- Lesson details
In this series, instructor Charles Hu teaches you his approach to beginning head drawing. In this third lesson, you will learn Charles’ approach to dealing with light and shadow in your head 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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to be focusing on lots of light there and showing you guys how to do
a semi refined head that will show you the method
I use you know for a longer pose, a block in, it’s no more relied on observations to thinking
more and more in a 2D approach and we’re going to be exporting the value structure by
in a shorter method. So this is going to be a very influential lesson
so hopefully you guys will enjoy it.
which is gonna show you how I would do in a quick
sketch scenario and still focusing on blocking in the shadow shadow mast.
So I'm looking at this three quarter view of the head.
Okay in the lesson I said
if I have an egg
the ear will be, you know, behind this egg so I can
place it right here. now so talk about it is about one-third - about in
the middle of the hair so I can just kind of place right there.
Place right here at least I'll have some distant below, some distance above.
Okay let’s get that cheekbone, the cheek shadows right here, again to say how they flow into the
ear and they kind of swing. You can see how they swing towards towards the chin. I’m always trying
to find that interconnections.
Now that can actually go probably go out you know exit and going to her hair
and come down here on my design, the end of the hair still
kind of swings up, swing back up,
you know, and she’s kinda brings your eyes back up to,
you know, her portraits again.
So here is the step-back,
the eyebrow line starts right here.
We can see the corner of the eyebrow. I got this nice wedge shape.
The whole eye socket and this portion is going to come into the keystone
and is going to swing - this going at the bridge of nose going to keep pretty
still, pretty straight and is going to going to come down to a M shape
shadow. That's kind of short cut when I do a quick sketch
is that because the nose - the tip of nose can can be expressed with
a V like this can show the top plane and
then the wing of the nose sits back down so you can then falls down like this and
so it looks like an M. And now we can see the other wing of the nose.
Now if we do, like I said,
it looks like, you know, looks pretty much like a letter M and
this is usually the way I do it quickly, indicate the bottom
shadows. Keep your shadow shape clean
and readable. Eye line.
This is my a keystone shape,
right? And then I remember that arch comes down like this.
The eyeball is gonna sit right in here.
The other side going to be right here, follow this arch going through.
The mouth protrudes out, comes back in. The further side of the corner of the lips looks
like lines up to almost where her tear duct is.
So it looks about right here.
The further side is going to be more in the center of her lips.
I need to double check with my nose too. Probably somewhere about right here. Step back and check.
I can make the corner of the lips
just hook up a little bit so make her look a little more cheerful, slightly happier.
I can bring the corner up a little bit. The lower lips more of a
U shaped like this. Got that shadow underneath again
I like to use that to push out - brings out my lower lip.
Stand back and check again.
You can see eyebrow wrap around the bridge of the eye socket, it kinda
comes in and swing back like this.
This is gonna kinda cave in. And they’re gonna come out because
the muzzle, this muzzle pushes out and comes in again
so you got all this wave, things pushing out to the left, part pushing out to the right. So keep that balance. Keep that drawing balanced too.
I got a nice kind kinda firm shadows here.
Just gonna bring this down. Again look at this
in here. I got a nice
angle about right here.
And it comes down and tucks back around the ear.
So when you draw an ear, give it a
couple planes too. So I usually like to chisel
so you have a different distance, you know, different sizes of the distance of these lines go around the ear and make
sure draw it all from the angle. Drawing through. And I'm going to push it here and in the structure lesson
I said the nose right here again looks like a - you got that coffin shape.
So you got that ball of the nose.
And here all this is a side plane.
The eyes here is the tear duct.
Since I’m looking this way into the eye so we ‘re going to see
the inner thickness of the year duct.
And so we need to make sure you get
See this thickness right here again that paper idea. See that flip paper. Look at how much eye you
see and that's what I'm going to decide where I'm going to put the iris.
I draw the highlights and I will paint the whole iris.
I got that strong cast shadow from her eyelashes.
See how the lower eyelid is thicker here and tucks back toward the tear duct.
And I think I talked about this at the skull
lesson, see the three quarter view the eyelid turns really quickly around the eyeball.
A little bit hard to see here
but like I said when we get to the feature lesson draw it bigger
so you can see better.
I’m gonna raise up the back of head a little bit, feels a little flat.
Okay so that’s the quick -
that’s about 15 minutes.
So that's a kind of quick sketch I would do, you know, with these head drawings.
I'm going to put it up here.
Maybe a little bit smaller.
Cranium, jaw bones, the center line.
All this is gonna kinda angle towards the chin, the ear kinda pointing towards that jaw and pointing towards the chin then you gotta
take that ear back is probably
going to be where the back end of the hair.
Keep in mind the cranium will rise
up higher in the back.
Maybe even more so. So we got, again, I will check check from the forehead how much forehead
that I have and that's where my - you can see where my eyebrow.
Kicks out, comes back in. Got that keystone. Clean shadow shape. Get the whole - get the sense of
the whole eye socket shape down. So you see the eyebrows right here at the
beginning of the eyebrow line.
Here's the eyeball sitting here in this is hole,
eye socket. This swings toward the bottom of the lips and here’s the chin. This is where the zygomatic
are is. See where that shadow shows.
And I’m gonna drop all this darker like this.
Drawing through. Let me clean this shape really quick.
That's better. See how the the cheek bone structure comes,
you know, wrap towards the bottom of the nose. This whole plane comes out
this way and drop down, this will come down, comes down. This will come forward.
Feels - sometimes I have to draw through that cranium, how far the cranium extends towards the back.
Okay that’s gonna be back here. Also let’s put down this cast shadow right here like this.
Use a darker charcoal to clean pu the drawing a little bit. So we got the
eyebrows come up here and kind of swing down.
Comes around. And here’s the eyeball.
The cheekbones you get a sense of where the other side of cheekbone, this corner verse
that corner right there. Remember this is called - the last lesson we had - the corner of the cheekbone lines up.
45° out from the eyes and nose of the center of the
head. The shadow is gonna be wider here and it kicks back and tapers
towards the eyelid. Curve the lip and it's and it comes back straight.
So you can feel like we can feel it sits on back to the face.
It’s gonna leave the impression of the eyeball like this.
Still get a sense of see this plane right here on the side comes back to,
you know, to the front and wraps around the lower eyelid. The lower eyelid
sits on the side plane and swings up.
And you can see this where it cuts off,
goes right to the sternum.
Okay, so in this lesson,
we did a little more refined head and then I show you guys how
to render a little bit.
Mainly I want to show you guys how to block in for longer poses,
you know for short poses the way I block in is. a little more gestural, drawing through a little more because the time is
just - because of limited time basically want to
get this sense of volume quickly as I can and then for the longer poses
I’m focusing more on the observations,
like I said in the chapters
I will be more truthful with my observations.
And so blocking in the shadow mass the idea is
the same, you know, just looking at a shadow shape and understand if you’re
look at a core shadow, a soft edge, or it’s cast shadow, it’s hard edge and just filled in as
a flat, you know, a flat graphic design. And rest of it just basically
taking your time how to, you know, to render, get the highlights, get this refined drawing
of the head and but I think it’s most important is that initial ground, okay, you have to
make sure to keep it solid
like I said, you don't want to get stuck still working on your proportion
while you're doing the rendering stage. So the exercises you can do for this lesson,
I would use obviously you can use photo references and it might be better to us
use a black and white photo reference so you can see the
value better and you know,
there's a couple ways can do it. One, you can you know,
you can start off laying your tracing paper over a black and white photo
and just basically, you know, outline the shadow shape and fill it in graphically.
And you do a few of those and then try to draw one
without tracing just, you know, pure drawing on the paper,
but using the same process. You know, get the lay in,
get it all the gesture
and block in all the shadow and just to see if you can be able
to do it comfortably and accurately like what you did with tracing. And if you run into
problems while, you know,
when you try to draw and then go back to the tracing paper, figure out what
the problem is until you’re able to do it without it
and after that I will do couple drawings
more to see if I can able to do it without, you know, without the
system with the tracing paper.
That's one way you can do it. And of course another
homework or exercise you can do is just again be consistent. You know,
five heads a day from picture references,
you know, and I still prefer black and white picture or pictures that
you can find from New Masters Academy site. Actually I go onto their reference quite often to
practice and to draw on my own I even used their photo reference for my own classes.
And, you know, and to really focus in the shadow pattern, the
graphic design of the shadows and keep
practicing on that, hopefully almost to a point that it becomes muscle memory and
you can and because everybody’s shadow is going to be very similar.
And once you can memorize that,
like I said, it’s going to be very beneficial for you as a
painter and will help you able to help you when you paint all prima
you know from life. Okay,
thanks, and I'll see you guys next time.