- Lesson details
We are pleased to share with you a 10-week long class, brought to you by Art Mentors. In this class, Master draftsman Glenn Vilppu teaches Constructive Head Drawing. In this 5th lesson, Glenn will focus on controlling value through various pencil techniques and by continuously laying in darker tones over lighter tones. He will also analyze examples of master works and finish off with 5 minute renderings from a live model.
- Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencil – Sanguine
- Digital Tablet
- Namiki Falcon Fountain Pen
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ten week long class, brought to you by Art Mentors.
In this class, master draftsman Glenn Vilppu teaches
constructive head drawing. The emphasis on the actual
skull, what the thing is like for real. Head drawing
week five, the whole point of this lesson is gonna be
value control. That is the biggest problem
everybody has. You have to control how dark, how light you get
and a very, very subtle, very careful observation
so it's all about value control tonight.
week five. Okay, the whole point of this
lesson is gonna be value control.
That is the biggest problem that everybody has. You have to control
how dark, how light you get in a very, very subtle
very careful observation. So it's all about value control tonight.
So let's get on with it. Take care.
the artist I'm talking about this afternoon here -
evening - is Bernini.
This is actually a
sculpture that was done -
the story is,
possibly this was an early
Bernini. His father was a sculptor
so he really - the father actually got paid for it.
But the story is that the young Bernini
actually worked on it. But the reason I picked it
was that it - this gives you
such a strong sense of the
basic structure, underlying structure, of the skull.
These are the basic points that we're -
I'm trying to get everybody to look at when we're looking at the model.
So even the way it's lit, we can feel
the corners, you know we're gonna take and start looking at the -
we can feel the corners of the cheekbone. We can feel
the plane, going underneath,
we can feel - in other words we can
look at this and you can actually see the
mouth underneath and the jaw
behind. We can feel
the plane going down and particularly now
you can really see how the eye
sits in the eye socket.
It's really, really inside
the eye socket and we can feel the
that bump on the forehead.
We can sense where the corners of this thing are going back.
But having the eyes fit inside the eye
socket and you can really feel the eye lids going over the bone
that's in the eye socket. So that is so clear
then we can see the pull
of the muscles that are coming from the side and they're pulling
over to the corner of the mouth. And you can see that plane
coming through. So this is really instructive, so when you look at the
other side here, we can feel the plane again. The eye
is fitting inside the eye socket
and the cheekbones coming around, you can feel the plane
going down. You can see that the corner here is
not out on the contour. The contour is out here
pulling in front. Also we can sense the strong
corner of the bone and then the nose, taking and coming down.
But it's a great example
of how you can see
the bone. You can feel the skull
underneath and that's the thing that we're really
try to see. So I'm gonna take and bring this back out again.
this is a type of thing that would be really useful to take and actually draw
from. Okay. So now the
next thing here. This was actually
a contemporary -
I can't remember the name now. One of the
things that to take and think about
now, this is the big thing with
Bernini where he took
and really was taking and
literally changed portrait sculpture
in that the personality brings
personality to it and makes it seem alive.
sculptors before him. Really not even the
Greeks but he really did this.
Now this is an example taking - and this was
the - actually a portrait of a
gesture of some Count. He was a dwarf.
But we get the feeling there that
lively personality within the sculpture.
But again, we look at it and we can see
corners of the form, we can feel with the corners, you can see
the bone, we can feel - we can really come down
and through. Okay. So Bernini
being the sculptor was
amazing his ability to take and do that.
To bring up personality and stuff. Now here we have the same
again now, structure.
Corners of the eye socket. Look at the
even the way the light is taking and defining. Now this is a point
take and need light to show
their form. So as we're looking at this
we can feel surfaces pushing down.
We can feel the corners here. We can see the
pull of the planes coming across, so we're seeing
this plane in the center. We're seeing the way these forms come through.
We're picking the eye socket is going down
Going back in, we can see the pillar of the eye.
as we push down. And so
what you're looking at is now we can see these corners. We can feel this stuff pushing down.
Look at the - where the space between the eye
and the nose. The eyeball
the eyelid going over the eyeball.
Feel the cheek, coming around, going around.
Feel these forms going over, coming out.
So what you're doing is you're constantly looking for the
corners of the bone. You're feeling the planes
coming through. So
it's always the same thing. You're always looking for the same
things. Again, much subtler
younger person, same thing.
Corners, corners of the eye socket.
We feel the planes
through. Pillars going down, down.
Feel the nose. Subtlety of the cheekbones
but the same thing. Now I want to look at the drawings.
Now Bernini was actually
noted for his drawing, portrait drawing
and as well as the painting.
Okay now here, the color that you're getting
up there is a bit extreme. But the -
he would work on - the majority of the time
grayed down blue. Now
the first - the drawing on the left there is actually a self portrait.
Bernini was about 28 years old maybe.
And - but it's typical of his drawing
in that he worked - majority of his drawings using two colors.
Or actually three.
and touches of white. So
with - the majority of his drawings are working with the three colors.
And the other one is
purely done with one color plus white.
Now the size of these drawing is roughly eight and
a half by eleven. So they're not that huge. Roughly
moderate size. But look at that
nose, the way it's chiseled. You can feel the
planes of everything. Now, the thing that I wanna
take and emphasize today. And this is the thing that everybody has difficult
with. You have to control the values.
That becomes critical.
Don't draw too small. Take and draw
a little larger.
Okay. So you can take and make the drawings
you know full size and drawing.
And - but you build the thing up
very carefully, slowly taking your time.
But all of the structural things have to come through. Plus
the idea of seeing if you can give the drawings some
sense of life. One of the big innovations
of portraiture was actually
taking and giving the implied sense of movement
of life. And a lot of it had to do with just taking
and opening a mouth.
Okay. Now here, let's
draw a head. Now when you look at drawing - now this was again, this is only
about eight and half by eleven. So it's probably a ten inch drawing.
The head. Look at the
The head. Look at the
subtlety of the tone. There is practically no outside
line on it. It's all
focusing on strictly the features and
then taking and implying, before everything is drawn,
incredibly light, with a very
minimalist amount of tone put down.
And he's actually using - there's some red in there.
There's black and white.
But it's really, really subtle.
And so, last week
the reason why I was sorta making it -
talking about the Suzanne self portrait
where you - and the drawings I just did, I was doing
pretty much the same idea. They were fast
but I was not so much drawing the contour as trying to take and
see where they were, but to try to see if I could bring
some kind of expression to the
figures as if they're feeling more alive. And all of the drawings -
one I took and shifted the eyes. The other - two of the drawings
I opened the mouth slightly.
So - and that was a very, very typical thing that they would do,
to turn the head, open the mouth,
give a really -
giving life to the drawing. Okay so we're gonna take
and we'll go right away
and work with taking a
25 minute pose. And
then we'll go a bit longer. But you have to take and
go really slow.
Take your time and just take and
look where the tones are and try to keep it
relaxed. I'll take and do it on paper and I'll put it on
the same page as these five minute ones.
Now, as you're doing it, take your time. Every time
you take a stroke down, really look to see how
it relates to everything else. Working control. Control
Now as I'm doing this
I'm focusing primarily -
I'll indicate maybe the outside contours and stuff
but I'm really not taking and drawing
contours. Now I am -
as I'm doing it, I am constructing but I'm
doing the construction in my head.
Really be conscious of the fact of how much
of a tilt she's got.
Now, one of the ways I
take and control my values
is I keep my hand
on the paper so that I can
then control how heavy I'm making
the lines. So I've got more control. It's like the painters
Now the basic touch, look of the drawing
is not all that different from
Tintoretto. They're an easy
everybody just - and pretty much
work the same way. But Bernini
a sculptor, he
was the premier portrait sculptor
and so he really
influenced a lot of people.
But the idea of bringing, bringing the things to life.
Now, one other thing. You should save your strongest darks
until the very last minute.
Alright you can see, basically me doing most of the drawing
really light. Coming in now
what I'm doing at this point now is I'm taking and
putting in some darks. But
I'm using the darks as a way of taking and creating a little bit
more luminosity. So taking and bracketing
the face between like the dark of the hair
behind the ears, coming down the neck, and picking up some
on the other side.. So it's bracketing and I've been working
primarily just on the core, coming down, and leaving most of the,
you know, also taking and emphasizing a little bit of the
tone on the end of the chin, coming down. And
using the cast shadow underneath on
the thyroid cartilage. Pretty much
and then I can take an emphasize the
strap a little bit, which gives a contrast.
it's difficult to take and
the things. It takes - if you can
control your values, it makes everything so much better.
Taking, wiping the drawing down
and then coming back in. Because there's nothing wrong with the drawing, it's just
too dang dark.
You'll be able to see the contrast now.
You can see -
now if we can take
and coming through.
All of this is too heavy.
And then with this
then cast shadow.
Then here I can get a little bit darker
and bring this - see this the contrast
creates a luminosity but this is still pretty heavy.
Yeah and you have to
right to the last second.
And then in that way you can take
control. You don't need to have darks everywhere.
I can show you another way.
We can go back now, let's take - and my darks that I put
in won't even show up on your's because there's a
little trick - I dunno if it's a trick -
demonstration or observation now, watch. I'll take and do a
another drawing here. And I'm not sure
I haven't tried doing this on the pad but
the idea is I say, okay I'm gonna do a realistic drawing.
All I'm doing is putting darks
where you expect to see darks.
I haven't drawn any contour. It's
You take something like this - now
let's make you guys do work with some tone paper. Let me show you
how we can take what I am doing here.
We're just building corners.
Now this is,
just looking at the black...
Control the values.
I'm getting all the outside stuff. Its relationship
of all the bits and pieces. Okay.
Let's do another 25. Looking at
taking a focus on - trying to focus on the nose here now.
Come down the forehead. Nice, round forehead.
Here, eye socket. Coming up
and - now she doesn't have
a real prominent bump here
on her forehead but it's still there.
What you want to notice is the way this pulls down
and then comes out. Okay.
The corner of the nose is right here. But you need to also, at the same time, be
feeling the base of the nose is coming all the way down.
I'll get up there big where you guys can see. Okay.
Now, as she comes from here
the cartilage, the bone
stops right here.
Be here, something like this.
And the eye socket, if you're taking and coming around,
like this. And
this is lobes, comes down,
pull through here.
So now when we look at the end of her nose
this is really, really strong. We really feel this
coming up. What you try to see
is the components. This is taking and actually coming down along the
side of here.
And so, if we take and go through, this is sort of steps here,
we take this -
you can see that there's a corner. A corner here.
Corner here. But it's also
got a center so that it's actually taking and doing
something like this. Now at this point
this is coming down and
all of this is taking, this is a big
big shape that's coming down this way. And
the nostril now is fitting into this. And when you're dealing,
laying - this is going down, turning around.
This is the, we call it the cup.
but the point thing that most people tend to miss on this
is that this actually you have to have a plane
in the front. This is coming across
onto the center. Now, the whole mouth
is on a curved surface, coming down.
this part of the mouth now
coming out here.
This is on an angle.
Coming down. And so in other words if we take
and look at the slightly different angle of the mouth
what we would see is this is going down, it's going this way.
down and we're in here. So it's going -
really going down on the side and that way.
So now that we come through then, we wanna see that
the lips then are really
going down this way.
And so this is really strong angle right here.
And the lower
lip is taking and
you have to look and it's really subtle now, but you actually see
to that. And the mouth is going behind
and over here to this.
And so we've got the corner, it's coming through.
The upper lip is slightly larger,
it's coming down, through, into here. And
then we're going down. When we're coming down there's a real - it's a
real clear break. Then we start to come
out with the chin. And we gotta keep this - she's got a real
strong chin, taking and comes across, goes
corner. There's a corner to it, we gotta feel this.
And then we get the
forms coming around the side. And then this is taking -
but this changes. It goes this way, it goes in, comes out.
So we've got all of these
and we can feel the line, periods of the mouth, the side
of this thing coming down this way. You can feel these forms
going back, fitting in.
As you're doing this, you have to look up there and you see
that there's actually these planes on the side of the nose.
All this stuff. This is curving
inside. Now we've got all
of this play, this taking and actually feeling a little bit of the cheek on the other side.
Coming down. Okay so
then one of the things that some of you have been missing
is that we look at the eye
inside here. Okay. It's more obvious
sometimes on the far side. We can really feel the
eyelid is really prominent on top.
Going back. So we can feel this going
down and around, behind
here. You can take and go over.
This part is really going up
so that what you're drawing is the underside
of the eye socket here. And if this
goes up into here, then you can see
all of this going inside.
And so we get this really clear
plane in here. And the
lid and - but you've got this - you can feel the
underside of the eye socket. Then this is taking and coming off
up here and then we're pulling around and we feel all
this. Okay. Just
try and analyze. Analyze, analyze.
So you're constantly building - you're building these
forms. Then we come to the underside here. This goes underneath
and you can take and feel the pull
and then it becomes a question of
the subtlety that you can take and use to take and draw some of this
stuff we show.
Okay. Your turn.
Okay now when I work with the pen
pretty much the same.
A bit more direct.
Also, bit more
Okay let's take and see if I can catch up.
I'll come back to
Now artists that you can look at
who are fantastic with expressions, with working with the pen
is Gibson, Dana Gibson,
the Gibson Girls. Extraordinary
ability of taking and getting expressions.
One of the difficulties with expressions is that
most of the time, artists,
even professionals and some
of the books on drawing expressions, they
try too hard to be too realistic
and so they get lost in the subtleties and actually
miss the expressions. You have to take
and try to be as bold as you can
and also it becomes almost a
a short hand.
I find that being a little bit cartoony
actually helps you to get the expressions you want a lot better.