- Lesson details
In the series’ second lesson, Mark introduces Frank Reilly’s abstraction: a rhythmical representation of the shapes and forms of the head. Internalizing this model will give you an excellent starting point for any portrait or head drawing. Mark first explains a little bit of the history behind this abstraction, then moves on to show you how it can be applied to any given drawing or photo. Following that, he uses the abstraction and some tracing paper to demonstrate some portraits from the NMA and Drawthis! model reference libraries.
In this series, Mark introduces you to the Reilly Method, a way of understanding the structure of the head through the use of rhythms, to help project accurate proportions of your subject from any angle.
As the protegé to the famous Fred Fixler, who worked directly under the legendary Frank Reilly, Mark’s unrivaled knowledge of the Reilly Method for drawing the head led to an illustrious career in Hollywood movie poster design. He later founded Associate’s in Art in Southern California, a top school for illustrators, from which many alumni became the “who’s who” in the fields of figurative art. He will be greatly missed, and his imprint on the industry, students across the world, and here at the NMA studio will last forever.
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and now here we’re beginning the second unit.
This one will deal essentially with the abstraction of the head, which is a rhythmical set of
relationships that are built upon the anatomy and the planar structure of the head.
As the protégé to the famous Fred Fixler, who worked directly under the legendary Frank
Reilly, Mark Westermoe has unrivaled knowledge of the Reilly Method for drawing the head.
His artistic prominence gave way to an illustrious career in Hollywood movie poster design.
He later founded Associates in Art in Southern California, a top school for illustrators
from which many alumnae become the who’s who in the fields of figurative art.
I was schooled in this.
It was my primary way of learning how to visualize and create rhythms.
It’s something that I still mentally project almost onto every subject or portrait that
I consider it really—to me at least—essential for my own work.
I hope it will be very, very useful.
I expect it will be for you.
of the head and its three volumes:
the cranium, the face, and the jaw. In today's lesson
we're going to go over construction, and more to the point,
how we can rhythmically relate all these
important forms that make up the skull and the head.
In fact, we're going beyond the skull because we're gonna deal with
areas of muscle primarily. So
I have before us an abstraction, which
I drew from one that was developed by
Frank Reilly at the Art Students League in the 1930s.
And this is now going beyond anatomy
for artists and we begin to think in terms of artistic anatomy.
So again, how we relate these forms to each other.
Frequently an art teacher will tell students: "Look, you need
to construct, focus on construction," but often
that individual teacher may have not really describe
what construction involves. And I believe that this is,
in my experience, the most helpful tool for constructing the head.
So I'm gonna go through the forms that you see on the
screen in front of you. It looks like a wire frame diagram and so
I would not recommend, when drawing from life, that you start
with this abstraction and then try to build from it.
I mentally project this abstraction onto every individual
head that I draw. So I don't literally draw these
line as though we were drawing a diagram. That's the last thing you want to do
when doing a life drawing. But if you understand these forms
you'll see them, literally, on people as you go about your day.
In lines at the grocery store or people on a
bus. So, let me start by defining what these represent
and go on over that. So I'll turn to the image
and I will write down what each one represents and
I'll describe it. So let's start. We have a head, which is an oval shape
or actually an egg shape. It should be three
units in height from top to bottom and about two units in width across
the widest part of the head. So that's three by two.
Remember, the head is not formed like an egg
but seen from the front, it has an outline
or silhouette that's similar to an egg. We wanna start
by dividing the head down the middle. And so we take a
line from the very top, the apex of the head, to the bottom of the chin.
And we bisect that egg shape. So this is our first
step once we've drawn the egg shape.
We want to put in a couple of relationship lines. These
three lines are not in and of themselves forms, but they're relationships.
These two, on either side of the center axis, represent the
plumb line that goes from the tear duct to the way of the
nose and to the corner of the mouth.
Actually to the side plane of the mouth. If you think of the tooth cylinder or
barrel of the mouth, you have the six teeth
in the front and at the canine teeth, or eye teeth, the
teeth turn back toward the molars. So there is a front plane
to the mouth. So that's what this line represents.
Now here, if you draw a line halfway from top
to bottom, which is not indicated here on the diagram, but which I can place here.
This lines up with the center of the eye. So that's our
half way point, from the top to the bottom along the vertical axis. And
so then if we draw through that we would get a horizontal axis. And it would
form a right angle with the vertical axis. Typically, when I'm
drawing a head, I start at that junction between the vertical
and horizontal axis. So I establish the distance between the eyes
and then I draw down to the septum of the nose, and so forth.
If we take another line, corresponding to the top of the ear,
we then find - and the ear by the way is the same length as the nose
you'll see that, the same height - we establish the line of the
brow where it overlaps the eye. So this is slightly above
the center axis of the eye, or the head rather.
It's right there. The head then turns
from its front plane to its side plane
at the outside of each eye socket. And this then is the temple.
That's the beginning of the side plane of the head. So we want to establish
that. After that, it's
useful to draw this: the circle at the
front of the cranium represents the frontal prominence. It is made up of
the front bone and the frontalis muscle. It overlaps
the inside angle of each eye socket, so that the otherwise
concave structure is somewhat convex in the inner third.
Beneath it, overlapping the eyeball,
is also the brow bone where it overlaps and then
continues in its sweep down to the septal cartilage
that form the case of the nose. So we wanna take this
line and carry it through and then down, roughly parallel to the center line
to the point where the nose turns to its under plane.
The base of the nose, the under plane, is made up of cartilages: the septal cartilage
is here, running to the front plane of the face
and the alar cartilage on either side. Alar refers
to wing in Latin. The wings of the nose.
If I take a line here, from
the corner of the mouth, just outside that
about a third of the way down
the nose, from the root of the nose, and
then I follow through like this.
This is known as
the barrel of the mouth, or the tooth cylinder.
What we refer to in the anatomy lesson as
superior, or upper, maxilla, and the inferior, or
So the nose can be thought of
in terms of thirds. Here we have the
root of the nose, which is a keystone shape here between the eyes,
and ending at the nasal bone.
Then we have cartilages that form the bridge of the nose, and then the septal cartilages
and alar cartilages which I just referred to.
Okay, this represents the side plane of the nose. Sometimes people will emphasize
the bridge of the nose, where it turns from its top to its side plane,
but they will overlook how the nose joins the front of the face.
And here we see that, that's the side plane of the nose.
If we then draw a line from one wing to the other
at the bottom of the nose, an arc. And then
another arc from where the wing turns to its under plane,
all the way across, we find the tip of the nose
where three planes come together: the side plane, the under plane, and
the top plane.
The next shape that we want to indicate is called the
muzzle. It's a shape, the largest of the ovals that you
see on the diagram. It represents
the muscles at the side of the mouth, as well as the muscles that come down
from the zygoma, or cheek bone, and
runs all the way across the head, overlapping the jaw.
In humans the muzzle is
more difficult to appreciate than it is say, in the case of a dog
or a horse, where the muzzle is very clear. But we
look for it in the human, it's very important. Within that line,
a third of the way up the base of the nose, to a point beneath the
mouth, overlapping the chin, we have the tooth
cylinder. That's the one I just described. Next
we have a horizontal ellipse. And this is called
the chin mound. It's made up of the mentalis muscle at the front
and quadratus labii inferior muscles at the side.
That means, when you say labii inferior it means below
the lips. We also talked in the last lesson
about the quadratus labii superior, meaning above the lips.
At this point we're gonna take another line
from the top, in the direction at least, of the top of the ear
running along the top of the zygoma, under the ball of the eye
and then tangent to the corner of the nose, the wing of the
nose, continuing it here, sweeping into the corner
of the upper lip. This establishes the front plane
of the tooth cylinder. We then follow through,
rhythmically to establish here, the indentation on
the upper lip, just below the philtrum, the groove of the
tooth cylinder. And continue it symmetrically back to the other ear.
So this is actually representing a whole group of points. I talked about
the top of the zygoma, and then here right at the wing of the nose
where you can actually feel the bone, it's superficial, meaning just under the
skin. And then it establishes also, you see here, the front and the
side planes of the mouth. The next line
it starts parallel to it and then verges away
on line, if you follow the temple all the way to the jaw, it would be
along that line. And this represents the turning under
of the zygoma from its top plane to
its under plane. So we wanna do that symmetrically on both sides of the
head. And here we get the
overlapping of the facial mass on top of the jaw.
Remember the head has three masses. It has the cranium,
the face, and the jaw. And if I follow this line
up in front of the ear and around the top of the cranium, symmetrically to
the other side, that will establish the shape of the cranium.
And it'll give us the apex of the cranium.
We can draw the ear by following the
septum of the nose to the right and the left, and that gives us the lobe of the ear.
And if I follow here the under plane of the brow ridge,
that gives us the peak of the ear.
The ear actually has three parts, just like the nose.
You've got one that's dominated by the lobe and you have another that's
dominated here, by the overlapping helix
or rim, and the center
you have the shell, or concha, of the ear.
And when we go over the facial features in detail, I'll describe those
in detail. Our next move, logically, is then to go
in and draw two circles, and those represent the eyeballs.
This diagram is a little slightly off, but you basically have
something close to five eyes across the center line
of the head. One eye separating the two, and then another on either side, to the
silhouette. And within that you can draw the lids.
Notice that the highest point of the upper lid is diagonally related
to the lowest point of the lower lid. They are not vertical to each other,
making it look like an almond. And finally, place a circle for the iris
and a small circle within it for the pupil. This diagram is actually
it should probably come a little bit farther because - but it's close. The
corners of the mouth typically line up with the tear ducts.
You drop a line here, in front of the ear, along the egg shape,
but give it an angle, which lines up
with the center of the lips. So that's the
angle of the jaw. Your basic proportions are
also simply expressed as a
center line for the eyes, that's halfway from top to bottom,
establish the brow, and then from the brow to the base of the chin
you can divide it in half. That will give us the septum of the nose.
From the septum to the chin, if you divide in half, that will give
you not the center of the lips, but the bottom of the lower lip.
Typically too you'll find
that from the brow to the septum, about half way, gives us the bottom of
the eye socket. So
that's our abstraction. I've seen an
abstraction, the earliest one that I've come across was done by Albrecht
Dürer in approximately 1500. So artists
have been using an abstraction of the standard proportions of the head for
centuries. In fact for millennia, because it also goes back
before into Classical and Hellenistic period.
This is what I refer to as
constructing the head. So
that's our sequence. I have an exercise now that'll describe and
demonstrate that you can do at home.
One thing you can do right off the top, before even doing that, is you can
take the abstraction with a sheet of tracing paper and just trace it.
Reviewing what we've talked about so that you become familiar with these shapes
and what they represent. If you do that several times, then
when you start to draw it freehand you'll have a little more command over it.
So with that, I'll proceed to the exercise.
gonna be going over on Cintiq three different -
it'll be done over photographs of male and female
examples. And I'm also going to do the same approach
with the Cintiq doing abstraction overlays
on top of examples of
famous head drawings, head paintings. So I think
it's really important to do the exercise over photographs
of contemporary people, different types, both sexes.
But I also think it's very helpful to go over
and analyze the work of our forebears who are still teaching us today.
Now we've closed in on one of these great drawings, it's a three quarters
shot and I'm going to go ahead and do the abstraction on top of this drawing,
in the same manner that I did on top of the photograph. I encourage my students as a matter of fact
not only to draw from life, or from photos,
but also to draw from reproductions of great sculptures, whether it's
Houdon or Carpeaux or Bernini, because when you draw
from those people, as in drawing from this artist, you're actually taking
in, kind of imbibing their sense of design. Because you always want to
think of drawing as a matter of design, not just
copying. So we're gonna start with the front axis of the head,
arching back to the
apex, or highest point of the head.
It's gonna straighten up from the bridge of the nose all the way
to the center of the jaw. Now we're gonna draw
a line on either side, which is a relationship line, representing
the tear duct,
the wing of the nose and the turning back
from the front to the side plane of the mouth.
So we'll find it on both sides and indicate it from here.
And again, it's a good idea to indicate
your sign posts before you go ahead and draw the sweep
of that relationship line.
We can clearly see the side plane of the head
turning at the temple.
And next, the frontal prominence
overlaps the eye socket here and here. And you can see
it turning back at this half tone.
Let's draw the under plane now - well, actually we'll draw the top of the brow
here and in silhouette it's very clear again, right there.
we've measured and now we draw. Here's where
the brow ridge overlaps the eye socket. And here's where it swings
into the nasal bone.
I would take that out to the tip of the nose,
forming the top plane of the bridge. And now
the side plane, clearly drawn, right here
where the nose meets the face.
Next step, we're gonna draw the muzzle. Here
the socket is overlapping the muzzle
at these points. The silhouette of the muzzle
is very clear, right there. As it is
here. It's not the silhouette but we can see the turning of the form by half tone.
The tooth cylinder starts here, at the wing of the nose
and you see this
nasal labial bend here.
You can follow through on that and carry it down to the point
at which it overlaps the chin mound beneath it.
The chin mound is
From the top of the ear, to the underplane of the eye socket
to the wing of the nose and the corner of the mouth, we get
the top plane of the zygoma
We carry that through
to the point at which the upper lip clasps the lower lip
there, there. We do the same on the
other side. Have to visualize it because you
can't see it, but the wing of the nose is
about there. And then you take that
to the corner of the mouth and do the same. Show where
the upper lip overlaps the lower lip
and then the height of the lower lip. And then we're gonna pick up
here, the underplane of the zygoma.
And I think it's very clear right here, and it's also
clear on the silhouette side.
Then, we're gonna fill out
its overlap, above the
masseter muscle and jaw.
And swing that through to
the back and the top of the cranium
And then we're gonna draw from the earlobe
a straight line and turn the angle of the jaw,
lining up with the center of the mouth
where the two lips come together.
Position the ear, diagonally on the head.
And once again, keep it simple.
And we see the neck diagonally coming up
under the center of gravity of the head,
diagonally. And we're gonna
go ahead and place the eyeballs
and show now the
angle of the lids.
this gives us an insight into how a very great draftsman,
in this case Dean Cornwell,
uses an abstraction of the head to build
his subjects. Alright, here's another
wonderful caricature by Sebastian Krüger, it's the Duke, John Wayne.
And you can really see how he's played with each of the forms that we find
on the abstraction. He's made the chin mound very prominent, the nose,
the underplane of the tooth cylinder. And he's narrowed the cranium.
But, it is still recognizable, so he's a master at caricature.
So this is a challenging one to do the abstraction analysis on
top of, but I'm gonna start with the cleft in the chin.
And then here,
the septum, and here
we're gonna have to curve our front axis.
So he's really warped it. Then we're gonna find
the line paralleling it, here, the corner of the wing of the nose.
Here at the tear duct, and that too
will be warped.
There's the temple
turn from the front to the side.
The frontal prominence
overlapping the eye socket at the inside angle of each eye.
We can see it pretty clearly on this side of the
If we place the brow ridge
we can see, right here, a change in direction
between the silhouette of his forehead and the brow
ridge at the base of his forehead.
The underplane of the brow
overlaps the eyeball
and hooks us up to the bridge of the nose.
And each time you do the exercise
it's a little bit like a puzzle
you have fun to solve.
the side plane of his nose is very short.
Right here. It's not so
much visible on the other side.
So let's draw the muzzle.
and just below
Notice here, he's using a crest light
which is a reflection of the source of light where two planes
come together. He's using that
to enhance the sense of force.
Where else would we find a crest light? Like right here.
Running down the center of the eye.
A highlight is where
three or more planes come together and the source of light is
reflected at that point.
So it's a really useful tool
in designing form
and really sometimes exaggerating it.
So we've done the muzzle, now let's try the tooth cylinder.
Starts here at the corner of the wing of the nose.
And so, we're gonna find it beneath the nose here.
And we'll find it
here, outside the mouth.
it will look about like this. And it extends
here, above the chin mound
and the same on the opposite side of course.
So, it looks like this.
Next on our list is the chin
mound itself. We have a very large chin
The chin mound is so large and exaggerated that it's just about
the same size as the frontal prominence.
Now we're gonna draw
from the rim of the ear to the
top plane of the zygoma
to the wing of the nose.
And I'm gonna
sweep that here, back toward the corner of the mouth where the front
plane of the upper lip meets the side plane.
Let's go back to the nose for a moment. We find the septum, joining
the front plane of the tooth cylinder at that point. And here
we find the under plane of the nose.
And the lower lip.
Okay, now let's find the under plane
of the zygoma, and that
is very clear, because he's described it
with the crest light, where the top plane meets the side plane.
Now, this is
the point at which the under plane of the
cheek overlaps the jaw.
We're gonna sweep that right past the ear
all the way to the top of the cranium.
It's shaped almost like a cone head.
We're gonna draw the line for the jaw
in front of the ear.
And here is the under plane of the head.
Where the head
joins the neck.
The ear, keep it simple.
Wherever you have two shapes, try to reduce them to one. Wherever you have
three shapes, try to reduce them to one.
Finally the eyes.
And of course we can barely see
the iris within the eye because
he's squinting and sagging so much.
I'm gonna do a little clean up.
wildly distorted, but really effective caricature.
And now as we return to more traditional
head, we'll go over the abstraction one more time on that.
on the standard head proportions, seen
from front view at eye level. And now we're going to
place the abstraction over
a front view head, at eye level. But it's an individual
head. She happens to be
very attractive young woman. And her proportions
don't seem to be that different in any
particulars from the abstraction that I demonstrated earlier.
But we will find differences and so
it will be an abstraction of her individual head, as opposed to
a generic head. Sometimes the forms on a woman's
head are more subtle and difficult to make out than on a man's. But let me
do some things that can help us. First, if we find where
the light and shadow divide
I'll just do like a scissor cut
break down of those shapes.
That's one of the first things to do. If it's difficult or subtle
you'll find that by squinting and not opening your eyes fully, you
will see the relationship between light and shadow, without getting distracted by the
if she had her eyes closed this sphere, which is what the eyeball
is, including its lids, it would turn away from the light approximately at that point.
Here, the side plane of the
face turns away from the light at that point.
Here, the under plane of
the tooth cylinder turns away from the light and then the shadows overlap
the chin mound, which turns away from the front plane to the
side plane at this position. The lower lip turns from its front plane to
its side plane right there. And then of course the upper
lip, in this lighting, is almost entirely in
So I've diagrammed that. And on this side, if she closed her eyes
we would find that the sphere turns away from the light in this manner.
Okay, form shadows are the shadows on the object itself.
Past shadows, like this one from her nose over her cheek
can be masked together with the form
shadow, as I've done here. I did not draw the bottom of her nose, I just masked it
with the shadow that it casts. The next step
that's helpful is to find crest lights. Crest lights are
reflections of the source of light at the point where
two planes join, come together. So we get a crest light right
here, on the bridge of her nose where top meets the side plane.
And we get another one here, on the front plane zygoma cheek.
highlights where three or more planes come together, such as the top
plane of the nose meeting the side plane and the under plane. Hence, there's
your highlight. Don't place it in the wrong space.
If it's too high, too low, or off to the sides it will distort
the form of her nose. Here is another
highlight, where the top, the front, and the side plane of the
chin come together. Sometimes it's very hard to perceive them,
particularly if it's a rounded, large form. In
that case the crest light will be broader and will have softer edges.
Okay so we have the light and the shadow
and within the light we have the crest lights, which are reflecting the source.
Here on the ear, where the cartilages join,
there's another crest light. Sometimes they're very hard to perceive
because the skin can be matte or it can be more satiny.
Another couple of points:
on her head, it's also helpful in finding the
forms of the abstraction to perceive or draw
the silhouette, the outer edge of it.
Because we can see here, where the face
overlaps the jaw. The three volumes
of the head are the cranium -
I'm just being very loose with this -
the facial mass, or face to put it
and the jaw.
So I have one, that's the cranium,
two, the face, and the third, overlapped by the face, is the jaw.
Each one has a front plane,
a side plane, and an under plane. So in the case of
the cranium, the frontal prominence to the point where the temple
This will be the front plane and at the temple it turns to the side.
The under plane overlaps the
face and that would be your eye sockets.
Okay, in the face the side plane is the point at which the
zygoma turns back towards the ear.
The under plane would be where the zygoma overlaps the jaw and
where the lower teeth overlap the jaw.
This cranium has a vertical thrust to
This has the face, has a diagonal thrust to it.
and in turn, the jaw has a vertical thrust to it.
That's why the crest light here will tend to be diagonal.
Notice that in this head, which is purely
eye level, the ear lines up with the nose
and is the same
height. Now if we go back just to the photograph
and eliminate this very, very sketchy rendition of those
volumes, I'll go ahead and place the abstraction
onto her head. This will be more difficult, perhaps,
on a young woman than in a mature man for instance.
Usually when drawing or painting a young woman,
less is more. So we certainly want to
understand how her head is abstracted, but
that doesn't mean that we're going to draw everything
we know. It informs what we draw, but it doesn't dictate
what we draw. So let's start from the top and we're gonna draw a central
line bisecting the head, the nose, the septum
the peak of the upper lip, and carrying on to the base of the chin.
Now we're gonna find another line, paralleling roughly the central line.
We'll locate it by finding the tear ducts, the wings of the
nose, and then giving it a slight curvature toward
the top. You'll notice that by identifying those
land marks, tear ducts, and the wings of the nose, I'm able
to draw fairly cleanly.
Like a carpenter who cuts once after
measuring twice. Otherwise
you have to kind of sketch your way along as you grope to find the
form. Now, let's find the turning of the front plane of the head
to the side plane of the head at the temple. This occurs
outside the eye socket. Obviously
in our species the eyes are located on the
front plane, not the side plane of the head.
Okay. If I follow this line
here toward the jaw
we'll get something like
Okay, let's find the frontal prominence.
Remember that this corresponds to the frontal bone
and frontalis muscle on the front of that. And it is
a convex form which
overlaps the eye socket at the inner third.
and here. It's easier to see it in
this photograph on the light side of the head than it is on the dark.
But if you find it on one side, you should be able to extrapolate the position
on the other side.
Try to design your
shapes so that they create - and this is actually off a little bit, it
can be more difficult sometimes on the
shadow side. Try to design
these forms with regular geometric shapes. A
regular shape would be a circle, for instance, whereas a shape such as
this - I'll just draw one, I'm gonna erase it.
I've seen people in the heat of battle trying to
record what they're seeing and they lose regard for the quality
of their shapes. And so I've even seen people draw irises that look like that.
No of course that's not good. But it goes for these
other forms too. Okay, I think the next logical
step is to find the position where the brow ridge
overlaps the eye, or where the brow ridge itself
overlaps the front of the cranium.
It's subtle in her case.
So, once again, I make measurements and landmarks before I make
my stroke. I'm also gonna take that brow ridge and sweep it
into the bridge of the nose and carry it as far as the tip
of the nose. Here, your form shadow
can be helpful, but it actually falls a little bit to the left of that form
shadow and comes down like that.
And on the opposite side,
since the nose is symmetrical, it's gonna
Around here a male head typically has a more
pronounced brow ridge than a female head.
See that's an irregular shape. So I'm just gonna take the
time to clean up a little bit. Whoops.
Sometimes the pen gets a little bit thick so I'm gonna
see if I can get a good line weight
happening here. Okay.
Now, where's the brow ridge overlap the cranium?
Well, here's a bit of evidence to it. So let's
try this. We'll make our marks.
Now I don't see it very well on this side
but since I've got the position of her right
I should be able to construct it. Again,
told to construct, but I think
it's important to define what we mean by construct.
even the position and shape of the eyebrow is
evidence of where these forms intersect and overlap.
The eyebrow can be broken into thirds, approximately
the inside third is actually under
the frontal prominence. The middle third rises up onto
the front plane of the cranium, and the tail, or the outside
third, often echoes the angle at which the muscle
overlaps the eyeball. One, two, three.
Which is why it's not just the number of
hairs, or the color, but the position and light
makes for a darker inside third of the eyebrow.
Okay, so we have
the frontal prominence, the temples, the brow ridge, and the overlap of the
socket by the brow ridge. And we've taken that all the way down
to the septal cartilages.
Here, let's draw the base of the nose. So I find the bottom
of each ring and then I draw
across with a shallow arc
to connect the two.
Let me redo that.
we find the bottom
of each way of the nose
and then we draw across like this, with a
shallow arc. Then we
draw from the highlight
to the wing on either side, like this,
and this establishes the under plane
of the nose. At which point we then draw
from the point where the septum meets the face
up to the highlight and
that separates the wings from the septum.
I'm gonna draw the muzzle now. And this is really subtle on her head.
So it's gonna take some detective work. Well first of
all, we know that the muzzle starts just below the eye.
So let's do that on both sides.
And we don't even really get a half tone
let alone a shadow that shows us where
the muzzle overlaps the jaw. But we do know that it
reaches down, extends to the jaw. And if you keep your diagram
at the side, then you can follow it
and that will give it to us.
I'm going to need to extend that out a little to make it symmetrical, so
this is important so I'm taking a moment's time to do it.
Next step, we will draw
from the point at which the muzzle is overlapped by the
eye and from there to the wing of the nose, we're gonna describe
the side plane of the nose.
So that gives us the top plane, the side plane, and
the under plane. The under plane has several facets, it's not one
single plane. But to draw the nose, you should at first
think of it in terms of top
plane, side plane, and an under plane.
It's as simple as that. Okay now we'll
draw the tooth cylinder. Here we have some better evidence.
It starts with the wing of the nose,
overlaps the face, the outer maxilla
and it extends here, outside
the mouth and then it
overlaps the jaw. So it's a vertical
ellipse. We have no landmarks and it's a matter of connecting point A
then in turn to point B.
And where you see this, this is called the nasal
labial band, referring to the nose and the lips. And
that's evidence of the position of the tooth cylinder.
The chin mound, in her case, is not hard to find. Its overlapped
there and you can see a slight half tone, taking us
up here and of course then we can do the other side since we know one side
and we can develop the other from it.
Let me just try to
state some of this a little more clearly and refine my shapes.
Again it's important - and I'm doing the exercise to true up your shapes.
You can draw right on through
to infinity, beyond the head if you like, and then we'll cut it off later.
When doing this
analysis, it's probably a good idea to use a photograph
larger than life size and probably
ideally about two thirds
done with all of our ellipses, except I want to
strengthen this one for the
Now, we're going
to draw relationship between the top of the zygoma,
the corner of the wing of the nose, and
the corner of the mouth. So, if we find that top
of the zygoma and we find the wing of the
nose and then we find here the corner of the
mouth we can pick it up like so.
And this will be approximately where the
front plane of the mouth turns to its side plane.
So this is
not just one form,it's a group of forms.
I don't draw from life
by drawing a diagram like this on top of
what would be my naturalistic drawing.
I, instead, did these exercises as homework,
repeatedly until I was able to
almost project the abstraction
the head of any individual and particular model.
Then just clasp the lower lip, here
at the peak of the lip.
Let me get that a little bit more refined.
And then the lower lip has to be
narrower from left to right
than the upper lip.
Okay, our next step is
to take another arcing line
from the position at which the rim or helix of the
ear overlaps the shell. And we're gonna run that
underneath the crest light because
that crest light is where the front plane of the zygoma turns to
In our case
her hair closely follows the
form of the cranium.
So we're fairly well able to follow the silhouette
of the hair, allowing for a little bit of thickness
near the top of the head.
And here's the apex
so we're gonna draw from just above the ear.
on to it, up to it.
And let's take a line that is tangent to the muzzle
and the under plane zygoma meet.
And that will give us the fullness of the facial mass at that point.
pull it all the way up to silhouette the cranium.
And then just clean up where you followed through
with the earlier lines.
Then we're gonna draw up a line from below that overlap where the
face overlaps the jaw. And this is a vertical - but not
a vertical - a straight, but it follows a slight diagonal.
At a certain point, generally lining up
with the middle of the lips, that angle
changes from vertical to a more horizontal
or at least a less vertical thrust.
That's the angle of the jaw, lining up with the bottom of
the middle of the lips. Now the ears.
A lot of times people will draw
an ear like this.
Well it's better to just simplify by
taking two shapes and reducing them to one.
Or, if you have three shapes, try to reduce it
them to one. This will not usually work
because here's the helix, or rim, here is the shell
of the ear overlapping it, and then here is the lobe overlapped by the shell.
So you actually don't have one continuous
line in the same plane. And therefore, it looks like
a distorted ear. So when we go over facial
features we will see how you can overlap those important forms
of the ear and make it work. I'm just gonna indicate
the line of the neck. Don't allow her neck
to become too thick. That's
in normal conventions not
as ideal as a more slender neck.
The eyeballs, okay
we've already drawn the socket, so placing the eyeballs within it
should be much easier.
Of course the eyeball's not going to extend inside of this
line representing the tear duct.
You'll notice that the eyeballs are separated by approximately the
width of another eyeball between them. And
then out to the silhouette, there's approximately the width of another
eyeball. So five eyes across through
the center line of the head. The center line going right through
the eyeballs. Okay, now we're going to draw
an angle. That's too low so I'm going to correct that.
tear duct upwards. And in this case
this angle is approximately the same as the outside angle
of the opposite eyelid.
irises that are positioned
let's see, like this
and are overlapped by the lower lid
in this case.
Her eyes are dark brown, so
the position of the pupil is not really seen. But we
certainly know it has to be centered
in the middle of the iris.
Okay then, so, just a quick review. Here's the center
axis of the head, vertically. Here are lines that are relationship lines between the
tear duct, the wings of the nose, and the turning to the side plane of the mouth
on either side. Here
are the temples, which turn back at the temporal bone
and are overlapped by the temporal
muscle. Here is the front prominence of the cranium
and that represents
the frontal bone with the frontalis muscle
on top of it and on either side and it extends under the eye socket
at the inner third of each socket to overlap the
eye. Here is the brow ridge, very
subtle in her case, as is true of most women. That's another
reason why you should do the exercise on adults,
not children, because this is very undeveloped for instance,
as are other forms, on a child's head.
They're there but - and it's important to be conscious of them -
but you really aren't gonna get a lot to work
with. Okay and then this is
the under plane of the brow ridge, which hooks up
with the side plane of the nose at the bridge
here, at the base of the nose, where you find
one wing and draw across to the other,
like that. And when we draw
these diagonals running from the septum to the tip of the
nose. And then we find here the side plane
of the nose. So
four planes: top, side, side, and under plane. Then
we draw the muzzle,
cheekbones and overlapping the jaw. Then we draw the tooth
cylinder, overlapping the muzzle.
way, the tooth cylinder is overlapped
by the nose, and if I were
to break the nose into thirds I would find here, the bottom of the
nasal bone and here the bottom third
would be the septal cartilage
separating from the bridge.
So the tooth cylinder, here, overlapping the jaw
muscle. And then
the last ellipse represents the chin mound
with the mentalis in the center and the quadratus muscles
on the side. This
is a relationship line, top plane of the zygoma,
side plane of the mouth, and then
here, hook that up with the lip
repeat the process symmetrically on the other side.
And this is the turning under of the zygoma
Again, everything symmetrical
on the front view. And then, here, we pick up
this whole sweep of the cranium.
we find the ears, lining up with the nose, same height. We draw
a straight in front of each ear
and then we find the angle of the jaw
are lining up with the center of the lips.
we draw a circle for each eye
and pick up the angles
here of the upper and lower lids
and then the iris.
And once more I'm good on proportions okay.
The halfway point
is right through the center of the eyes, from top to bottom.
That's the half way point of the head. And then we'll find
the position of the brow ridge where it overlaps
the eye socket, right there.
And from that point, to the base of the head
we divide in half, from here to here.
And that gives us
the bottom of the nose, and the ear lobe.
If I divide that position from the septum
to the chin in half, I will get the bottom of
the lower lip. And if I divide the brow
to the base of the nose in half
I will get the bottom of the eye socket. So these are easy
really when you think about it. We're not talking about three fifths or seven
eighths, it's always broken down into half, or seen another way.
One, two, three, four quarters.
One, two, three, four quarters from the brow
to the base of the chin. So, keep doing these exercises
and pretty soon you'll find yourself
finding these forms on the people you know and the people you just meet
at the store or in the street. And it will just
reinforce your concept of the abstraction.
going to do a lay in of the head. And
this is an eye level front view, very basic.
The pencils I'll be using are Conté
and this call Conté À Paris or Conté
and it's a Pierre Noire 2B.
It says France and then the series is 1710. One,
seven, one, zero. You can see that it comes to a fine point
If i hold the pencil with my middle finger, opposite
my thumb and grasp it where the wood meets the lead
I can then use my index to lay down
a - well if I go along with the lead like this
I can do a fine line. If I go against the
lead, like this, I can
paint a tone. It's important therefore that you be able to move
your whole wrist and even your whole arm. There are times
when I'll hold the pencil back like this if I want to get something a little more subtle
and there are also times in the finished drawing where
I might even hold the pencil, like the Conté pencil, like I
might use a ball point pen. The other tools
I'm going to use are
a 2B General's charcoal pencil.
They call that a medium.
I'm gonna use a 4B in addition to that.
They look the same except they'll have
the grayed on the side of the pencil. These
I just sharpen using a pencil sharpener, an electric sharpener,
and I keep a very fine point. And I can hold these
like I showed you with the Conté or
I can hold them like this, or frequently I hold the pencil
like this where I back up way down the shaft of the pencil.
For erasure and effects and subtle
modeling, even drawing, I can use this kneaded eraser.
It conforms to just about any shape you want to create
and most often I'll make a lip or a ledge
like that so that I can, for instance here,
draw right through a tone.
I can also erase it. I'll be doing the
lay in fairly lightly so that I can -
I don't even have to erase if I make a mistake for instance, I'm gonna have to
even very often erase it outright, I just draw over it. Finally
there's a plastic eraser. It comes in a white
like that and I usually try to keep the edge
nice and crisp because here, too, I can
go back and erase effectively.
If you really want to erase all the way back to white,
even in the dark area, this is probably your best tool for doing it.
So let's start our subject
with the Conté pencil. First
I'm gonna establish the scale.
Let's make it a little larger than that.
The front view
head typically is three units in height
and across the widest part, just above
the eyes it would be two units in width.
So it's almost like an inverted egg shape.
Then I bisect that egg shape
from left to right
into two equal halves.
And if I'm
a little bit off I just correct that.
sometimes students will do this and they'll go off to the right or to the left,
all that's gonna do is make it difficult for you.
If I take the top of the head, to the base of the
chin and if I divide that in half, just look at the line, not the egg,
If I do this - that's about right,
you can measure - then that would give
us a line through the eyeballs.
All of these measurements and proportions can be found
on the diagram of the head abstraction by Frank Reilly.
So, no different than
Next, I add a distance above that center line
for the brow bone where it overlaps the socket.
And there is individual variety when
we're doing this, so just be careful and look carefully at your model
or your photograph. From that point, where the brow
intersects with the front axis to the base of the chin,
if I divide this in half
that's usually where we find the septum.
The point where the nose meets the face. And then if I
take the distance from the septum to the bottom of the chin and divide that in
half, I get the bottom of the lower lip.
It's also common that from the brow
to the septum, if I divide that in half, that's
where we're gonna find the eye socket,
last form in the eye socket. Good.
We can see clearly on our photo the front plane, dividing at the temple
from the side plane of the head. So you have to think of the head not really as a
form of an egg but more of a box.
here's our basic set up. We're gonna go ahead now
at the main axis, the junction between the brow
and the vertical axis and we're gonna start developing
both vertically and horizontally the
features. Let's go ahead and start with the width
at the bridge of the nose.
from that point,
I'm gonna angle
the shape of the brow and the eyebrow on it.
Notice the tail here of the eyebrow
positioned on the temple.
eyebrow has thirds that it breaks down into.
third rests under the brow bone, then the next
ascends onto the forehead, and the last one
follows the temple as it curves down.
So that's three thirds.
The eyebrow helps, therefore, to
describe form, as much as any of the other features.
Here we see the nasal bone ending and
the cartilages of the bridge of the nose.
Here we have that important point where the septum meets the tooth cylinder
above the mouth. And from that point
we can angle upwards
above the nostrils. So we're
creating the under plane of the nose.
Here I'm gonna indicate the position of the wings of the nose
where they meet the face.
that in this case the wings of the nose are slightly lower
than the septum between them.
That would change, for instance,
if his head tipped forward. At some point
the septum would be lower than the wings. Here we find the
septal cartilages, which many people call the ball
of the nose. I find that misleading, but since
these planes are actually fairly angular.
The head should be treated symmetrically
Sometimes one eyebrow is raised more than the other, etcetera but that's not the case here.
If you like it more, you can do the whole
drawing from start to finish using the charcoal.
To do the lay in you don't even need the charcoal though, you could
use just the Conté. It depends on the feel that you like.
I would do the same
approach if I were using wax pencil, or
We want to not just describe the
bridge of the nose, which is the front plane, but we want to
construct the side plane of the nose, where it meets the
Not too dark
This is, at most, a half tone,
which has a gradation of light, direct light, within your light
pattern, not your shadow pattern.
This is a really high resolution photograph
so you can see a lot of detail, particularly in the
light, but even some in the shadow. So it's important to
understand what forms you really want to describe and what
forms, at this stage, you just want to suggest. You can't
just do every form in equal detail from start to finish.
So the sequence that I'm selecting is very important.
One of the things I'll be
doing, right off the top, is separating my light
from my shadow. Or, in the case of the beard,
it's not in shadow but it's still
part of my dark pattern. So I'll mass it together within the shadows
that are surrounding it. It's -
now we come to an important measurement
which is the distance from the septum here
to the upper lip. And that's also
the end of the mustache
above the mouth.
And we can
follow the shape of the mustache.
And when I draw the bottom
of the mustache, effectively I'm drawing the top of the
A little negative
shape right here, between the top of the upper lip and the base of the mustache.
I want to find the peak of the upper lip. That's the
point at which it overlaps the lower lip.
Notice I haven't even filled in my dark pattern
or any of my shadows. I'm mapping them out.
At that point, having positioned and designed the shapes
then I can assign any value I like to
a plane or set of shapes.
So I'm not, I'm not
drawing the values as I go, I'm first designing the shapes.
This is not, of course, the only way
to approach drawing subjects. But
I can only demonstrate one approach at a time, so
that's my thinking, is the shapes come before
values. Not the other way around.
It's better to try to get it right
even if you're meticulous and taking your time
than to hurry it and get a shape wrong.
Ultimately the process will go faster
if you are careful and considerate.
It's a little bit like
painting with the pencil. I'm able to get
not just the shape but something fairly close to the
edge quality of a shape next to another.
You can study this negative shape
right here. In my case I think it's a little too
narrow, so I'll make an adjustment before I get real
serious about completing it. Since I drew lightly, it's quite
easy to make adjustments or changes. So don't start
bearing down on the pencil, getting a very dark value to start with.
They'll be plenty of time for that
not far from that time right now.
You might notice how far I'm having to move my arm
to get the proper character of the edge.
And it still needs
to move out a little bit, so we'll do that.
That's more like it. And
with it, the mustache comes out too.
These are just some of the shapes that we've studied. The
tooth cylinder, the muzzle. Okay
now I'm gonna move back to the horizontal axis. You could do it
the other way around. You could construct the forms in the
horizontal axis and then move down vertically
to construct the features along the vertical axis. It really
is six of one, half a dozen of the other. Some students
find it easier if they start by moving down the axis because
there's a certain intimidation factor that people sometimes
seem to have about constructing the eye.
This way, at least, you've developed
the other forms first. In fact I'm gonna do a little bit
more work here.
The angle of the jaw is just slightly
above the center of the mouth.
His head is somewhat longer
and narrower than the standard head.
Okay, now back to the
eye socket. Because it has an angle,
slightly less frontal than the forehead or the cheek.
I'm gonna put a half tone over the socket before I begin
The nose has more complexion than most of the rest of the
head so I'll put a half tone over part of it.
I'm gonna treat all the darks, even if they're black,
like his eyebrows. I'll treat them as a single -
I guess it's a middle gray or something like that.
Later on, if I choose, I can distinguish between darks
within darks or reflected light within darks. But right now
in the lay in stage I'm not looking for that.
with the wing of the nose.
In our case, it appears that the tear duct is slightly inside closer to the nose than
that generic rule, probably about here and on the other side of the head about here.
Okay, we have underneath the brow the
orbiculari. oculi muscle, the muscle that orbits the oculus or eye.
Given that a slightly harder edge at the bottom so that we get a sense of overlap.
As hard edges connote an overlap, soft edges tend to recede.
Okay, I’m going to go from the tear duct diagonally up to the highest point above the
lid with this eyelid, above the eye with his eyelid, and that is going to be roughly parallel
to the outside angle of the lid overlapping his right eye.
Before I design the lower lid on the eyes, I’m first going to place the iris.
We look first for the big shape and then within it we find the smaller shapes.
Here, placing the iris will help position other aspects of the eye and the eye socket
because, for instance, of the negative shapes between the iris and the tear duct and the
iris and the outside of the eye.
Look back from one iris to the other so that you’re careful to keep the two in
a consistent scale, one to the other.
Now, leaving a small distance beneath the iris to the front plane of the lower lid is
important because that’s where the light captures the top plane of the lower lid.
Here is the front plane of the lower lid.
Here is the side plane of the zygomatic arch.
It’s best to draw one than the other rather than draw the zygoma and skip up to the hairline
because we want to capture that symmetrical construction of the head.
I’m describing the turning of the muzzle in front of the jaw or the masseter muscle.
Here is the brow ridge where it meets the temple.
He has a very pronounced brow ridge and the frontal prominence is very clearly seen.
So let’s kind of draw that frontal prominence,
separating the frontal bone and the frontalis muscle from the temple.
We can, using a half-tone, not a shadow.
We can suggest the brow bone itself above the eye.
Above that, we’ll turn the cranium from its front plane to its top plane
before the hairline.
Let’s look back now to the facial mass.
You can look at the distance from here to here of the form shadow on the zygomatic arch.
Notice I leave a harder edge on the right side so that I can overlap the ear behind it.
Obviously, the ear is not in the same plane as the facial mass next to it.
That’s just a suggestion of the orbicularis oris muscle surrounding the mouth.
Here is the hairline, the form shadow next to it and beneath it.
The top of the ear lines up just around the bottom of the iris like that,
a little higher on the opposite side, it appears.
That would be—let’s see, I have this one placed a little too high so I’ll correct that.
He has a strong jaw and masseter muscle.
The base of the ear lines up just under the bottom of the nose, and I’m going to simplify
the overall shape of the ear like this.
Same thing, very pronounced jaw.
I’m constantly using my pencil to help me line up where one form is relative to another.
I do the same thing here so that I can get the outside of the mustache to line up correctly
with the iris.
So plumb line and then a horizontal or a parallel.
Those are what you want to be using as tools.
We’ll design the shapes within the ear presently, but not at this moment.
This is where the front plane meets the underplane of the jaw.
The beard has form.
It’s not just texture by any means.
I’m going to pick up the silhouette of his cranium, and we’re also going to indicate
Don’t draw little details.
Just get the big movement or sweep of the hairline.
Here the cranium turns back away from the light.
It does not fall into shadow outright, but it gets darker than the front of the forehead
facing the source of light.
You can play here with the scalp along the axis that I drew for the hairline.
Duck down for a moment and just pick up the underplane now of the beard.
I don’t want to go too much further before I place the neck.
He has a very muscular neck.
It does taper, becoming wider at the shoulder.
Here the mastoid muscle overlaps the trapezius, and we pick up the center column of the neck.
Now I’m just going to apply one even value for my shadows and my darks.
I’m using the side of the lead and I’m overlapping one stroke by the next.
That creates an even field of any value.
With hair as dark as his and in this lighting,
don’t try to do a hair texture within the shape.
You can create a sense of texture of the hair along the silhouette and where the hair meets
If you try to do it within such a dark hair value, it’s going to distort our
perception of the head.
That’s not the way we see it.
Okay, here, do the same with the beard.
And the mustache.
There is the tragus and here is the shell or concha
or helix that surrounds the ear.
I put a half-tone over the ear so it doesn’t jump forward
and grab our attention too much.
We’ll include the trapezius muscle.
A nice hard edge so that the neck overlaps the trapezius seen from the front.
Just a little bit of cleanup.
Notice how easily the kneaded eraser can clean up the construction lines.
Our model’s head is a little bit more than a 3 x 2 ratio, so I’m erasing my original
oval shape and that’s what we’ve got.
I’ll give you just a little preview of how you might go about finishing this drawing.
With a very sharp point, and by the way, you’ll notice I only use the side of the pencil so
it’s just as sharp as it was when I started the drawing.
Here, however, I will be using more of the tip as well.
These charcoal pencils are a little less grainy than your Conté pencil.
Like I said before, if you prefer you can do the whole drawing with the charcoal pencil.
But at the very least, when I go into the second stage having completed the lay-in,
I typically switch over to the charcoal pencil.
Here I’m refining and designing the head.
I’m taking no shape for granted.
I’m quite capable of putting a shape in the wrong position or at the wrong scale or
even with the wrong edge so this is my chance to be very self-critical if I were to carry
the drawing on to a finish.
I literally keep the eraser on hand.
If you have one shape that’s out of drawing,
which means it’s in the wrong position or scale,
if you don’t correct it, it will cause other shapes
to cascade into further mistakes.
Since you’re relating one shape to another at all times.
You have to be your own best critic.
Alright, let’s leave this as one demonstration
of how to lay in a head in a tonal drawing.
I think I need to do several of these for you until you can get a pretty good grasp
in your practice of this most important part of the process.
So, some important things to focus on before you begin would include the fact that we’re
seeing the underplane of the head above the neck, and that’s very clear.
It must be made plane in your drawing.
We also notice that the facial features relative to the ear are all higher than they would
be in an eye level so that, in fact, the ear lobe is lower than the mouth, whereas in a
front view seen at eye-level, the ear lobe would line up with the base of the nose.
The top of the ear would line up with the keystone shape above the nose.
In this case, it lines up just above the alar cartilages that form the wings of the nose.
We’re going to start off with the same 3 x 2 ration for the highest and the widest
parts of the egg shape.
I’m going to leave a little space here between the head and the frame so that we make sure
we can design the hair shape.
Let’s make sure we’ve drawn a symmetrical egg shape and we’ll start off with the front
axis which bisects the head exactly, running top to bottom.
And then we want to go ahead and establish the eyeline, which
in our case now is going to be higher than halfway from top to bottom, and then we’re
going to draw the point at which the underplane of the brow overlaps the ball of the eye.
Let’s divide this space, the height of this center axis from the brow to the chin.
I’ve got less of the cranium in an upshot and more of the underplane so the chin is
going to be above the underplane.
Let’s divide that in half for the septum or base of the nose, and we’re going to
divide that distance from that septum to the base of the chin and half for the bottom of
the lower lip.
Right away, we want to—I’m a little off my axis here.
Let me straighten this up.
We want to—yeah, it’s closer.
We want to show the temple, the turning of the front plane of the head into its side plane.
As you look at the photograph it’s quite clear on the left side, his right.
It’s not as clear here on the opposite side.
But if you find it on one side then you can deduce the position at the other side.
Okay, as in every instance, I’m going to start establishing the facial features and
the planes of the head where the horizontal axis meets the vertical axis.
On the shadow side of his head I think that it is much more clear than on the opposite
side so we’ll start here.
The sections of the nose include the keystone shape at the brow and then the nasal bone,
the cartilages that form the bridge and then the cartilages that form the septum here.
We also want to get the distance from the bridge of the nose to the side plane where
the contact is made with the front plane of the facial mask.
Mask looking like this.
The septum here is higher than the wings, and that’s almost always going to be the
case when you’re looking from below at a head.
I will make reference throughout this lay-in to the abstraction by Frank Reilly of the head.
One thing to note from the start, however, is that I mentally project that abstraction
onto my subject as opposed to starting with a wire frame or linear diagram.
Back in the lead to the drawing looking somewhat mechanical, so I call upon the abstraction
as I draw, but I don’t start by literally outlining the abstraction and then filling
in the head.
A little bit the other way around.
Here the front plane of the tooth cylinder turns to the side.
These are the pillars of the mouth right above the lips, and here at the center of them we
find the groove known as the philtrum.
Because the wings overlap the tooth cylinder I firm up those edges to convey that overlapping.
The nostril falls for the most part within the underplane of the nose, and so at this
stage, at least, I don’t really even draw them.
Instead I draw the dark shadow plane in which they are found.
We’re all about simplifying from the very start.
On this side, however, we do perceive the shape of the nostril cavity.
Using S-curves, C-curves and straights, trying to make my shapes very legible, I go ahead
and I design its shape.
We can see here starting at the wing of the nose the tooth cylinder, and that’s going
to extend to the sides of the mouth.
We’ll start here.
Don’t use a shadow value because it’s actually catching direct light.
It’s in a half-tone.
You’ll notice that a kneaded eraser is at the ready all the time to make my shapes even
more legible and clear.
Let’s try to establish now the corners of the tooth cylinder.
In a moment, when I draw the eye within the socket, I’ll talk about how we can line
up the tear duct for instance with the wing of the nose over the center of the iris with
the corner of the mouth.
What is the distance between the peak of his lip and the base of the septum?
That’s what I’m being careful to establish.
Having done it, I can describe the height of that upper lip, which when seen from below
is going to be greater than when seen at eye level.
But what is it?
Having done that, before I do anything else—well, I suppose, let’s see, let’s put in the
bottom of the lower lip.
The upper lip is almost in shadow, whereas the lower lip is not.
The corners or wings of the lips
are located on the same line as the bottom of the lower lip.
Anything you can do, you find that anything you can do that will help you with placement
then be looking for it.
Get a nice fairly deep S-curve here
that connects the peak of the lip to the wings.
That’s where a very pronounced overlap occurs.
Here we’re drawing both the upper and lower lip where they meet.
And I’m going to assign the same uniform value to the upper lip as I will to the mustache.
When you assign a value to your shape be careful to retain the integrity of the shape.
Don’t lose that shape in the process of putting in a value.
The lower lip facing the light source is lightest at the center.
In this case, the shadow side of the head, the side plane of the lower lip actually turns
from light into shadow.
Don’t be afraid to just go ahead and mass that value with the value of the lip on top of it.
Here the beard comes up just below the lower lip.
Notice that it angles back here and in a manner that’s consistent with the round volume
of the tooth cylinder, and it’s also the orbicularis oris muscle.
We’ll be describing that as we go here where it overlaps the chin.
Very pronounced in this model’s case.
Now that we’ve done that work,
we can fit the side of the mustache opposite the upper lip
on both sides of the head.
This is not—although I’m not going to take this particular drawing at this time
to a finish, it is, however, part of the lay in process to do a finished study.
Not a sketch, but a study.
Both are important material for your concentration and study, that is to say sketching and doing
Obviously, it would be somewhat looser, a little more broad in my approach if I were
doing a sketch and leaving it at that.
This is actually a phase in doing a finished study.
The mustache is going to follow the general contours of the tooth cylinder if I were to
describe that like so.
That takes us to the chin mound beneath it.
I want to describe the shape of the actual beard which will conform to the shape of the
tooth cylinder and the orbicularis oris muscle.
Even here, the outside edge of the beard, I line it up with some
other element in the drawing.
Here, for instance, with the wing of the nose, that makes sense.
That helps me position and scale this section, this triangular section of his beard.
Don’t try to draw hair texture.
Right now squint at your subject and see it as one dark shape.
I could go several directions now.
I could complete the head at the jaw.
Or, as I’m about to do I could suggest the muzzle shape which shouldn’t be too dark.
It is still within the light pattern, and so I keep it at a value which I could use
for a half-tone, which is to say lighter than anything in the shadow.
Now the beard shape narrows above the jaw,
and on the opposite side I will pick up here.
Part of the muzzle.
I’ll duck back over here to the side plane of the nose,
and let’s get the width of the top plane or bridge.
But this is subtle.
Don’t draw too dark.
I do want to get the inside angle of the nasal bone before we reach the eye socket.
You can see a half-tone that runs beneath the eye socket, which by the way is positioned
just about here at its base.
That sets us on the course for the muzzle
which follows the front plane of the head.
Don’t over model.
That means draw too dark.
I’m actually holding off on drawing my darkest darks.
That’s not part of the first lay-in stage.
It follows it directly but not yet.
Do you see here I’ve got the tooth cylinder?
I’ve got the muzzle.
Again, I’m mentally projecting the abstraction onto this head.
There is a lot going on in this very high-resolution photograph,
and it can fly apart at the seams into individual parts.
But, abstraction helps me keep the big picture at the front of my mind at all times, and
the rhythms that we use to relate these forms will help to knit it together so that every
so-called detail will find its place and not just separate or isolate from the bigger picture.
We can go back in using a combination of charcoal pencils and kneaded eraser and describe the
kind of salt and pepper, wispy kind of beard that he’s got at the front plane of his chin.
But for now, I’m just squinting and seeing how best I can simplify it.
I am putting a half-tone over much of the light on the lower part of the head because
we can see that here and here are the hot spots, the lightest parts of the head.
Everything else is dark or relative to those.
I don’t want to lose sight of that.
If I do than the head will tend to flatten out rather than have depth.
Let’s go back now to our horizontal axis running out from the center vertical axis.
There is the orbicularis oculi muscle as it overlaps the inside angle of the upper eyelid.
There is a good, very considerable arc or arch to his eyebrow.
I want to get that shape.
It’s important to capture his character.
I’m also going to give a very light half-tone to the entire socket including the forms within it
so that it turns away from the light and has depth to it.
Here is the turning back of the front plane of the face to the side plane of the jaw at
the masseter muscle.
We’re turning the front plane of the jaw at the chin to its underplane at the spine
of the mandible.
Let’s see how that looks.
Make sure we get a good overlap here of the brow structure on top of the eyelid.
And the same on the right side of his head, or the left as you’re looking at him.
I’m going to turn the eye socket back in front of the zygoma.
Let’s see about the tear duct to wing of the nose relationship.
We find here that the tear duct is actually somewhat farther, set apart from a plumb line
extending up from the wing of the nose.
Typically they would line up on a tangent to each other on that plumb line, but they
don’t and that’s fine.
Just describe how different that is.
The head is probably slightly a little turned because this tear duct seems
to placed a little farther away.
I think I’m off a little bit too so I’ll make a quick adjustment.
Remember, if you have something that’s misplaced or scaled wrong, try to catch it as soon as
you can so that you don’t wind up measuring other shapes against it later, and you wind
up with one bad game of telegraph.
Everything is off accordingly.
Okay, I always like to place the iris
before proceeding to the lower part of the eye socket.
The bottom of that iris is just about tangent to the lid that overlaps it.
Don’t make the highlight too large.
That’s a pretty common tendency.
You want to avoid that.
Compare the size of one iris to the other as you design them.
There is a slight softness at the edge of the iris where it meets the white of the eye,
but don’t be too hyperconscious about something like that at this stage.
Don’t make it scissor-cut hard edged, but also don’t lose the shape that you troubled
to place a design.
So, using the tip of my pencil, it’s pretty obvious how careful I’m being to
maintain that important shape.
I’m leaving the center of the lower lid to catch the light directly, but I’m
turning the lower lid back at the outside and the inside
so that it appears to have a roundness to it.
Carefully shape the kneaded eraser.
Here I’m looking very specifically at, first the turning back of the zygomatic
arch outside the eye socket, and then, secondly,
the shape of the muzzle.
There was a relationship line you may recall on your abstraction that runs from
approximately the top of the ear to the wing of the nose, through the lip, around, over,
and repeats that same movement on the other side of the head.
If I kind of follow that, and then there is another relationship that takes us like this
from the underplane of the zygoma.
Watch how we can use that.
Here we’re going to turn the head back at the temporal bone.
While I’m at it, I’ll look for the same on the opposite side.
Let’s place that subtle half-tone here at the bottom of the frontal prominence.
Let’s look carefully here for the overlap of the brow ridge in front of the frontal
prominence like that.
Having done that, I can assign a very light half-tone value to that bony process.
The cranium is foreshortened when the head is tilted back
or when we’re seeing it from below.
We get a plane of hair overlapping the forehead, and then you get the hair growing off the
forehead here, overlapped by that overlapping sweep.
Earlobe lines up just about here.
Here we find the hair overlapping the top of the ear,
and now we build out the shape of the ear.
I’m going to find the manner in which the hair frames the head on both sides
and turn back to the top plane of the cranium above the frontal bone.
Just using the weight of the pencil, nothing more.
One even value for all of my shadows and all of my local darks.
By local dark, I mean does he have a dark beard.
Does he have a dark head of hair?
Does he have a dark bow tie, what have you, dark jacket?
I would treat those the same values as the shadows.
Underplane of the head overlaps the neck so I’m going to leave a harder edge at the
bottom of that plane than at the top, giving me a sense of overlap.
There is a shadow cast over the neck by the head so we’re going to mass that together
with all the other dark planes next to it.
Never copying, always designing.
By all means, don’t use a hard edge on the silhouette of the hair.
It’s anything but.
If is see something—as I’m drawing one part of my subject and I happen to see
another part that needs to be developed further I’ll just dive in and do it
right then and there.
I don’t get fixated with one part.
It’s the whole.
It’s not the trees getting lost, you know, for the sake of the forest.
It’s the other way around.
You have to be careful about losing the forest for the sake of the individual trees, and
so yeah; I’ll see something in a shoulder and I’ll go down and draw it.
Here, for instance, let’s complete our design of the underplane of the head and the center
column of the neck.
This is the sternocleidomastoideus muscle, which means it has heads on the sternum
and the clavicle and it leads back behind the ear
to the mastoid process of the occipital bone.
Without a good sense of that, you’re not going to capture the structure of the neck.
I’ll put at least a half-tone, probably even a shadow tone over his right ear.
Don’t want it jumping forward out of its proper position, which is behind the jaw.
On the other side I’ll give it a light half-tone.
The ear should not have the most contrast of any of the other facial features or planes.
It really is a second read is what you’re trying to use to describe the ear, usually.
Really using the pencil now just about like a paintbrush.
As I use my pencil I can bear down on one side of it.
That allows me to get a hard edge on one side here versus there, and so I don’t have to
labor to do it and come back to do it later.
It looks more fresh like it just happened, and you don’t want an overworked drawing,
so this helps.
The same can be done with a paintbrush when painting.
Therefore, I can get pretty close to the correct edge at the first shot.
It’s like alla prima drawing.
Alla prima means at the first, getting it at the very first stroke so you don’t have
to labor over it.
Let’s get some atmosphere by losing an edge here and there as we draw.
The silhouette of the hair is a good place to start with that.
The hair in many ways is one large important framing device for the head.
Filling in the tone is not a particularly difficult thing to do
if you overlap your strokes.
My primary teacher Fred Fixler used to say, you know, “The artist’s work, the heavy
lifting is in designing the shapes and the edges,” but in 1983 dollars, “You could
go down the street and hire a kid for 25 cents to fill in the tone.
That’s not the work of the artist himself or herself.
It’s the design of it.”
Everybody needs to develop a simple facility for putting down an even or a gradated tone,
and it’s not difficult.
You can take large sections of a page of newsprint and use your Conté or charcoal pencil and
fill in that whole rectangle with one even value and practice
that until you’ve got it down.
You can clean up some of your construction lines at this time.
You can use the eraser also to pull out some highlights or crest lights where we find them.
Sometimes the white of the eye is not really white because the eye is set back perhaps
in a plane angled to the light source.
In our case, it gets pretty light and so we can go ahead and
lighten somewhat the white of the eye.
Let me just suggest the next phase in the drawing, which would be, at least in my case
I like to switch over at some point to a finer tool than the Conté pencil, and this 4B charcoal
and this 4B charcoal pencil.
Or a 2B would do the trick.
In fact, let me use a 2B because it’s a little bit finer.
Notice how sharp I keep the tip.
I’m using just the tip of the pencil, not the side so much.
Okay, so that is a lay in for doing a long study.
It’s not to be confused with a sketch or something of that nature.
It actually is designed as a stage in doing a long study or even an illustration or painting.
I prefer a 4B or sometimes a 2B; 4B usually when I’m starting and a 2B at such a time
when I’m getting toward more refined detail.
Sometimes I used Conté.
I mentioned that in the earlier drawings.
That’s good for the lay-in stage, but it tends to be a little bit grainy so let’s
see how I feel.
I might use some of both.
Our subject is a front view, mature, male head.
He has really good clear forms, a lot of which we find in the abstraction
are very obvious here.
He has complicated hair so I have to urge you to don’t get too caught up in the hair
or individual curls.
We’re going to try to simplify that for this demonstration.
Let me start in with our front-view head construction.
I’m working on smooth newsprint.
Later in the exercise I’m going to trace the abstraction on top of my drawing using
lightweight tracing paper.
As always, I keep a kneaded eraser on hand.
It’s important should I make I make a mistake and I want to correct it as soon as I note
it because it can affect everything else in the drawing.
Let’s center the head.
Place it a little higher on your format than directly midway.
That tends to make the subject a little insignificant and lonely and low.
The center of your page is here, but I make the head a little bit higher than that center.
Certainly never lower.
This is an egg shape.
It’s going to be divided in half right down the center for a front view.
It’s about 3 units in height and 2 units in width across the temples.
If I take my center line and divide it in half, that’s a line through the eyeballs
Then I’m going to look defined just where the brow bone overlaps the eye socket, and
I’ll draw a horizontal axis at that point.
Then from that junction to the base of the chin, if I divide it in half, we find the
septum or base of the nose.
Then if I take the distance from the septum to the chin and I divide it in half, we find
the bottom of the lower lip.
If I take the junction between the vertical and the horizontal axis here, take it down
to the septum, and then divide that in half, typically we’ll find the bottom
of the eye socket there.
My next step is to establish the temple on either side.
That’s where we pick up the temporal bone next to the frontal bone and centered.
That’s where the eye—sorry the head—turns from a front plane into the side plane.
Okay, now I’m ready to start building the eye socket where the temple meets the brow.
I want to be pretty graphic about this because we clearly see the light and dark pattern,
the shadow pattern on the head, and that’s going to be an anchor
around which we build everything else.
Think of the eye socket as a simple volume or sphere.
It no longer will be so detailed and confusing as if it had to have every detail, the eyelashes
and the iris and the highlight and the pupil and the iris.
It’s much simpler than that.
If we just think of it almost as if you were to close his eyes then that sphere would turn
away from the light at a given point.
I’m going to put in a middle gray.
I guess it’s approximately a middle gray for all of my darks even the ones that are
darker than other darks.
I’m just going to unify them all into one gray value.
I’m also going to put a half-tone over the whole eye socket in the light because of its
angle to the light.
Let’s work our way down the bridge of the nose.
We find the nasal bone and the bridge and then the septal cartilages here.
Those are the three volumes we encounter as we work our way down the bridge of the nose.
Just a little bit of a half-tone at the base of the nose and on the bridge.
That’s the outside of the wing of the nose.
I’ve drawn it a little darker than it is in the photograph
or the way the light illuminates it.
Because I really want to make sure I’ve got a handle on exactly where it is.
Later on, I’ll probably erase that and make it lighter.
The entire underplane of the nose here, which is to say the nostril and the alar cartilage
above it is in shadow.
Then we have shadow over the tooth cylinder and philtrum.
The philtrum is the groove above the upper lip.
It’s part of the orbicularis oris muscle.
Okay, the peak of the lip overlaps the lower lip at this point.
The upper lip narrows at the wing here
and is symmetrical, one side to the other.
Beneath the upper lip we see more of the form of the orbicularis oris muscle surrounding it.
Well, we’ve built our way down the vertical axis all the way down to the base
of the jaw above the neck.
Let’s now design the eye sockets.
Here it’s best to look at the eyeball with its lids and try to understand how it is that
the eye, a sphere, turns away from the light like this.
That’s before I lay the forms on top of it.
The eyelids, eyelashes, iris, pupil, and so on.
Also, before I get too far into it I’m just going to lay a light half-tone
over the whole socket.
Try to gauge the height of the eyelid and then find the point where it overlaps the
ball of the eye and give it a certain thickness.
After all, the lid is not paper thin, and the upper lid, in fact, is thicker than the
We’re going to get a shadow underneath that lid.
I’m carefully looking at the whole shape that the eye socket presents to me.
If I draw a line from the wing of the nose, a vertical plumb line, that’s where I’ll
find the tear duct or certainly close to it.
Now I’m just going to take this 4B charcoal pencil and run it over the shape
that I’ve recorded carefully and mass all my darks together.
Let’s do that also on the mouth while we’re at it.
And a half-tone over the lower lip.
Let’s try to judge the distance between this dark pattern and the iris.
If we look at the tooth cylinder we see here, it’s embraced by the
nasolabial band and on the other side certainly the same.
Here is the top plane of the zygoma.
Side plane of the nose.
Here is the muzzle overlapping the cheek.
We catch just a little bit of light here.
We get a shadow cast by some of his locks across the forehead.
We’re going to turn the form shadow on its chin.
of these nice curls but not get too carried away with it.
Here we pick up the muzzle on his right side.
The left side as we look at it.
The head is tilted just ever so a little bit back so the ear lines up just around the top
of the upper lip.
Good, now let’s overlap the ear with some of the hair here.
The angle of the neck…
The head casts a shadow over the neck like this.
Here is the sternocleidomastoideus muscle
running up from the sternum and clavicle diagonally
to the mastoid process behind the ear.
Let’s get the shape of the hair before we get too concerned
with the texture and the detail.
Back to the forehead.
I’m still using basic S-curves, C-curves, and straights to design the shapes of his hair.
I’m not copying this strand for strand.
I may take my inspiration for a particular shape by what I see in the photo,
but I’m not being that literal.
Find the hairline.
Okay, so we’ve got our elements designed at this point.
Now it’s a matter of applying a dark value for everything beyond a half-tone.
We’ll start at the upper left
since I’m right handed and
just move through the figure,
one stroke overlapping the last.
If you have difficulty doing this, just practice by drawing a large rectangle on your newsprint
and make sure you have sufficient padding.
You should have 25, maybe 30 sheets of newsprint beneath the one you’re actually drawing
on so you get kind of a pillow.
You can modulate your values by pushing on that cushion.
And then just trying to practice filling in one even value.
It could be a middle gray, light gray or a dark gray.
Until it becomes something of a second nature to you.
I don’t recommend cross-hatching which is grow out one line this way
and another opposite to it.
It tends to look a little static.
So find a little bit of a direction or a sweep to your strokes.
I’m not necessarily even taking this value all the way out to the edge of what I’ve
laid in. I’m just trying to get the graphic of it.
In other words, frame the head with the dark pattern.
As I go, I’m also going to put in the light and dark pattern on the skin.
Be careful as you do this not to lose the shapes that you designed
in the process of applying your dark value.
As you can see, this is a lay-in drawing for a head study.
Not for a head sketch, but for a full-on study.
It’s got to be very carefully done, and it has to establish your light and dark pattern.
I can put in some half-tones such as here on the neck.
On the bridge of the nose.
On the lower half of the head in the light.
On the planes turning away from the light but still within the light pattern.
Then you can go back and clean it
up just a little bit using your eraser.
Okay, for this stage this is all we’re trying to achieve.
We’ll carry one of these drawings all the way to an outright finish, but first we must
understand how to lay in the drawing.
I think this is at that stage.
essentially just two values.
The white of the paper, or off white in this case, and then
a gray tone for all the darks, including his hair and the shadows.
At this time, I'm going to
lay a sheet of tracing paper over the drawing and we're
gonna analyze his head using the abstraction diagram.
So to do this you just need a sheet of
tracing paper, preferably lightweight, you want it to be
as transparent as possible. And you can use
two pieces of low tack tape and you can attach them
at the top or at the side, but don't tape the bottom
because you need to lift it up from time to time and look at the drawing
and also look at your diagram without
the distraction of the drawing underneath.
Having said that, I'll put the tracing paper over the head and
I'll start the diagram analysis.
As you can
see, the tracing paper is transparent but it's got
enough opacity that if it were any more heavyweight it would
pretty much obscure the drawing. So you want to get the lightweight paper if you can.
I'm gonna start at the top of the head and draw to the base of the chin
stopping along the way at the septum.
So that's our central
axis of the head. We're gonna draw
parallel lines that tie up
tear duct and turning back from front
to side plane of the teeth.
This is not a form in and of itself,
it's a relationship between forms.
And let's do the same on each side.
And the center line will be
directly between these two lines.
Next line we're gonna draw will be the
center line horizontally, through the eyeballs.
Our center line
Now we're gonna draw the temples. That would be
where the front plane of the head turns to the side plane.
Just state this a little bit darker.
At this time
we'll go ahead and place the frontal prominence.
the inside angle of the socket.
But before I do it, come to think of it,
I think I'll do this: I'll draw the
brow ridge first, since it's very prominent in
the case of this model. So let's go ahead and do that.
Our next step is to draw the underplane
of the brow. That's to say where the brow bone
and the muscle, the orbicularis oculi, overlap
the eye. I'm gonna make a point here
at the septum, because we're actually gonna
swing this brow ridge, the underplane of it,
right along the bridge of the nose here
and here and
bring it over to the
temple, or just before it.
the movement all the way down to the base of the nose.
Alright, now we're going to
place the frontal prominence
on top of this.
Let's draw now
the side plane of the nose, here to here.
And although we can't see it on the shadow side,
we can draw it symmetrically with the other side.
Now we're gonna draw from
the bottom of each wing to the other
in a somewhat shallow arc like this.
And we're gonna draw from the underplane of the wing across
the bridge of the nose to the opposite side.
Finally we're gonna draw the septum
and above, here
at the wing of the nose.
Beneath the nose we have the largest of the ellipses
on the abstraction and that is the muzzle.
You can see it here, here, here,
here, and continuing down to the base of the jaw.
So I'm gonna make some landmarks.
care to draw the muzzle symmetrically.
We're just a little bit off here
The tooth cylinder is the next ellipse that we're gonna
describe. And we can
see that here, the nasal labial band, starts at the
wing of the nose and embraces the tooth cylinder and
then we continue down beneath the lower teeth
and up again symmetrically to the opposite side.
And now I'll just clean that up a little bit.
Good. Now we're gonna describe the chin mound from
here to here.
Let's pick up this long, rhythmical
the top of the ear, the corner of the wing of the
nose, and the corner of the mouth.
Follow through now to the peak of the lip.
Go ahead and make
landmarks so that you can go ahead and describe that arc.
draw the separation of the lips
describing the lower lip as you do so.
to place the lower lip.
At this point
we're looking for where the plane
of the zygoma changes, from the top
plane to the side plane. And that'll be here.
Here we'll draw the overlap
of the whole zygomatic process
and the muscles beneath it.
And we'll take that all the way to the apex of the cranium.
Next we'll find the line of the jaw -
not quite vertical.
And then the
angle of the jaw here.
At this time, we're going to place the eyeball
beneath the brow ridge.
and then the iris, under the
lid and overlapped by the lower lid.
Finally the ears.
Okay, so we've drawn an abstraction of this
I'm just gonna go back and clean it up a little bit.
For this -
and I could have done this from the start - I'll just use a black
I usually use just that, a black
Prismacolor pencil. But
using the charcoal pencil is a little more forgiving.
Should you make any errors that you want to erase
Prismacolor is difficult to erase
but the charcoal is not.
Remember when doing this exercise
you should keep a copy
of the line diagram abstraction at hand.
So you may need to refer back to it from time to time.
Well in fact you should.
So that's the brow ridge. Oh yes,
we should probably place our center axis through the eyeballs.
Side plane of the nose.
shallow arc, from wing to wing.
There's the underplane
of the wings of the nose.
Here's the muzzle.
Next we find
the tooth cylinder.
You can do this exercise directly on top of a photograph
if you haven't
done the drawing first. It's also a really effective learning tool.
beginners it may be a little easier because
the freehand drawing step can
and you can therefore just focus on the structure.
I'm being careful to
keep the pencil sharp.
Once again noting that the highest point of the upper
lid is related diagonally
to the lowest point of the lower lid, like this.
I'll just clean this up a little bit. Notice that the Prismacolor
wax pencil stays put and the eraser
only takes off the charcoal.
Okay. And there we
have an abstraction of an
individual head. Some things
you know right off the bat that are different from the standard extraction,
which is here.
For one thing, there's a greater distance
between the lower lip and the bottom of the tooth cylinder.
So this whole region of the head is a bit longer
than we find in the standard abstraction.
is, this region of the upper tooth cylinder too, so
the tooth cylinder itself is broader and longer
than in the standard abstraction, here
There are other deviations. And that will be true of every individual person
so doing the exercise will really help with your
comprehension of the abstraction itself, it will give you
practice with it, and it will make you a little more sensitive
to some of the individual arrangements of the facial features and
masses. Okay good, now we'll go on to another
whom I drew seen from a purely front view and
in a three quarter view - actually it's my favorite view and it's the most common
view for portrait painters. You can see the form best in such an
angle. The front is a little flat from left to right
and profile is the same thing. But here in the three quarter view
you get a good sense of the side plane of the cranium and the
cheek and of the jaw. So that helps to convey a sense
of form. When I start the drawing
I'm gonna be conscious of a very important fact:
that is that the cranium is deeper from front to back
than from left to right in the front. So it's
deeper than it is wide. And what that means is
we're still gonna start off with a three by two egg shape.
But we're gonna add - just
add some depth to the back of the cranium to compensate for that.
So let's get started.
Let me give you a little way of thinking about this that will help.
If I draw the front view egg, three units in height
by two units in width, like that.
Next I would place a front axis
bisecting that egg shape.
But in our case, since the head is turned three quarter,
the front axis does not bisect the egg in half.
Rather it's farther over.
Something like that. It's not a profile but it's
getting close to a profile. So what I do, is I
take this distance
and I add that distance to the back of the head, or what would have been
the side of the head in the front view. This should give us
approximately the proper depth
at the back of our head.
Okay. We're still gonna take the front axis
and we're going to bisect
That will create, at the midway point
the horizontal axis, running through -
running directly through the eyeballs, halfway
from top to bottom.
Now if I take that line and draw
a plumb line to the chin, divide that line - the
vertical line - in half, that will give me the base
of the nose at the septum. And if I take the base of
the nose to the chin and divide it in half, I will find the
bottom of the lower lip. However, as I
just observe freehand,
he seems to have a somewhat longer tooth cylinder and chin
so we're probably gonna wind up farther down than here.
But we'll see.
Ah forgive me, I skipped something. I'm gonna have to add
the brow where it overlaps the eye.
Like that. And then I divide in half,
very important distinction. The observation that I made still
holds. Okay, from half way point between septum and
overlapping brow, we get
approximately the bottom of the eye socket.
And we're going to
get a good sense here
if this is the front plane of the cranium, well then this is where it
turns to the side at the temple.
Facial mass is diagonal in nature,
cranial mass is more vertical.
Okay, now at this point, where
the eye is overlapped by the brow ridge,
we're gonna start developing
the facial features and volume of the head.
This is nice and clear because it forms a shadow at the root of the nose.
On the other side we have
only light shapes.
But we do have the eyebrow and we're gonna place that now.
And here's the top of his right eyebrow.
Okay, now we're gonna
pick up the angle of his nose, the bridge of his nose.
This comes with practice, drawing freehand.
But you want to be as close to accurate as you can. Much will depend
on getting it right. Here is the side plane
of the septal cartilages.
Here, dide plane of the nasal bone
bridge of the nose.
Don't draw too dark. Not at this stage.
I'm putting a
half tone over the eye socket.
Usually has a little more complexion than the rest of the head
and it's angled away from the light slightly
inside angle of the nasal bone
and brow ridge above it.
Once again, I'm using a General's charcoal
pencil 4B soft.
If I were using Bristol Plate or
something that could take a little more working over
I might use Prismacolor wax pencil
or I might use
Conté, that's another choice.
Or even vine charcoal
which can be rubbed to a nice, smooth,
even tone where desired.
Here the wing of the nose casts a shadow
over the front plane of the face.
Usually cast shadows will have a harder edge to them.
We're gonna look for the shape of the cast shadow beneath
Let's leave a half tone for the light
right there, above the nostril.
And a half tone where the
septum turns under, above the nostril.
If I take a
from the wing of the nose,
paralleling the diagonal of the bridge of his nose
like this - or I should say if I just take a line, it's not
really a plumb line. That's where I'll find the tear duct,
generally speaking. Looks like I do pretty much have that here.
This is the muzzle
wrapping around the front of his face.
I'm turning the bridge of the nose
to its side plane.
Just gonna narrow that bridge a little bit
I believe I have it too wide.
Little bit of a half tone there.
Okay. At this point we're going to -
instead of being a straight axis, we're going to
curve it forward so as to account
for the teeth. This is something
you don't have to do in the front view head
but in three quarters and profile you must.
This is where the tooth cylinder turns back and overlaps
the muzzle behind it.
philtrum above the lip. And here
we get the orbicularis oris muscle turning back
to the side.
Okay so we don't need this dark,
overly dark construction line anymore.
This is the peak of his upper lip.
Now I'm gonna try to establish the wing
of the lip.
I guess a little more space between his septum
and the upper lip.
Okay you get a hard edge where the upper lip
overlaps the lower lip.
Hard edges imply overlapping
so that will help right away.
And, not just because of its complexion
but because of its angle to the light, the upper lip is going to
be either in shadow or a darker half tone
in this case.
Here, the lower lip
overlaps the upper lip.
And I'm gonna turn the orbicularis
oris muscle under
and overlap the chin.
And there's the silhouette of the muzzle.
The top plane of his chin is here.
And the front plane of the chin
turns under about there.
I'm really kind of thinking from a design point of view
how best I can chisel
He's got a lot of small
planes and groups of planes, which
surround the mouth and elsewhere
and they tend to kind of echo
the movement of those bigger forms.
They can't be drawn as though they take on a life of their own
they always have to relate to the large, more important
Good. Let's now move back
to the eye sockets and develop the
feature and the forms surrounding the eye.
Develop that along the horizontal axis, just as we've
developed these forms along the
If I squint away the details
I'll notice that at a point, roughly about here,
the ball of the eye turns into a
considerable half tone.
happen here on other side? No. But that's what
I would be looking for. I'm gonna take the
negative shape between the bridge of the nose
and the iris, here, to help me establish
However, I have the eyelid a little too
high. I'm looking at the negative shape between it
and the eyebrow above. So I'm gonna make that
correction before it affects any of my other
positioning of the features.
This is the front
plane of his lower lid.
I'm gonna move the eye down a little bit more
The fact that I've made a couple mistakes and have
easily corrected them should be encouraging then because
some students get
a bit put off by the fact that
there are frequently times where they have to make adjustments in the drawing.
Well, get use to it that's part and
parcel of the process.
We can see the eye
the brow ridge behind it.
A couple of little curls from his hair.
Here we find a large shape
of the muzzle.
And now I'm trying to
pin down my light and dark shadow
Just try to see how the hair
overlaps the forehead.
There's a cast
shadow over the Adam's apple.
Some nice interesting shapes here.
Get a little bit expressive,
almost expressionistic with your treatment of the hair.
Now I'm just going
to go ahead and pass over all of my dark patterns
with a single, even
Again it's not
really what happens within the light pattern, or what happens within
the dark patten. It's where the two come together, where they meet.
That's where the story is told
because of the shapes, the overlaps, the
edges. That's where
we get the best sense of form.
I've done is literally to have drawn everything by
hand. I haven't bothered with anything like stumps
or powder or brushes.
Not at this point at least
and I feel - this isn't how I was trained - that if you're able
to do all of that and still get the proper edges
and control of your close values
then you really have developed the tools you need,
at which time you can
draw with any of the tools you feel you would like to.
Areas that are surrounded by darks
should probably be knocked down a notch in value.
Otherwise, they will appear to jump out
like headlights, such as this area for instance or
I'm just removing any unwanted - just
accidental accents that have happened as I
drew because the accents
are one of the ways that we draw attention to a part
of a drawing or a painting. And so I want to be the
one who chooses those. I don't want to just accidentally leave a number of
on my way to the drawing finish.
At this point sometimes I introduce what we call
a slip sheet. It's just a sheet of white paper
with nothing on it at all. And then
as I draw with my right
hand, I don't mess
up the drawing underneath my
right wrist and arm.
You see how the pencil has been whittled down
significantly, but it's still perfectly sharp.
So I only sharpened it to expose more lead
or charcoal I should say.
Okay good. That's all we need now, just to get the
drawing whose purpose is to lead us to a finished drawing
just to get this study to this level. I'm next going to place
a tracing paper over the drawing and do a
line drawing abstraction analysis of the head.
Now we've got a three-quarter version of the same model's head.
I've done one that was a front view.
Both are at eye level as you can see on this screen.
For this I'll do a tracing on lightweight tracing paper
using a sharp, black Prismacolor wax pencil.
One thing to notice before I get started--
You'll see that from here, the keystone shape between the brow or the eyebrows,
all the way taken to the chin is a vertical axis.
It is not curved.
We have forms that protrude from it such as the nose,
and others that can occasionally indent from it,
perhaps the bottom of the lower teeth.
But in any case, they are all built along a vertical
axis that does not curve.
The axis will curve from this point up to the apex of the head.
So the cranium has a curved axis. The face a straight axis.
Such as this.
Point A, point B, and we'll draw a straight between those two points
I know I'm drawing lightly. I hope you can see that clearly.
But, that's my purpose to draw lightly so that I can draw right over it.
Here, the cranium, we're going to find that it curves
up toward the apex at the top of the skull.
Now we're going to draw a line between the eyes.
Just like that.
A simple horizontal at right angles to this vertical axis.
At that point, we're going to find the overlap of the brow
above the eye socket, and that's just about here.
Now I'll take this point at the horizontal axis at the brow
meets the vertical axis, and between that
and the base of the chin, we should find that halfway gives us the septum.
That is to say, where the nose meets the face.
Then if I take a point halfway between the septum and the bottom of the chin,
we would typically find the bottom of the lower lip.
In our case, it's pretty close. Not quite, but pretty close.
We're not drawing an abstraction of the standard head with standard proportions.
His will be close as all people's are, but we're drawing an abstraction of this individual's head.
And from now, taking the point here the horizontal and vertical axis come together.
To the septum.
If I divide that in half, I will find, typically, the bottom of the eye socket.
Okay, now we're going to draw a couple of relationship lines
from the tear duct. Just to be clear, let's have a look.
Also running to the corner to the wing of the nose.
And then the side plane of the mouth to the chin.
That would be one relationship line that we want to establish right away.
And so we're going to put our landmarks in place and go from there.
Try to imagine the nose as if it were made of glass,
and we could see through it.
So that we could see, for instance, the tear duct, the wing of the nose,
which are now covered by the nose.
We do see the turning back of the front plane to the side plane of the mouth
and that will help.
I hope you all have your abstraction diagram with you
so you can refer to it as I show you the exercise.
That's going to make a really big difference in the benefit you get from doing the exercise.
Now we're going to look at the temple.
That's the point where the front plane of the head turns to the side plane
In fact, you can probably see a vestige of what I drew as I freehanded this particular head.
That's going to be the location of the temple.
Outside the eye sockets
A lot of hair, so it'll really test your understanding
of the head since we can't really see the back of it.
Now we want to put in some of the forms that you can locate on your diagram.
The first of these is the frontal prominence of the cranium.
And we see that here.
Slight convexity right here.
At the inside angle of the brow.
Let's make a point there.
And another one here.
Remember, the frontal prominence rests on an inclined plane.
We don't draw an ellipse that's purely vertical.
We have to draw an ellipse which is at an angle.
Finishing up on the front plane of the head.
Let's say within the temples
Again, I kept it light.
Now I'm going to draw the brow ridge.
He has a pretty prominent brow ridge.
You can see it here.
And we can see its thrust, or its angle or movement
with the tail of the eyebrow below it.
I've placed my landmarks here and here.
It's easier to draw the ridge, drawing from one point to the other.
The underplane of the brow ridge.
is where the eye socket is overlapped by the cranium.
We see it here.
Actually the eyebrow overlaps it on the three-quarter side.
It's going to hookup with the bridge of the nose here and here.
So let's place landmarks in those spots.
At the base of the nose, well, before we draw that
let's pick up the side plane of the nose.
We see it here.
Try to simplify that.
Bring it down to the wing of the nose.
Then imagine again we could see through a glass nose.
And we will connect one wing to the other.
And then this
would be the septum.
Let's look at the real thing carefully.
And then we draw.
Across, above the nostril
and we delineate the
underplane of the nose.
We see a little bit of the side plane of the nose
on the three-quarter plane as well. Like so.
Now we're going to draw the muzzle.
That's going to start at the bottom of the eye socket.
Sweep around the head enclosing the tooth cylinder and the chin mount.
We see evidence of it here with this change in direction.
On the silhouette and we see evidence of it here where it overlaps
the masseter muscle.
Alright then, let's start with landmarks.
And then we will design the ellipse that represents the muzzle.
I draw all the way to the bottom
of the head here at the mandible.
Just like that.
Okay, now we've got the tooth cylinder.
We can clearly see here the wing of the nose where the cylinder starts.
And we can swing along and find its ellipse.
Through the lower teeth.
The chin mound.
extends from this point to the silhouette.
Now we're going to look for an important relationship that...
touches upon several landmarks.
Here, the corner of the wing of the nose
The corner of the upper lip.
And then going in the direction of the ear, which is probably about here.
We're going to swing that arc all the way under the eye socket.
where the forms of the eye socket rest on the top plane of the zygoma.
We do the same on both sides naturally
up here and up here and up here
we find that arc.
And then up and over to the peak of the upper lip.
And then we find where the upper lip clasps the lower lip.
and connect the dots as it were.
So there we have his upper lip.
Now we look for the turning under of the lower lip which is here.
Good, our next long line is an arc
that defines the turning under of the zygoma
from its top plane to its side plane.
If you notice, we get a shadow plane here.
where the zygomatic process and the muscles that come from it
overlap the jaw.
And then beneath the lobe
we find the jaw and the jaw
here between the lips changes from mostly a vertical to
primarily a horizontal.
You can see slightly the underplane of the head
overlapping the neck here.
Now we're going put the eyes in place within the eye socket.
Go back and reinforce the lines that you've drawn.
There is your center axis.
Here are the relationship lines,
almost parallel to the center axis.
Tear duct, corner of the nose.
Front plane of the lips separating from the side plane.
Here is the turning of the front plane of the head at the side plane of the temple.
Now the frontal prominence.
That involves both the frontal bone of the cranium.
And the frontalis muscle upon it.
The brow ridge.
Here's the overlap of the brow above the eye socket.
That establishes the underplane of the cranium.
Notice I'm not rushing. I'm taking whatever time I need.
to put these forms in.
And there we are with the tooth cylinder.
Finally, we'll draw the eyes.
And so we have now the abstraction,
You see, since I've got an understanding
of the head's abstraction then I'm able to look for those forms,
how they overlap each other, how they are positioned and how they overlap.
I almost mentally project that abstraction
over the sitter's head as I draw or paint it.
Without an abstraction in mind, pretty much condemned to just copying parts and not
seeing big relationships, which is far more important than drawing the perfect
corner of the mouth or detail in the hair.
Getting these relationships is what knits the head together and holds it
as a unit rather than as a whole mosaic of little, unrelated shapes.
So try to do the exercise, not just on front-view heads, which isn't easy in itself,
but also on three-quarter angles or even
profiles as I've demonstrated in earlier lessons.
Then you'll be able to use it, not just treat it like a fun jigsaw puzzle, which it sort of is,
but as a tool to draw.
three quarter view at eye level, a little bit of an upshot
slightly. Male head. And a very good exercise for you to
do at home is to find such a head and
do an abstraction tracing over it.
Let's get started. We're gonna use the center line and two lines parallel
to it roughly for placement.
So here, find the center of the bridge of the nose
and the center of the chin. And we're gonna
draw a straight axis of the facial mass, like
this. And then we're gonna draw
the axis of the cranium, but curve it
because it's actually set on a
diagonal. It is a diagonal plane.
Roughly parallel to it, we find
two lines. Each representing
placement. The one on the left will go from
the front of the tear duct to the wing of the nose here and then to the turning back
of the mouth from its front to its side plane.
And the other one we'll do the same thing.
So let's set up our land marks.
Next, we're gonna
build the brow ridge. Well let's do the temple
before that. That's the point where
the cranium turns from its front to its side plane, it's here.
You can make corrections as you go.
I'm drawing with a black Prismacolor pencil, a wax
pencil so you can use this, a white plastic
eraser, to make corrections.
Alright, before I draw the brow ridge
I think we'll go for the frontal prominence.
You may - you should keep a diagram at your side while you're drawing
to refer to, but the frontal prominence here comes into the inner side
of the eye socket and then
creates an ellipse that's mounted on a diagonal plane.
It's evident here.
Now we're gonna draw the brow ridge.
A prominence on the front of the cranium that overlaps the eye socket.
You can see evidence of it here
because of the direction of the tail of the eyebrow and you can certainly
see the brow ridge on this side, the shadow side of the head.
I had the temple slightly too far to the left so I'll correct it.
Where does the brow
ridge overlap the eye socket? Well, let's have a close look.
Here and here.
So, we'll put down our land marks.
It's also going to hook up here
at the bridge of the nose.
Which will extend toward the tip of the
Now let's draw the
base of the nose, starting with the wing
here and extending
to the wing on the opposite side, like this.
You'll notice that if
you draw between the two, you'll establish the base of the nose.
Here is the underplane
of the nose.
And then here
is the septum, on either side.
The side plane of the nose
Now we're going to draw the frontal prominence.
Let's have a close look at our photograph and see if we can identify it.
I didn't mean the frontal prominence, excuse me, we're going to draw the muzzle. The frontal prominence is here.
We see here the muzzle and the base of the
eye socket. And here, the bottom of the eye structure and
wrapping around the head like so. So
it's pretty clear.
And let's see here
a landmark here, beneath the socket on either side.
Here and wrapping around here to the base of the head
at the chin.
Alright that's good for now. Let's
identify the tooth cylinder.
Here and here.
And then at the top of the wing of the nose and running down
right here above the chin.
Alright, the chin mound.
We have the mentalis muscle and quadratus muscles on each side.
So the chin mound is a horizontal
Alright, we're gonna put in the long
relationship line that runs
the eye socket, representing the top plane of the zygoma.
And it's gonna run in the direction of the ear
to the corner of the wing of the
nose and then to the outside
of the lip, like this.
Do it on both sides.
And then draw the separation between the
we can see the top plane
of the Zygoma, turning to it's side.
We're gonna run that to the rim of the ear
and down, roughly parallel to
the point at which
the temple would line up.
Beneath it, we have a fullness
overlapping the jaw, right here.
take that rhythm all the way up to the apex of the
Now we can position the ears.
Locate the jaw
and place the eyes within the
Okay, we've completed the abstraction.
I'm just gonna go back and tighten it up.
Try to make sure that
all of your forms consist of regular
Okay, so he's got a very long
vertical tooth cylinder.
we've arrived now at an abstraction
of this individual's head.
Okay, that's the first step
in the lesson.
We're going to be using a second sheet of paper on top of this one.
So we'll need to tape this particular tracing paper
onto our surface. And then on top of that, we
we'll trace a second piece. We'll place a second piece of tracing paper on top of
it and we will then draw
on top of the abstraction, freehand,
the forms and structures of his head
as the light describes them, including
the shadows and the edges between the shadows and the half tones.
That's going to be step two. But
here we've arrived at the end of step one.
Next I will do
an abstraction tracing over a female head
as we see here.
Here features are fine.
Head construction still involves the abstraction and so we’re going to search for those forms
on this head.
One of the salient points here is not just the big structure—the cranium, the face,
the jaw—but the features themselves which are very beautifully defined.
We’ll try to emphasize those too.
Okay, I’ll get started.
You always want to start off with your center line, and this just bisects the bridge of
the nose and runs all the way through the peak of the lip to the chin.
There we are.
Okay, almost parallel to that is a relationship line that establishes the corner of the wing
of the nose and the tear duct and the turning back of the front teeth to the side teeth
forming the front and side planes of the mouth.
Try to find out on the opposite side.
It’s a little difficult the shadow obscures in the wing of the nose somewhat, but we can
still find a tear duct.
Give yourself these little landmarks, and that way you can draw the relationship line
from one through the other,
just like so.
The center line vertically runs through the eyeballs.
I’m going to draw that in faintly.
We also now want to find the side plane of the head at the cranium, and that would be
We see evidence of it here because this light plane turns into a half-tone as the head goes
from front to side, and on this side we see the reflected light coming from off the screen,
and that’s illustrating the side plane here of the temple at the temple.
You should have at hand a copy of the head abstraction so that you keep true it.
You’re not to, again, drawing the abstraction of the standard head or average head.
You’re going to be drawing the standard of her head, but it’s important to keep
the other at hand.
The next form that we’re going to construct is the frontal
prominence of the cranium.
Let’s see what we’ve got here.
This is almost round but slightly elliptical.
It comes along the frontalis frontal bone and the frontalis muscle.
It’s subtle in her case.
You see a slight convexity here and here, and so we’re going to follow that.
Then it takes us out.
Not all the way to the temple but then it continues up to the hairline and slightly
beyond the hairline and swings back the other side.
Sometimes if you can’t see the form in the shadow or even sometimes in the light, at
least we know that it is symmetrical.
The head is eye level and facing us directly.
Now at the bottom of the cranium, overlapping the facial mass is the brow ridge.
It’s clearly diagrammed on the abstraction, and it extends from here
to the similar position here.
You can see this crest of light.
The crest of light is a reflection of the light source where two planes come together,
and so right there, there is the evidence of where the brow ridge begins.
Here and then over to here.
The underplane of the brow is where the cranium overlaps the facial mask.
Let’s have a look.
In her case it’s pretty clear and pronounced right here.
Also, you can see it on the shadow side as well.
Then it’s going to come around and hook up with the bridge of the nose and take us
down to the septum.
Remember, a crest of light exists as a reflection of the source of light where two planes come
together so this crest light, this shape here, gives us very strong evidence as to where
the bridge of the nose should be placed.
Here we find a highlight.
A highlight is where three or more planes come together and reflect the source of light.
That tells us where the septal cartilage turns under and meets the bridge of the nose and
the wing of the nose.
I’m going to draw.
Before I draw that I’m going to pick up the wings of the nose from one to the other
and draw it straight across underneath the septum.
It looks like this.
That helps us relate position at which the wings overlap the tooth cylinder beneath them.
Now I can draw from here at the highlight of the tip of the nose.
I can draw right across and through the highlight.
Finally, we’re going to look to see how the septal cartilages curve under
and overlap the nostril.
At the base of the nose we have the wing meeting
the septal cartilage and the alar cartilages
at the wings of the nose and here we have the tip of the nose to the septum.
Beneath that we have the turning under of the alar cartilages on the outside here and
here, and that completes that base of the nose.
Now the next set of forms we’re going to be looking for will be ellipses kind of like
this frontal prominence.
The immediate one that we’re going to pay attention to is the muzzle, and the muzzle
is made up of muscle and bone, and we can see it’s very subtle
in the young woman’s case.
Here there is a half-tone.
That’s the outside of the muzzle.
On the other side we can just rely on symmetry.
And then the muzzle runs up here under the last form or the base of the lower lid.
So here, here, here, and here, all the way to the chin.
Make a landmark there and a corresponding landmark on the opposite side, and then here
is that half-tone I mentioned.
That lines up just outside the corner of the eye or just inside it.
That means this side will be positioned here even though I can’t see it very well.
Now we’re going to connect our landmarks
underneath the lower lid all the way across.
It’s good to lift the tracing paper from time to time to see how it’s looking without
distraction, and then we carry this to the base of the chin.
From the this point where the muzzle is overlapped by the nose to the wing of the nose we find
the side planes of the nose where the nose meets the front of the facial mask.
The nose is complete.
Next we’re going to look for another large ellipse, and this is the tooth cylinder.
It extends from the top of the wing of the nose inside usually the nasolabial band here
and then hooks around the corner around the wing of the mouth, the wing of the lips, rather.
And then carries on here overlapping, and in turn overlapped by the chin mound.
This volume takes in the lips above the teeth as well as the teeth.
Notice it also gives us the height of the wings of the nose.
The next ellipse on your diagram is the chin mound.
It’s more of a horizontal ellipse.
It takes in the mentalis and the two sets of quadratus muscles on either side, and it
starts at the bottom of the maxilla, the lower or inferior maxilla.
Just darkening it a little bit, making it somewhat more legible, and that would be our
of the zygoma and then runs here to the wing of the nose and then down along the canine
teeth to the corner of the lip and then up.
To the side of the wing of the nose
and in the direction of the peak of the ear
you will find it on the other side.
One little trick you can do is you can take a white Prismacolor pencil
and you can find the forms within the shadow.
That will make it easier for you to place this relationship line.
You can bring it all the way around like this right on top of your photo.
That way on the shadow side where things are obscure,
you can still find them a little bit better.
Okay, then draw the shape between
the upper and the lower lip
where one overlaps the other.
Then find the lower lid and where exactly does it turn from its front plane
to its underplane here?
Okay, now we want to see where does
the zygoma turn from its front plane to its underplane?
Then we’re going to draw straight through and up the cranium to the apex.
Overlap the jaw.
Drop an almost vertical line.
You’ll notice at a certain point that vertical direction turns
more to a horizontal diagonal direction.
We’ll change the direction here.
The neck which overlaps the shoulder line
and then the trapezius muscle at the top of the shoulder.
We’re going to put in the last features now.
Keep it simple.
And the eyes.
The eyebrow overlapped by the brow ridge here and here and here.
Then we want to wrap the lids over the eyeball.
Place the irises now.
Okay, now I’m just going to go back and reinforce the lines that I built starting
pretty much in the same sequence that I did that.
Here is our center line.
Here are the relationship lines almost parallel to it.
Here is the turning to the side plane of the cranium at the temple.
Here is the frontal prominence.
The brow ridge.
The brow ridge
overlapping the eyeballs.
Side planes of the nose and the muzzle.
The tooth cylinder.
Make sure that the mouth from left to right fits within the borders of the tooth cylinder.
Notice the diagonal relationship between the highest point on the upper lid and the
lowest point on the lower lid.
And so we find this as the abstraction of our model’s head.
And so I’ve illustrated the abstraction on a number of different heads,
both sexes, many different ages.
I used to find my reference just out of magazines.
If the reference was good but a little too small, I would just scan it and size it up,
print it out.
Or I use a photocopier and do the same thing.
Then I would do this exercise using the tracing paper on top of the head in all different
angles so you’d have some side view profile, three-quarter, front view, upshots, downshots.
For women’s heads I would usually look at some of the fashion magazines that are available,
and for men’s heads there are a lot of men’s style magazines as well.
Other times you’ll find some of the more interesting heads, character types, or interesting
lighting, for instance, in just the news magazines that come out every week or in the newspaper
or online is a good resource now.
When I was studying this we didn’t have any such thing so we would constantly
be looking for magazines and newspapers.
But there is an abundance of material for doing this, and so I really recommend that
—I’m sure you’ve been following the lessons carefully—
but go beyond that and set your own lessons with heads.
Just keep working until you feel a confidence with the abstraction.
Once it becomes part of just the way you think and the way you see the model, then you’ll
find that your head drawing, whether it’s for portrait or for character studies or any
other subject you’ll find that it comes along really well and has a certain strength
and rhythm to it.
I think it’s very important to gain a full understanding of this.
I’ve tried to explain verbally the best I can, but there is no substitute for practice.
So just carry on, and I know you’ll find great results.
I think now it’s time for you to do some practice.
I’ve gone over a couple of photographs, male and female, and you should go over those
It doesn’t matter what medium you use except you should not try to rush at all.
It’s important to pay careful attention.
It does require a lot of concentration.
But also, you shouldn’t spend all day on one of these.
I think the best way to improve is to spend maybe between 20 minutes and 30 minutes, at
the most 45 minutes on one of these exercises instead of spending a couple of hours trying
to beat one into perfection.
If one doesn’t come out to your satisfaction, and believe me, there will be such cases,
then start another one and do an improved version.
Or better yet, switch to a different head.
It could be either of these, but you can find them in magazines.
You can find examples online.
You can do these exercises as exercises.
You can’t put them into a finished illustration because of copyright law, but that’s not
what this is about.
Try to keep a notebook of your exercises.
If you do that then you can see your progress.
If you just discard each one as you go and say well, I’m going to do better, yes, you’ll
get better but it’s much, much better to gauge your progress that way.
You’ll also begin to uncover certain habits that you may have.
Maybe you make tooth cylinders too small habitually, etc.
That allows you to focus on that particular area of the head,
and I think this is quite important.
One thing to avoid is sometimes you’ll find in a magazine a very interesting head, but
perhaps it’s used with a very short lens like a fish-eye, and that will give you bad
habits that will cause you to maybe draw the noses too big and the ears too small.
So try to find something where the proportions conform pretty much to the ones that we’ve
gone over in our abstraction lessons.
I did lots of lots of these.
I kept them and I reviewed them, and I began to see areas where I really could make improvements.
I really encourage these exercises, as many as you can do, but do concentrate.
Don’t just try to whip them out.
Well, have fun.
Well, I want to thank you all.
It’s an honor that you joined me.
It also does honor to Frank Reilly because I’m trying to represent as clearly and helpfully
as I can what he taught so many others.
I hope you do all the homework.
We’ll be moving on after this to the next unit, Unit 3, which will be light and shadow.
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1. Lesson Overview1m 25sNow playing...
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2. The Reilly Abstraction of the Head14m 41s
3. Abstraction Draw-Overs25m 37s
4. Abstraction Draw-Over (Part 2)36m 53s
5. Portrait of Yoni (Part 1)22m 40s
6. Portrait of Yoni (Part 2)35m 13s
7. Portrait of Durmel (Part 1)29m 33s
8. Portrait of Durmel (Part 2)38m 12s
9. Portrait of Trace (Front View) Part 124m 44s
10. Portrait of Trace (Front View) Part 226m 51s
11. Portrait of Trace (Front View) Part 333m 33s
12. Portrait of Trace (3/4 View) Part 127m 3s
13. Portrait of Trace (3/4 View) Part 232m 37s
14. Portrait of Trace (3/4 View) Part 330m 35s
15. Tracing Abstraction on Ravji25m 32s
16. Tracing Abstraction on Bridget (Part 1)17m 54s
17. Tracing Abstraction on Bridget (Part 2)22m 25s