, too far forward. You can use
that hairline. It’s always a great way to kind of measure a sideburn over to the eyebrow,
eye socket area. A great way to measure to make sure this distance is about right. There
is that full jaw of hers. Here is the skull shape in here. And here is the hairstyle building
out from that and adding to that. Okay. Okay, that’s our lesson for the basic head
structure. I hope it gave you some good pointers to work with, some new information. I hope
some of the assignments helped kind of codify that information, make sure it’s going to
work in practice and not just in theory. As all of these lessons go, watching them more
than once is a great idea. Go back to them over and over again. This is tough information.
There are a lot of fine points there that you may not pick up the first time. You can
always use more practice, as we all can, of course. So go ahead and look at that a few
times, but when you’re ready go on then to our next lesson. Our next lesson will be
intermediate head construction. I’ll see you there.

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