- Lesson details
Instructor Charles Hu teaches you his approach to beginning head drawing in this six part series covering Proportions, the Structure of the Skull, Laws of Light, Achieving Likeness, Facial Features, and Facial Expressions. In this final lesson, Charles takes on the difficult task of drawing expressions. He emphasizes the importance of internalizing the expression that your model is showing, given that he or she will naturally relax their face throughout even a short pose. He teaches you to feel the stretch and pinch of various parts of the face and head to find rhythms and opportunities to exaggerate or modify your drawing. Embedded on this page are the same reference images that Charles used for his drawings.
- Conté a Paris Crayons – Black, White, Bistre, Sanguine
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which is one of my favorite topics to talk about. They really
allow us to play with gestures and exaggerations,
you know, really allow you to push your drawings and
make the drawing look really exciting. For facial expressions
it's all about, most importantly, putting yourself into that pose
really kinda feel, you know, which part of your face is
you know is stretching or pinched. Okay so let's, you know, let's try
favorite topics to talk about. It really allows
us to play with gestures and exaggerations,
you know, really allow you to push your drawings and make the drawings
look really exciting. A lot of times people will think, you know, if you draw
a facial expression you have to know all the anatomy on the faces. Actually it's not.
And I do, you know, teach anatomy
on faces but, you know, for
facial expressions, it's all about,
besides observations, it's all about, most important, putting yourself
into that pose, really kinda feel, you know, which part of
your face is stretching or pinched, that way
you can actually also produce a very expressive facial expressions,
you know, just by allowing yourself to
immerse into that same expression as the model.
Okay so let's try this.
one other thing on facial, you know,
by drawing facial expressions, if you do this from, you know, from life
of course the model isn't able to hold extreme expressions for more - for a long period
of time. So you have to do this kinda quickly and a lot
of times I only give the model five minutes, you know, to pose and
obviously a student has to draw, you know, the expression within the
five minutes. So it's more like a quick sketch
exercises. So again
I'm gonna show you the way I approach.
So we got this kinda, obviously
it's more intimidating, upset, expression.
The first thing we start kinda imagining what would you do with your face
to be in that same, you know, same expression. What you do with your
lips and your eyebrows.
So same thing I'm just gonna get
a general - an overall shape and then
kinda almost like his center line is slightly, you know, slightly tilted.
I go right to the bottom
to get some structures.
Top portion I go for the straight line
around this cranium.
This hair kinda
protrudes out and this really kicks
out and that kicks out and that basically relates to
this portion right here. I don't want them to line up so I'm making
them - I'm gonna make this a little bit higher. Everything kinda
receding like this and this is gonna drop
and I'm gonna come back I got this side. Okay, aim for the
straight so I got this straight, look over here, I got this straight is right here
and then look at these shapes right here on the side.
Now I got these two points. Everytime
there's a triangle shapes or there's a corner, there's a point.
And when you have a point always you have to be aware how this point
relates to somewhere else, okay. Well and then you
put that ear, looks like the ear will be right here.
The other ear looks like just a little bit
That's still the cheekbone comes in, her
is the chin right here, the bottom of the
shadow of the chin.
So the eye is gonna come down this low because it has to be lower than
that corner right there, that's where is gonna be the corner of our eyebrow.
Looks like it's gonna be somewhere right here.
This side here is gonna be flat and is gonna kick up
and then it kicks over this way, I'm gonna swing out - oh I need to say that
socket, big large socket shape.
Again, triangle right here so there's gonna be
somewhere the tip of the nose.
Then the fold from the
besides the nose, looks like this side is higher, this side is a little bit lower and the
here's my fulcrum and I got my
mouth. Maybe this is too high. Might lower that later.
Okay. So you can see
the mouth, the lips,
he has a little kinda tweaked
kinda expression. His lips look like it's a little bit higher on
this side and
a lot of times what I'll do when I have more
compact expression on the lips I just kinda basically copy the
light and dark shapes.
So like the lower lips
protrude forward, looks like a triangle comes forward like this.
And also here's the volumes
of the lower lip. So it kicks foreword like this, recedes back.
And that's where that deep shadows comes below us.
I drew a little too high at the beginning but I can
you know I can change it, that's fine.
Okay. So let's refine this a little.
The next thing I will do I go right attack to that
you know to that keystone.
To be aware of your hard and soft
edges, that's gonna be where the iris is somewhere
right in here so all I see, you know, from the reference is just this big triangle
wedge. I just put that down first. I will refine it later
but now I need to get a sense of that roundness of the
you know the eye bag and use some of
this hard edge to help indicate that side plane of the nose.
You can see this is gonna push out, this is gonna push in.
And this kicks out and you got a really sharp
corner right here and you push back into the tip of the nose.
And then go right in here, get this keystone, or feel this keystone right here,
this part gets really straight. The other important things about
drawing facial expressions is that
think about, you know, think about shapes, think about lines,
think about textures. If you have such an intense pose such as
this expression like this, your muscles are gonna feel really tense, you know, so
you want to portray that in your drawing too. So beside
that you feel like express yourself in the same expression it will help you to
feel where those areas are and that's
that will really help to bring the life
additional life into your drawings.
This is very intense pose. You're gonna have a lot of jagged edges,
you know, so you're gonna have a lot of intensity.
Like if you furrow your eyebrow like this, you know that's
why he has the folds between his eyebrow. If you do that you notice
it's - your eyebrow feels really tight. All the muscles feels like
it's pulling toward the middle of your
between your eyebrow. So you wanna feel like
you need to bring your, you know, your charcoal,
bring your strokes in and make a line really hard because you wanna
feel these tensions. But again that idea can be anywhere, can be,
you know, otherwise you kinda repeat yourself too much, we still need to have
areas that are intense, maybe this area needs to feel more
softer. Maybe like this core here although that core
still has some nice intensity there. And
so we have to, you know get a sense of that. Okay.
See even the eyes, it's not a
kind of cheerful shape. Any time when you do it with a round shape it gets
more obvious, it gets more kinda
more, like I said, cheerful and more warm,
you know type of feeling. It looks like old animations. You have the good characters - a lot of times
good characters got a lot of this round kinda
bubbly shape versus the villains you got a lot of jagged edges, jagged
silhouettes. So think about that. So in this pose
I'm gonna have a lot of kinda jagged
impression to it.
So the eye I did - the iris I did you can see
is still somewhat a triangular.
Okay so here we can see
like you can see his muzzle
kinda protrudes out a lot. So his cheek - and he also has this very sunken
kinda cheek. So his cheek has to sink in and push out his muzzle
so here is that cheekbone right here you can
see again lines out diagonally. Here's the cheek
kinda I'm gonna push
the value a little bit stronger. It digs in and that's why
you can see that furrow right here goes the flow comes in and then
comes into the front of the face and then turns to the side. So that means
all of this probably should be a bit darker.
Even though this is not a smooth curve,
see how his upper lip pushing up.
It's gonna push,
it's gonna - somewhere right there it's gonna have a little kick
back. Kick back like this. So you can see it come down
and right here I'm gonna sit up a little bit and then falls down.
so that means if you lift up your
a corner of the lip, that also pushes out the wing
of your nose maybe. So if this pushes out,
lift up - that means it might lift up my wing of the nose.
This swings out this way,
might go back this way if you wanna go back this way.
You can see there's a little shape right there, you can see it from the reference.
It brings our eyes over here.
So everyone else needs to have that same intensity
like let's work around,
step back and look at where else can I put a little bit of the darks
obviously I need to go back into my lips a little bit.
This lifts up, this kinda grabs down, this kinda pulls down.
This is gonna lift up so even
the mustache I'm gonna feel like goes up a little bit and then falls
down like this. And when it falls down it's gonna take it right into this
shadow right here
and then the chin is gonna come over,
feel like - almost feels like this chin is crooked so looks like maybe it's pulling
on this side.
Then push back in this way.
And how can the hair to be, you know,
to be part of it. Everything to me
feels part of the shape is going
almost like fireworks blasting upward.
So I want my hair, I want the gestures of my hair
also has that impression.
Of course this takes more
than five minutes. If I do it from life it's be much
faster. But I wanted to show you I use this
approach that I would do.
Let's see right here it ends
and his trapezius is coming out like this.
Okay. So let's look at another
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