- Lesson details
In this series, instructor Charles Hu teaches you his approach to beginning head drawing. In this second lesson, you will learn Charles’ approach to skull structure, and how knowing this information will help you to define features of the face in your drawings. Charles will do several demonstrations from photo reference, which you can find embedded on this page for your own use.
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we’re going to talk about the structure of a skull and the proportions, take you through
to take it step-by-step, showing you how my process and how I observe the skull and,
you know, showing you some important landmark and key elements.
Also, I'm going to use the full reference, show you how to draw skull from different
viewpoint. So let's get started.
allows the apex that protrudes out from the faces
and those are actually because of skull that's underneath, the cheekbone the zygomatic arch,
the jaw bone, the nose, the eyesockets, so it’s important to be able to know you know what’s going on with this skin and that will
help you to later on
also help you to invent heads out of your head. And you can also to help you to understand the
reason for seeing shadows and because certain structures and because the, you know, because of the skull.
So first thing we're looking at a front view of a skull and you can see
it's wider on the top and it’s more angular tapered on the
bottom. Okay well that can be changed by person to person, that can be reversed.
But normally we have more wider cranium because you have the brain, you know,
the big brain that fits inside that cranium. Overall
the skull is a wider almost looks like wider on the top and has
shape to it. Okay. Same as if we draw the actual head. The next thing we have is
the eye lines like I mentioned
in the structure lesson, about in the middle of the head, and we have the socket, the orbit of the eyes that are kind of running on
each side and you can see they are actually a tilted box, it’s not a perfect
square like, this is actually a slightly tilted square and I usually think about the like the
aviator sunglasses shape like this. And that's important to note this tilt because that's happened - that's going
to happen to hit on a lot of important landmarks that we need,
you know, the corner of a cheek bones and also the placement of our eyeball is going
to happen on that degrees right here. And above the eye socket we have our temporal line that kinda goes around the cranium like this.
So draw through, the cranium is going to hit the about at the bottom of our nozzle, the nose, and
it’s going to sit right here.
And then this temple line is going to continue and merge into cheekbones. Here the bone’s
going to get firm. Here it’s just a soft edge that’s running through the temple like this. You can
see it faded into the side of the cranium
but when you get to beside eye socket again,
because it has to protect the eyeball, you can see the bone protrudes out
and then get the firm edge and then it comes down to be the guards to our cheek bone.
And almost a whole section here
looks like a gargoyle and you know,
so this coming down, coming to the side.
This becomes the front line and it extends all the way down to where
the bottom of the eye socket. So in other words means the bottom eye socket
actually lines out to the top of cheekbones.
So here's the bottom lines up to the top bottom of the cheek bone.
So right here, it's going to look around our craniums.
Like this. Okay. And then you can also see all - from the image - the bottom
of my cheekbones lines up pretty close to the bottom of our nose.
So here's the bottom of our out nozzle, our nose. And the bottom of the cheekbone lines up pretty close to the bottom of the cheekbone. And we
know also the side plane. You got the front of the side plane. Where two planes meet
we must have the corner and we always want to know corner,
you know to
know where the planes meet and also the corner helps us to know where the highlight hits and where the
core shadow begins so we have to find where that
that corner is. And that's why I said
earlier, right, you know I said when you draw the eye socket make sure
it has an axis to it
because they axis is going to help you define that corner.
So if we take this outer upper corner and the outer lower corner,
right here and where that touches the line on the base of the nose, that’s
going to be where the corner on the cheekbones.
Like that, you see how it hugs the cranium? What happens back here again that
strip, twisting strip of paper idea I like to use and I did that underneath the
eyebrow is going to happen here,
too. So you’re going to see it doing this.
Again, this is corner of my cheekbone.
So like I said earlier,
the whole thing looks like a gargoyle that worried over so you can imagine here’s your
round cranium, you know you got this
wearing over the cranium. Grabbing on to the side of your head which your ear is going to basically sits
right behind the cheekbones. We talked about this also in the structure lesson, everything below
the eyes, all the features going to protrude out.
So if you notice those dirt bike helmet, again you got the goggle part and then you see how the part that prevents the dust is going to protrude, it’s going to protrude out and cover the nose and the mouth.
So everything going to protrude out. Or think about the gas mask
protrudes out. You know like this, so your eyes, there’s a nose, there’s a mouth.
So again I’m going to refine this cranium a little bit.
All this is front plane and this is side plane and you can also see from the
reference it gets really quite dark. It’s again this port is kind of hollow,
it kinda digs in and allows
the temporalis muscle that fits right in here, the temporalis muscle
Is - I call it shout out muscle basically if you keep your mouth closed and you grind your teeth you can see the side of your forehead moves.
So it kind of sits right in here and goes behind
the zygomatic arch and
grabs onto the front of it so it
so it keeps your mouth closed.
So the eyeball is going to fill up pretty much the whole eye socket.
And everything else is just muscle.
And that kind of wraps around the eyeball - let me use a different charcoal so you can
see. So yeah pretty much fills in all the whole eye
socket. If we bring that line down
and that’s gonna give
us the whole muzzle,
that muzzle protrudes out like this so you can feel the volume of it.
But by now I’m not really a favorite of an egg shape because there's no structures and feel like it’s going to roll off my page so what I need
to do, I'm going to take the lower part of cheekbone
I'm going to fuse into my muzzle.
I'm going to do it
right about where the line is, that the line coming down from around the
eyes. And when that happened, that also beside connect my cheek to my mouth and
also helps divide a front to the side of the mouth for me.
So everything here is the front and everything here is a side.
So what you get a nice beautiful rhythm that kind of
goes out like this. So is this this temple
line right here too. So is this jaw.
So there's always kind of patterns you can find from the organic object.
And that’s the beauty about it. They keep kind of echoing and keep kind of harmonizing.
The nozzle also has a side plane and it merges into the socket.
Like this and this part going to get darker slightly because that's the keystone.
And then we also mimic the last lesson we talked about there’s a visor that goes around it like this that creates this kind of dome same.
So I still want to make sure I bring this out.
And then the well here let’s put some teeth in there.
So I'm going to basically just work quickly gets because just indicate the teeth and all I
need to do is make sure it's play with some perspective the teeth that goes away from
us and just gradually get smaller
and start facing more towards the side.
And you can see when they - when the cheeks fuse into the muzzle, we
got a little bit of this triangle shadows underneath it like this.
The jaw you can think of as a separate unit so connect up to the cranium on top and it’s obviously it’s narrower
so you got the, you know,
got the wider cranium and you got more narrower jaw
that’s shooting forward. You got a little shadow in between the muzzle and the jaw right
here. Because the cheek is wider, the jaw is narrower,
so you probably gonna have some cast shadows
that sits right below it.
So can see that's the front view structures and proportion of the skull.
Keeping some of the key points,
especially what I was mentioning the alignment of the cheekbone,
that kind of plays a very important part.
Again I'm going to review the alignment again it’s the bottom of the eye socket lines up to the top of cheekbone,
the bottom of the nose lines up to the bottom cheek bone, only difference
is when that bottom of the cheekbone turns to the side - which
I was going to look at a side view next - it's actually is going to rise
up, it’s going to angle up and then it’s going to stop right in front of the ear.
So again, here is the- you can see this - here is the corner, right. You see
how far it comes out again
about 45 degrees.
Again, I will make sure look at this relationship, the relationship from here all the way out
here. Okay to give you where that, you know, that cheekbone - also when we
apply the eyelid the lower eyelid sits on the face, right. So the apex of the lower eyelid is also going to sit somewhere along
Like I said this is the profile view of the head.
One thing you notice I like to do,
I like to draw this line here
is that neck muscle, sternocleidomastoid muscle, that helps me to
you know several things, the profile it helps me to find
back of my neck. See you see how the front of the neck it’s easier to find.
All we need to do is to see how much spot of the chin that we have, it’s not that
far but to find the back of the neck there’s a lot of ground to cover to figure it out.
So if that's the case,
I know I need something else to assist me. In this case like I said,
I can - once I know where my ear is and I know that muscle
it comes right below it
and right behind it. And this is going to connect try to my you know,
my pit of a neck, my collarbone, and that’s also where the beginning, my center line of
my body starts. So you get the whole
you know this is sternal,
so you get this whole connections
taking to your body. So everything is going to feel all, you know, have a good flow, you know good flow to each part so it’s not
so it's not just like head and neck and body. They feel kind of just isolated by themselves.
So once I have this
I can probably use this muscle to help me to find the back, where the back of the neck
is. And then the back of neck sits high from neck, sits low.
Again, this is my collar bone right here at what feels in this between my neck
and my collarbone. All this is my trapezius muscle like my muscle help me to lift
up my shoulder girdle.
Make sure know where the jaw bone ends because everything below that is going to be
the bottom plane on the drawing.
This part usually confuses people because it’s really subtle and you don't really see the connections are very hard to
see the connection to that neck. Obviously there has to be a plane connected to the neck
and is somewhat against that triangle shape.
Also, we can see a triangle shape underneath my chin when we do it like, you know, deeper view like this
but you have to able to visualize that. You have to be able to practice. If you don’t practice, that’s where the plane is, right from the side of the cheek
go down to the bottom of the jaw. And that’s also, it’s also where reflected light,
if I’m wearing a bright orange t-shirt that plane is going to be receiving the orange light. And if you don’t know where that is, like I said it’s not gonna look right.
You know so remember that cheekbones coming out about like that 45 degree. So you’re gonna see - I’m pretty sure you will see
this. Right that’s that zygomatic arch. Let’s pretend the light source is going to come from behind. So everything that's going to drop
into the shadow in the front of the face.
And you can see that's our cheekbones.
You can see this on some of our models too I think that the guy I
drew from the last lesson,
you can see that, where that cheekbone this is where it attaches onto the face.
Here is the edge, this part is the part attached to face and the corner right here
that’s this portion right here.
Okay, so you can see - remember this section right here that attaches to the face
it also merges to your mouth. So your whole jaw bones right here
and this is part of kind of fuse into the muzzle.
So here’s the teeth, this portion goes forward, fuzed into the muzzle
so you got the side plane, right side plane, got the front plane.
That’s right here. So you can see now how the bone structure relates to what you
see on all the models and then the surface texture that you see.
So let's explore different views of a skull and can see
how this, you know, this proportion of the skull is like and how that affect to
the actual face, three quarter view.
I can think of a sphere and take a a slice of a sphere
so we got this flat view and then you got the front view, I kinda took that from Andrew Loomis, if you guys don’t know Andrew Loomis you should
check out his handbook and that's what he did, he took - so you got that sphere shape of the cranium and
we can see. The other thing we want to know it's important is that the skull
also has a a triangle kind of shape on the profile
even on three quarter. what that means means the widest point
on the head is from the chin to the back end of the cranium. So no matter what you still want to capture that shape
and the structures. So what I need to do is sometimes that sphere doesn't quite work
that well. I have to maybe drag back a little bit
and then bring in like this.
So overall I feel like again you got that diagonal relationship.
That's what the mastoid process that little bump that sets that gives us the
end of that cranium. Okay. So this is
that plane drops into this is eyebrow, this is the
Eye socket. You know get a sense of how to draw
this eye socket here. You know practice so we can know how wide and how big this eye
socket should be. So help you to later on and help you help you visualize that
plane as a single like a simple plane of eye socket plane
that was going to turn into a box like this.
I'm going to run to speed this up a little bit.
So we talked about here’s the temple line. Here’s the corner. Temple line this is going to be soft, this is going
all this is going drop to our side plane,
I also said the temple line going to end right where the bottom eye socket
you remember the bottom of the eye socket lines up to the top of the cheekbone.
So this is going to swing back like this.
Bottom of the nose lines up to the bottom of the cheek bones, 45 degrees
connect the inner upper corner to the lower outer corner, that’s gonna give me of my
cheekbone. And then when we get to the side, this cheek bone
is going to rise up like this.
I also talked about all the features gonna protrude forward, the muzzle.
Connect this, fuse this into my muzzle.
Jaw sits right below
the zygomatic arch, the ear sits
about right behind here and that point is at the halfway of the cranium. So take halfway right here and bring it
down, so that’s right where about the ear is going to sit. And that’s important and
going to, you know about where the eyebrow line,
the ear is going to sit about where the eyebrow line to the nose and the
nose. So that's where the ear is going to be sitting right here.
And then the jaw is going to come below and from the ear.
See how the three quarter view of the skull
where we still get our perspective, we still get our structure
alignment of my eye socket, drawing through.
So what I’m concerned - this looks a little abstract
right now but what I’m concerned with is I still want to get this triangle
shape right here, you see, and also the
cranium meets the square jaw and that’s gonna be fine, you know, throwing some
you know some symmetry element there to help
kinda bring everything out. So come over here, again I need the eye socket.
Push out the nozzle from the skull, I can see
the bridge of nozzle often covered part of the eyes.
And, you know, especially when we have
a higher bridge, the eye ball is gonna sit right here. So
it’s gonna actually cover part of the eyeball.
See again here’s another eyeball.
The whole eye socket.
Bottom of the eye socket lines up to the top of the cheek bone, swing back,
45 degree here.
Corner on my cheekbones. Front,
The muzzle protrudes out,
following through if we need.
Always try to practice drawing things
away from you and coming towards you. Getting
trying to visualize how would it look.
You know one important thing is you have to know where the center
line is. So everything goes away from the
center line, it gets smaller and it’s gonna
a couple things. The distance obviously is gonna get smaller.
And then also it’s gonna turn quicker. So when you draw,
what you draw -
for instance when you draw a
three quarter - let’s go this way.
When you draw a
three quarter eyelid, which is
the eyelid that’s further away from us, the eyelid is gonna
curve much quicker than the eyelid that’s closer to us.
That means if you’re like this guy right here, here’s my tear duct,
wrap this around really quickly.
See how -
see how quick the eyelid wraps. Here
if I divide it into, you know, three little planes, you got one plane here,
you got a second plane here.
You don’t even see where the third plane, which is the third plane. You don’t really see that third plane on the outer side
facing the other way.
probably will still see one, two, and three.
Looks like this guy has a retreated chin. Looks like the chin kind of
retreated back so you have this very strong, definite curve.
Some people might have protrudes out chin.
You might see it more it protrudes out like this. I like to angle
this jaw bone a little bit forward like this instead of
making a straight.
Okay. So we got what, three
quarter up view. One of my favorite views is that low
almost profile like
view because it’s the most kind of very dynamic view.
Drawing around the socket is gonna
basically think about you know you dig hole
off the side of this clay or this head
which is gonna look
Looks a little whistle and if you’re looking at it.
If you think of it as the side of the tube basically imagine
you dig out a little whistle on the side of the tube. And more
more angle you put down it’s gonna feel more
foreshortened. It’s gonna feel - the head is gonna turn even more.
sometimes you can lightly just feel it a few times.
The right rhythm
and that band, put it down. And
sometimes what I also like to do is like I like to see
how where my line can continue, you know, my line
is able to continue take into somewhere else and connect to some other,
you know, outer.
That’s my advantage. In this case it looks like I might can even take this
out to my mouth.
With things getting kinda exciting like this or it kinda starts getting,
you know, I want to make sure I sometimes get, you know,
overexcited with my drawing and stuff, you know, sometimes -
actually my proportions are getting out of whack. So what
keeps me, you know,
secure, not kinda
too carried away, I need to start finding some straights.
In this case then I need to come
back to see this nozzle here, I want to make sure I’ll put
that from the nozzle bone more straight.
So it helps to kinda balance
this protrudes out mouth because I don’t want it to look like a gorilla,
you know, portrait, the mouth protrudes out too much. So this kinda helps me to
get a sense of how much this should come out.
Eye socket right here.
I kinda explained
this view earlier, this is my zygomatic arch.
Again this is where the temporalis muscle fits in.
We see the back of the cranium, we also
see the bottom of the cranium.
Again your jaw sits right below.
See how the bottom of the jaw
in relationship to the back cranium.
This guy is just gonna
sit in the back.
We have a little bit of the front, a lot on the side.
We might even get a little bit on the back too.
That also has to be consistent, I have it right here
front, here it goes over to the side. I can probably force this
mouth a little bit this way and just going back to the side.
That also is gonna help too.
Same with all the rest of these skulls. So as you can see,
you know, besides drawing the
planar head, the
boxy planar head that can benefit your head drawing skills, also
if you can draw a skull in different given perspectives
that also is very beneficial too so the next thing you know is
you know why this bumps over
and why, you know, why
this nose covers - in this case the nose covers
the eyeball on the other side, you know why there’s a shadow,
you know right here, right at the corner of the cheekbones so you start -
all this starts making sense to you.
So the skull is easy
just to pick up, you can pick up a skull from maybe an art store
and just basically can sit in front of you and start
practicing drawing of the skull. Or you can
you know, draw from images, from pictures, and just again keep
practicing to draw them in
multiple different views.
Thank you for joining me with this lesson and
also if you wanted to have an exercise
you do, it’s very simple. All you need
is just grab yourself either a physical skull or
you can, you know, look at the New Masters Academy 2D reference images.
Or the 3D content, also have a 3D
skull from different views. All those are gonna be very beneficial for helping you
to, you know, to achieve the,
you know, able to draw the skull in different
given views. But like I said, it’s a very important
practice you have to do along with the planar of the head.
So thank you for joining me and I’ll see you in the