- 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 6th lesson, Glenn works with toned paper, controlling values using the paper itself as a midtone. Glenn later shows how to design a nose by laying in various tones and finishes with a 15 minute head demonstration.
- Toned Canson Paper
- Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil – White
- Caran D’ache Supracolor II Soft Aquarelle Pencil – Brown
- Digital Tablet
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long class, brought to you by Art Mentors.
In this class, master draftsman Glenn Vilppu teaches
constructive head drawing. In this sixth lesson, Glenn works with
toned paper, controlling values using the paper itself as a mid tone.
Glenn later shows how to design a nose by laying in various tones
and finishes with a 15 minute head demonstration.
lesson, this is the first time that we've taken and started working with toned paper.
And we're carrying through with the idea of
taking and controlling the values using the paper
itself as a middle tone in our drawing and working with
white. And at the same time, taking and focusing on
the structure of the drawing. Okay let's have some fun.
Okay, first of all, I'm drawing on Canson
paper. I use the smooth side
rather than the rough side, which the rough side
is basically supposed to be the right side but
I tend to do everything a little bit wrong sided.
Okay. So the labels are up here.
This is the back, this is the
So now before we
get started here
when we talked about
what we talked about last week, we want to take and maintain
really controlling the values.
Okay. Now, as part of that
on toned paper, we use the tone
of the paper as a value.
Okay, then working with white - so in other words if I
come out and I start with the white
I'm taking and gradiating the white
to create a
value range. You can see now the change.
When I come in with the red -
So what we have is a
continuum of light to dark.
You need to be able to control this.
And we use - how we work with the white then
is part of the process of taking
controlling the values and using the
white to take and give us a sense of
roundness. But it's just a value. In other words, if I start with a
idea of a sphere...
Now, got your highlight.
Now from here, as I start to work away from that
it's a gradation.
I'll slowly, slowly
building out. Now
so as I'm building that out, then I take and I start to working
with the tone, I would be taking and
pushing the tone back
And I'll be slowly taking and
So now we're getting the roundness.
Now one of the things we're gonna take and
find as we keep working with this stuff is
that we'll be using, taking and defining, defining
light size and shadow size
by taking and
maintaining - keeping the white only to
the light side of the form.
So here I can take and make the
reflected light now in this
ball that I'm rendering.
I can change, I can
create a strong reflected light without
taking and using any white.
Now as I come through, if I take and
start to push the accents
within the core and hit the
tone within the shadow or the cast
shadow that we can see how I'm making the light -
reflected light seem really light, but it's never gonna get confused
with the white. So
that we have a complete separation of your
light to your shadows. So like I'm here then
I would be taking and using white around here
if I wanted to, but that
is in the light. So it's a complete separate
separation. Okay the other point what we deal with
is to take and when we're drawing the head
and I'm gonna take and - one of the things we need to take and
deal with is I wanna go through a little bit of the structure
of things, like the nose and stuff. Okay so we can take and start
out but I wanna do this in a way that is at the same
time working with the white.
So if we take - let's just take
a nose. And I'm gonna first - I'm gonna take and
break down the bits and pieces of the nose
a bit. Okay, so we can start thinking
we got the - and I'm
purposely drawing this really light now. So we've got the
outline, corner of the eye socket.
Start thinking of the nose coming down.
Now when I'm drawing here
right at this point. This is
actually where the end of the
bone and the way we come down with the
Okay now at this point right here, we actually
have where this is split in the center.
This has actually got a division. And right
at this point, here, is actually the cartilage
now starts. So I'm gonna draw this part a little bit darker right now.
So as that bone comes down, through,
there's actually a split here. And the cartilage in here - now this
cartilage that starts right there is the cartilage that's
inside the septum, inside the nose.
Okay. Then on top of this is
the cartilage that goes on the side, and this
actually is two pieces now. It comes like this
and this fills in the triangle of the side of the nose.
Okay so that's a separate cartilage from the stuff
that's on the inside. This is on the outside.
Okay, then you have the cartilage on the end of the nose.
Okay, this is gonna take - and it's separate
pieces. This takes and comes down and goes down along the
side of the nose.
Going behind, come down
we get - so we have a very clear, very clear building
of this volume in here. Then with - also the end of the
nose comes down the septum, going underneath
this will be divided, two sides. Then you have the cup
of the nostrils. That actually has an edge to it and
coming through right here. So now
that's the basics. Everybody's nose is a little different
but now I draw this - I'm gonna take
and using, looking at the white I'm
very conscious of these corners of everything. So
I'm just gonna block in here
Now it's a lot darker on the screen than
it's on the paper. We can barely see it on the paper.
now, you're dealing with the tone that
I would be coming through. Maybe I would hit inside here.
Now as I'm doing this
I'm really conscious of all of the bits and pieces.
The bone that's there and of the cartilage and muscles
and everything. So as I come through, maybe I'll just
get a piece
I'll take and maybe use the white as
the ridge on the edge.
And it's coming down, through.
Now I'll pick up maybe a bit of the corner of the
nose here and I'm gonna say here that maybe
the end, maybe it's got really a bit of a groove here, so I'll get a little bit
of white in here.
And we'll take and come along the side here and
this is going down. So now as I'm drawing this I
wanna control the dark and light
that I'm drawing.
I'm gonna push the
tone as I'm going around that corner.
I wanna push the side of this thing as it's going
I'm creating rather a bulbous nose here.
Now, what I'm gonna do now
is to take and get the
top edge of the
So we can feel that that plane is coming up. Maybe I need to push
a little bit more here.
I'm feeling the light as it comes back underneath. Okay.
So I'm using, I'm using
the paper as
Then I come underneath.
can - I was drawing the ball here, I was drawing a core
with like a light cast shadow. So as I come through here now
I'll just take and hit a little bit of the edge
of that corner.
So now I'm creating a core
and then I will take and come in and cast a shadow.
that will take and go
go over the lip.
maybe you can see a little bit of the nostril on the other side.
But you try to
clearly, clearly think of all of the
structure underneath. And then
taking and using the
the trick is here is to
see how little, how little you can
do to make the thing the
I'm coming into the point of the - under here where you start to pull through.
Coming through. Okay.
Oh he's got a good point.
You can feel the corners of that nose. You can see the joints, okay.
Yeah, they're coming there. They're very clear.
Now I'm gonna draw - draw a little bit
larger. Okay. So
take and - okay I'm gonna take and
focus on drawing the whole sense of the nose
and stuff. Right here. Sort of a front view
and start building up. It's what I did here. Now we'll do the whole
head. Because I want to both point out - he's got some interesting
shapes. Okay, now if you can look at
him from in front where I'm looking at him here, what you're
gonna see - and I'm gonna draw a little darker and get to the point here -
his head is pretty narrow
but what's unique about it - and I'm taking
over here, looking at the shape of
particularly the forehead area here - as we come down.
Now notice that that's really quite sharp, really clearly
defined. Okay. And you can feel the way the
eyebrows go through. Notice how that actually
from my view here now, that the side of the head here -
very narrow here, right here.
But the back of it is full and pretty round
going this way. But the thing that's unique
is that the cheekbone is in.
The cheekbone is not very far out, pretty close like this
but his jaw sticks out.
So we can see the jaw is going out this way.
On both sides. Okay,
but now at the same time, you get this really
strong line coming down to the mouth.
So this, so when we start
to analyze just the overall shape
of his head now, you've got
this kind of a building out.
Okay. So now we're going from that - now I've got the
this needs to be cut down a bit.
So we've got this
and this. Okay and think of the nose and then the mouth.
So from the front we've got this thing -
his whole mouth now tends to
come forward. But you can see -
I just wanted to point - think of the shape of that, the shape of the jaw
coming out from what would be
you would think particularly his left jaw.
is coming out. So it's not perfectly symmetrical.
Which none of us really are.
Okay. Now, okay so now I'm gonna take
and focus on taking and drawing that nose
and we'll talk about - well we're gonna see how far that goes.
We didn't say how long this pose was. We'll probably make this
at least 25 to draw a little
larger. Is that okay?
Now I'm gonna take and draw this part
of the nose fairly large here. I'm gonna take and do the forehead now.
Keeping the tone, keeping control
of how dark and light you get.
focusing, focusing on the structure.
Notice that he - his nose is
really quite thin.
Here I am blocking in a little bit of the eyes
as I do this.
Again, just like everything else
Now the bump on his nose
fairly high up.
as it comes forward okay it starts
out narrow but
as it comes the end of the bone, it's slightly
wider and then it narrows again.
And then as we start coming to the end
of course it broadens up. But he's got a really clear, clear
Now, come in and working with the white
I'm taking and
taking where the corners of the bone are.
Now he's got really sharp
And what we actually start to see is real strong
triangular shape taking place.
Now, notice how the
top part of the nose is really narrow.
So that we're really going in.
Really focus on being restrained on what you're
When you look at
you're going to Denmark this year,
a lot of the Danish artists are
able to on a really small scale
do these incredible
groups of people
with value control absolutely
A lot of artists that you
seldom hear anything about...
Now one thing that we're dealing with,
the beard and mustache. Okay
we have the mustache that's in light, we have a mustache that's in shadow.
You'd have to take and as you're
drawing it, you take and
you do a light side and a shadow
Part of the
tone here now is to
give a sense of the color
not literally, but the value of the mustache
overall having a ton
gives it a - so you can tell the difference between it being
a blonde or a brunette or whatever.
Now you look at him and almost
you can see really clear is the ridge
across the brow.
That whole area
can almost be drawn
with just the
taking and picking up with the contrast
with the forms that are coming down.
The idea is then we start
part of this is analyzing faces and stuff. I don't think I've talked about
this, but the kind
of people's faces that, for instance,
I would just thinking that we can take and looking at
just sort of a profile, we can see that
now as I'm drawing this, you'll see this is
Okay, now you look at that head,
what you'd be able to notice right away is that it's really doing
this. It's really an
arch going in that direction. Okay.
Now I draw the next one now.
It's really something that's doing this. Just the opposite.
And so what you need to
start looking at - you'll learn to look - start looking at these things now. Well we can take
and do some variations on this. You can say okay, this one is
really going back. But that could even be more extreme.
You could take this into...
Still pretty normal.
Alright, we can start to take - we can even
take a variation on that.
Trying to get the nose really
And then do an overbite. Or we can take
and we can go through, make the forehead a lot more
And then take and...
Then of course when you start adding
the different ways - the hair is gonna be done.
Starts to exaggerate.
So you need to -
what allows you to take and do
really quick sketches of people is that you
take and start to see
almost stereotypes. If we went around the room
and did profiles of everybody in this room, you'd find there's a big variety -
a big bunch of differences that we're taking and dealing with.
I think I've got some drawings in here that I can take and actually show you.
Okay this is just outside just sketching.
What do we got on here? Just
one bridge. I was looking on here
you can see the guy's little variations on the face.
Oh here's one
that I thought this was really funny
Look at this.
Sometimes you don't want them to look at you.
This is just a mother and
a son sitting in an office.
The idea is just really quickly capturing a gesture,
And then holding on to it because they were moving and talking
as you're building it up.
Mother and son.
Okay. What I'll do is I'll do one just the
opposite of what I've been doing.
very aggressive type of drawing. Let's take the same
angle and then show the contrast between
what I just did.
Both the same angle
but I'm gonna take and do a very aggressive type
So it says in fine print. Let's see how it goes.
This has only got like ten minutes.
Now what I'm doing is
I was going over surfaces.
Putting a lot of
strong dark stuff. I actually still started out lighter
then progressively getting darker
as we go along.
About 50 years ago, the first
time I ever got paid for taking and
drawing, literally more than 50
years, would have been about
and there used to be an amusement park at
called P.O.P. and
I got a job with a friend of mine, taking and doing
I really cut my teeth at doing fast heads.
But they weren't -
I didn't do cartoons. They were actually
pastel portraits and I would spend
maybe a half hour on them, which would be
pretty good but at the same time you get a system
I think I've gotten - I should have stopped on this a little bit ago.
It gives you
the idea. Just push it.
Bring the pastel
I mean the Canson paper again next week
and we're gonna take and expand on
the whole time.
You have to do the ins and the outs.
You wanna look at artists that were really
strong in taking and using really
doing beautiful drawings
but using very strong
pencil strokes. Look at the Leyendecker's.