- Lesson Details
In this three part series, Chris Legaspi covers everything you need to know about beginning portrait drawing, from start to finish. In this second lesson of the series, Chris covers the lay-in process. He will begin with a thorough lecture, introducing you to his steps for creating a portrait lay-in. Following the lecture, you will have an assignment that will give you a chance to put what you’ve learned into practice. The lesson will conclude with Chris’s version of the same assignment, allowing you to compare your work with his.
- Sharpie Marker
- Drawing Paper
- Digital Tablet
- General’s Charcoal Pencil – HB and 2B
- Koh-I-Noor Pencil Lengthener
- BIC Cristal Ballpoint Pen – Black, Medium
- Willow Charcoal Stick
- Kneaded Eraser
lesson is going to be special. We are going to focus on the lay-in. And with the lay-in
we’re actually going to begin to draw the portrait. I’m going to begin with the lecture,
and we’re going to talk about how to simplify what you see, how to simplify the human face
into simple shapes, and I’m also going to begin to talk about lighting. We’re going
to get into light and shadow. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ll actually show you
how I would approach the lay-in process. I am going to use several different mediums
as well, and then we’re going to finish up with an assignment. The assignment is going
to pick up where we left off in the first lesson of observation and placement. You’re
going to do the lay-in, and then you’re going to watch me as well how I would approach
the lay-in process. That is what we’re going to cover today.
If you’re ready to get started, let's begin.
do what’s called the lay-in. We’re going to begin the actual drawing process. I want
to talk about some of the things I think about as I go through the lay-in. Generally, the
lay-in is pretty important. It sets the foundation for the drawing moving forward. We want to
take our time in this step for sure, and we want to use a couple of good practices to
make sure that our drawing is accurate so that we maintain that realism, that naturalism.
One of the things I like to do is, as I begin the drawing, I like to take a step back. You
want to step back maybe 10, 15, even 20 feet away just to give yourself a big overall view
of the drawing and help you find errors. That’s the main thing we want to do when we step
back is to check for errors.
The other thing I like to do is use a mirror. Here I just have a generic little compact.
This one I use for painting as well. It’s all muddied up. If you just take a mirror
and kind of look backwards at your drawing, you can see it in reverse. This will help
you also to find errors. These are just some of the best practices. Periodically, myself,
when I do my own drawings I take a step back, constantly checking in the mirror because
this step is so important. We have to get this right. Obviously, if we mess up in the
beginning it’s going to be a disaster later. We definitely want to take our time throughout
the lay-in process. Look for errors. Take a step back. Take a breather and evaluate
your drawing from those perspectives and check for errors.
Okay, so the first thing that we look for or that we want to establish, at least when
I begin the drawing, is what’s the best shape. Remember, from our observation we took
the time to look at the model and say what’s their head type. Are they square, triangle,
or round. It’s really the only three shapes we can use. Of course, we can make combinations.
Establish the 2D shape. In this approach I’m thinking more of a designer versus more just
an academic copying of what I see. We only have three choices to choose from and the
hybrids or combinations in between.
In this case, it’s a female model. Just at first glance, I notice right away, the
first impression I get is that angular jaw. She’s very lean. There is this uptilt. Her
cheekbones are defined. But I also see a curve on the top of her head, the way her hair is
shaped. That graphic shape to me is something I want to convey in the lay-in. Right away
this is the read I get. Something like this, kind of boxy at the bottom and graphic at
the top. When I draw I want to look for the top of the pose, which is the top of her head.
The bottom of the pose. In this case it’s her chin and the two sides which is her cheekbone
since this is front view. If I were to lay in this example and establish the 2D shape,
it would be something like this. Real basic. The real test if you have a good shape is
to see if you can get a likeness. Usually if you do this step well, if you design a
good shape you can kind of capture a little bit of your subject.
Let’s take a look here. I’m going to take a step back a little bit. Yeah, in comparing
to the model I think we’re good. Because to me, the gut reaction I got was this square
jaw and these beautiful straights. That’s another thing too that’s important designing
the 2D shape. Is it better to use curve marks or straight marks. Straight marks give you
those corners. They give you a lot of speed. Curves soften your drawing. Because this is
a woman, I think curves were a good choice. The straights also captured that angularity
that she had, the rigidness in her jaw. Then from here if I were to continue I would start
The next step would be what the pose is doing. We want to know—basically how much of the
face that we see and what the actual head is doing. Is it looking up? Is it looking
down? Is it looking to the left or to the right? So, we need to establish that in this
portion. One way I like to do that is to locate what I call the crosshairs, which is the vertical
and horizontal center. So, vertical and horizontal center. In this example we have pretty much
a straight-on front view. I find vertical center—real simple, just kind of follow
the nose and kind of imagine the line going right through the nose, and that will lead
you through the vertical center. I also look at the hairlines, the peak of the hairline
and the center of the chin. In this case, because it’s a front view we’re able to
see a clear view of her nose and her chin. Even though we can’t see the point of her
hair because of the bangs of her hairstyle, I can just still imagine if we follow that
line through the center of the chin we can find, we can kind of find where that imaginary
point will be.
In this case, I’m just going to take a look at our model. I’m just going to lightly
ghost it in. One of the main things that we want to pay attention to when we find vertical
center is the angle. The angle is so important. If the model is doing this, and our drawing
is doing this, we’ve lost the gesture. In a way we’ve kind of given ourselves a faulty
foundation. We definitely want to pay attention to the angles. Right now I’m just going
to do a quick check. A common technique as well is to just hold your arm straight out
like this. I’m sure you’ve seen people do this in life drawing sessions and just
kind of measure the angle with your pencil there. So I’ve got my angle there. And then
I compare it to my drawing. Yeah, so I feel pretty good about this angle.
The next part of describing the action and the gesture of the pose is the horizontal
center. I find horizontal center by looking through the center of the eyes. Basically
you go from the tear duct to the outside, tear duct to the outside, and then an imaginary
line cuts right through the center of the head. In this case it’s here, so her tear
duct would be here outside of her eye here. Just roughly placing my drawing. To find where
the horizontal center wraps around the face, we look to the ear. The ear will actually
become your best friend in drawing portraits. It’s one of the most important parts of
anatomy. For finding horizontal center, what we’re looking for is the actual attachment,
so the point where the ear meets your face or the side of your head, that point generally
lines up with the horizontal center, with the center of your eyes.
In this case, because of the foreshortening, I’m going to kind of drag that line down.
I can even do it as a curb as well. Again, it’s really up to you the nature of the
mark. What’s important is that—there are two things that are important: One is the
angle, so initially it was straight here. Let’s take a moment to double check the
angle. Mine feels pretty good. Now we can bring it out back using a curve or a straight,
depending on the feeling that you want. That came from the observation step as well. Here
is my little ear connection. I’m going to go ahead and ghost in my ears so I have a
little bit more meat to hang onto this drawing.
Another cool thing about finding vertical and horizontal center is it gives us our first
proportion. One of the thing that we use to get naturalism, realism, a really tight polished
look in our drawing, is really natural and tight proportions. The first proportion is
finding halves. How big is the head from top to bottom. Vertical center will split our
head in two equal halves. So, with the proportion rule—let me change my pen here. This is
cool because it’s a front view. Proportional rule for this one would be one-half.
So, vertical center gives us the proportion of left to right, dividing the head into two
equal halves. Because this is a front view and pretty much is accurate in terms of foreshortening;
meaning, the left side is roughly about the same size as the right side. Now the horizontal
center conveniently gives us the proportion from top to bottom, meaning from the point
where the top of the skull—and you want to look at the top of the skull. In this case,
her hair is pretty tight to her head so we’re able to kind of guesstimate that we’re not
losing that much in terms of where the top of her skull is. We can definitely see the
bottom of her skull, which would be the chin and jawbone.
If we look at the eye it measures one-half halfway from top to bottom, so we got our
first major proportions. In this case because she’s also looking slightly up there is
a little bit of foreshortening, meaning that this distance is foreshortened or it’s actually
elongated. Because the eye is rotated up, what’s happening is that we’re going from
this view—we’re seeing a little bit of chin. It’s kind of curved up. This distance
now becomes a little bit longer, and this distance becomes a little bit shorter. Basically from
the eye line up to the top of the head becomes compressed. All this distance because elongated.
If you look at my face imagine this distance as I look up…my forehead shrinks. The distance
between my eye and the top of my head shrinks. That’s the foreshortening that’s happening.
Real simple. I like to do is actually exaggerate it just a touch. Just a touch. I’ve sort
of done that here. If we look at our drawing and we measure, you can just take your finger.
Or if you’re drawing from life you can kind of take your thumb and use your thumb where
the point of the pencil will be as a guide. That’s the length there. If you measure
it down you’ll see that the bottom is much longer in this pose. And here as well.
If we take this measurement we can see that clearly the bottom is much longer than the
top. So it’s not two even halves, but because of the foreshortening it is, but it’s just
the way we draw it. We compress the top half and elongate the bottom half. It’s real
simple, real basic proportion. Like I said, I like to exaggerate it so I like to heighten
the tilt of the head. It makes it much more dramatic, I think.
Okay, so that’s our first basic proportion.
word here is indicate. We don’t want to draw every tiny feature in detail by any means.
At this stage we want to keep our drawing fairly simple. That’s what a lay-in is.
It’s a very simplified version of what we’re going to do next. The way I like to draw is
I like to let the tone do the bulk of the work. The light and shadow will describe most
of the form including the features. I think it’s just a much cleaner way, it’s a much
more fun way. I love to do the tone part with the charcoal and the mediums.
It’s a lot of fun.
So here I just want to indicate. I just want to kind of get myself an idea where they are,
where the features will go. The first way I like to do that is to take a look at what’s
called the Rule of Thirds. This is also another proportional rule that we have. The Rule of
Thirds helps us place three major parts of anatomy. The first is the brow line. The second
is the nose, specifically the bottom of the nose; the chin and the hairline.
In a typical proportion—so, here we’re indicating features.
Now we’re beginning to indicate the features. The first is we need to establish the Rule of Thirds.
This basically means in a typical portrait that—here we have our halves. The Rule of Thirds is
that the brow, meaning the brow bone, not the hair—we’ll talk about that in a minute.
The brow bone. The hair line—this is where the hair meets the head, where it originates
from the forehead. The bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin. These three will
divide our drawing into three even thirds. That’s why it’s called the Rule of Thirds.
Now, when we get to our model, what I like to do is first observe where the brow is.
Now, we know the eye line. You know the center of the face. I’m just going to kind of guess,
estimate slightly above where the brow line will be and meaning where the bone is. Generally,
the eyebrow hair does not follow the bone. One thing I like to do is look for actually
what is called the keystone, which is the piece of bone where the brow bone meets your
nasal bone. It looks like—this shape here would be right there. It’s called the keystone
because it’s the part of a, kind of arch that keeps the arch together. So, I’m looking
at this and I’m following this section of the keystone, and there is a nice light and
shadow pattern on our model here that we can clearly see the keystone, or at least the
angle of it. I’m just going to follow that over, follow the path or the curve or her
brow line. This rough line will give me where the brow line is.
Next, I’m going to guess or estimate where the bottom of her nose is. Now, we can see
it here, but how do I know where it goes here? Especially because it’s foreshortened, as
we saw earlier. First, I’m just going to make a little mark. Just a rough guess. Another
way we can check as to the distance to correctly place this, especially in foreshortening,
is again to use the ear. The ear is going to be our friend. In this case what I’d
do is I like to look for the bottom of the ear connection. Remember the top gave us the
eye line, so the bottom part, the part where your ear meets the head, the bottom part of
that connection, if we follow that it will roughly give us the bottom of the nose as
well. So, it’s just another way to check. And looking at our model here, if I can draw
an imaginary line, I’m pretty close. Part of her ear is tucked behind her jawbone. But
I’m pretty close. I may have to raise it a little bit. That little hatch mark is all
I need to begin my first placement of these features.
I can’t see her point of her hairline, but there is a clue. There is a part where the
hair—I can see the part where the bangs and the hair meet here. I’m just going to
kind of guess where that point is.
If we look, we have the rule the thirds. Because of foreshortening,
remember, these distances will be compressed. These top two will be compressed. This bottom
one will be elongated. We just do a quick check. As you can see, this one is longer.
I feel pretty confident that I got that right or I’m very close. If you look at this distance
it’s also longer than the distance from the brow to the forehead.
I feel pretty good about this.
Again, I’m going to practice what I preach her and get to the best practices. Take a
step back. Now would be a good time to step way back and even bring out the mirror. Looking
back at what I have and back to the model, I feel pretty good. I can even bring the mirror.
Quick little check of my mirror, dirty little painting mirror. Yeah, it looks good. I feel
confident moving forward. Now we can use a combination of rhythms and some more proportions
to get the rest of the features. I’ll explain what that means. Just quickly align.
We've got two sets of major proportions, and we’ve begun to place the features. We communicate
a lot with very simple—and I know, this step can’t be done without taking the time
to look. That’s why I think learning how to see correctly is so important. This will
help you make your marks much more clean and efficient. Definitely when you’re drawing
a high-quality finished drawing you don’t want to muddy it up with too much stuff.
We're trying to do a nice really clean, really tight drawing. We want to be as efficient as possible.
Just by this diagram alone, the next thing I can easily place is the mouth. The mouth
occurs halfway between the bottom of the nose and the point of your chin, about halfway.
We just kind of do a rough measuring line right here, and when I say mouth, I mean center
of the mouth. In this case, our model has her mouth open. I’m just looking at the
center of the mouth. I’m basically paying attention to the corners of her mouth in this
case. I’m not paying too much to the top of her lip, just the center of her mouth.
Because her mouth is open you can see a little bit inside her mouth, that dark line there.
Already I’ve got where the brow bone will be and parts of the eyebrow, where the keystone is.
That will help me get—we have the bottom of the nose, the center of the mouth. Now
we’re in business. Again, we’ve got a lot of stuff covered. Next, obviously, we
want to place the eyes and also get the correct width of the mouth and the nose as well. That’s
probably going to be as much as I’m going to accomplish in this feature indication stage.
To get the nose the easiest thing we can do is look for the tear ducts. In this case we
can clearly see the tear ducts. I’m just going to make a quick dot here as to where
they are. We know where they fall vertically, so horizontally I’m just going to make a
quick note as to where the tear ducts are. I’m going to drag that line down, and that
will give me the width of the nose. We follow the tear duct down. It gives us the width
of the nostril. Tear duct with a nostril. Now I’m just going to quickly ghost in lightly
some eyeballs. This will help me check how wide I should go. The head is generally five
eyes wide. Roughly, just a rough rule. If I kind of give myself a little check I can
see, yeah, okay. My eyes are okay. This one is a little narrow.
Again, I’m going to take a step back. This part is important to get the size of the eyes
right. Obviously, it’s going to be a huge focal point so we want to take a moment here.
My eyes feel okay. I may have to raise the brow bone just a touch. Besides, the eyes
are half. I’m also comparing from the eyes to the side of the head. If I look at a model
it feels about right. I’m going to leave it there. I think that’s good for this stage.
The next thing that the eyes can give us too, if we follow the center of the eyes down it
will give us the corners of the mouth. So now we can kind of get a rough idea of how
wide the mouth is. In this case, the model’s mouth is kind of squished. It’s kind of
compressed because she is making an expression. She’s possibly talking. I’m just going
to kind of guess that the mouth is slightly in. We’re in the right range. There are
other clues, other rhythms that we’re going to use next to help us really locate that
mouth and then further define our 2D lay-in. In this case I feel pretty good. Take another
step back. And that’s pretty much it for a nice, general 2D block-in.
What I’m going to do next now is begin to just block in the shape of her hair. I’m
also going to just kind of ghost in the neck a little bit of shoulder. As far as the 2D
side of the lay-in process, I feel pretty good. Let’s take a step back. Again, if
you do this step correctly you should be able to get some likeness. Let’s see where I’m
at here. Yeah, I feel pretty good. I feel pretty good. I got that curve that I wanted.
I got the boxy nature of her jaw. In terms of the actual two-dimensional side getting
the proportions, I feel that this lay-in was successful. It served its purpose. It allows
me to go on to the next step, which means adding some of the 3D elements and 3D construction
and the plainer elements, and we’ll do that next.
the planes. I’m going to use a combination of anatomy and light and shadow to help me
define the major planes that I’m going to use when I begin the drawing. This is really
important when we get to the light and shadow, the shading, the rendering. Here we have a
male model. I’m just going to kind of go through the steps that we talked about earlier.
Once we make our observations we design a good shape. That’s the first step.
I feel kind of curvy box. How about that? A little something like this. It’s just the gut instinct
that I get for the 2D shape. Remember this is the part where we can get a lot of mileage
and even almost get a likeness. I want to take a step back. Yeah, I feel okay. I feel
like I accomplished a lot. Once I got this, find the vertical and horizontal center so
we can describe what the head is doing. How much of it do we see? Is it tilted up? Titled
down and establish our basic proportions to get our naturalism, our realism. Take another
step back. I want to double check my angles. Going to hold my pencil out to my model and
my reference. That angle looks good. It’s pretty much straight across the horizontal
center. The vertical is pretty much straight. The model is relatively still. He is possibly
seated. Let’s see, yeah, I think this angle feels good. Does it really? Double-check.
Feels pretty good.
Then the Rule of Thirds. Here we can see his hairline. Now if I do a quick check holding
out my pencil…yeah, so because it’s a pretty neutral position, he’s not moving
up or down actually, so we’re pretty much liked on a nice, neutral straight position.
No uptilt. No downtilt. These measurements are going to be equal. Looking at this I’m
just going to do a quick measure. I know right away my nose has to come down. I’m just
going to do a measure again. That I feel pretty good about right here. Quickly do a quick
measure of up and down so we get that portion. It seems so trivial, but man, if I screw this
up the whole thing will fall apart. It’ll look like a total crap, and I’ll feel terrible.
Once you get 10 hours in and you’re rendering and your proportions off, you’re going to
feel like a jerk. At least I do. Up and down looks good. Do a quick check of our model,
checking the bottom position. Actually, based on my observation, he’s actually a little
bit longer in the face versus from the eye to the top of the head. Another double-check.
Just make sure that’s up, yeah. That’s my observation. What I’m going to do is
I’m going to exaggerate. I want to emphasize that a little bit. I’m not going to go too
far and make it a caricature, just enough to give my drawing a little bit of extra pop,
a little bit of extra personal flair. This is going to be something that’s unique to
me at this moment.
I’ll just do a quick measure. Luckily, my hand is big enough. I’m going to raise the
forehead, the top of the head just a bit right there. Now, in terms of left to right there
is major compressions. This is a three-quarter pose meaning this distance is obviously going
to be much shorter. What I’m going to do is before I do the check, visually from a
distance it feels okay in terms of the foreshortening that’s happening. What I’m going to do
it is first I’m going to use more, I’m going to give myself more information and
then compare shapes at the end. The last step is to do a final check.
Just visually this distance feels okay relative to this distance. So we’ve got the rule
of thirds. I can place some our features. I like to lock in the keystone. There is a
nice piece of light and shadow on that center keystone right there giving me this shape.
The brow feels about right. The height. We’re going to drop in my nose. I see my eyes here.
The eyes are going to be compressed as well. Just judging on the width, this distance right
here I’m a little concerned about, but I’ll be able to check that once I get into the
planes, which we’re going to do next. If I look at the ball of this eye it does kind
of pop over or overlap the edge of this cheek and also the corner of that brow coming up.
That’s beginning our 3D construction. Then I can kind of bring the eye down. Now we’re
going to get—well, first let me draw the mouth, the center of the mouth. Do a quick take.
I feel okay. If I do a quick measure, real quick, taking my time. There is no shame
in taking your time. If I do a quick measure, his lower jaw actually feels a little bit
longer. In this case I’m okay. This distance is okay for now. I can do a quick indication
of the width. What I really want to do is begin my 3D construction. I can find this
even more accurately using rhythms or my 3D rhythms.
First, I want to, because it’s a three-quarter, I want to begin 3D construction. For me that’s
actually pulling and extruding parts out and pushing parts in, so it’s very sculptural.
The first thing I like to pop out is the nose, this one because of the angle. It’s a beautiful
nose. We can extrude from our flat two-dimensional drawing. What I’m looking at is the top
plane of the nose. There is a nice shadow here that’s giving me the side plane. That’s
where the shadow indicates where the nose turns away from the light. Therefore, it’s
a side plane. I’m going to think of the nose not as a complex series of anatomy, no.
What I’m going to do is think of it as a box. It’s a nice kind of a two-dimensional,
three-dimensional box in this case. Sort of like a long rectangle. I’m just going to
follow this top line down. I know where the bottom is, where the nostrils meet the face.
There is a nice ball, so for me to make that 3D geometry I’m going to compromise a little
bit and kind of do a little triangular notch like that and then draw this portion of the
top plane over this first set of construction.
Then the next thing I could pop out is the mouth and actually define the side of the
face. I’m trying to decide now what to do first. But first let me drop in the neck.
Just give me a little bit more context. The neck gives me a little bit of context. Make
the shoulders. Okay, so now I’m going to refine the shape. What I’m going to do is
get ready to define the side plane. This is key. Let me take a step back and look at this
shape. Based on this shape, I should be able to get some sort of likeness, and I feel that
I have. I’m ready to define this. Where does this brow end, right? Where does that
cheekbone and the face go into the shadow?
Because of the way the light is on this model, it’s a beautiful light, I’m going to look
for the shadow pattern, where it actually becomes the light of the face and the shadow
of the face. There is a clearly defined line happening here. There is a bunch of undulations
and anatomy happening like that. What I want to do is kind of streamline my mark, streamline
my design just like the way we did our nose. We want to kind of ignore the fine details
and kind of get to the core of it, the essential, which in other words, is the gesture. So,
starting from the side plane there is a gesture that goes from the top of the head all the
way to the side of the jaw where the jaw turns from the front of the chin into the jaw. That’s
clearly defined here in shadow. There is a corner here. I’m just going to kind of guess
where that mark is. Make a little mark for myself there. There is a point here where
the brow, I’m looking at the hair now, the brow hair turns away so that you see that
right there. I’m just going to kind of ghost that in. This point and this point and this
point will give you the beginning of the side plane. There are some more clues I can use
too. I’m looking at the shadow of where the forehead turns away into shadows and nicely
defined shadows. A little bit of hair there as well. That is clearly the side plane of
this pose. I’m just going to follow the hairline over to the original mark that I made.
Next, I’m going to follow the ear back because I need the ear for this next step. I’m going
to follow the eye line back. Remember, the eye line gives us the connection of the ear.
I’m going to kind of roughly blocking in a 2D shape for my ear. And the ear isn’t,
you know, again. It’s not a complex thing with cartilage and all this stuff. To me I
just like to draw the ear kind of like a lemon wedge, a slice of lemon works well. You can
add in a couple of breaks. You don’t need to go too in depth into the shape of the ear,
obviously. But what we do want are these points; we want this bad boy right here where it connects
to the face. This one I’ve got here. The nose, going to bring it down. Remember, the
nose gives us the bottom of the ear. There is the lobe right there.
Now I’m going to do a quick check. I’m going to take a step back. What do I feel
about that? It looks okay comparing to the model, comparing the angle. Doing a rough
comparison to distance. I’m looking at this distance here from the eye connection to the
corner of the brow I drew. There is a nice bit of shadow there that’s helping me out
a lot. Then I feel that it can go back a little bit. I might draw this eyebrow in, just correct
it a little bit and bring this back.
This distance we can do another check as we give ourselves more information. Right now
I don’t have enough information to make an accurate comparison. What I want to do
is find this. And this we can find the rhythm of the side plane. This rhythm starts at the
curve of the ear, kind of the point of the ear where the ear curves, and it curves back
into the back of the head, back of the ear. This model has that point as well. It’s
a direction change. That direction change gives us a corner and a point. What I want
to do is follow that down here. I want to intersect one more point, which is the corner
of the cheekbone. This is the major part of anatomy called the zygomatic arch, also known
as your cheekbone right here. Nine out of 10 times if the light is good there will be
a beautiful shadow right here. If we look at our model it’s right there. I’m kind
of guesstimating that it’s roughly at that point. Then I’m just going to draw a rhythm.
This rhythm, it’s a beautiful mark, and it’s a beautiful simplification of all the
beautiful anatomical noise and detail that’s happening there. It’s helping me define
what’s the front of the face, what’s the side of the face;
that’s all I really care about now.
Now, of course, I want to get close in terms of proportion, but later, as we add shadow
shapes we can make even more accurate distinction of light and shadow. I feel pretty good about
this mark. Again, do a quick check and see where I’m at. I’m checking at the width
of the chin. I’m looking at our model. I’m going to draw a nice guideline. The corner
of his eye vertically gives us roughly here, so if I check my drawing,
yeah, I feel pretty good. I did okay.
Let’s see. This was huge. We just accomplished a lot. If we look at our drawing, it’s a
bunch of geometric scribbles, but we have some semblance of a face. That’s good design
right there. This is why this stuff is so important. We can communicate a lot with very
little. Again, we want to be very conservative. We want to be efficient. We want to be clean.
We want to be tight. We want to be polished. So far this step has accomplished that. We
have some good shapes. We’re beginning our 3D construction.
Our proportions feel pretty good.
We’re going to polish up our 3D construction by adding the last thing we want to pop out
and extrude, which is the mouth. The cool thing about the mouth is that the teeth actually
have a curve. If you look at a skull we know that the teeth—here’s my little skull
guy—the teeth actually follow a curve and actually bulge out slightly. If you look at
the skull in side view, the teeth kind of bulge out. We can prove this by, when you
take a bite out of something like a slice of bread—we all have seen this test—you
take a bite, your teeth follow a curve.
As a designer I’m going to play that up to the fullest. Meaning for me I want my drawing
to pop of the page as much as possible. This is one of those opportunities. The nose is one.
The brow is one, and the muzzle. It’s called the muzzle mast where your teeth and
the mouth and the lips, I’m just going to go and try to pop it out as much as I can.
I’m going to start with the curved shape. I know roughly where the edge of the mouth
will be, and we also have this guideline so I’m in the right ballpark right here. If
I compare the distance of light and shadow, I’m definitely in the ballpark. Now what
I’m going to do is take my vertical center, and instead of making it straight down I’m
going to bulge it out. Curve it out. I’m going to force the curve as much I can get
away with. In this case this is some pretty nice bulging curve. Then I’m going to kind
of draw a cylinder, and the cylinder cuts through the top of the nostril right about
here, also where the ball of the nose is. This is a nice rhythm. That gives you the
width of the mouth, the width of the muzzle. Although even though it’s just a flat circle
at this point, it’s setting me up at least mentally that I know when I begin to render,
when I add detail, when I add tone. I’m going to render this as a ball, not a flat
plane but more as a sphere popping up. As far as the lips go, this model has fairly
thin lips, I think for me the most interesting part of his mouth is sort of the expression,
the angles that are happening, so I’m going to note that little subtle angle he has. I’m
going to note—I like the light and dark pattern and the texture.
So, for me, in this example, this mouth is more about light and shadow, more about texture,
less about oh I have to draw the perfect lip shape. The expression is priceless. I can
feel the emotion just by the angle of the lips. Of course, as a designer I want to heighten
that. That’s going to add to that impact that I’m getting out of this pose, being
in the moment with this pose. Again, I want to take a step back. I feel I went too crazy.
I exaggerated a little too much. What I want is now to define the offside of his face,
which would be this corner in here. I’m just going to draw a gesture to the forehead.
I’m going to draw a gesture of his cheek. Then I’m going to bulge the chin out. The
chin also, the chin and lower jaw kind of bulges out. It’s just another opportunity
for me there. I’m going to possibly draw a curve her. I’m not quite sure. Probably
this curve works best, the mood that I’m seeing, at least in design. A lot of curves
happening here, a lot of curves happening here. So yeah, that feels pretty good.
Again, do a nice quick check. See where I’m at. I feel pretty good. I still feel pretty
good about this. At this point I can kind of guess as to the length. I’m starting
to draw that cast shadow there. Yeah, I feel pretty good about this.
I’m going to do a quick double-check, so yeah,
I really want to take my time. In fact, I’m going to bring my mirror out.
I’m glad I’m brought the mirror. The angle of the eye is a little off.
What I did is I exaggerated this angle a little too much. It’s there in the reference. I’m
just going to bring it back just a nudge. Bring it back just a nudge. Now that I have
my nose I can compare this shape. I’m looking strictly at the 2D graphic shape. I’m looking
at this shape here, this little chunk of shape. I feel okay. I can probably tuck it in a little bit more.
I’m looking at this shape next. Part of the face that is behind the mustache there.
I feel pretty good about that shape. I’m going to note the curving the brown bone now.
Now I can put that little corner. You can see there is an indentation here. This helps
me to pop out the brow, so that’s one of the things I like to pop out along with the
nose and the mouth. It’s the brow. Putting this little indentation here, this little
corner is enough to do that. Sloping the head back. That’s kind of one of my things I
enjoy is to get that three-dimensional quality, and I force that as much as possible any opportunity
I get, and this is one of them, so I want to try to take advantage of that.
Yeah, I feel pretty good about this.
Even the neck, just comparing the pose I know the shoulders
don’t start here. So we can correct that. I’m going to get one more check to see my
2D drawing. That feels pretty good. The last thing I can do is to begin to indicate light
and shadow, at least in the 2D graphic sense. That’ll be my final way to check on my drawing.
look, use the light and shadow shapes to do my final comparison. We’re pretty much done
at this stage. When we get this far with the construction we can move on to shading, light
and shadow. But this gives me that last bit of information that I need to do an accurate
assessment of where I’m at in my drawing. Remember, we want to get this part right.
The beginning in a lot of ways is the most important. We want to start on a nice, solid
foundation. If you want realism, if you want naturalism. We’ve got to make our lay-in
tight. So this is the last and final check we’re going to do to make sure we’re on track.
So, real quickly, I’m just going to go to the same example. I’m going to draw a little
bit lighter her, at least on the lay-in part, the initial lay-in part. Kind of going through
the process. I think it’s important too, to see this many times and to draw it many
times, getting that mileage, of course. I wanted to do it lighter here so that you can
see the shadow definition. The 2D shape. Boom, check. Gesture, action. What’s the pose
doing? Check. Horizontal center. Vertical center. Tilt, rotation. Check. We’re good.
Quick comparison. I should be able to get a likeness. Quickly indicate my features.
Establish Rule of Thirds using the information that I have. I notice some of my angles are
off. I’m going to take a moment here. I’m going to correct myself. If you draw light
it looks great. Quickly checking my distances. Double-checking my distances. Okay, so I feel
like this is on track here. I can probably raise the head a little bit. Next, I want
to begin to 3D construction here. I’ve got my Rule of Thirds, Rule of Halves. I’ve
got my face nicely divided. First set of proportions. Ghosting in some eyeballs. Eyeballs will help
me get my nose constructed. Remember, I’m turning the nose into a simple geometric shape.
No anatomy drawing at this point. Take on a quick check. I’m going to do a lot of
evaluation here. Okay, I feel pretty good about that.
Double checking my ear. My ear is in the right place. In essence though, we’ll check on
my features as well and the distances. This ear feels pretty good. I get to know where
the side plane is. I’m going to start with the corner of the eye going into that shadow.
Hairline and shadow which I’m going to indicate right now. Skipping steps going around. Even
though I’m kind of doing this here in this very linear portion, a lot of this stuff will
become organic the more you do it. You won’t necessarily a one, two, three, four, five;
A, B, C, D, E. You’ll kind of go make the marks that are needed as you go. That’ll
come with experience. The more of these lay-ins you see demonstrated, the more you practice
them, you’ll definitely start to get the hang of it. There is no rule. There is no
one way to this, of course. There is no linear thing you should follow. This is just a way
to do it. I think it’s a nice methodical way to think,
but actual execution will be up to you.
When I draw I always, I get lost. I get so absorbed in the moment, I forget what time
it is. I think that’s when your best work comes out. That’s why I don’t want you
to think, oh, Chris said I have to do the nose after the eyebrow. Yeah, just have fun
with your drawing. Let the drawing in the moment demand the mark that’s needed.
I know that sounds so—what’s the word? Esoteric, I guess, is a great word. Yeah, but it’s
cool. It’s a lot of fun. For me this is fun. I could do this all day in my sleep.
It’s so much fun. If it did this for the rest of my life, though, which I plan on doing,
I’ll be a happy guy.
As you can tell, I like talking about it too. I learn a lot by talking about it. It’s
kind of cool. It’s what I love doing. Teaching and things like that. It’s so much fun.
I’m really talking to myself. Everything I’m telling you know is me talking to me.
After thousands and thousands and thousands of mistakes that I made, well, I wish I would
have done it this way. Oh I wish I would have had a linear way to think about it. So, don’t
mind me. Just ignore me. Just pay attention to the drawing, pretty marker drawing.
Anyway, let’s get serious. What are we doing here? We’re establishing the side plane,
looking at this corner. I need to know how far the mouth will go. We know it’s about
halfway, so I’m in the right place. Dropping that in. Got to get back on track here. We
know this distance, checking on our model is good. Good. We know from the 3D we can
bulge the mouth out and follow that rhythm. That feels pretty good. I’ll do a quick
check on this side. Quick check on this side. I’m going to do it here.
This is kind of where we left off in the last session, doing a quick evaluation. I think
his eyes are a little too big, and that’s okay. We can cover that next. Obviously, you
probably won’t be drawing in marker so this will be helpful for you to draw with something
you can erase. Kind of ghosting in some of his lip. The lip, you know, if you draw it,
it’s just a nice little trapezoid. You can also slice into the top part to make that
little divot. The bottom can stay nice and trapezoidal. Take a step back here. I got
a little too excited talking about this stuff.
Let me make sure I’m on track. I feel like…Yeah, I’m going to lower that brow. Raise the
forehead. I like the long forehead. He possibly has a receding hairline. It’s an older male.
That’s going to be a big part of his likeness. I don’t want to lose that character. Again,
if you do this stage right you should get some kind of likeness. I feel we have in some
areas. We still need a little bit more information, but I think overall in terms of 3D construction
I’m okay. I’m double-checking. I want to be sure that the corner of the cheek—right,
okay, so that’s off. That was a little bit off. Yeah, perfect. I caught that. Here, here.
Sometimes when I draw I get carried away. When I talk about stuff I get carried away.
This is so much fun. I could talk about it all day, just as long as my voice holds up.
It’s starting to give a little bit. It’s all good. Let’s see, the chin. I’m going
to do a quick check where that corner of the chin is by holding my thing vertical and lines
up roughly with the eye. That was right here. The eye—I meant the tear duct of the eye.
That feels good. Ear connection. Double check my ear connection. Neck, back of the head.
Okay, so the back of the head—it’s a common mistake is not giving enough cranium. When
you look at a person all you see is their face. All you pay attention to is their face.
As artists it’s very often you make a, you ignore this section, but man, you’re cranium,
the part that holds your brain is huge relative to your face. It’s almost double in mass.
We can’t leave this out. I’m glad I drew in the ear to double-check that. So, one more
check for my construction here, my little 2D lay-in is the mirror. It feels okay. I’ve
kind of lost the gesture here a little bit. There is a nice gesture that’s happening here.
I wanted to get that in there. Let me draw that in with a darker marker. It’s the note
to self. Make sure this angle of the jaw is—his jaw is fairly angular, so off a little bit.
Now I’m getting close. I feel pretty good about that. That angle for the eye to the
ear connection. Angle where the nose meets the ear connection. Feeling pretty good. The
angle of the back of this head. Feeling pretty good. This is all 2D stuff, right here. Particularly
these angles. Yeah, that was okay. Double-check the angle of the eye line. Okay. The brow
line a little bit here. Some of these wrinkles will be here. I’m going to look back.
Yeah, I think we’re in good shape. I feel confident moving forward which is starting
to define the light and shadow pattern. I’m not by any means going to start shading. I
just want to give myself a little bit more information where I can do checks and do my
last bit of correction if needed.
to make sure this is working. As a gesture it works great. Now I want to give myself
a little bit more information. Also, his hair around his mouth is going to help me define
the mouth and really make that mouth nice and tight. Also, the shadows in his nose.
I’m looking at the shadow being cast by his nose to help me tighten up the shape,
shadow in the eye and also his hair shape. His hairline is going to be a unique part
of the design. It’s going to show the height of his forehead relative to his face. I’m
going to start there and basically just kind of lightly following the hairline.
There is a little bit of anatomy that’s happening there. There is a big muscle here,
I believe it’s called the frontalis that’s making that bulge in his forehead.
I want that hairline angle. It’s going to give me a little bit of a shape that I can
check. I’m thinking 2D graphic shape, and that’s why picking only the darkest, most
contrasted shadows, I’m going to do a quick indication of the eye opening. It would be
helpful to do eye opening. His eyes are blue when I squint. All I see is the eye shape,
actually. I don’t see eye opening, white of the eye and blue. It’s all very dark.
Even the white of the eye is fairly dark. That’s a common illusion that happens when
you draw portraits. You make the white of the eye too bright. In this case, man it is
dark. It’s fairly dark. It’s eyes are fairly—this opening isn’t too large. And
to draw an eye opening, I just do the sphere of the eye, and I do a little kind of rectangle
kind of thing, just tilted rectangle thing. This being the top lid. Tear duct being here.
This being the bottom lid. From here you can adjust the shape and add corners if needed.
Add planes if needed.
Right now I’m just looking at the graphic shape. I need that graphic shape to make my
final comparison. And let’s see. Bring it over. Now this one, again, follow the curve
of that shape. I’m going against the gesture but that’s okay. This curve is much more
3D. It’s bulging the cheek out. That’s what I want. Bulge it out. Let’s see.
Quickly go to the nose.
By no means should you have to do this in this order. Chris did the forehead then the
cheekbone then this. No. Let the drawing dictate what comes next. Just know that what I’m
doing here is giving myself that final bit of information that I can use for accuracy.
Looking at that shape of the hair under his chin, keeping it very geometric, very simple.
There is a lot of stuff happening here. As you can see, right here the corner of his
mouth, the hair, there is a line there. What I’m going to do is first think of it as
a sphere. Remember, the barrel of the mouth bulges out. I’m going to follow that sphere
down. This sphere kind of leads me to this section of that anatomy. Here it kind of rhythms
to the bump of the nose. I don’t know if you can see that. That’s another larger
circle that gave me the width of the mouth. It’s another larger circle that starts at
the point of the bump in the nose.
Following it along with the piece of shadow, piece of shadow, and combination of hair and
a shadow. His hair is relatively dark. It’s like a dark brown beard hair. The neck—it’s
not that important. What’s important is the gesture. The shadow shape I can totally
use to play with; I don’t have to copy it. Let’s see, I’ve got this. I want that
little bit of—there is a tiny, tiny bit of shadow under the ball of his nose. I want
that just so I can begin to model his nose using just shape alone. Let’s see, his lip
relative to the moustache. Then we can see the dark of the mustache hair gives us a nice
intersection. Now I know where the side of his face is. I’m accomplishing two things
at once here. I’m making my drawing more accurate and setting myself up for shading.
One more check. I’m really going to step back here. Okay, so just on the shape alone
this eye has to be moved up a little bit. The nose feels in a good place. This eye closest
to us feels good. The shape of his forehead feels pretty good. I’m making a comparison,
looking at the drawing and looking at the model. It feels pretty good. The amount of
face and light feels pretty good. There is one more little—this is more of a dark halftone.
Let’s get the shape of the nose. Looking at this section feels pretty good.
Double checking the ear. The ear will all be shadow. There is a little part of it that’s
in light. Making a light halftone. I’m not too worried about that at this stage. The
only thing that needs adjustment actually is this eye, and what it is, it’s the wrong
shape. I drew this kind of shape, which is my generic, default, mindless shape. I wasn’t
looking. I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t thinking. I skipped the observation step.
So now, boom, correct that shape. Make sure the angle is correct. My angle was going this
way. The angle is actually more straight, slightly up. Then it curves back down. That’s
correcting. Let me double check my width. Actually what I could do now is kind of move
this eye forward. His eyes are actually closer together. I spaced them apart. Real quick,
there is a nice tangent happening here. The ball of the nose and the cheek. I should bulge
the nose out a little bit. I think correcting this has got me about 80% where I need to
be. Give myself a light, ghosting detail. I’m not drawing any detail at this stage.
Getting the curve of his chin relative to this. Do one more check of shadow relative
to light. The main one that I want to get is this. I’ll do this in blue here. I want
to get this shape correct. This distance is so important, so now I’m double-checking
my distance. Now I know that I have to come in, have to come in with that shadow. Shrink
this—there is a tiny gap between his eye and that cheekbone shadow, but I’m doing
this. This angle is easy. I could double-check it. There is a bunch of hair and stuff happening
there, but if you simplify the gesture of it, it’s pretty much a nice, straight angle.
Then there is a nice gesture happening here with a little bit of an undulation, little
bit of dip. So, comparing his forehead shape, this feels pretty good. And because in tone
we’re going to begin to render, I can increase this or decrease this. This doesn’t have
to be perfect. What has to be right is this. I can’t get this wrong at this stage. This
distance relative to this distance has to feel correct. I think I’ve accomplished
that here. One more quick check. I’ll probably have to lower the eye, the brow. He’s kind
of doing this. His brow is much lower. I tend to exaggerate up. That’s just one of my
natural tendencies. Double-checking the angle of his forehead now. You can see this step—you
don’t mess around here. We’ve got to get this right. Even though I can move all of
this stuff later in charcoal, I want to make sure that I mentally have taken the time out
to do this because now my mind, I’ve been staring at his proportions for so long now
and making these decisions for so long, when I get to the tone it’ll be already locked
into the computer. Using the computer as an analogy. Double-checking that, double-checking
that, double-checking that.
This stuff is hard. If we get this wrong the whole thing is, it’s not going to work.
Okay, so now to get the nose I’m going to do a quick analysis of this shape. That feels
pretty good, actually, this shape right here, relative to the shadow shape. This shadow
shape can change. I just wanted to get that relative to this shape. This distance, the
corner of the mouth relative to this distance of the shadow. That feels pretty good. There
is another undulation happening here, but I’ll get that later. It’s not super important.
There is also a little bit of light, I’m sure you can see that there. This curve. I’m
going to simplify that here at this stage. Curve. Yeah, I feel pretty good now. I feel
pretty good about this now. Back on track. Make him feel a little bit younger, like a
younger man. That’s cool.
Yeah, I feel pretty good about this. One more check with my mirror. Luckily, I drew big
on this one. It’s pretty cool. I should step way, way back, 10 or 15 feet. Yeah, I’m
okay. It needs a touch more cranium and I’m pretty much done with this one. Touch more
cranium. Yeah, I think that’s the last thing that’s missing. Little bit of cranium. Looking
at this shape, the shadow shape on his neck. That can change too. It’s not that important.
Yeah, I think what I’m going to end up doing if I were to take this drawing further is
to really refine the eyes using the finer charcoal pencils once I’ve blocked in. But
I think as a nice 2D lay-in, I think we’re good to go.
Yeah, so here. I have my shade plan and I would begin the shading, adding the tone.
I’m checking real quick. That corner of the mouth helped a lot. Yeah. So, that’s
pretty much it. That step took quite a bit of time, but I think it’s important to make
sure that we have our accuracy. Using the rhythms, the shape design, measuring the angles
is great, but this last step of comparing light and shadow shapes is probably one of
the most important steps you can take when you finish your lay-in before you begin shading.
I think our guy is okay. He’s ready to go. I feel confident moving onto the next step,
which will be the shading process.
Okay, now that we know what goes into a lay-in, now I’m going to demonstrate these concepts
for you using several different examples in the next portion.
it all in. What do I see right away, the thing that jumps at me is the eyes, the emotion,
the expression of the eyes, the big round eye look. She looks very surprised. I want
to get that in my drawing. Right away the emotional quality that I’m noticing here.
The next thing in terms of shape, she has a very angular rigid jaw you can see here.
She has a very cut jaw. She looks like a very lean model here. She has a defined bridge
of the nose. So a lot of lean, angular features here, some beautiful light here. Some nice
contrast in the core shadow, and some nice—I can see straights even in the framing. Right
away I can see a design of straights, rectangular shapes versus the curve, the bulge of the
eyes. That design is going to give me nice, beautiful contrast.
What is she doing? The pose is straight up and down. It’s almost a perfect front view.
Her shoulders are raised. That’s some kind of quality I get. You can see her hands are
also lending to the acting. I may or may not want to the include that. In terms of placement
it’s very up and down, very vertical. A lot of boxy shapes. I think I’m going to
play the box against the eyes. It’s kind of what she’s doing, shoulders raised. The
pose is straight up and down. Mostly front, a little bit of the side, but this is mostly
a front view. There is a slight angle happening in her eyes here, but in terms of the vertical
center it’s straight up and down. So those are just some of my initial reads. In terms
of actual placement—the size, the shape, I’m looking at the very top, bottom of the
sides, so the top would be about her hair right here. The left would be her hair and
to the right as well. If you look at her face, the bottom would be around her chin. Even
her neck, I can use the neck as a vignette or a way to frame or to close off this image
at the neck. That would be an interesting way to frame this picture.
Those are some of the decisions I’m making as to how much space she is going to take
up and where we’re going to place her. Let’s get started. I think what I’ll do is just
kind of make a note. If this paper here is going to be the full size, kind of make a
note as to where the top and where the bottom is. The top of her hair. This little notch
is kind of my guess of the hairline. This is the bottom of her chin and roughly the
sides of her face would be right about here. I’m seeing this kind of gesture happening
there in her shoulder line, this movement that’s happening here from shoulder, point
of shoulder into the pit of the neck to the opposite shoulder. These are my initial gut reasons.
In terms of shape, a lot of boxy shapes, so going to think in terms of straight. I just
want to give myself a nice, simple geometric shape, maybe subdivide as well. Still keep
it boxy. I want to keep those shoulders high. I want to now note how much of the face I see.
I need the angle and the rotation. In terms of vertical center, not much angle here.
It’s fairly straight up and down. Fairly perpendicular to my paper. The horizontal
center, fairly looking at these points here, from tear duct to tear duct to outer eye,
and that angle is fairly straight. I’m just going to try to get that angle. I feel pretty
good about the angle, so now I want to get that boxy nature that she has. See how that’s
going. Maybe change the design a little bit.
These are my first impressions that I get from this pose, and I think based on this
crude marks and shapes that I have, you know, I’m getting a sense of the likeness already,
just based on the shapes and the design of it. So I’m pretty happy with how it’s
turning out. This square jaw shape is helping a lot. That’s a very powerful characteristic
of her. Having that in there has given me a huge help. In terms of the rest of the drawing,
I would have to further develop the construction starting with the 2D. The most important thing
I wanted to get is the shape, how much of the canvas she is going to take up. Where
are we going to place her, the general design of it, boxy. The rotation, which I got. Let
me develop it further, the construction here.
I can’t see the ears, but I can see a little bit of this bottom here. But I think I’m
pretty happy with this little, this quick little sketch that I have. It’s given me
a nice visual reference of my initial observations, my gut instincts that I had about this drawing.
So yeah, from this stage I feel pretty good. I would move forward with the construction,
begin to place the features, use the rhythms and so on. In terms of making observational
reads I’m pretty happy with how this turned out.
Okay, so now I’m going to go through another example. Okay, in this example we have a male
and it’s also in front view. I’m going to take a moment to gather my thoughts. He
looks like a young guy in a straight front view. It’s almost a straight-up front view.
I do see a subtle angle in his vertical center. He has a slight head tilt. Therefore, the
eyes will also be tilted as well. The other things that catch my attention is the dark
hair, the shape of the hair and the eyebrows. This section right here is probably the first
thing that grabs me, the eyebrows and the long horizontal quality of the length of this
brow. It’s a nice dark shape. They’re almost perfectly horizontal. I definitely
want to use that in my design and counterbalance with these nice big round eyes. I want to
make this drawing about his eyes.
I’m not quite sure what kind of story I want to tell. He looks like he’s thinking.
He’s a young guy. Maybe he’s college aged as well. I’m not quite sure what he’s
thinking about, but he’s definitely, his mind is somewhere, and I may want that in
my drawing as well. The pose is fairly static, straight up and down. Not too much tilt or
rotation. It’s a nice almost 50/50 shadow pattern there. So…hmm. In terms of design,
I’m liking the curve of his hair and the curve of his lower jaw there, the chin. I
wonder if I can make this about an oval shape. That’s the first gut shape that I see. It’s
an oval. Even though he’s a male. Males tend to be boxy, especially young males. I’m
seeing this kind of oval-ly thing happening there. Definitely not a triangle in any means.
I wonder if I could play off the idea of oval design but straight and boxy in the features,
just a gut reaction there.
That’s who he is. It’s just a young guy contemplating, deep in through. Large, round
eyes. Nice, dark, horizontal eyebrow design. He had some nice softness and curves to his
hair and face. In terms of what he’s doing he’s straight up and down with a slight
tilt. Let’s see if we can get that in my drawing. First I want to know how much space
he is going to take up. Just judging by the nature of the design of his face, I definitely
see an oval, a top of that oval would be here. The bottom would be here. Top of the hair,
bottom of the chin. The sides would be at his ears, that peak of his hair. I’m going
to lump his hair. His hair is going to be part of the design, so I definitely want that
in my drawing here.
What I’m going to do in terms of placement is have him slightly above center in my paper
here, and the sides would be right about here. I’m going to try to put a straight in his
neck, straight in his shirt and really play with that curve idea, that oval idea. Then
I’m going to bulge this oval out. Even though I have no face, just the shape, I’m already
sensing a bit of the likeness. I think this was a good call. Now I want to get the cross-hairs,
the vertical and horizontal center. For that I’m going right through the middle of his
face and right through the eyes right there, the center of the eyes. I’m going to exaggerate
the curve a little bit.
In terms of our eye level, he’s looking up. We’re slightly beneath him, so I want
to get some of these underplanes. So for that I’m going to force the curve of the eye—in
other words, exaggerate it. Get that design of the brow. That’s a big part of my initial
gut read, what I want to communicate, placing the features here, getting my basic proportions
down. The bottom of the nose and the brow. His hairline would be somewhere here,
making that rough guess.
So now there are a lot of curves in his design, a lot of curves in the image. Now I’m going
to see if I can force some straights. Here I would correct that. I almost want to add
some gesture if I can because the pose is fairly static, but that’s okay. Big part
of the design there, that beautiful, strong brow coming through. Let’s see. I think
I’m okay. I want that to be a big part of the design, the round quality of his eyes.
I think—this feels pretty good right here. Don’t quite have a likeness yet. I need
much more information. But, in terms of overall design of the shape and making a visual note
of my initial gut impressions, I think I’ve accomplished that here.
We’ve got the oval shape that I wanted. We have the main story element; it’s these
eyebrows and these eyes, that contemplative thoughtful look on his face. Some of the design
features that I’m going to use inside to counterbalance all the curves that I have
on the outside. So that’s a pretty good first impression. I think I’m pretty happy
with this. I feel confident that I can move forward now with the rest of the construction
and plan out everything else that I would need to proceed with the drawing. But, in
terms of making a note of my first gut instincts and kind of getting an idea of who this person
is, I think I’ve accomplished that here. I feel pretty good about this guy. Now I’m
going to move on to another example.
a moment here to take a look at what we have. A lot of angles, a lot of curves. I love the
drama, the way that this thrust is happening. Her stare is moving in this direction. She’s
looking up. Her nose is pointing in that direction. It’s really, really cool. The design of
it, it’s all moving from lower left to upper right. At least that’s the feeling I get
in terms of personality read, visual information. Let’s see. I’m noting her gaze. I definitely
want to include that in my drawing as if she’s thinking and moving in this direction. She
is not even paying attention to us the viewer or the camera. She’s totally absorbed in
what she’s thinking. It’s almost as if she’s already made up her mind that I’m
moving this way no matter what. You can’t stop me. That’s kind of the feeling I’m
getting. She seems like a young lady, very sure of herself. She has a calmness, relaxed
feeling. Even though she’s sure and determined there is a calmness to her.
That’s the feeling I’m getting.
In terms of design we can play that up as well. We have this beautiful angle of this
jaw that can counterbalance the curve of her head and her hair. I can use these elements,
these curved elements a well. That strong thrust can be counterbalanced by curves.
I can use the ear as a nice motif to anchor. Since it’s clearly visible, we’re going
to make use of that. There is even a very subtle slope, a very subtle curve in her nose,
and I can play that up or down as much as I want. So I have some flexibility there.
Her lips and mouth have a nice softness to them. She seems like a very, she’s in a
very calm and relaxed state. She’s very sure of what her next move is.
That’s the initial feeling I get about who she is and what’s she’s doing. She’s
looking up. This is all side view. Looking up, our eye level is—we’re about at her
eye level because she’s rotated up. I definitely want to make a note of that in terms of what
the gesture of the pose is doing. In terms of shape I’m thinking right away I see curves,
round shape. I’m seeing the angle of the thrust, that lower jaw is giving me a beautiful
angle. I definitely want to take advantage of that. So perhaps the pie, the sail shape
will be best. Maybe somewhere in between. I think that will be best. I think I’m going
to go with this bad boy right here.
Alright, so let’s get started. I want to make a note of how much space she’s going
to take up, so I look at the top which would be right about here. The bottom can be somewhere
over here where the jaw will be meet the back of her head in this gesture. I’m looking
right about here. In terms of the sides, definitely the back of the head and the side will be
the nose right here where it cuts, I want to cut into the nose. That’ll be the side.
The nose I’m going to use drawing and anatomy to make that pop out. But, in terms of design,
it’s going to be here, here for the left, here for the top, and right about here for
the bottom. Right where the jaw connects with the back of the skull. Starting with the top,
gesture in the side. A nice beautiful curve. Right away I’m feeling very confident in
this shape. This shape is nailing so much of this model of this pose.
I feel like I made a good decision there.
Let me give myself a little bit more information. Just to pat myself on the back and make myself
feel good. I think I made a good decision here. It doesn’t always work that way the
first try, but you know, give me a little bit of neck and shoulder just for reference.
I need to know if this head is the right shape for the paper. It feels a little bit to be
honest with you, but I think—these shoulders definitely help me make that decision.
Alright, so that’s my big basic shape. In terms of vertical center, we can’t see it. But, in
terms of the angle, it’s definitely at this angle. My angle feels pretty good. Now, the
horizontal center will be perpendicular to that angle, and if I just draw it real quick,
just make a quick note of it, my angle feels pretty good. Double check on model here. I’m
looking at the corner of her eye. I can’t see the tear duct, but it’s roughly, it
actually roughly the shape of her eyelid and the hair and that little thrust. I’m going
to take advantage of that as well in my finished drawing, if I were to develop this.
If we follow this back, it does lead to ear connection, corner of the eye leads to ear
connection, so that’s a big clue. The nose leading to ear connection as well. That’s
a big clue. I definitely need to know where this is, so I’m going to try to find some
clues as to where that is, where to place the ear horizontally. But, in terms of angle,
I feel pretty good. The angle I got compared to the angle that we had in the reference.
I feel pretty good. Now I need to know where this is. I want to finish the jaw and then
lock in the shape of the hair. In order for me to do that, I need to lock in how my face
I have. I’m just going to make a quick note of these bangs and that hair, and then I’m
just going to drop a line right there. It’s a guess. Looking the distance between the
bridge of the nose to the ear connection, that feels okay.
The next check I can do is from the back of the head. From here to here feels okay. It’s
roughly halfway since this is almost a perfect side view. If I were to draw a box around
this pose, the ear falls almost exactly right in the middle, so this connection right here
right in the middle between the left and the right. I think my guess is pretty good. I’m
just going to drop it in just to lock it in. Draw lightly. Now I can get a better idea
of the size of the skull. I need to know how much of this hair to bulge out. And that can
change. Normally, I like to use my hair as a design tool. I don’t normally need to
copy it. I’m just going to see if I can maintain that gesture, and I think I have.
I’m going to make a quick note as to these eyes. I feel pretty good about the placement,
double-checking these distances. I could totally move this around.
As far as capturing my initial gut reaction, my initial instincts, I think I’ve done
that. So yeah, I feel pretty good. I’ve given myself a little bit more information
just to know where I’m at in terms of scale and proportion. Yeah, I feel pretty good about
this. Some of these angles can be fudged a little bit, but I don’t want to get too
deep into the construction. I think I have that—I’ve captured the idea that I want,
that’s she’s a relaxed young woman. She’s pretty sure of what she wants in her life.
She’s totally oblivious to the camera, to the audience. She’s making a decision to
move forward with whatever she’s wanting to do at this moment. I think a lot of these
design elements help to balance and sell that idea, counterbalance. Happy with the amount
of straights versus curves. Happy with the shape. I think the shape accomplished a lot.
I feel pretty good about this drawing, and I would, yeah, I feel pretty confident moving
forward with the rest of the drawing. Double-checking some of my placement. Yeah, from here I would
just fine tune the construction. As far as capturing my initial gut instinct, getting
an idea for the story that I want to tell, I feel that this little sketch accomplished
that. So, now we’re going to move on to another example.
In this example, we have another female. Right away I’m noticing the angle. I’m noticing
that beautiful angle that we have here. Her shoulders are moving one way, but the angle
of the pose, it’s thrusting from lower to upper and slightly to the right. The head
is turning away but looking back at us. She’s almost surprised, as if she was about to say
something. That’s the initial reaction I’m getting. She looks like she is about to speak.
I see a lot of light, mostly light in her face. She looks like she is about to speak.
I see a lot of light, mostly light in her face. She has light skin so a light local
value as well. This image could be about to the light. I could put a lot of rendering
here. I think this area, the eyes and the mouth, I want to make this drawing about the
expression, about the moment she is about to speak. The moment she caught us looking
at her like a voyeur. I think that’s the gut instinct that I have, and I definitely
want to include that angle, that dramatic angle.
Now, that’s kind of who she is. Now, what she’s doing, she either was turning away
and now facing us. That’s kind of the feeling that I want. She’s kind of got this head
turning toward us. In terms of the overall dominant gesture, it’s coming at an angle.
It’s a nice, beautiful straight happening right here. I want that to be the dominant
gesture, the dominant thrust. I can use the angle of her shoulders to counterbalance as
well. I think this drawing will be mostly about this nice, straight design. In terms
of shape, I’m definitely thinking a rectangle. I’m thinking rectangle because I want to
kind of capture that angle and then use the curves of the eyes to tell the other story,
to tell the remaining story. I’m going to frame my story, my emotional story that I
want to tell using square shapes and square design. I think that will work. That’s just
my gut instinct. I could totally change it on the fly.
Even though she’s a female—generally females tend to work with the curvy shapes—I’m
going to try to force it into a box just for the sake of storytelling and to tell the story
I want to get the idea I want. Mostly three-quarter. There is a lot of front, a little bit of side.
Mostly three-quarter. Before I draw I want to get to know how much I’m going to show
and generally where I’m going to put it. So, the top would be here, the top of her
head. Her fair is fairly close to her skull. The bottom of the chin here. Left will be
this cheek. Right will be this section of the ear connection. I’m going to ignore
the hair. I’m going to leave the hair, kind of let this area vignette out. That’s what
I’m picturing. Let’s give it a try.
I’m going to start with this gesture just to give myself an idea, let myself know that
that’s the main thrust of this pose. I’m going to put a lot of straights here and curves
at this side. I think I’m liking already what’s happening here. I’m liking what’s
happening here. I can almost get a likeness. I’m really starting to feel a sense of the
pose. Now I want to get vertical and horizontal centers, so I have to double-check my angles.
Here is the angle that I see. It’s slightly exaggerated compared to the angle of the thrust
here, which is fine. I’m going to bring it back here. The angle is this way, but the
angle of her vertical center—right through the nose, to the center of the lips, to the
center of the chin, right through the hairline—is roughly about this angle. The eyes must be
perpendicular to that. I’m liking that. I’m liking what’s happening here.
I’m going to bring it back down. Doing this imaginary bend that’s happening at the highlight
here. That’s kind of where the side plane begins. Leading down to the ear. Again, straight.
Counterbalance by C, by curve. This is a big part of my design right here. Now I’m just
going to give myself a little bit more information. I have to double check my shapes, my proportion.
I’m pretty happy with the design so far. Now I need to kind of give myself more information
here. I want to make sure I get the top place that’s happening. Excuse me, the underplanes
that are happening. Make note of that. Give myself space for the mouth.
My area that I want to show off is framed nicely. I’m going to give myself a little
bit more information just so I can lock in her outer shape. I need to know how much of
this area that I have and compare it to that, so right now I’m just going to give myself
enough information so that I can compare what I have to the shape that—I want to make
sure I have that correct. I still want to get that naturalism. We’re going to sell
this underplane a little bit, and I’m going to keep this as straight as possible, as boxy
as possible and really sell that tilt of the nose there. So yeah, I feel pretty good about
this. This is a real nice observation read. Yeah, I feel pretty good. The next step would
be to keep refining the construction, making sure the shapes are accurate. There is a lot
of drawing that needs to be done still, but in terms of getting the visual impression,
I think this little part of the drawing is successful. On to the next example.
curves. I see a teardrop, oval shape. She’s smiling. There is a nice expression happening
right here. There is also a nice curve happening with that cheek. A nice curve happening with
the eyes, there is some kind of playful, mischievous expression. I think I definitely make a note
of that. I want to make a note of this impression. I like the general thrust that’s happening
here. In terms of, this highlight, even the color—I could play that up. Even though
it would be black and white, I could play up the feeling of color using tone. Those
are some of the gut instincts I get. In terms of who she is, we have a young female. She
looks very happy. That’s the initial reaction I get. Happy, playful, mischievous, as if
she’s up to something. That’s kind of the emotional quality I want.
In terms of what she’s doing, a nice tilt in the shoulder. A nice thrust happening in
the neck. She’s either turning away from us, turning towards us. Definitely, we have
a nice three-quarter here, most front, a little bit of side. The general thrust of the pose
is moving this way. I’m going to make the pose feel like it’s moving away from us
in terms of the rotation. Definitely like an oval shape. Maybe we can use a teardrop
kind of shape. I like this curve happening here. I want to exaggerate the point of that
chin. There’s a nice curve happening there, so I definitely see a teardrop shape.
In terms of the size, the top will be about here. The bottom will be her chin. The left
will be the side of her cheek. The hair is going to be a part of this design, so her
cranium is going to be here. That’s going to be the left extremity. I’m just going
to make a quick note of my drawing here. Starting with a nice, geometric, teardrop-y kind of
shape. Then make a note of the gesture, the thrust. I’ve exaggerated quite a bit. I
may have to rein that in. It’s no big deal.
Alright, so now I need to know vertical center. The tilt of the jaw, the rotation, all the
angles need to be correct. Let’s see, vertical center. The angle is roughly here if I follow
the lips, center of her nose up to the hairline down to the chin. It’s roughly this kind
of angle. I’m just going to make a quick note of that. Horizontal center is through
her eyes, the eye line leading to the ear connection. It’s roughly this angle. Where
eye level is, we’re pretty much at eye level. There is a little bit of underplane of the
cheek, underplane of the nose. There is definitely some underplane of the brow. I don’t know
if I want to play that up. I might play that down so maybe make it less about the underplanes.
Make is more of a straight-on drawing. I’m pretty happy with my cross-hairs.
I’m just going to give myself some more information here. I’m going to tuck this
shoulder in, basically raise it up a little bit. It should be raised anyway. I need to
place this mouth. I’m desperately trying to get to this mouth. It’s a big part of
the story that I want. I’m using the gesture of the hair, following her jaw there to give
me that nice beautiful curve. Curve back down. I could stop the curve right here, exaggerate
that. Exaggerate that. Bring it back down here.
Okay, so I have enough information. Let’s reevaluate. Did I capture that playful kind
of happy feeling? Just in terms of my drawing so far, my block-in so far? I definitely need
some more here to lock in this mouth shape to get that emotional quality. In terms of
design I feel pretty good. The shape is good. Squish the oval a little bit. I’m pretty
happy with making these notes of my initial observation. I’m pretty confident to move
forward with this drawing.
Here we have a female in three-quarter view. Take a moment here to absorb the information.
I notice this patch of hair. Cool angles. Cool pointy shapes. I notice the angle of
the jaw. I notice the angular quality of the nose. A lean model so exposed cheekbone, defined.
Defined jawbone. I like also the hair. The hair is not that important. I could totally
leave it out if I wanted to, but I see some of those shapes here and here, so maybe I
can play with angles in this one. Straights, boxy shapes. I’m not quite sure. That’s
just some of my thoughts on the design. In terms of the emotional quality, who is the
person. What is she doing? Who is this woman? She is not even noticing the viewer at all.
I feel a sense of threat even. Maybe like she heard a noise. Maybe that’s the story
I want to tell. I think tension is kind of the idea I want to sell. With that emotional
narrative in mind, I can use these spiky shapes to tell that story of tension.
Okay, so that’s who she is. She’s a young woman. She’s a lean model. She has some
chiseled features, defined features. There is a little bit of tension in her eyes. In
terms of shape, I like the angular quality that is happening there. I need to counterbalance
it with curves because it can’t have all spiky shapes. Maybe a bit of curve on top,
angles at the bottom. Another ice cream cone-looking thing. Use these angle shapes to help us sell
my story of tension. That’s pretty much the shape I want.
In terms of what she’s doing or in terms of how much space we’re going to take up,
the top would be here. The top would be at her hair. The bottom would be here at her
jaw if I follow the jaw line straight down. To the right would be the back of her head
here, the cranium just past her ear or inside of her ear. The right would be this line that
follows through the forehead and the cheekbone. Okay, so I’m just going to do some quick
notes here. A little bit of top, a little bit of bottom. Just reinforcing that angular
feeling that I want. I’m pretty happy with that shape, actually.
There is a lot of work that needs to happen here. I’m not getting any of the likeness
at the moment, but that’s okay. In terms of an abstract shape, I think it works. I’m
going to give myself a little bit of angularity. I’m using a lot of straights at the body.
I’m going to help sell her body type, her head type with the defined features, how much
we see in terms of tilt, yaw and rotation, we’re pretty much looking—our eye level
is straight on. I don’t see underplane. I see a touch of the underplane of the jaw
and the nose, but I’m going to play that down and make it more as if we’re right
next to her and she’s looking determined at something, trying to figure out what she’s
looking at. Let’s make a note of the angles, vertical center, horizontal center going right
through her face there. Center of her face. I’m using center of her eyes or center of
this keystone, this little divot in her upper lip there, the center of her lower lip and
the center of her jaw. That’s pretty much the angle that I’m getting from there.
The eye line is pretty much perfectly horizontal. That’s the note I’m getting there. Alright,
so I feel pretty good about the cross-hairs. Double-check my angles. Now I’m going to
give myself some more information. See if I can rein in my design to get some likeness.
I’ve compromised likeness to tell the story that I want, the tension. That’s see how
I can rein it back in. I’m not too worried about proportion yet in terms of placing the
ear. I need a rough idea of where it is and roughly how big it is. I can do some checks
in a moment. There are always opportunities for checking my design. I think I might have
made it a little too angular. She feels a little too tall. I’m going to have to squish
this a little bit and squish this. It’s almost too masculine and boyish. Let’s see
if I can rein that back in. I always can just by adding curves. No big deal.
I feel like she needs more cranium. I’m not quite sure what’s happening here. I’m
just giving myself a note there that I can use that. Okay, I’ve got it. Give myself
a little bit of side plane definition there. I want to make sure I have the correct ratio.
This feels pretty good in terms of my initial design. I feel pretty good about this. Some of the angles can be
refined, and the neck—I think I need some information in the neck to get that head turn
that I want. I kind of want that head turn action. I need to keep developing the drawing.
In terms of capturing the gut read, this feels pretty successful. I feel confident moving
forward. In fact, I do need to move forward with this, at least give myself more information.
I’ve lost some of the feminine quality because I wanted to push the angles so much, the angular
quality. I have to do some work here to rein it back to realism.
The neck also is a little too thick. That could be it. It’s just the way the neck
looks. But, yeah. My angles are good. My shape is good. I think I’ve got a good start to
telling that story I want. My design is working out pretty well, so I’d be confident moving
forward with this one. Okay, so onto the next example.
So there’s a couple things we can tell in terms of story.
So let's take a moment to just breathe it all in. So the first thing that
grabs me is the shape, liking this curve happening here, the point of her
chin, the angularity of her jaw, that angle that’s happening there. I could play that up or down.
I'm definitely noticing a curve, an oval. I’m also noticing a lot of darks, dark hair mostly
shadow. She’s looking down and away from us. I notice that expression.
The hand is telling a good bit of the story there.
I can include that or not, most likely not, at least for this example.
She's hiding or doesn't want to hear, this kind of the impression
I'm getting like I don't want to listen to you, go away kind of. That’s
I want to tell. What she's doing,
she’s definitely looking down and away. It’s almost -
it's a front view, definitely looking down so we're going to see a lot
of the top plane of the head and also so I'm going to elongate
this central third and compress the lower thirds, really force that looking down feeling. In
terms of the gesture I definitely feel the gesture moving this way.
So just kind of doing this, that’s the gesture I’m - that’s the gesture I want
to sell. In terms of shape,
I like this kind of oval shaped maybe oval
plus a curve not quite sure oval plus a box, yeah I’m liking that
oval plus a little bit of a box.
So I like that, I like that. Let’s play with that idea. Alright in
terms of how much space she takes up,
this is it definitely going to be the top. I think the hair is going to be
a big part of this design.
Even though this hair is off
the skull, it’s pretty close.
That's the top, bottoms arch in left cheek.
There right will be also the cheek at the ear connection.
The ear’s not going to be too much part of this design.
So let's give it a shot here.
Start with that oval idea.
Gesture idea and I'm going to squish -
yeah. Yeah, I’m liking this, oh yeah. I’m liking this shape.
Raise her shoulder, exaggerate the shoulder as if she's saying no, no more.
Okay, I like that. So double-check, shape feels good.
I got some of the gesture that I wanted. Now let’s take a look at
See a little bit of cycling here, looking slightly to her left of the angle of the vertical
center is here. Yeah, I like that.
Right there. Horizontal center it must be perpendicular so I’m looking at the eyes and following it back to
the ear connection there. Give myself a little break corners and now I’m gonna
double-check my angle, something is off.
Slightly off. Maybe it's here.
I think it’s slightly off. I pulled it too much.
Do that quite a bit, catch myself. So feels much better.
Much better. I’m gonna give my ear some reference. Okay
so I'm feeling pretty good about that.
Now I'm just going to continue the outer shape refine it to see if my shape alone
is helping or hurting the narrative
I want, the idea that I want.
This idea of avoidance. Of looking away, avoiding confrontation.
Avoiding whatever she's listening to.
Doesn’t want anything to do with whatever,
whoever is talking to her at the moment.
She has that stern, determined
look in her mouth. If you want to make a note of that, draw it
by any means just make a note.
And I can see if I can exaggerate - yeah, yes -
by squishing that box, before was more of a rectangle.
I'm squishing the box. Yes.
Oh, yeah. Yes. I went from a long rectangle to more of a squished kind of
rectangle that really nailed the likeness I think. I'm pretty happy with the shape happy, with the angle that I got
here. The hair, the side of the hair feels good, the size of the cranium feels good.
So I’ll get a lot of things working.
And yeah, now I’m just ready to move on with the construction, really reinforce
the idea of the narrative that I wanted to tell but in terms of my initial
gut read this is pretty successful and I feel like I'm very confident moving forward with this
one. Okay so on to the next example.
Here we have a male.
It's a front view, little bit of side planes, so a slight three quarter and there’s a
lot of beautiful drama and emotion happening here.
And the first gut instinct is emotion is like there’s definitely that expression on his
face and I want to get that.
I'm noticing right away these powerful wrinkles.
This is a very lean and muscular model, his chiseled jaw bone, find you can
tell by his neck and chest that he’s a muscular guy.
That means I can definitely play with angles, I definitely want to sell the angular
quality, the male masculine angular quality,
but I want that emotion.
So maybe, just my gut thinking right now, is I can do boxy idea
but inside do a lot of curves, right, a lot of curves and things like that to tell
that story because I want this drawing to be about this expression, the eyes
and the other wrinkles happening in forehead.
And these nice, beautiful secondary ideas in the mouth. So I want this drawing to be about his expression.
That's my gut instinct. The feeling I gave you like he smelled something gross.
So maybe also can use the nose and the expression around the nose to tell that story
and there’s definitely a beautiful thrust that’s happening here.
So maybe I want to tell the story that he's getting away, that he experienced something
off-camera, now he's moving away so we can maybe tell that's the way that his body
is moving away but his mind is still and his eyes and his gaze are still
occupied with whatever just happened.
So that's the story I want to tell and it's going to be all in the expression
here. What he's doing is definitely moving to the left.
That's the feeling I'm getting. His body's moving to the left,
his neck is angled to the left, even his face
was angled to the left but he just had to turn away one more time to
express his disgust or distaste for whatever and in terms of shape definitely
like the boxy angular idea, I definitely want to keep a play with that. In
terms of size and scale that top would be the top of his head here, his hair is fairly
close to his skull. Bottom would be
his chin. Left will be where the neck and the jaw bone intersect with the
ear. The ear will be - I’ll down play the ear - and the right will be this cheekbone
so I could definitely use the angle of the cheek if I want or I could
down play that as well. So in terms of shape,
let's just go straight boxy.
I like that keep, going with the gesture.
Now I don't have a likeness yet, I have to chisel in a little bit.
And the hair I can play up or down, make it curvy if I need, make it more boxy
if I need. So this is my initial shape idea.
Just trying to simplify this hair into a triangle.
Not sure if I want to do that.
I think that helped a little bit. Make it more of a squished -
yeah help me sell that boxy idea.
All right. All right. So let's make sure we get the right angle.
The tilt, the crosshair, vertical center’s right through here going right through the middle of
all these features. A lot of clues, center of the chin, center of this eyebrow and the
wrinkles happening there, so the angle’s roughly
here. Horizontal center. Interesting. Here his expression is forcing the angle a little bit off.
I’m not quite sure if I can pull it off.
So it’s not perfectly perpendicular.
I'm going to try to pull that off, that's breaking a rule, but
why not give it a shot?
Just make a couple notes here. Actually in terms of placement I’d probably like to place it.
Yeah I’m gonna do that now.
So in terms of placement - move these elements - I definitely want him to be closer to the side, that helps
me sell that story, remember, the story that he's moving away from something that's distasteful to
him. Can't turn his eyes away.
So I want this big chunk of negative space happening right here. I have to replace that
drawing. Look I drew light, I actually was able capture more of that likeness
now, making it more of a rectangle.
So my angle’s still correct.
I'm going to break that perpendicular rule little bit.
I totally hurt my drawing
but… Okay, so now I know this.
There it is. There it is. I’m. going to use other elements because I want that this kind of angle.
I see an angle right here.
I'm going to get that with the ear from here - from the ear to the eye
to this lower ear. I'm still going to get that angle,
but not at the eye line. Originally I wanted to cheat, make it the eye line but that's
okay. In terms of the rotation, how much top plane or under plane we see, we're looking
straight on and I want this - I want maybe even exaggerate. We're looking - his head is turned
slightly up, but I want to keep it straight on.
Let’s just try it. So this drawing is all about this eye section here.
So this has to be right. A lot of times when I get these like these males or
anyone with a lot of expression in their face it’s almost too good.
There’s so many ways you can go, you almost get lost in the thought process.
You almost lose the effect that you trying to also do a realistic drawing, realistic naturalistic
portrait drawing. Don’t wanna forget that. Okay so I got some of the angularity back. Just making notes here in terms
of curves and straights. I’m gonna make the mouth - exaggerate the mouth a little bit, just give myself a little
information here and yeah, I think I'm pretty happy
the way that these eyes turned out.
I mean for being a crude bunch of marks
can definitely start to tell the story that I want to tell.
And maybe this hair shape is questionable. But I can use that hair as a total design device but I think I'm pretty happy
with these initial observations. This one is - I got a little too excited because it's
like I said earlier, there’s so many ways you can go this, a lot of beautiful
acting happening and emotional quality already there.
So yeah, before I go to crazy, let’s start really refining the construction.
Just do one more check to see where I'm at.
And I think I feel pretty good.
I'd like to maybe reel in this
section. Yeah, maybe that’s - yes,
that's helping, that’s helping a lot. Okay. I knew something felt a little off and that was I gave it too much of
this side of the face and I lost some of the angle that I was going
after. I feel pretty good about that.
And from here I would just refine the construction.
There's a lot of drawing involved in this one, especially since it's going to be a
lot about the features. But in terms of making observation with notes,
I feel pretty good about this one so on to the next example.
is softness. That’s the word that comes to mind. There is a soft, quiet expression.
Her softness in her hair and the curves in her hair so soft, curvy, quiet, contemplative.
Mostly light. She’s turning away from us, not paying attention to the camera. I just
love the beautiful soft quality in this light that’s happening and the way this picture
is exposed. I definitely want a softness. Feeling curves. This shape is like an oval,
almost like a motherly kind of shape. I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m getting this
idea, but that’s kind of the feeling I’m getting. I can imagine her holding a baby.
Maybe she is having a quiet moment with her baby. Maybe she’s sitting outside, I don’t
know, on just kind of a soft, overcast kind of day. That’s kind of the feeling I’m
getting. What she’s doing—it’s a fairly static pose. Our eye level is pretty straight
ahead. You don’t see a lot of underplanes here. So straight ahead. She is looking away
from us, not paying any attention. It’s definitely deep in thought. Kind of a thoughtful,
soft, motherly feeling.
In terms of shape, although I do see some angularity in her shape, she definitely has
a defined jaw bone, nice defined cheekbone here, nice defined nose structure. I may choose
to play that down, or I may use that as counterbalance. I can go a couple of ways. If I just define
the shape based on her hair, it could be like a gumdrop shape. I’m liking that. I can
reinforce that oval. I can even go triangle. I’m liking that. So maybe somewhere in between
something like this, the gumdrop shape. That’s just my initial reaction. In terms of how
much space she takes up, the top is right here. The bottom is right here. The top of
her hair, bottom of her chin. The left—I’m going to include the hair as part of the design.
Even this outer part of her hair. I’m going to compromise between her skull and the outer
part of her hair and the reference can kind of go right in between. Same here. This part
of the hair is going to be part of the design. So that’s how much space she takes up. Fairly
static up and down pose. Not a lot of movement.
Right away, I’m feeling that was a good decision. I’m definitely feeling a likeness.
I know I may sound crazy, and I know I am biased. But dangit, I see something. I’m
on track here. I feel good about that decision. Let me just drop in some more information.
I need to know vertical and horizontal center. The angles that I had. This is pretty much
straight up and down. You know what? I’m going to make it straight up and down even
if it’s not. I’m going to force it a bit. And it is. There is a slight, super-subtle
angle. I don’t know if I want that. I may force it because it’ll reinforce that soft,
quiet feeling. That’s the initial placement. My vertical center was off. The angle was
right, but the location is slightly off relative to the face.
Let’s see. I have a nice compromise here. I have some straight, some kind of boxy ideas
at the bottom of her jaw. But in terms of designs, it’s definitely curved. I’m liking
this so far. The curves. My cross-hairs feel pretty good. Let’s see. Size, shape feels
good. The design is good. The gesture is on point. Let me give myself a little bit more
information just to double-check and make sure. I’m going to play up the slight underplane that I’m seeing
here in the nose or under the mouth there. It’s almost as if we’re telling the story from
this lower, from the baby’s point-of-view. She’s holding a baby, an imaginary baby.
Yeah. I am liking that. I am liking that. Back to curves. Yeah, this feels pretty good.
Double-check my design, my shape. I feel pretty good. I probably took it a little too far.
My instinct is to start drawing right away. In terms of capturing my initial notes, my
visual impression, I’m definitely happy where this drawing is heading.
So, on to the next example.
Okay, here we have a female, and it’s a three-quarter. Now the first thing I notice
is hair and angles. This one feels soft as well. Beautiful, soft light. I love the light
on this model here. I love the shadow. Look at this beautiful softness in the shadow.
It’s just enough shadow to give us form, but it’s soft enough to tell some beautiful
story, have a nice, soft feminine quality to it. I love it. I love the soft highlights
that is happening. She is kind of looking in this way. Her jaw is angled in this way.
In terms of who she is, it’s a young lady. Her mind is somewhere. Definitely not on us.
She’s not even paying attention to the camera or to the viewer. We’ve kind of captured
this candid moment. She’s definitely looking down. She’s looking down and away from us,
off to the side. Yeah, she wants to kind of move forward in life, but maybe her mind is
taking her into the past. So there is definitely a contemplative feeling I’m getting there.
In terms of the gesture, the movement, what the pose is doing is definitely a slight tilt
to the head. There is a tilt to the shoulders. I’m going to play that down, I think. What
I want to sell is this dramatic angle. To me this drawing is going to be more about
design. I can see the design of this hair, the flow of this hair and the angle in the
face there. I see the angle of the gesture moving this way. The angle of the head kind
of going this way. I’m going to play those two angles off each other. In terms of shape,
I like the angular quality on this side of her head and her jaw there. Her hair we can
go either way, but maybe I’m seeing this kind of feeling. This kind of shape if we
include her hair. Yeah, I like this idea. Maybe make the hair kind of this box, and
make the curve here. Then we can counterbalance that C-curve with some straights in her face.
Let’s try that.
Let’s try this idea right here. Let me give myself a little bit more room with my drawing
here. That’s my initial shape read. In terms of how much space she takes up, the top of
her head is here near her hairline. The bottom would be her jaw. I’m going to include the
hair in the design of the shape as I have here. This would be the bottom of the head
shape including the hair. The bottom of her head is right here. The chin, the left, I’m
going to include the hair. It’s going to be part of the design. But there is also a
curve happening. The curve on the side of her head mimics that, echoes that. This side
of her head is here. I’m not sure whether to make it kind of a boxy kind of turn or
a curve. Not yet. I’m also going to include her hair in the design as well. That’s the
space she takes up. This will be in my drawing as well. That’s a big part of my design.
Give myself a little more room here. I’m kind of getting a rough idea of where I’m
going to place her.
I think this kind of tells the story that her live is moving one way, but her mind is
still in the past. Still in the past, if that makes any sense. I don’t even know how you
can communicate that in a drawing, but who cares? We’ll try. I definitely don’t want
to ignore my initial gut instinct. I think that’s a big part of getting some impact
in your drawing. In terms of shape, I’m okay. I need to double-check my angles. This
is a three-quarter and then some of the side. Her head is angled this way, vertical center
going right through the center of the eyes following the center of the mouth her to the
center of the chin. Horizontal would be here right through the eye line. It’s coming
at this kind of angle here. It’s somewhat perpendicular. Double-checking and that’s off.
Now, in terms of the tilt, how much of the underplane we see, I don’t see much. In
fact, I may even downplay it to make it almost a downward view, a subtle downward view, but
definitely no upview. No low angle. I’m pretty happy with that. Give myself a little
more information. Yeah, I’m pretty happy with the shape. I played around with the hair.
I like where this is going, though. Let’s see, I need some more information here. I
need to double check the angle of the eye by just slightly placing the eye. I need to
know how much of the face I’m going to show. Yeah, as soon as that mouth came in, I realized
I was on track. I’m liking where this is going. I’m liking the shapes that I have
here. I’ve got a lot of the curves in the design including here hair, but counterbalanced
with some nice straights in her face. The actual head shape and structure of her face.
I’m definitely going to play with straights against curves in this sense. I’m pretty
with what’s going on here.
Yeah, let’s take a quick peek. Make sure we’re okay. Yeah, I’m pretty happy with
the way these observations turned out. So now I will just keep going and refining and
making sure my proportions are correct, which will be the next stage, making sure the 2D
side of the construction looks good. In terms of design and capturing my initial impressions,
I feel this drawing here is complete.
These materials here are some of the things that I use the most. I mostly draw in pen
for sketching and for doing studies. If I want to do finished drawings I’ll use charcoal.
Let’s begin with the charcoal pencils. These are just ordinary General brand charcoal pencils.
They are the ones with the orange wood you get at the store. Here I have two grades.
I have a 2B. This is normally what I start with. This is an HB. This one has a pencil
extender. It’s a little bit of a shorty. I have it sharpened to sort of a needle point.
Pretty sharp point. I’d use just a razor blade and some sandpaper to get it to a nice,
fine point. The tighter the needle the cleaner the drawing will be, the finer the point.
I also have this little Willow thing. This is kind of fun because it creates a nice,
beautiful, light, soft line. It creates sort of a painterly line because you don’t have
a lot of control with it. It’s kind of cool for doing more a looser painterly style head
drawing. I really enjoy this tool. It’s fairly inexpensive. You get a lot of coverage
as well, so it’s a multi-purpose little thing. They typically come in double the length.
I just had it broken.
This is ordinary ballpoint pen. It’s just my favorite drawing tool. It’s very portable.
It creates a line that’s very close to charcoal. Obviously, you can’t erase it, but it’s
actually quite a benefit. If you can’t erase it forces you to think every time you make
a mark. You have to be very deliberate and very conscious of your marks. That’s a very
painful but a good lesson that every artist should go through. I really enjoy drawing
with pen for that reason. It forces you to commit to your marks. And this is a good old
kneaded eraser for erasing the charcoal. Alright, so that’s a quick breakdown of some of the
materials that I’ll be using, so let’s begin.
Okay, this first example is a male in front view. It’s a young male, fairly idealized
head type. The first thing I look at when I see this model is rectangle shape. That’s
my first observation, the shape. Next I kind of want to take a few notes about who he is
and some of the emotional quality that I see in the reference, and it’s fairly blank
stare, to be frank. It’s fairly nondescript. Maybe I’ll make that part of the drawing.
He’s kind of looking into space looking directly at us. His mind is empty. How about
that? That’s a good starting point. As far as what he’s doing, it’s just a straight
on front view. Yeah, not too much gesture or action in this pose. Her eye level is pretty
much at his eye level. So, yeah, it’s pretty straightforward.
What I’m going to do is first make a note of the shape and try to place it as best as
I can in my drawing. I’m going to first make a few marks where the top, the bottom
and the sides would be. If this were my little paper here I’ll kind of make a little note
right there. It’s where the top should be. Make a note kind of at the bottom. I’m going
to do a few examples on this paper. I’m drawing very, very light, and that’s on
purpose. I’m actually going to try to draw a little bit darker so you can see better
on camera. But you generally want to draw very, very light. One analogy that I got from
one of my teachers was, think of it like a feather and you’re tickly a baby. That’s
how light you’ve gotta be. I know it’s a very strange analogy.
So this is, these little light marks are kind of where the top, sides, and bottom I see.
I’m using the side of his face, meaning his cheekbones, the top of his school here.
I’m looking through the hair and the bottom of his chin. Now I’m going to just roughly
ghost in lightly the shape that I see. Again, this is my HB, so the marks will be fairly
light. That’s the advantage of using the little HB. The disadvantage is you’ve got
to press hard. It does kind of cut into your paper so you have to be fairly precise. Yeah,
that’s pretty much the shape that I see.
Now, the gesture is straight up and down. Nothing too exciting here. It’s a good starting
point. In terms of gesture, I’m starting with the crosshairs going through the eyes,
going down the middle of the face with the vertical center. Horizontal and vertical center,
basically dividing my face in half here as well. Now I’m going to refine my shape because
he’s not a perfect rectangle by any means. I’m just going to do a simple block-in.
I’m using a lot of straights. I’m going to make that a part of my design language,
part of my drawing, the use of straight marks. That can set me up for curve marks later on.
Give me a nice contrast. There we have refinement of the shape. I’ve blocked in the ear a
little bit here. The ear is a great landmark. Because I have them and they’re quite visible,
I’m going to take full advantage of them. The ears will help me place the features,
which is next. Because this one is pretty straightforward, and he’s literally straightforward
and looking straightforward, standing straightforward, or sitting, whatever he may be doing. It’s
baby light. Darken my marks a little bit so you can see it better. I just want to show
you how light you should go. I’m just going to quickly draw in his hair.
Now, when you refine the shape you should kind of have a likeness already, and I think
I have accomplished that. I have a little bit of a likeness, the hair shape, the shape
of his head, the length of his neck, the width of his neck. I’ve got a little bit of something
here. I feel confident moving forward. I’m in a good position here. Now I’m going to
indicate the features, the key word is indicate. I just want to make a few marks so I know
where to put the eyes and nose, center of the mouth right here, center of the eyes here.
A few little hatch marks. That’s all I’m doing.
Next will be some of the planes, the planes that I see, the first pass of the pass and
a front view. I just want to note the eye socket there, the brow ridge.
Yeah, I’m going to note the nose. I feel his nose is a little bit thin. I’m going to force that little thin.
Exaggerate its thinness. I think that’s a good call. I generally tend to
do that. Okay, let’s see. Now I’m going to just drop in spheres for eyes. I need to
know roughly where the eyes will be and roughly their size. Alright, then I’m just going
to quickly indicate the mouth as a trapezoid or a little box plane.
Yeah, I feel pretty good. I’m taking a step back right now, just evaluating where I’m at.
I feel pretty good. I’m trying to be fairly conservative with my marks, again because
it’s charcoal. Actually, charcoal is quite tough to erase. Because it’s a light pencil
the hard pencil I’m actually digging into the paper. I’m probably going to switch
to the 2B after this. I don’t want to dig into the paper too much. It will affect your
drawing as you put layers of material on there, layers of charcoals and things. And if you
want to erase, it’s almost impossible a big grove in the paper. I’m refining the
shape of the hair because I know I could get a likeness at this stage. I think I’ve done that.
Now, let me double-check some of the rhythms. One of the rhythms is the eye to
the mouth, the center of the eye to the mouth, the tear duct to the side of the nose, and
I have that.
I’m going to quickly put in this muzzle rhythm. Little chin rhythm. I have that. Yeah.
This is good to go. In fact, I could probably start rendering at this stage if I were to
do more of a finished drawing. Let me add some more detail here a little bit in the
construction phase. A lot of times I’ll vary my lay-in depending on what I want to
accomplish. If I want to say, let’s say I want to do a super-polished charcoal drawing,
and the tone is a big part of the image, so let’s say there is some beautiful light
and shadow pattern. I want to make some nice dramatic tonal drawing with the charcoal.
I’ll probably do less work with the construction. If I wanted the drawing, let’s say the drawing
is less about form. Maybe the light is more of an ambient light. It’s a softer light,
softer shadow. Then I might spend more time on the construction like I’m doing here.
This isn’t too contrast-y. It’s a beautiful light. It’s a beautiful reference. I can
definitely work with it.
This is an example of a lay-in that’s more about the construction so it’s more in depth.
I don’t always go this far. Sometimes I go further. I think for what I want to accomplish
with this drawing it’s pretty much complete. I’m just double checking the length of the
neck. I tend to exaggerate the length of things a little bit. It’s also the western aesthetics.
Yeah, I think this is pretty much as far as I’m going to take it in the lay-in stage.
At this stage I would let the charcoal and the tone do the rest of the work because I’ll
probably end up refining the drawing at the end anyway. Again, I want to be fairly efficient
with my marks and not dig into the paper. So, I think I’m going to leave it here and
move on to the next. I’ll probably switch to a softer, darker charcoal pencil
for the next demonstration.
in profile. First thing I want to do is make some observation notes. I see a beautiful
gesture. There is a long kind of gesture. I see this when I’m looking. Not just her
head but her neck and shoulders. The front has this kind of movement. She’s looking
towards the right direction she is facing. Shoulders turned toward us. She has a bit
of an expression on her face that’s fairly interesting. It’s almost as if she is finding
humor in whatever she’s looking at. That’s sort of the emotional read I’m getting.
As far as who she is, she’s a young lady, maybe college-aged young lady and fairly chiseled
and defined features.
The dark hair, I think I’m going to take note of that. Also, I like the way the hair
shapes are, the way it’s pulled up in the back. Hair shapes like that are fairly cool
because you don’t have to copy. You can use them as design tools. That’s something
I enjoy doing. Let’s see, light is coming from the upper right. I’m not going to get
too much into the light at this stage. But yeah, I think for me this drawing is about
gesture and rhythm. I see something like this in her face this way. It’s a nice rhythm
here. I’m going to see if I can use some of that in the drawing. Make it more of a
movement. Add some of that emotional quality if possible. I’m also using the 2B. As you
can see, this mark is already a little bit darker than what we did last time.
Alright, I’ve got my observation notes. I’ve got a rough idea of who she is. I’ve
got a rough game plan of the gesture, what she’s doing. So let’s get started. I want
to first just make a little tack mark kind of where I want to put it on the paper. Top
sides and bottom. That’s what I’m paying attention to. Top of the skull. Going through
the hair, bottom of the chin. The far right and far left, the far right will be her cheekbone
where it’s actually kind of overlapped by the nose. The cheekbone, the brow bone, that
area. The back will be here kind of behind the ear at the skull.
In terms of shape, I’m feeling boxiness. I want that boxy quality of her jaw to come
through, and because she’s fairly lean—she has a lean face—I think that’ll help.
It does help with her likeness. What I’ll do is I’ll contrast the boxiness with curves
in her hair and on the top of her head. I’m kind of thinking this kind of thing. Let’s do that. I kind
of know how this general size, where it’s going to be. Now I get to design my shape.
That’s my first abstract shape. It’s kind of a gesture away. I’m dropping the ear
because the ear will—or kind of ghost it in lightly. I’ll reinforce it later so you
can see it better. The ear kind of gives me an idea of where that little hair bun is.
I’m not locked into that by any means.
Alright, so this is my initial shape. Now, before I refine my shape, I kind of want to,
I’m going to drop in the neck real quick. I think this shoulder is really cool.
It's a nice part of this drawing. So, I’m pretty happy with this initial gestural shape. Now,
let me define the crosshairs, so vertical and horizontal center. The tilt is huge. The
tilt, the yaw, how much of the face we see, how much is it looking up or down. That’s
what I’m really laser-focused on right now. I have to communicate that. This cross-section
has to be correct, meaning the direction has to be correctly facing down, facing up. I
would say facing down is very subtle. I’m going from the ear, the point of the ear connection
all the way through the center of her eyes, roughly at the middle of the face here proportionally.
That can change too.
Notice, I don’t have to press as hard with this 2B. That’s really why I enjoy the 2B
so much. I don’t have to press so hard. I don’t dig into the paper. The disadvantage
is this is much darker. Much, much darker. There is more charcoal there that I have to
deal with if it’s a raw mark. Alright, so that means it’s time to drop in some features.
In order for me to fine-tune where I’m at, I need to know, I need to commit to some of
the drawing in placing some of these things. I did that there. Now I’m going to refine
the shape that I see. If feel pretty good about that so far. Now I’m going to drop
in some of the major planer reads, so brow. Let’s see, a little sphere for the eye.
Little rectangle box thing for the nose. Let’s see, the bottom plane of the nose. Start to
subdivide the nose. I definitely want to separate the side plane, so I did a little loopy thing.
Loopy, gestural curve mark there.
I’m going to note the cheekbone and I think some of this—there it is—the mouth was
starting to shrink so I had to bring that back. I think a lot of this has to be resized.
I can just tell a little bit from where I’m at. Drop in the hair. I want to refine this
hair because I need to lock in the shape so I can compare the shapes. I’m going to use
curves at the hair, straights and boxy forms on the face. I think that will be a nice contrast.
That’s a conscious choice to do that. I think the contrast will be nice moving forward.
These are just some of the things that I think about. It’s kind of advanced thing, you
know, worrying about marks. It’s a good habit to get into. Raise that shoulder.
I like that shoulder. It’s going to be part of the design there. I took it pretty far.
I feel that for this drawing, if I were to move forward I would need more construction,
so I’m going to go ahead and refine what I have. Hopefully, I don’t have to dig too
much into the paper. I’m still not satisfied with the lay-in yet. I definitely need to
take a step back soon. Now I’m kind of giving myself a rough geometric shape to use to draw the eye.
It’s basically a sphere. You can go boxy and planer with the eye a well, divided into
a hexagon, a six-sided form.
I’m trying to get as much of a likeness as I can at this stage.
stage. I’m close. I’m not totally satisfied with the likeness I have. A lot of things
working. I want to note the curve of this nose as well. That feels better. I’m getting
closer. Grab my eraser here real quick.
Okay, I feel a lot better now. It’s almost as if it’s a little too boxy. I think my
strategy, the boxy face strategy was working, but now I need to soften that idea a little
bit to back off that idea. It’s a very kind of an extreme notion. It’s kind of a bold
notion. Now I’m going to double-check the ear. It feels a little large. Let’s see,
this feels a lot better. Yeah, it feels okay. I’m comparing some shapes now. I’m comparing
the shape of the forehead, this shape. The cheek and shadow. Some things can be moved
around. But as far as the lay-in goes, I’ve accomplished enough, I have enough here definitely
to move forward. And it’s fairly captured her character and some of the emotional quality
that I wanted, so yeah, I think I can move forward from here. Let me just double-check
some of these ideas. The rest of the hair I’ll definitely do in tone. Add some cool
charcoal techniques there just for some variety. Okay, that’s pretty much it for this example.
of the neck, the extended the neck. I definitely want to get that in my drawing. First impression
is very masculine, that brow section, the defined cheeks. I definitely want to get all
of that. That’s going to be a huge part of the likeness, a huge part of the character.
It’s going to be a big part of the drawing. The dark hair, the long hair. The first that
catches me is the gesture. The second thing is the cheekbone, the way his cheekbone pops
out, and the third is his brow. He has a very cool bone structure that I want to take advantage of.
Alright, so that’s kind of a little bit of who he is. I can tell also that he is very
lean, very chiseled, very defined cheeks, jaw. In terms of what he’s doing, he’s
clearly looking to the right, looking straight ahead to him and extending to the neck, very
powerful gesture moving this way. In terms of shape I’m going box all the way. I want
to really take advantage of the boxy, bony masculine quality. The box is perfect. Yeah,
so let’s get started.
Right away I just want to touch down where he’s going, the placement, how far right
I’m going to go. I’m going to make this a little bit bigger than the last one. I’m
going to take advantage of the rest of the paper that I have here. I still want to give
myself enough room for that neck. That’s a big part of the gesture. I think that’s
what I’m going to start with now is the gesture. It’s definitely kind of a straight,
definitely an angle here. Straight there. Yeah, a lot of fun. Now, I’ve got to be
careful. Almost too many straights here. I don’t want it to be too stiff and straight
and boxy. That is kind of not, it’s the shape read I want, but it’s not the gestural
read, the story. The story is kind of like this stretching kind of feeling, as if he
is reaching for something, as if he has no arms. That’s kind of the story that I have
in mind. He has no arms and he is reaching with this head in his face as if he was going
to use his teeth, his hands. I don’t know. That’s just the first impression I get.
So, if I can put that in my drawing at all, I definitely want to.
Yeah, I think for the gesture this feels pretty good.
Let’s see if I can correct some of the shapes. I’ve got that straight, the front. I’m
going to keep that straight, that boxy nature in the front there. Also in the top I think
what I need to do is start to chisel that brow. Before I do that let me place the horizontal
center right through the eyes and to the ear. The ear I can go ahead and drop in, just a
nice little ghosting of an oval there. The ear connection kind of cuts into that oval.
I’ve got the brow. I can start to chisel in that brow. That’s a huge part of the
likeness and also this nose. Fairly prominent nose, that shape has to be finessed,
and that interesting expression on his mouth.
I want to make note of where the apex of my gesture will be, meaning, will the chin be
the apex? The chin come forward the most? Will the nose? The center come forward the
most? Or will the brow come forward the most? Now, I can make the decision two ways, based
on direct observation. Second, I can just make that decision on my own based on my picture.
And it looks like the nose. Yeah, the nose. Meaning I’ll go with this kind of curve
here. That looks like a good choice now, now that I’m starting to refine the drawing.
Yeah. That was a good choice. I tucked the—see that? I tucked the chin back just a little bit.
Now I’m going to tuck the forehead and pull the hairline back even more.
I feel pretty good about that. I’m going to quickly ghost in the eye. What I need is
I need to lock in this shape before I move forward with anything else, so that means hairline
how much of the brow I’m going to see.
Now I want to note the correct angle of that nose.
Maybe even exaggerate it. I’m even going to consciously tuck in that ear,
or excuse me, the eye so I can force that brow to come forward. I want that brow to
come forward as much as possible, but the nose is the apex of the curve of the front
of the face. I initially put a straight there, but I’m going to put a tiny little curve
and then drop in this feature. I already started to refine the feature, and that’s because
it’s such an important part of this drawing, I think, the expression. That’s going to
be the selling point of this drawing. I’m also giving myself a little bit more construction
as well. There is not a lot of light and shadow. In fact, it’s all light, actually.
I’m taking a step back, just evaluating my work, seeing where I’m at.
Some of these distances need to be reevaluated. This distance is not quite right.
Maybe I can sink the eye back even more.
Indicate that shadow shape there.
And yeah, I’m pretty much done, actually,
with this one. I feel pretty good about it. I can move forward with the tone. I’ve got
to correct some of these proportions. I still want that realism. Some of these proportions
are—I got too excited. A lot of times if you see a cool pose or a cool model, you just
go crazy. I know I do. I just get too excited. I like to exaggerate like a madman. I want
to pull back and get some of that realism.
Now I’ve got to really make sure that the cranium is correct in terms of size and scale
and proportion. It’s starting to feel a little small. I can do a quick measure. It’s
about halfway. One, two. So I know I have to go way back. Even with that hair there,
I still have to go way back. The little ponytail, I’m going to move it down closer to his
eye actually because I can. It’s just a hair detail. Definitely use it as a design
element. I don’t have to copy it. I don’t have to be precise. I don’t have to measure.
For those things, I’m going to take full advantage. This feels pretty good, actually.
I feel like I’m at a good stopping point here.
Another step back, making sure it looks okay.
Going to double-check this expression
Yeah, I think I got it. Yeah. Had to tuck in that lip to capture that expression a little better
and beef up that eyebrow shape with another subtle little plane right here. There is a
lot of light. We’re in 100% light. I’m going to do some drawing. I can’t use tone
in this case, so I’ve got to go with my line skills, practice my line skills, at least
on this one. So, yep, I’m at a good stage here. I’m definitely ready to drop in some
tone. I feel pretty good about this lay-in. So yeah, let’s move on to the next example.
and he’s looking down. Fairly standard, not too much expression, but I do feel because
of the way he’s looking down, the nature of the light, it feels almost somber, contemplative.
Yeah, in terms of shape I’m definitely boxy. I want to bring out that corner in his cheekbone
and the corners, that nice defined jaw. Yeah, fairly boxy, rectangular, maybe a touch of
a curve at the top of the head, something like this is kind of a hybrid, box-curved-
thingamajig. That’s kind of what I see.
He’s looking down and away. A lot of the top plane of the head. Lots of top planes
I have to communicate here. First I want to place it, kind of get an idea of size and
location, where it’s going on my paper, and I do that with the top, bottom, and sides.
That’s the top kind of cutting through his hair and imagining where the skull would be.
The bottom of his face is at his chin. The side will be the point of that cheekbone on
the left. On the right it’s kind of behind the ear. That’s the skull, actually, if
you follow the curve of the jaw. It’ll lead you to the back of the head. That’s pretty
much the first little shape marks I’ve got, placement marks. Now I’m going to begin
to construct my first little shape. Already I’m feeling good about this drawing. I got
lucky. That cheekbone I hit it. I hit it. I got lucky.
I’m already feeling a likeness. Maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. I’m seeing it.
It’s there. I’m moving forward, feeling good about this drawing. Sometimes it works.
When it works it’s good. When it stops working then, you know, maybe my mood will change.
But yeah, we’re good. I’m cutting into his hair right now. I’m going to get that
curve of his hair to contrast with the straights in his lower jaw. I want to make a note of
that hair shape before I find the crosshair vertical and horizontal center. Clearly, the
horizontal center will be curved down and also the vertical center will curve slightly,
will bulge slightly to the left because he’s looking to his right, or we are to his left.
There is a quick indication of that.
I’m just going to make a note of the brow hair. It’s close to the brow bone and this
side of the face. I’m going to—there’s a cool, boxy quality to that nose. Now I’m
making a note as to the center of the mouth. Let’s see. I’ve still got time to ruin
it. I’ve still got time to mess up. That’s cool. Actually messing up is how you get better.
One of my teachers told me that when he does his drawings and paintings he’ll look for
opportunities to mess up. He’ll take huge risks. That way in order to correct his drawing
or his painting, to get back on track you have to use parts of your brain that you don’t
normally access. It’s a very bold way to look at things. I think it’s a very healthy
attitude to have. I definitely adopted that. Yeah, I feel good. You know, I got the shape
read I’m looking for. I think the proportion is there. I’m going to quickly drop in the
neck. The light is very soft. I think it’s a very soft feeling overall.
The ear is looking good.
The placement is looking good. I’m just going to quickly drop in some spheres or little
circles for eyes just to double-check their size and where their placement will be. It
feels pretty good if you ask me. I’m double-checking this distance, but that can be changed with
the hair shape. Double-checking the tilt. It feels good. Double-checking the width of
the nose. Now I’m going to drop in the lips. I’m going to use a muzzle rhythm real quick.
I like the way the lips are bulging out, and I want to exaggerate that if possible. It
may ruin the drawing but I don’t care. That’s not going to ruin the drawing. If it goes
astray gotta bring it back. Using that muzzle rhythm to help me locate the side of the mouth.
The side of the mouth can also be followed by the center of the eye. It looks like I’m
fairly on track with this one. His mouth is a touch narrower than the width of his—the
width of his mouth is a touch narrower than the center of his eyes.
Drop that in. Drop that in. Looking good. Yeah, once I chiseled out and refined the
shape of the chin I’m pretty much locked in. The opening of his eyes might indicate,
yeah, I think I’ll indicate where the dark of the eye will be in the light side. I’m
not going to draw the outline of that brow. I’ll let the light and shadow do the work.
Same with this eye. I’ve got to make sure I note the shape of the opening. Remember,
eyes aren’t almonds. They’re spheres, but the openings happen to almond-ish shaped.
Yeah, this looks good. Just a really quick touch on the nose. I don’t want to do too
many marks because this one was on point from the beginning, so I can be fairly conservative
with my marks here, which is kind of what I want. I don’t want to dig
into the paper too much.
Yeah, I feel pretty good. I’m going to make a few notes, take a quick step back. It feels
pretty good to me. A few things can be tweaked here and there, but it’s definitely ready
for the tone, which will really, really begin to take this drawing to the next level once
we add the darks. I’m pretty happy with the lay-in. Happy with the shape. Happy with
the gesture. We’re good to go. So, that wraps up this example, so onto the next.
Okay, in this example we have a male three-quarter, and he’s looking up. Making my observation
notes in my mind right now. I see—the word hope comes to mind. I know it sounds so corny.
He looks like he’s in a good mood. He’s about to smile. I like the curve. I like the
light, the curve of his forehead. I’m making a note of that. Defined features. Notice the
brow, the curve of that brow is the first thing I notice, and the direction and the
way his eyes are looking. The point of his nose, I definitely want to capture that. In
terms of shape, I see a curve in the top of his head, a triangle shape in his nose. But
he’s a fairly lean, young male, so I definitely want some corners, some boxy quality. I might
do that, do a similar strategy, so like a curvy, kind of narrow boxy thing. Curvy-narrow-boxy.
That’s what I’ve got.
I’m seeing this kind of idea where things kind of originate from the neck and they flow
outward. This is what I feel, this is what I mean when I say hopeful, as if life is springing
from the bottom of this drawing out like a flower or a fountain. It’s like a fountain
of head, I guess, for lack of a better metaphor. I’m kind of ghosting myself here. I see
a lot of gesture in this drawing, so maybe I’ll take a different approach. I’ll touch
the neck, touch the bottom just to give me an idea. I know you probably can’t see this
marks on the camera. They’re so light. I’m kind of making a note at the top and bottom
and the sides. I want to leave enough room here so I’m going to scoot it over. That’s
why I had the ghost because I need to kind of practice how big he is going to be and
where he is going to be.
I’m just going to go ahead and start making marks, because I think the gesture I so cool.
I want to start with that. So that’s what I’m doing now. I’m kind of breaking the
rules a little bit. It’s okay. There is not one way to do this by any means. This
is just some of my ideas based on my experience and based on other artists who can draw really,
really well. Those are good people to emulate in my opinion. There is kind of the gesture.
I haven’t quite nailed the likeness yet. Let’s see if I can do that. Yeah, I’ve
got that curve, the face. Alright, I’m feeling it. I’m in a rhythm here.
The coffee is finally taking effect.
Yeah, so I’m liking this gestural idea. I’m going to keep going with that until
I screw up, pretty much is what I’m thinking right now. There is basically my shape. My
shape, so my gesture notes. I’m going to keep going with the gesture notes there. I’m
actually going to pull vertical center from the bottom. Why not? Why not? Shoot. I’m
going to try to pull horizontal center sort of like that. Look at that. That looks good
to me. Right away that added a lot, I think. Now I’m going to make some notes as to the
features because I want to nail that nose. I need to nail two things: I need to nail
this area, the chin, relationship from the chin to the cheek, this triangle and the point
of the nose. The third thing is that curve of the forehead. That’s going to be key.
That’s going to make or break the likeness.
So I’ve got my crosshairs, vertical and horizontal center. I kinda have an idea of
what he’s doing, looking up. I’ve got to get that point in there. Make sure that
angle is correct. I’m not 100% sold on that angle. Making sure this angle is correct.
I’m trying to feel this better, breaking that into another corner there, another plane.
Ghosting in the eye, I need to know how big that eye has to be. I’m liking the gestural
quality. I’ve got some things to refine here. Yeah, I’m feeling some likeness here.
Let’s quickly define some of the planes. I’ve started to do that here, hinting at
the cheek, the side plane of the cheek, this jaw. I’m not going to commit to the jaw
yet until this stuff. I can move that around. It’s in shadow, so I can smudge it around.
To me the stuff in light is what I’ve got to get correct now.
Okay, so this is going there. I need to lock in the size of this eye. That’s my big sticking
point right now. I’m kind of roughly blocking in that nose with a couple of planes. Couple
of bonus planes. Take a quick step back. I think I’m losing this curve. Yeah, that
helped right there. That helped a lot, readjusting that curve, pushing the bangs, that hair back.
Let’s see, now I can commit a little bit to this jaw. Now that I have of the eye locked
in, I think the shape is a little off. That’s okay. I don’t have to be perfect at this
stage. As long as I hit the notes that I wanted, I’m okay. So now we’ve got to get to this
mouth because I need to lock in this jaw shape. Even this mouth I’m going to repeat that
idea of this as much as I can. That’s the theme. That’s the motif, springing forward
like a fountain. You know, as an extra layer that the ordinary drawing wouldn’t have.
Alright, so I’m locking in. That’s helped a lot right there. Locking in that muzzle.
Now I’m going to lock in that lower chin. Lock in this eye, correct, some of the distances
if needed. I think a few things need to be corrected here. Making sure that lines up.
I might even push his hair back one more time. Does that help? Does that hurt? I’m not
sure. I think it’s this eye that needs to come in.
As you can see, this drawing started much looser. Now I’m really tightening up because
I want that realism. I’ve got to tighten it up here. I’ve got to be pretty sharp
here. I’m going to take a step back here soon so I can compare, see where I’m at.
Take a quick step back. It feels okay. I did a lot of work on this construction, a lot
more than I wanted in some ways. I don’t want to overwork at this stage. I don’t
want to dig into the paper too much. I’m just going to make some minor notes here,
make sure I have enough of what I need to begin the shading. I think I do. I’m just
going to double-check the rhythms. This space feels okay. I think it needs some work.
I think this needs to be brought in just a touch. Yeah, just a touch brought in.
I had to define this neck in order for me to get—yeah, now I’m good. This area was pretty important
to the drawing. I didn’t really realize it until I touched on it. But, it was okay.
Yeah, as you can see, I’ve still got a lot more tighter drawing than I expected. It started
loose and gestural and we had to tighten it up. That’s good, actually. It’s good you
got to see that because you can see how important the gesture is. Imagine if I started stiff
and I ended up tightening a stiff drawing. It would look stiff. It would not look as
lively, but yeah, this is good. One more step back, I think quickly drop in the dark of
the eye. Yeah, I feel pretty good about this. I feel pretty good. I’m definitely ready
to move forward. I have everything that I need to continue on with the drawing. The
gesture is there. I think the emotional quality is there. The shape is there. All the features
are obviously there. So yeah, I’m ready to move forward with this drawing,
so on to the next example.
looking up and away. There is a beautiful gesture happening. This demo I’m going to
use the willow stick. Okay, so just some quick observation notes: Gesture clearly moving
up and to the right. Her eyes are looking far right to her left, the hand had some quality
to it too. She is another young lady. Defined features there. The first thing I note besides
the gesture is the lips, the shape of the lips, the pink tone. I want this drawing to
be about gesture, emotion, surprise, questioning, and the lips, the slightly open mouth and
lips. Alright, so let’s first start by placing. I’m going to make a quick note. Because
this tool is so crude, I definitely won’t be making a lot of refined marks. Let me actually
scoot this over just a touch.
I’ve got a little bit of room on the right so I'm going to scoot it over.
In terms of shape, I definitely see an oval, and I see a point in her chin. Pointy oval,
how about that? That’s a good shape. And I see a nice big curve happening on this side.
I’m liking that. I nailed that curve. I see a subtle straight but I’m going to make
a soft curve and the point of the chin. Right away I feel really good about this shape.
In fact, I would argue there is a likeness already. I’m seeing it. Call me crazy. Call
me crazy. Get that gesture, that angle, that center line. A big part of the gesture. Almost
exaggerating. Let me take a step back.
Okay, I just stepped back and measured. I exaggerated too much. I’ve got to rein it
in, gotta rein it in a little bit. I tend to do that, but as we saw in the last example,
you want to exaggerate the gesture. Nothing wrong with that. I’m going to hint at that
neck. That’s a huge part, the neck, the shoulder line. Alright, so let’s keep going
here. I need to find horizontal center. I’m just going to ghost it in lightly. You can
see I’m drawing with the little corner. This is the flat end of the thing, so I’m
just drawing with the corner here. I’m just making little touches. I definitely can’t
draw a tight drawing with this big, crude thing. That’s not the point here. The point
is just to give me a lay-in, kind of give me a little bit of a start. For this one,
I’m 100% sure I would let the tone do the work because there is a lot of beautiful light happening.
Alright, drop in those features. Indicate the features, excuse me. This is an upshot,
so we’ve got to nail those underplanes. We also have to make the correct ratio. Remember
in an upshot this ratio in the thirds will be greater than this one. This will be compressed.
It’s doing the compressed foreshortening. It’s happening there. The bottom thirds
will be a much greater, so I’m going to exaggerate that. I’m going to scoot the
nose up, and I’m going to leave the eyes where they are. I’m going to exaggerate
the curve of the eye there ever so slightly. I’m feeling pretty good. Now I’m going
to block in some of the major planes that I see, starting with the brow. I’ve got
to place these eyes correctly. That’s going to be a huge part of this drawing, where I
place the eyes, and the angle that they’re at. I’ve got to get the—actually if I
don’t get that, it’s going to be eraser time.
I want to indicate that side plane with that core shadow there. Make it a boxy idea.
Lot of straights there. I definitely have to change that. It’s going to make it more masculine
than I want. I’m ghosting in the shape of the upper lip somewhat. I want to make sure
that it feels like the mouth is open. I feel pretty good about that. It’s a little muddy,
I know. I have to clean that up a little bit. I feel pretty good about these lips. I think
the lips are a big selling part of this drawing, at least from my observational read. I wanted
this drawing to be—the mouth, the lips, the expression.
I can’t get too detailed with these eyes.
I definitely want to note the general gesture of the opening and note
the placement of the pupil. I think I got it. I feel pretty good about that. When the
nose, when I’m drawing the nose I’m thinking about the shadow as well, the shape of the
shadow. Beautiful light and shadow happening there.
You know, this drawing feels pretty good. Because I’m using a crude tool I can’t
get too precise, which is good. I think this is good practice as well to be able to do
these very minimal blocking. Very conservative with my marks. That’s really what I’m
after is just be conservative. It also makes you more efficient, of course. Not that this
matters at this stage anyway. We’ve got to get this right. Who cares how long this
takes? If this takes a couple hours or a couple days, you’ve got to get it right. So double
checking my widths. I’m going to take a quick step back. Yeah, I feel pretty good.
The drawing feels a little long now. It actually feels a touch long, so I’m going to just
drop the length. I want to force that compression in the forehead. I want to force it. I don’t
know if I can. I don’t know if I can get away with it and still get realism. If I can,
I’m going to. It could also be the eyes need to be moved up slightly.
Yeah, I think that helped a lot.
I’m going to leave this side kind of quiet. The gesture side. I’m not going to do too
much work there. What I’d probably do is, if I were to take this drawing to a finish,
is drop tone and leave that edge kind of muddy and soft and ghost-y, ghost-ish-like.
Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good.
Yeah, again, this stuff, I can’t really touch on it. I mean, I can; I’m not going
to do, though. I would do a lot of work with tone right there, but as far as the initial
block-in, I feel pretty good. This is an example of using a more crude tool and a more conservative
block-in. I think I’m pretty much done with this example. Let’s see here: One more touch.
I’m going to exaggerate the underplane of the nose. I think that’s the last touch
I needed. Yeah, that helped a lot. Yeah. I feel pretty good. Let me just quickly…
Yeah, there we go. One more touch. Just kidding. Yeah, I feel pretty good about this drawing.
I took a step back. I’m pretty with where it’s at. It’ll be ready for some tone.
Again, because of this tool, I don’t want to do too much construction. Be very conservative.
I feel this lay-in is complete, so I’m ready for the next example.
Okay, in this example we have a female and she’s three-quarter, looking slightly down.
For this lay-in I’m going to use a pen, so I wanted to show you a few examples using
pen. This would be more of a sketch tool. Get a lot of beautiful tones with pen. That’s
one thing I love about it. Of course, with pen you can’t erase, so it’s another thing
I enjoy and that’s a thing to be very conscious of in this example. I’m going to be doing
probably thinking and less drawing at this stage.
Now, let’s take a look at our model here. Now the first thing I notice is the chiseled
jaw. She has a very defined nasal bone as well, the long straight nose and the dark
hair framing the face. She looks kind of mad almost. Cool hair shape too. I can probably
use that in my design. But I’ll make this drawing more of a serious kind of drawing,
as if she just turned toward us and gave us this serious look, almost a dirty look. Angry
look. I don’t know. I don’t want to say angry. But yeah, that’s some of things I’m
picking up. In terms of shape, definitely boxy. Even though it’s a female I’m going
to use the boxy kind of thing and then counterbalance it with curves of the upper section. That’s
the game plan. Let me make a note as to where this drawing will go. The top will be kind
of underneath her hair. Her hair bulges quite a bit. It does hide her skull. The bottom
will be roughly here. The side will be her cheekbone here. The other side will be her—
I can’t see her ear or the back of the skull, so I am going to make the
side the corner of her jaw.
So, first, I’ve kind of got an idea of roughly the size, so now I’m going to…I like to
just give myself a few marks before I start. I’m really imagining the drawing underneath
right now because I can’t touch down. I mean, I can, but I can’t erase. I have to
be very, very mindful of every mark. I’m just going to start with the gesture, kind
of get myself in the rhythm of this drawing using the hair as a gesture there. I’ve kind of got that there.
I need the hairline so I can find vertical center. Make sure the tilt is correct. I’m
not going to go all the way through. I’m just going to kind of ghost it through, touching
on the tops on the bottom. Then the horizontal center, I have to get that right as well.
Make sure the angle is correct. I’m going to quickly double-check the angle. I’m going
to hold my pen out, my drawing too, make sure my angle is correct. It feels pretty good
here. I’ve got to get this angle. This drawing, a lot of it has to do with that expression,
so the angles of the brow, the brow hair, especially is going to be a big part of it.
Before I get to the keystone, bridge of the nose, I want to make a mark to where the bottom
of the nose will be and quickly touch where the mouth will be. Take a step back, feels
good. Stepping back was a good call. So, I’m on track. Keep going here. Let’s see where
I’m at here. Where am I at? Let me define that brow again. Touch on that.
You can see I’m doing more ghosting than I am making marks. I know it must be light.
It looks okay from my vantage point. So right away I’m feeling a likeness. The shape is
correct. The shapes are correct, so that’s a good call. I can still screw it up. I’m
not going to hold my breath. Hopefully, with the pen I don’t screw up too much. That’s
cool, though, it’s a quick little block-in. I can always do another one. That’s the
beautiful thing about pen drawing too; if you make a mistake, boy, you have to live with it.
If the mistake can’t be corrected, you’ve just got to start over, which is
actually good. You want mileage. I detailed out that lower, at the mouth already because
I’m kind of doing the ghosting in my mind. In my mind—I know, probably not the most
instructive thing. Basically, when I drew the lips in this manner I did this in my mind.
I did this. I did this. Then I did this. Then I did this, subdivided it. The last part was that.
Now, I can put all of these there, but not in pen. I want to leave that area clean, so
I had to make a conscious decision to almost skip to that step. Hopefully that helps. That’s
after drawing thousands of mouths. You can kind of draw them shorthand almost. That’s
kind of what a lay-in is. It’s kind of a shorthand construction drawing. I’ve got
to get that chin, the curve. Not just a curve, but the weight, the size of that jaw. Now
I’ve got to imagine the ear is here, and I can ghost it in. This area will be in shadow
anyway. Imagining the cranium. Try to get an accurate size for that cranium.
Yeah, let me just quickly drop in the neck. I’m actually almost done once I ghost in
those eyes, block in those eyes. I’m pretty much done. All the notes I wanted to hit are there.
I’m trying to be a little bit conscious with these marks. There are a lot of straights
and boxy quality in her face, so I want to counterbalance that, compliment that with
some curves whenever I can. So, I got lucky. Luck is part preparation. Preparation for
artists is tons of practice, tons of mileage. Yeah. I love drawing in pen. I do quite a
few studies in pen. Actually, I do draw in pen every day just for this reason. Pen is
so portable too. I love it. It’s portable. You never have to sharpen it. I love that.
I love charcoal drawing, but sharpening is a pain in the butt, sometimes, my God. Someday
I’ll be like Rubens and have a bunch of assistants sharpen all my pencils. Maybe that’s
what I’ll do, have a big old charcoal sharpening staff. How about that? That would be cool.
Alright, I’ve got to note that cheek and then reinforce that jaw, a big part of this.
Yeah, I got it. I’ve got her. I feel good about this drawing. To be honest, I don’t
want to touch too much. I’m just going to note the shape of that shadow. That’s going
to be a big part of the drawing, I think, as if the eye is kind of hidden. It’s a
mysterious eye. Then touch on that shadow over there. Using a baby touch, maybe another
baby touch on this shadow, this shadow, and I’m pretty much done. A little bit of a
core shadow here. The key elements are there. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
I feel good about the likeness. The gesture is pretty solid. So yeah, I think everything
is good. For a lay-in it’s pretty much complete. So onto the next example.
is some depth in his eyes there, some intensity in that stare. I could definitely use that.
Maybe that’s the key word, intensity. Staring, contemplating. In terms of the gesture and
the rotation, we’re pretty much straight on. In terms of shape I see a curve, I see
a nice curve on the side of his head. Maybe I can put some curves in the gesture. It’s
almost like a pie shape, a curve shape. Then I’ll box it off in the back somewhere. I
definitely want some corners because he is a male.
Yeah, let’s get started. I just want to do a quick touch real quick just to place
my guy on the paper. Touch here. Touch here. Alright, feel pretty good about that. This
is where his ear will be. I’m just going to start with the gesture. I need to lock in this shape.
I see a lot of curves but I want to add straights because he is a male.
He is an older male. That’s a good read. Let’s see, vertical center, horizontal center
is here. I’m making sure…yeah, the angles feel good. The angles feel good. I want to
keep that chin boxy if I can. I don’t know if I can get away with it and still get a
likeness. So here I’m ghosting in that ear because right now I’m trying to give myself
some clues, some landmarks. The ear, remember, is a huge landmark. The ear attachment, huge
landmark. I want to give myself some clues as to where I’m at in the drawing. I like
that shadow pattern he has there. Okay, let’s keep going. I’m going to quickly ghost in
the eyes, ghost in—it’s more the side plane of the eye socket, the bottom of the
nose, the center of the mouth. The ear, ear lobe, the ear shape feels good. The ear attachment
feels good. Double-check, yeah, that feels okay.
A few light touches. I’m going to make them slightly darker so you can see them. I’m
sure it’s light, but hopefully it gives you an idea that you have to draw lightly
in pen. I feel pretty good where I’m at, shape-wise, gesture wise. I feel pretty good
so I’m going to move forward. Now I’m going to lock in the shape of the brow and
the forehead. I need this—this is a big part of this pose, that forehead. Not only
is it a big part of a pose, but it’s a big part of the likeness because it added to the
age, the receding hairline. It’s a nice quality for the likeness.
I’m doing kind of a refined eye shape as I go. Ghost in these eyeballs. So I’m starting
to refine the features as I go. I’m not quite sure if that’s the best strategy yet,
but it feels fairly natural at this stage. I want to get the bulge of the mouth. Bulge
of the chin, and finally the side plane. Now I get to the side plane. I kind of skipped
a step, but that’s okay. I’m very hesitant to draw that mark because it’s in pen anyway.
That’s a side plane there. It’s giving me that corner of the frontalis, I believe.
There is a big muscle in your forehead right there. Yeah, I feel okay. I’m not 100% sold
on it. Let’s see if I can make it better. You can see I made a few ghost marks there
that I can’t deal with. I can’t erase.
What happened is I drew the eye a little too low, I think.
Now my brain has to activate and try to think of ways to make that work within the drawing.
Let’s see, some of these rhythms feel good. I don’t complete the rhythm. I don’t touch
down on the paper—not in pen, anyway. The thing lips. The serious, serious expression.
The bottom lip almost juts out. Make a note of that eye. Make the note on that tangent.
I’ve got to hit that tangent just right. That helped locking in the side shape. I think
that helped too, locking in the shape of the corner of the brow bone there. Now I think
the mustache is a big part of the drawing. It’s definitely going to help with the likeness.
The mustache, the goatee, the beard there.
Let’s see where I’m at here. So, I’ve got a lot of stuff going on here. I’ve got
hair, facial hair. I have some rhythms, these other rhythms giving me some anatomy. I’ve
started to draw the shadow shape. I’m trying to simplify that area as much as I can. I
notice the eye is floating a touch, so I have to reevaluate my drawing. Okay, that feels
better. I’m basically trying to correct marks that can’t be corrected in a lot of
ways. It takes some creativity and ingenuity. Alright, so stepping back, the cranium has
to be reevaluated. It’s way too small. In other words, this distance feels—I can push
that back as well. Yeah, it feels a little too narrow, the size of the face that I have.
Now I’m going to pull this eye over and begin light construction of the ear. I just
want to make a note of the shadow shapes, the dark shapes in the ear, just so I can
get an idea of the eat itself. I like to do that. Sometimes it’s to draw the shadow
shape of the form like I did here and use it as a tool to guide my drawing to guide
the proportion of the drawing.
Actually, now I definitely need to pull the eye back—or the ear. Excuse me, I keep saying
eye. Yeah, definitely that ear had to go back. I don’t want to put too much detail there.
It’s not necessary anyway. As you can see, this is much more involved than the last one.
Some of those shadow shapes there. I feel pretty good about this hair—or excuse me
the cranium—the hair on the back of the head is fairly close to his cranium, so I
feel pretty good about that. Another step back. Trying to evaluate where I’m at here.
Trying to give myself more shapes, more information that I can use to tighten up my drawing in
any way possible. I think that eye is a little too big.
Now I’m going to kind of indicate the kind of scrunchy, the wrinkles, things happening
here. It’s going to help me push the forehead forward. I want this to come forward. It’s
like a big egg or a big ball coming off his head. Yeah, and you know what, I think for
where I’m at, this is pretty good. I’m ready to move on here. I think a lot of the
shapes can be corrected in adjusted. But, you know, we can’t do that in pen. I think
for this stage it feels pretty good. I’d probably begin to add the light and shadow
here to get that final touch, see if that can help get the likeness and things.
Once you see this hair start to come in it’ll help with the likeness. So yeah, I feel pretty
good about this drawing. A few more touches here. Okay, good. I feel pretty good about
this lay-in. That’s as far as I’m going to take this lay-in.
sketch, a quick study. We have a male looking up and slightly to the right. It’s a three-quarter
and a low-angle shot, so it’s a little bit tricky. Now, for the materials, the paper
here is a beautiful sketch vellum, so it’s a general all-purpose paper that I have.
Let’s begin with the drawing. First thing I want to do is make a good observation. The
first thing I notice is the beautiful gesture. There is a nice movement this way. This is
a nice upshot, low angle shot. I notice the curve in his head. Right away I see this kind
of shape, gumdrop-y shape, and I get a sense of hope. You know, he looks hopeful. He’s
looking up at the world, and it’s kind of the feeling I get. The light coming from the
upper right. Here he has a nice beautiful shadow pattern on this side. It’s a fairly
medium contrast. Not a very strong shadow pattern. But yeah, it’s still there and
he has a very lean, defined bone structure. He looks like a young man. I should be able
to use straight marks, which I enjoy doing in general, but I really like doing that in
pen. A young, lean male with defined bone structure is great.
I’m just going to do a quick study, lock in or lay-in and indicate the shadow and maybe
hint at some tone and then refine my drawing as much as I can. I don’t want to spend
too much time. Like I said, probably a 10-minute quick little study. This is something I would
do before starting a longer, finished, more refined drawing possible in charcoal. Especially
in painting, I like to do this before I do an oil painting portrait. Okay, so enough
of me talking. Let’s get drawing here.
I’ve got my shape. I’ve got my gesture. I’ve got the angle of his neck here. Let’s
get some of that going here. What I want to do now is just roughly give myself an idea
of where I’m going to place this thing. I hate to ruin this beautiful paper here and
misplace my drawing, so just quick hatch marks. Upper extremity, lower extremity. That’s
his chin there. The left will be roughly here to the right and that’s his cheek right
there. To the left will be like a little back of his head. I’m just guessing at this moment
just based in my experience and observation.
Okay, now I kind of want to hint at the gesture, so what I want to do is do a light ghost block
in and kind of get the general size of his head on the paper. This feels like a good
size so far. Now, I can kind of ghost in the gesture. I haven’t quite locked in the shape
yet. I definitely don’t want to touch down too much when I know I can’t erase. I have
to be very disciplined and conservative with my marks, of course. I definitely want this
curve. I want to show that underplane of the chin.
Let’s see if I can bring this gesture down, getting that angle of the chin there. Now
I want the angle on the side of his head. I really need to define the crosshairs, vertical
and horizontal center. I need to know which way he’s looking. To do that I’m going
to maybe jump around a little bit. Jump through the steps. We talked about some steps and
processes, but you don’t have to follow them literally by any means. They’re just
general guides, and you’ll often see me jump around. As you get more experienced you’ll
definitely be more liberal with the steps with the process.
Okay, so I’ve kind of ghosted in what’s called the facial mask right here. The side
plane will be right about here, but I’m not ready for that yet. I need to put a little
bit more gesture. It feels a little too stiff. It’s not stiff, but for my taste, at least
for this little study I want to loosen it up. It’s a little too tight. Okay, so now
I’m going to ghost in vertical center. I know I’m drawing very light. I try my best
to draw dark, believe me. If I wasn’t on film I would actually draw much, much lighter.
Super ghost-like. This is my rough vertical center, my rough horizontal center
right through the eyes there.
And because of the low angle, the upshot, I’m getting this kind of wrap—the cross-section
is curving up. The head is curving up. I think that’s it. I’m just going to gun it here.
I’m just going to go. I’m pretty happy with the vertical center. You know how much
space I have here feels good. How much space I have here feels good. The ratio of the upper
half to the lower half feels good. I can still adjust it. Even though it’s pen, as long
as I draw light, I still have a little bit of room to fudge and move the shapes around.
Now I’m going to get the block. Notice the shape. I’m noting the intersection here,
how much I have, which I don’t really. But that’s okay. That’s okay. I’m definitely
making note of that space. I’m not quite sure that nose is the right length. What I’m
going to do is give myself a check and just bring it back to the ear.
This ear has to go down, I feel.
Now I’m just going to quickly ghost the mouth in. This is tricky. I’ll be honest
with you, this upshot with his mouth, to get the proportion, the placement, the angles,
the size, really. The size is my main concern right now. Let’s see here. Get that muzzle
wrapped. That’s helping me locate the size. Drop the eye line there. That little eye rhythm.
That’s the center of the eyes there. It’s helping me place both eyes in the mouth.
Ghosting, drawing very light. Now I’m going to drop my side plane just so that I can see what
the heck is going on with the mouth. I’ve got to get that right. The rhythm of the chin.
It feels pretty good.
I just had an idea as I’m drawing here. This is more of a technical thing. It’s
a very subtle thing. I’m thinking about using a bunch of straights and possibly making
curve accents. By that I mean I’m going to go straight. Basically, draw boxy, lots
of rigid corners and then come in with some curves where I want you to look. So, something
you can play with using line. But who knows? That could change too. I just thought of it.
Let’s keep drawing here. I’m actually almost done with the lay-in for sure. But
because the shadow isn’t that intense, there are not a lot of darks. There are a little
bit of darks in the back of his head. I don’t really have a lot of filling in to do with
the pen at least. I’m pretty much almost done here. Yeah, I think I like that idea
of the curve. I’m going to play with that. Okay, let’s rock. Let’s rock here.
Okay, here we go. Now I have to commit. This is where you put your money on the table.
You put it all on the line right here. You have to commit. That’s what I like about
drawing in pen. Because you can’t erase you’re forced to commit. You’re forced
to make a decision. The decision won’t always work in your favor but that’s okay. You
just do another drawing. That’s the bottom line. Pen forces you to draw a lot, which
we all need to do. I’m just committing to my shapes here.
I’m making good progress here.
I’m happy with how it’s turning out.
I’m pretty happy with the likeness.
Okay, so this has been about 10 minutes. I’m pretty much done with the hard part, which
is the lay-in, the accuracy of the crosshairs, the gesture, the shape design. It’s looking
good, in my opinion. Of course, I’m biased. I’m just going to tighten it up a little
bit here. What I’ll probably do is drop a tone and then darken some marks. Add some
nice contrast, and you can see it better on the video. The hard part is done, and I feel
pretty good about it.
My next step is—did a pretty tight lay-in actually. Next step is going to fill it with
some tone. I’m going to group his hair, the shadow pattern, his eyes, and the slight
shadow pattern here. I might even draw it a little bit. For the tone I’m going to
use a hatch. I like this angle for two reasons: One, it’s a natural angle. It’s comfortable
because I’m right-handed. Two, it reinforces that idea I had in the beginning about hope,
you know that emotional read, that story read that I wanted to infuse. Marks moving upward.
That’s the thinking. It’s subtle. It’s a conscious decision, so I like that.
His lips are fairly light, even the underplane of that lip. I’m just going to draw some
tone in there. What we do first is kind of drop a nice average, meaning just a nice general
wash of tone using the pen, and then hit it with some dark accents.
Now this shadow pattern is quite interesting. It’s dark half-tone, not quite shadow.
I have to—you know what? I’m going to group it with a shadow, but I’m not going to draw
the outline. I’m just going to try to do this. A little bit of that beard action there.
Reinforce that core shadow. Now, this shadow I’m going to draw because I want to—it
does follow some anatomy. I’m just going to draw this shape real quick.
I’ll drop this in here.
Finally the hair, the hatching in this direction. Even though the hair is
flowing more in a curve around the skull, I’ll get to those accents in a second. I
just want to get this hair blocked in. It’s pretty much done with the first pass of tone.
Now I just want to kind of refine just a little bit. I mean for a sketch this is complete,
and I’m pretty satisfied with it. It’s okay. It’s at a good place.
Now I’m going to hit it with dark accents. Of course, the eye will be the natural focal point.
Get that brow. Little bit of nostril. Corner of the mouth.
I’m going to hit this core shadow just a little bit. Help that muzzle turn.
I’m going to touch on the underplane of this chin here to help that form turn,
that underplane turn down, which is what I want.
It’s coming. Wait for it. Wait for it. It’s coming. Almost there. I know. I’m
talking too much. I’m having fun. Alright, forgot the off eye. I’m going to lump the
off-eye into this kind of massive dark. I’m not going to pick it out like this. That way
it’ll give me a subtle edge, softness in a lot of ways, a subtle blur sort of.
Let's see. A little touch here. A touch in the corner of the eyes. One more touch, a pupil there.
The pupil feels a little flat. This mouth.
Of course, I can, like I said earlier, I can refine this too infinity. Keep hitting it
with hatch marks to really turn the form. But as far as a quick pen study, a quick little
10-minute or so, it’s good. We’re good. Little bit of that core shadow in the hair, and voila.
One more touch here. That sternocleidomastoid turns in the intersection. I can go on forever.
I’m going to stop here. I lied. I’m going to keep going. Here we go. I want to get that
brow, that little piece of flesh inside the socket. And wait for it—the core shadow
of the nose is very subtle. I need to sell that underplane, desperately want to sell
that underplane. The upshot must have it there to sell the upshot. So I’m just going to
reinforce underplanes real quick. Come on, be patient. Boom, boom, boom, underplane.
Underplane, underplane, underplane. And underplane, underplane, top plane. Indicate the hairline. Voila.
Alright. So, done with this one, and I feel pretty good about it. I just took a step back,
and it looks pretty good. Yeah, this was just a quick example of a sketch, a study I would
do in my sketchbook, you know, 10 or so minutes, but definitely a great way to study and practice.
looking straight at us. A nice front view here. She has a beautiful tilt in her shoulder,
so a lovely pose. A lovely light coming in from the right. A nice, strong core shadow,
shadow pattern. Well-defined beautiful lights and highlight pattern. The first thing I notice
are these angles. I see a nice beautiful angle here of her shoulder. I like the way her hair
is framing. I notice that her chiseled jaw. I may use a boxy form for this. The angle
of her brow is really cool. These are just some of her features that I notice that I
may want to bring out. Her mouth is very relaxed. It’s a very relaxed, confident, self-assured
look. Invitation. That’s the story that comes to mind. We’re making eye contact.
As far as shape, the gesture is going this way. As far as shape, I’m thinking box for
sure. Even though she is a female, she has a very cut jaw, defined jaw, defined cheeks.
I’m going to do box, face, curved hair. It’s going to do like a double design with
straights and curves there. A little design contrast. Let’s get started here. Alright,
so just making quick notes as to size and placement. I need to know how big this thing
it is and where it is. Alright, so right about there. This is roughly the rough height of
it and roughly where it’s going to go. I’m still not 100% sold on it. I need to know
the sides. What I’m going to do is indicate the side of her hair. That’ll help me indicate
the height. I’m not 100% sold on the height. Once I get this gesture in and this then I
will know for sure. Too me this shoulder line is really exciting. I want to make that a
part of my drawing, for sure. I like that. Okay. We’re good. We’re sold. I want to
take too much time talking again.
Let’s just spend more time drawing. Unlike the pen, I can erase, so this is great. I
have sort of a sense of relief. Ah, I can erase. I’m still drawing light and ghosty.
I’m not committing. What I’m going to do is lock in her face. I’d like to maybe
spend some time in the light tones, the light half-tones that I see in her face and light.
That’s kind of the thinking I have. I’m not quite sure yet. I’m not quite sure how
I’m going to handle the value yet. I may make it about the light. You know, there is
a general rule that when you do your portrait or any work of art you spend time in the light
or spend time in the shadow. You can’t do both really because it’ll make it look flat.
I’m trying to work fairly loose, gestural. I’m trying to loosen up a bit because I
know it’ll loosen up a bit because I know it’ll stiffen up as I add tone and anatomy
and all that stuff, so I’ve got to start this way. I notice my undercup grip. This
is a painter’s grip, drawing with these needle points and drawing under cup like this
trains you in painting. If you haven’t painting or haven’t started painting or are not familiar
with painting, this is a great way to start thinking in that way, training your hand.
I’m not 100% sold on it but I can tweak it. Now what I’m going to do is drop in
the gesture because I need to nail the height of her face. I’m just going to drop in the
gesture of the vertical center, horizontal center.
Now, these angles have to be correct. They feel pretty good. If this is wrong the entire
thing will fall apart. Double-check, triple-check. Do whatever it takes. I’m going to drop
this in, center of her eye, center of her eye, bottom of the nose. The thirds: The second
thirds, the top thirds is here, or it’s the third-third. Or the second-third, I guess.
Center of the mouth. Again, take a step back. It feels a little low. May have to raise this.
There is no tilt, really. She’s looking straight at us. The only tilt is this way.
As far as looking up or down she’s straight at us. No underplanes. No top planes.
Okay, so that’s okay. I’m just going to move forward now. I need a little bit more
information before I can evaluate where I’m at because right now I need to nail this really
important stage of the block-in before I can free up my mind to worry about the light and
shadow and the story elements that I want. I’m hyperfocused right now even though I’m
talking. I’m taking a bunch of steps back. Okay, so I just caught something.
The angle of her jaw is a little low or a little high, so I had to lower that. So that helped, the
likeness, in my opinion. I won’t be too sure until I have more of the drawing to judge.
Already this is working. I think the angle of the jawbone as it slopes upward
didn't feel quite right.
I’m going to quickly block in the eyes real quick. Yes, I’m whispering. Block in the
eyes using this geometric shape. I just need to know that they’re roughly that size.
I feel pretty good. I just took a step back. I feel okay. We’ve got to get this distance
correct right here. I think right now part of me is obsessing with likeness for some
reason. I’m just noticing that in the moment here. I don’t know why it’s important,
but I normally don’t worry too much about it. I let the likeness develop as much as
possible. Step back, step back. This is okay.
It’s enough for me to move forward. Here we go.
So when I draw from life, one thing I really enjoy, and a lot of artists complain about
this, is the subtle movement. The model is alive. They move, they breathe. Their head
goes like this. Sometimes they rotate this way. The tilt changes. Oh, I love it because
it’s problem solving for me. It engages my mind. That’s one of the reasons why I
enjoy drawing from life so much. I love the problem-solving aspect. It’s really cool.
Now, of course, if they move too much then it’s not good. I might exaggerate this angle
a little bit. I love this, how bright this paper is. It’s a beautiful white tone. I’m
thinking geometric with her eyes. You might notice very flocky, a lot of straights. I’m
just going to drop that in there, a little part of the shadow.
I think for some reason part of me wants to spend time in the light. Maybe I’m going
to tell my story in the light. I’ll try anyway. It may not be successful. Another
reason why I like drawing from life is being timed. I love the pressure, the time pressure.
It’s so much fun. It forces you to make a decision. Exactly like working in pen. You
know you have to make a decision and commit to your mark. Of course, it doesn’t always
work, which means you have to do it over. It forces you to have mileage. It forces you
to make a decision. Eventually, when you make enough decisions you begin to trust yourself
when they work out. When they don’t you can quickly evaluate, like, oh hey, my thinking
is a little off. What’s up? I enjoy that. I enjoy the time pressure.
Drawing from life is probably my favorite thing to do. I’ll be honest with you. It’s
my favorite thing to do. I really enjoy it. I learn so much. It’s really great for problem
solving. Sometimes when it does work out really well, the drawing flows really well, I kind
of go like in this zone, the zen kind of zone moment. I don’t wan to say autopilot because,
you know, autopilot implies unconsciousness, but I’m almost hyperconscious. That’s
what I like about it. It’s one of the ways that I learned how to draw, in my opinion,
how I improved so quickly was I drew from life quite a bit. Of course, I got good information
with good teachers and good mentors.
Right now I’m about 10 minutes into the pose, about halfway. I’m at a pretty good
pace. Once I drop in the first pass of tone you’ll see that it’ll feel much, much
more finished than it does now. I’m kind of being a little careful with the lay-in.
Now I’ve got to do a check. I’m going to do a check because I want to make sure
this hair is the right size. To do that I’ve got to bring this gesture up. Bring this gesture
over so her skull will be right about here. This is half. This is half. Right away I know
the skull has to get bigger. The hair has to get bigger. Right about there. It feels
big but I think I think it’s right. In fact, I may drop it. Yeah, this feels right. I think
it was missing that.
I may hint at the shoulders a little bit. I want to move forward with the drawing. I
feel pretty good about this block in. I feel pretty good. Let’s see. Yeah, I think I’m
at a good place here. Now what I’m going to do is run quickly through the core shadow
and cast shadow as well. There is one right here. I’m just going to block in my core
shadow pattern at the core shadow which is the border where light and shadow meet. Just
kind of scribble in that shadow pattern that I see. This nose is, it’s this halftone
here. What’s happening there. I’m thinking about design. Yeah, it looks okay. Look at
this through a mirror. Alright, good.
So now I’m going to drop in my tone. I’m going to commit here. I’m going to go in
this vertical fashion. I’m going to use the flat end of the needle point of the CarbOthello
pencil. Get me some nice, flat shape to my tonal mark here. Then I’m going to drop
in, that’s her hair. I grouped her hair with the shadow. Drop in her hair here. I’ve
even going to group the eyes in the shadow. I’m going to hint at that halftone, just
a note to self. I’m not going to fully commit to it. Drop in the tone. A little lower plane
of that top lip, upper lip. And voila, voila.
Indicate that sternocleidomastoid. I’m just going to do a quick wash of tone here because
I can sense I’m getting close to time here. What I’m going to do is quickly scumble
in the transition tone
and other light halftones, medium/dark halftones. The nose, scumble that in. I may even go outside
this for a nice vignette. Now I’m going to just carve in and really commit to some
darks. The eyes will be a natural focal point so I’m just going to start there. That’s
a line. There is a nice core shadow here. I want to get the eyes pretty defined. Even
though I may run short on time, the pose may end, the model might have to move, I can still
give myself enough of the tonal block-in to refine my drawing a little bit during break.
A lot of times I’ll do that. During break I’ll come in and I’ll finish the drawing
or at least take it as far as I can. Put in a few more minutes.
I can sense the model is about to change. Just to experience. I’m psychic. Kind of
hit these few accents and we’ll call it a day. I think the model, I think the pose
is about done. After she moves, after she breaks, I’m just going to hit a few accents.
I’m going to cheat a little bit. I know. I said 20 minutes again. Yeah, so she’s
about to move. She has that look in her face. Well, I imagine her to have a look on her
face, like oh, it’s time. Alright, so the pose just ended. I’m just going to hit these
few accents at the core shadow. Cast shadow there. Core shadow here. I’m cheating again,
I know. It’s cheating. It’s okay. A lot of times with life drawing you’ll get a
break. Instead of socializing, moving around, getting a snack or whatever, you can work
on your drawing. That’s what I’m doing here. Just can get a few minutes here. Just
a few last touches. I can even work on this at home if I wanted.
What I’m going to do is a quick pass of tone. I’m pretty much done here. Quick pass
of tone. What I’m going to do is erase the highlight. Use my kneaded eraser. Baboom.
There. Hit that core shadow of the nose real quick. I know, I know, I know. Here we go.
This needs some darkening of the tone real quick so that it reads as shadow and not halftone.
This underplane has to be darkened. This part you definitely don’t need the model for
it. So it’s cool we’re doing it doing break. Darken that little accent of her bangs
there, her hair. It goes in the shadow plane. I’m going to carve into this cast shadow.
I’m going to exaggerate the hardness of that for now. Refine that later. Hit this
underplane of the lower lid. Drop in the last bit of dark tone. Just a little accent under
the chin. Her hair in contour.
One more touch would be the contour of her hair just to lock it in. Contour of her hair
on this side. I’m trying not to smudge my drawing too much. A little bit. Now I’m
just adding line for some variety. But we are done. That’s a quick example of how
I would handle a 20-minute pose. It’s a great exercise.
So much fun. At least for me. I love it.
This assignment is going to pick up where we left off in the first lesson of observation and placement.
We’re going to use the same references, the same images, and then we’re actually going to begin to draw
and do the lay-in. You’re going to go first, and we’re going to go through the images.
Then you’re going to watch me and how I would approach these lay-ins for these references.
So, let’s begin.
get to watch me go through this assignment and see how I would do the lay-in process.
Got my observational notes. Got my thumbnail. Now I can begin my drawing. I’m going to
put some marks here, just kind of show where I’m at on my paper. I know that I’m going
to have to start slightly off center. Good thing I did my thumbnail there. Now I want
to make a note as to the top and bottom of his face. Next I want to note the sides and
also simultaneously the shape. So long, expressive angles. That’s the idea that I want to get
across, questioning. Say what? That’s definitely the emotion I want to get across. I’m going
to exaggerate in the beginning and then tone it down as I go.
I’m drawing fairly quickly here. It helps me to keep my marks expressive. I almost want
to make a mistake. I want to go too far, too expressive, too exaggerated. I think that’ll
add to the quality of the drawing. I’m double-checking my angles. They feel good. They can move forward.
Indicate the bottom of the nose. My thirds look good. One, two, three. They look great.
This is a front view. I don’t have to worry too much about measuring too much. There won’t
be any foreshortening in this one. I think I want to compliment the angles with the curve
here. He’s looking very long. I’m starting to lose the realism. That’s okay. I can
always rein it back in.
This is a really fun reference shot. I hope you enjoyed drawing from this image. Okay,
so that’s roughly the shape. I need to fill in the features here. I think I might have
exaggerated too long, but that’s okay. I’m going to drop in where the center of the eyes
should go. Now I’m going to block in the planes. That’s the next step. Starting with
the brow side of the face, side plane of the face. Rein that nose in a little bit. Pull
this corner down to give me that angle. I want that angle right here. Just keep moving
forward. We’re pretty good about this lay-in so far.
Now I’m going to try to combine some of the curves that I see but maybe even exaggerate
them. Now I’ll lock in his eye. I want to make sure that the right…they’re the right
size. Yeah, I think this drawing feels good. It’s actually a little long, but that’s
kind of what I was after. Alright, so I’m about to wrap up here, almost done. I’ve
got the major points blocked in. I was having fun so I wanted to keep going with the drawing.
That happens sometimes. But this pretty much complete so on to the next.
So, let’s begin with the placement. I’m just going to make little hatch marks just
so I know where I’m at. I know I want to start slightly in this zone, the lower quarter,
slightly off to the right. So, drop in my shape. I’m going to work fairly gesturally
and soften that straight a little bit. Curve it up a little bit. There is an interesting—oh,
it’s not really a tilt actually now that I think about it. I thought there was a slight
tilt. Maybe she was looking slightly up. Her eyes are looking up, but that head isn’t
quite focused up yet. I’m getting that subtle, subtle tilt in the body, in the shoulder.
Let’s see, she’s actually almost facing down. Yeah. If I look at her crosshairs, the
vertical and horizontal center, she’s almost, yeah, almost looking in this direction. Yeah.
This is great, actually. I made a conscious choice to go with that because when the gesture
is moving this way but the eyes are looking in the opposite direction it’s going to
create a lot of drama, a lot of nice beautiful contrast. I love it. I love it. It’s working
out. Again, you may or may have not made that choice, made a different choice in your composition
in your placement. I may have gotten different emotional read.
These eyes are going to be really critical so I’ve got to place them correctly in size
too. Got to get that nose, the curve of that nose, that arc. It’s a big part of this
drawing. It’s going to be like a focal point or a secondary focal point. And you know,
I’m going to exaggerate the looking away by forcing the head to rotate just a touch.
I’m going to exaggerate the rotation. She’s looking away.
Now I’ve got to get to the side plane. I was so into the construction part, the features,
I kind of lost track. That’s all right. I’m pretty much done here. I’m just refining
my construction. Yeah, I think I nailed all the notes that I wanted, especially the look
away, the slope of the nose. I’m pretty happy with that. Do a quick check of the size.
It feels okay. Do a subtle indication of that shoulder, kind of help to tell the story,
the confused and frustrated emotional narrative that I’m injecting in there. That pretty
much wraps it up. Yeah, that’s pretty much as far as I can take this lay-in. Just a few
more touches. And good. I’m actually having fun with this one too. Yeah, I think we’re
So let’s start slightly to the left. Start with the gesture. In terms of shape, let’s
see, definitely thinking kind of this hybrid box and triangle thing. I see a nice curve
there. I want to get that curve in the head with the boxy, masculine, muscular, chiseled
quality. Make sure my placement is good. I’ll just kind of hit my shoulder. I feel pretty
good about that shape. Now I’ve got to correct tilt and rotation, the yaw. This has got to
be good because this is a big part of the story that I want to sell, the story I want
to tell. I think that feels okay. This is almost a perfect profile. I don’t see too
much of the opposite far cheek. There are my little features, the mouth is right there.
I want to get that curve in the head. Yeah, I lengthened that neck. I think that worked
out nicely. Now I’m going to block in the major planes now. There is a nice rhythm happening
from the ear all the way to the mouth. Take advantage of that. Do the muzzle. Another
muzzle rhythm. Let’s see, now we can kind of—I’m almost done here. I’m done with
the major construction, the major part of the lay-in there. Now I can start to add some
of that story. I want to add some of the emotional notes, the narrative. He’s a guy lost in
his own world. He’s lost in shadow. I definitely want to just start to draw the shadow shape.
I want to design that opening to make it feel like it’s a contemplative look. I think
it feels pretty good. Let’s see, the last thing I want to note is the jaw. I’m pretty
much done. Here, touch on the ear. That was the last note I wanted to get was that bit
of muscularity in this jaw. Cool. So, all done with this one.
Okay, so I’m ready to go. Let me just put a few marks, indicate where I’m at. I’m
kind of working in this kind of area. Imagine this is cut off here. The part where I wrote
my notes. I know he’s going to be off-center and slightly above in the upper quadrant.
Gesture. Angle is a big part of the drawing. Maybe I’m going to exaggerate the angle,
but exaggerate it in a way that communicates that emotion. Like, what, what are you talking
about? What did you say? I’m definitely thinking boxy at the beginning. When I set
up that brow, I think that brow is going to be like almost a focal point of this drawing,
all that stuff happening in the brow. There is a lot of cool stuff happening here, so
I have to choose. I can’t get it all.
I’ve got the main placement. I’ve got the size I wanted. I’ve got the chiseled
shape that I wanted. Let’s keep going with the steps here. I need to place these eyes
and then place the nose a little bit. In terms of angle, we are slightly beneath him. I want
to note that. I could play that down as well. I haven’t quite decided yet. I just want
to get that eye correct. That’s my main goal right now. Get these eyes working. Brow
working. It’s going to be a little bit tricky but I’ve got to get that right. That’s
the whole, my major selling point here, what I wanted to say. I’ve got to get that right.
The mouth has some nice expression. I don’t want to spend too much time there. This drawing
is going to be about the eyes. I’m just going to quickly block in the mouth, the lips.
Check placement with my rhythm, almost working in reverse. Usually you do rhythms first after
the placement, but I use it as a check. It feels pretty good. I’m starting to get the
likeness, which is a good sign. And now I can work on the eyes, which is what I really
wanted to do this whole time. I’m sure the eyes felt correct. Also, that brow section
look cool, the wrinkles and the furrows, a lot of cool expression happening in the brow.
So yeah, I’m pretty much done here. Now it’s time to just kind of refine my idea,
but I can definitely move forward. I’m just having fun here refining some of the shapes.
It’s such a cool pose. It’s easy to get lost when you get a cool pose, a lot of emotion.
A lot of expression. And that is—one more touch. Yeah. We’re good.
So that’s it for this.
Now to get drawing here. We’re going to put a little hatch so I can work my paper.
I’m slightly off center to the right, so we’ll be here. Curves around. Circle.
It's almost a circle. I might even exaggerate the circle quality. Yeah, I’m liking the placement
now. I’m liking that placement. So, the gesture of the face. Center line, excuse me.
Gesture of the horizontal center. In terms of the tilt, we’re looking straight at her.
Our eye level is, anyway. Not too many underplanes or top planes. This is my quick feature drop.
I’m going to quickly indicate the major planes, the eye socket. The triangle of the
nose, the rectangle of the nose, excuse me. It was a triangle. Now it’s a rectangle.
The curve of those lips.
I’m not too worried about this side plane. It’s all going to be in light anyway, and
I’m going to use probably the highlight there. That’s what I would do. Use that
highlight to define that plane. Try to keep everything round, curvy. I’m really liking
the light and shadow on this one. It’s very cool. Now I’m going to refine my shape.
I’m kind of going all over the place here. I want to get to these eyes. There. I think
there is a good shape. Get that tile in the eyebrow. This other eye is in shadow. I’m
not too worried about it. Nice straight in her nose. That’s a good excuse for me to
add straights. A lot of curves in this drawing, so you’re going to need to find an excuse
to add straights for contrast. Straights give you corners too. Corners give you structure
and form, of course.
I’m pretty much done here. I nailed some of the ideas that I wanted. I’m going to
use that gesture of the collar. I don’t have to copy. I can use that as a design tool
in the drawing. I’m pretty much done here, just a few more touches. I’m liking which
way this drawing is going. Just double check. Okay, good. Refine that neck. That’ll be
my last touch. Boom. Wait. Boom. Boom.
Alright, so that’s the end of this lay-in. I hope you enjoyed this portion. And I hope
you do more. I know we went through a few examples. We went through five examples, but
don’t stop here. This is the most important step in the portrait drawing. The more practice
you get, the more examples, the more reference you do, obviously the better you’re going
to get because you need that repetition. You know, you’re going to have a lot of fun
doing these especially as you get better.
Okay, that’s the end of this lesson. I hope you had fun. We went over a lot of stuff.
We covered a lot of the lay-in. We covered a lot of observation. We actually got to draw
and begin lighting and shadow, which is what we’re going to covering in the next lesson.
So if you enjoyed lesson number two, The Lay-in, make sure to come back for lesson three, for
part three, where we actually begin shading, rendering. We’re going to really get down
to the light and shadow and how to make your portrait come to life. That’s it for this
lesson. Make sure to come back for part three.
Reference Images (24)
Free to try
1. Lesson Overview1m 8sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Establishing the Shape, Tilt, and Yaw13m 6s
3. Indicating the Features12m 25s
4. Creating 2-D Graphic Shapes (Model: Len)22m 36s
5. Making Corrections Prior to Identifying Shadow Shapes11m 49s
6. Determining Areas of Shadow14m 27s
7. Lay-In Demonstration 1 (Models: Jeff, Bridget)14m 20s
8. Lay-in Demonstration 2 (Model: Lilias)16m 45s
9. Lay-in Demonstration 3 (Models: Lilias, Monika)14m 38s
10. Lay-In Demonstration 4 (Models: Monika, Rajiv)15m 57s
11. Lay-in Demonstration 5 (Model: Taryn)13m 19s
12. Lay-In Demonstration 6 (Charcoal, Model: Jeff)14m 6s
13. Lay-In Demonstration 7 (Charcoal, Model: Monika)12m 39s
14. Lay-In Demonstration 8 (Charcoal, Model: Rajiv)12m 15s
15. Lay-In Demonstration 9 (Charcoal, Models: Chris, Mitchell)22m 3s
16. Lay-In Demo 10 (Willow Charcoal and Ballpoint Pen, Models: Lilias, Bridget)22m 23s
17. Lay-In Demonstration 11 (Ballpoint Pen, Model: Len)13m 45s
18. Light/Shadow Demonstration 1 (Ballpoint Pen, Model: Mitchell)20m 31s
19. Light/Shadow Demonstration 2 (Black Pencil, Model: Bridget)24m 58s
20. Timed Lay-In Assignment26m 48s
21. Chris's Approach to the Assignment27m 57s