- Lesson Details
The ear is one of the more difficult features for many artists to draw. Before moving on to full portraits, you will learn the structure of the ear and use the knowledge of the cast shadows, occlusion shadows and haltones from previous lessons to believably draw and render the ear.
Kneaded and Hard Erasers
Roll of Paper, Smooth Sketchbook paper
Used in Lecture
Long point sharpener
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one of them, the ear.
So the ear does happen to be the hardest one, which is why
we saved it for last. Let's have at it.
I think in part it's because of a sort of a lack of exposure
to the ear, right, the rest of them like the eyes, you know,
all of this we're seeing constantly in our interaction
with people but ears being placed on the side of the head,
often covered by hair,
are not something we pay that much attention to and thus are
not as exposed to them, strangely enough right?
You think we would be. There's also a specific - like there's
an intricacy there, right, there are these overlaps and these curves
that kind of curve into and out of one another but we're going
to clear all that up
we'll see what we can do with this. So the interesting
the ear though is that I actually learned to draw the
kind of after I did this exercise in school. Like it took
a little while afterwards and what really helped was
learning to draw the ear from imagination was what helped me
see it more clearly. And that of course, you know, that that's
sort of the idea of anatomy and you will definitely
other parts of this course that are sort of specifically about
anatomy. But at the same time, let's just
get a placement, right, just like we've done with everything
Let's not feel too intimidated by it.
It's okay if you are
but you know, as we mentioned before, if there's that element
of intimidation then just rely
on procedure, proportions, light and shadow and so on.
The thing to realize first and foremost, right is you can
already begin to think of the form is that in general that's
The ear comes off of the head or in our case that base
over there that the flatness of the ground
essentially on which it's on, comes off at an angle.
And that is one of the
important things to keep in mind, right, because what might
not - this will affect the way you place your general tonality
as a whole. Now, the problem with the ear is that because of
all these small cuts, all these small cuts in the ear, right, there's
the hole, there's a crease, there's an edge. It's creating a lot of
small contrast which are confusing. This is a
part of the reason why the ear is hard.
You end up kind of overemphasizing the small
changes and ignoring the big ones. So that's the thing to
focus on, the thing to think about.
The other part is proportions, but that's not a
big deal like that you just you take some measurements
and you're set, you don't need to think too hard about that.
Right, so just think at first kind of keep in mind that large -
like the way everything is situated in space, but do think
two dimensionally at the beginning just to get some
lines on the page.
And then we'll go over what things are called so that we
can refer to them properly and so on, right, so but the exposure
thing I really do think there's something to that,
right, just a way to - I mean
you won't ever be as exposed to an ear as you are to an eye
we're looking at eyes all the time, but
it was something that
Umberto Eco talked about about his library that he said that
there's a bunch of books that he had, his enormous library
that he did not
read ever, I mean he simply could not have but he did say
that he would occasionally walk around and pick up a book that
he hadn't read, open it up, look into it and realize that he
kind of knows exactly what it's about.
And his explanation for this in part was that
of all the times he's walked around his library he would
just occasionally pick it up and so he'd read a page here
and a page there and
it's just this like these little bits of exposure to it
actually had a profound effect
there just the amount of
information that he sort of even
subconsciously in small bits and pieces picked up out of
these books without ever having read them. And I think that is
possibly what happens with a lot of our interactions.
Exposure kind of is everything.
You know the amount of time you spend with
all of this
is good, the amount of active time but also there's a
there's a certain amount of passive time that you're
spending with all this. So this is why, you know, that's a
reason to have a lot of art books around. It's a reason to
have a couple of casts in your house, right? You don't have to
be necessarily working on them at all times, but the very fact
that there are around you
you're absorbing them. You're remembering what you're you're remembering what
they look like without ever having like actually put them
It's a reason to go to museums
aside from the pure enjoyment of looking at art obviously.
Okay see, so I'm using straight lines, right? Remember what I
that there is something very important
working against your sort of -
of course okay, so I do mention all the time how one
should work intuitively but there's also something very important
about working against your just an automatic observational
intuition. So in the sense of - and I mean that in the
sense of where you're seeing a lot of curves and when
the curves are part of the problem they're confusing, when
you're seeing a lot of curves put them down in straight lines
and think of them as straight lines.
Now this is not
the same thing as saying always place everything on the page in
straight lines and curve them later.
In fact, I did also say that when you do encounter something
that's the opposite that is all composed entirely of angles and
straight lines, at that point you need to begin to think in
Right, always worked against your immediate intuition.
Not always, often.
I think in education. This is important I think later on with
experience you can then place the ear with just a bunch of
curves, right, you can just establish everything as
curves and work from there.
But for this exercise, I think indeed
straight lines are helpful.
Right that's what I'm trying to get across. There are no
hard and fast rules. There are
just things to think about.
But even those shadows, see so we kind of have the proportions,
kind of have the general placement of stuff,
now, let's begin to
curve some of this. Let's begin to get a
little more accurate, right, without focusing too much
things that are superfluous at the moment.
The thing with the ear though, is that constructing it and
learning? It is one thing. It's this perfect example, right?
This is why it's so difficult. It's this perfect example of an
element that needs to be both observed very precisely, because
there is in fact if you think about a lot of character in the
ear, everyone has their own ear, their own.
So you can capture a portrait. There's like an
element of portraiture in ears as there is an everything
really in the human form.
But at the same time
you need to be very precise in figuring out angles and lines
and all of that stuff. See I'm placing shadows as well. I'm
trying to break them up though,
trying to break them up
into core and cast just by outline at the moment. You can
see it here that's core, that's cast, that's core, that's cast.
And the core - and by differentiating between the
core and cast,
you're able to actually establish a plane, right, a form,
a change of plane, the end of one plane and the beginning of
Look at how large this mass is right here, right? It's
actually pretty big. It's usually seen as much smaller
but there's an intense curvature there. It's usually seen as much
smaller because it falls shadow we can see that here. Let me
have this little protrusion down here, right?
I don't want to mention what things are called just yet
because they're not yet on the page.
Move up from there,
right? That's the goal here.
Now we begin to curve these lines, begin to be a little bit
more accurate with them.
And the ear lobe, the part that we all know the name
once again not because of any anatomy, but simply to have
a name for things.
Okay, I think that's pretty much
there are very specific names to individual creases and
things like that but this right here is the earlobe.
We know that, right? This right here is called the tragus
or tragus I guess. I don't know, it does matter. This right here,
already on the inside is called the
That's an A. Now
that's already interesting. Right? We have an element and
its sort of counterpart and then we have this outer rim,
right? We have this right here. This is called the helix.
And this inner part that splits into two on top, you can see it
splitting into two in our cast right there. By the way as
a cast this is not the ear of Michelangelo's David. In the
nose I was skeptical, it could have been, it could have not
been. In this case it's a hundred percent not
the ear from the famous Michelangelo's sculpture of the
what is this part called?
According to our already established concepts element,
anti element, this would be the antihelix.
And there's a little gap between them. Let's not worry
about what it's called. That's getting in a little bit more
specific anatomy, right? There's a gap we can see it
there. There's a shadow there and there's of course this
little hole, this triangular hole. Just remember that is
sort of triangular. In between those two parts of the
anti-helix like the other hook splits into two each of those
are called crura
or legs if you remember from our -
from when we were working on the cartilage of the nose,
right, the upper legs and the ones underneath, right, the ones
that create the inner part of the nostril also are the crura
of the alar cartilage in that cast and here are simply the is and here are simply the
crura of the antihelix.
This part, right, inside right that kind of indentation
ear canal. The opening is right there
of the external auditory meatus. We will get to all mediators. We will get to all
of that when working on the skull but this whole area
inside right is called the -
probably pronounced in Latin to be called the concha. But if
you want to pronounce a CH like an English CH it would be the
That's it. So they're actually easy, you don't have to think
you know, just keep in mind the anti is the anti element,
right the antitragus and the antihelix on the inside of the antihelix on the inside of
the ear. The elements themselves the tragus and the
helix are on the outside.
It's an easier way to think of it.
Okay. So now that we're there let's
keep working with some of the
the general core in cast shadows because with the ear, Shadows because with the E
right, proportions are so important.
Like an ear can pretty much be divided into, right,
without being too specific right, the top part which
sort of is the opening of the antihelix and the big
swirl of the helix, then the middle part which is the concha,
and then the lower part which is the earlobe.
And they're pretty much equal in parts. Sometimes, you
know, they're a bit - some parts are larger than others, but for
the most part think of them as cool, because that is one of
the main proportional errors.
Let's complete the form.
So the thing that I'm saying, right, the proportions, right,
keep in mind we spoke about this and we're going to keep
talking about this. Proportions - I'll sharpen my awesome
sharpener - the proportions
you kind of can't get them without the shadows. So you can
lay them in and be very close but it's the shadows which will
make it clear how close you really are.
Because we don't see in line. We see with the shadows and
So I hope so far you're not
thinking that this is
overly challenging at the moment or at least not harder
than the other casts we've done so far. other cast we've done so far.
just laying them in right now. I'm just laying the stuff in. I
find it necessary in this case to just get the shape of
the shadow. So yes, I'm being a little more just observational,
little more by eye
because that will allow me to correct some things, that'll allow
me to correct some of these
shapes. Now keep in mind from a structural standpoint, from a
geometric structural standpoint,
a reason this is somewhat harder than maybe some of the
other forms we've we've covered so far is that there is an
incredible amount of - you can remember in the forms of the
lips I mentioned along the vertical axis that
constant sort of almost
rhythmical variation between concavities and
And that's exciting. In this case this is all enhanced even
more, not just by the order of them, but even though
you can explore that too and how often one follows the other
you know, if there are multiple concavities in a row for
example, stuff like that. That's all interesting to explore and
see those patterns, but more importantly because the
concavity and convexity themselves are much more
enhanced like the concha is almost whole, the helix is a
tubular structure that a
protrudes quite a lot. So it's not just simply slight concavities
and convexities, it's actually
in terms of modeling
more will go into this.
You can also make the argument however, now that I think about
it, that maybe it's easier when things are more obvious, right?
They're not as -
because those concavities and convexities in the
in the other parts are very slight,
maybe they're harder to model actually, who knows? I don't
know. I guess we just, we play it by ear, huh? Ha ha.
So shadows are in place more or less,
you know, looking pretty good.
No shadow really on the
But it's a little bit narrower.
All in all I'm okay with what I'm seeing. I think before we
move on we do a similar thing that we did with the nose
and that is placed those half tones first.
Going to use a fairly sharp - sharp.
squint a lot.
So let's take a look though at what the plans are.
I've cut there and here will be quite helpful because you can
begin to see
that this right here
is turned towards the light and in conjunction both of those
taken as a flat plane, ignoring the tubular structure of each
and the crease in between,
is pretty much parallel to the plane of the head at
this place or the you know,
this is over there.
It doesn't really look like a head. It just looks like an
abstraction. So but that means that from this point on this is
already coming off of that, right, so to simplify.
Something like that.
I blocked it off, right?
That's what we're
focused on here.
So if our light's coming from here, all of this
is half tone. Of course with with areas that are going to
catch more light than that,
but why not just get that in place before we move on, right?
And already I think
there's a logic.
I do think that the general value of the wall however can
be pushed down
just a bit. Up top here is probably catching more light,
that makes logical sense,
and then towards the bottom it gets a little bit darker, right?
Because you always want to pick a bright flat plane. You want
to make sure it's just at least a little bit darker than the
than the the white of the paper to give you room for highlights,
right, to give you a room
for modeling, for like intricate small form modeling later on.
structures of the ear with just a couple lines. It's not that -
and definitely the
I'm in love with this at the moment.
Yes, and I was a purist about sharpening his knives, but you
Look at that.
It will replace us. Okay.
let's get a little more specific with the shadows.
Let's get that cast shadow, let's get that core shadow,
right because we already have an outline on front and the
sharp edge. So that's pretty much our terminator.
Now the interesting part about the crease right up top, it's a
At the bottom
it is a
because it's the lowest point, right, a highlight is either the
lowest or the highest point of a form.
But of course as we know, the other way to say this would be
the intersection, the lowest intersection
at the nadir of
a concavity or at the height, the highest point of a
See so here, see how I'm approaching this. I think this
I've toned this,
the sort of lower part of the helix - sorry, antihelix -
down a little bit simply to be able to get that highlight in
between the antihelix and helix.
Now at the same time though, the change of value in those
areas is what's creating a form. It's creating the
particular tilt of the helix in that area.
The reason the ear is also hard, right, I started with this,
the reason the ear is hard
is because even if the proportions are right, right,
even if like all the other things I said are
going to cause problems, even if they're solved,
the hard part - and this is why I wanted to establish this and
that those large, those large relationships, the real reason
that it is hard is that - I mentioned this is that it
looks flat, right? You're always working these small contrasts
and it begins to flatten out
and while in fact there's a ton of
movement in and out of the form here. So that's something that
will happen. You might get caught up in it
in these small forms and lose
those large relationships.
And that is totally fine because I expect that to happen
with me. I'm certain that I will lose them as I spend time
modeling this ear.
However, right, the whole idea is
if you just keep things in mind
you can always go back
the necessary corrections, right? It's not about getting
it right. It's about being conscious and very aware and
always sort of in tune with when you get it wrong.
And if there's a way to sum up this approach, my approach,
it's that. I'm beginning to think that my formulation of
this is not entirely - I mean it comes from education
undoubtedly, but I would not - I'm not so sure that anybody
has ever phrased it that way at the Repin Academy or any of
the books I've read on
I just don't think that's the case.
Any of the books I read on that particular kind of
academic technique, I mean. I'm sure it's been phrased.
I don't think I'm original here in this sense,
but would be nice wouldn't it?
But I do think that
the idea -
I'm getting a large form, I still have feeling for still I still have feeling for
it. So what I'm trying to get here
yeah, well what I'm what I'm trying to get here is that
maybe this is the Russian Academic approach and
of course it is because I can't you know, it's the way in
which I was educated but also keep in mind right, this
is my interpretation of this approach.
I have spoken about this with, you know, with people I with you know with people I
went to school with and we argue about the approach, you
know, it's not homogeneous. It's not a singular educational
understanding of what we're doing. I mean there are - there's
a lot - I mean there's a lot
in there and of course, it's a school. You can see
simply because all the work that comes out of it though,
depending on the artist with its own characters clearly all
part of when one school meaning there's an educational
approach there at the same time.
I've been out of the school for a little bit and also the
teachers, the particular teachers that I had
you know they are
the ones that I had and they might not be the ones that
somebody else had even within the confines of the the city the confines of the
same school, so
it's complicated. It's completely question. So this
whole idea of you know, you're training your eye to
pick out your mistakes
and correct them.
That's sort of like - and that's of course, I'm sure
you can find a lot of art education, but the very fact
that that is the approach that you have to be wrong and you
have to aim and you do have to expect that at every turn,
I think that's just how I have interpreted it.
Let me know when you get a chance if I'm right about that.
Let's get that big cast shadow inside that flat part of the
Right, clearly. Look how immediately that looks like
It's still kind of - it's still kind of loose. You can see I'm
just moving around some values because I feel like we need to
get these large things established. Now the hard part
of course of the ear, another hard part, is the helix itself
because it's constantly turning. It's not
just moving in two dimensional space, it's moving in three
dimensional space. It sticks out more here then it turns and
twists and moves in and turns away from us. Just the hard
form just want to think about. So you can kind of divide it
right, this whole part right here turned outwards catching
light, this part looking upwards already catching probably the
largest amount of light, and at this point begins to turn
down a bit. And from our angle you're beginning to get
the side plane, right, side plane, side plane, the whole thing
becomes a side plane. So there's a twisting right? So this right
here kind of continues and becomes that tiny little edge
on the side while the part of the ear we can't see, the
back of it comes out from there. So there's something
like that happening.
Easier to sculpt I think because then you at least can look
here we just have to imagine it and make sure it's right.
So I'm just going to read this is that part, right, that twist,
that turn under that is the other side of the ear. That is
the back of it.
And that already is the accomplishing quite a bit.
All right. Now, of course with this we've lost some shadows.
So we do what we know how to do quite well, by this
point for sure, and reinstate those shadows. Just flat
and then terminator.
be careful with small lights, right, small lights are
dangerous. I'm gonna cut this eraser because I need it
sharp. It's okay to have some small at the beginning right?
So just to mark them with an eraser you're going to have
them not be that precise in terms of value. But this light,
right, the slide on that little ridge of the helix.
making that too light.
But at the moment we just can erase it and knock it back
later when we get to it, right? But look at that
ridge then follow the - you can even up here that ridge
is a ridge and is light against the darker values
behind it. So you use the values around
the ear. I'm kind of exaggerating this ear I've
realized, I'm making it a little more curvy.
Knock that back.
See so make that ridge stand out. This is wonderful. It's
wonderful. Like I'm doing these exercises, kind of know, I'm
teaching them, but I'm also -
it's just as much of like just more practice.
And you know, I've taught this quite a bit, but it's nice to
get the time to do them from just beginning to end this way
walk both you and in a sense myself through the process.
Getting a lot of a little bit more texture of the paper,
which I'm not keen on right now.
See, so I'm working bit by bit,
essentially right? I am working the shadows as well as the
darker darks as well as the lightest highlights is all I'm
really thinking about. But I end up putting in the darker
half-tones to create
a bridge between. So this is already as a process, this being
the last of these
casts of the
of the features
I'm already kind of integrating multiple approaches. Or
rather I'm taking the approach that we have like thought about
and established as a very sort of structured, procedural
and beginning to get a little bit more improvisational with
it, a little bit more intuitive, allowing
certain parts of the process to come before others,
and so on. And I think it's good that that's happening now because
that's going to keep happening, right? The whole
point is not to learn a formula. The point is to
increase our understanding
of a craft as a whole,
as a way to view the world.
I think we're doing okay, doing okay here. Now, of course the concha
comes out here and this becomes a very bright light, squinting
you see how bright it is.
Almost right away I feel like knocking back everything around
it before even figuring out the form.
Simply to get this light in there to read.
See, isn't it already like giving you so much more
right, it is rounder, it's kind of the form of the tragus as
well. Right? It's pretty close.
Okay, the lowest point in between the tragus
helix. It's going to be a highlight, isn't it?
Good, good, good good. I like what I'm seeing.
You can really get in there. You can see that
the hard part -
I keep saying a hard to do is, there are some very are there are some very
but look at that. Look at how much light you're getting
on the lower side, but that helix
is like moves all the way into the concha.
It's very similar. Like it's only just reflected lights that
will be enough to show this to you. So you can hint at it.
It's kind of like the inside of the nostril, right, in shadow.
But how do we hint just enough so that it reads without being
just a flat space?
let's move down
to some of these half tones
and getting a little bit more of that topography
on the flatness there as well.
Switching to a harder pencil might be good too.
Yeah, why not spend some time with that? Oh, let's get in
Don't worry about - like you maybe you could see little bit
of a textural quality that little bit of pattern ignored
of course, right? Just think little larger masses of because
there are some changes, there are some changes in plane and
direction and all that stuff.
So let's get that
and in this case, maybe just kind of having a rough hatch
can be quite -
as a way to practice the hatch that you can leave, a rough
hatch that establishes the flatness of a plane but creates
interest and creates a bit of that texture. Right and
I did mention how texture is created primarily with
it is also created with
small topographical changes.
I'm just going to get some of this on the page, right?
Okay, cool. I like how that looks. It's sort of invented if
but I do - let's
get a softer pencil here. I do want to of course as always
place that shadow, that terminator on that side plane
of the cast itself. It is a fundamental importance, but
also remember it's not to be too dark.
So just getting that in place. I'm thinking beginning to think
of this reflected light is a little overpowering, a little
annoying. So just going to block that off, right.
And then look what we can really do, we can kind of just
that cast shadow because remember our cast right. Remember we're cash
shadow needs to be sharp
at its origins.
It doesn't need to be sharp all the way, especially if they're
longer, I'd rather you get you get rid of them. And
we'll encounter that, we'll encounter that more and more
in places where you know it matters more a little bit
than in just an ear.
I will be talking considerably more about how to you know, we
have to be working in contrasts not in the observed value.
That's a major part of construction,
and I'm sure I've mentioned it before
when you do teach a lot, you kind of forget the stuff you
say then you just repeat yourself a lot and it makes you
feel like you're losing your mind a little.
There's something to it.
But you know you just you you repeat these things over and
over again to many, many different people. You just
don't remember - it's not that I forget that I said that,
I just don't remember to whom exactly I said it.
But I find it's probably much better to just repeat myself
over and over and over again, especially here for you guys
because I think that is the best way
to just get these concepts ingrained in your heads.
My teachers, the
the ones that I
the ones that really had an impact on me, that's what I'm
trying to say, just would repeat themselves constantly the same
thing every day for months and months on end.
There's some sort of incredible amount of patience that they
Not just that they wouldn't get a incredibly frustrated. You
know you can't -
at times you just
keep saying the same thing and you're like my god,
when will it, when will it hit but it will always you just
have to keep doing it and have that patience and they had it
and I try to have it with my -
with the students of mine and with you guys.
Because you too now are students of mine.
Okay, so let's clean this up a little bit, right? I'm adding
that shadow. I think we've done this a lot of times. I'm
thinking right now though
the order in which we approach these, right, we started with the
eye, the classic. I'm a big - I felt like the eye was a great thing to
start with mainly because it's so popular in the sense right
that that particular eye, David's eye is a
cast for an artistic education regardless of what
school you belong to.
So I thought that its popularity might be the reason
to start with it, though it is of course one of the more
structures and intimidating because of the eye.
At the same time it's also the most interesting in a way. It's
also the one that we all kind of want to learn
when we're starting out. Because eye is right, you want
to learn to draw those eyes.
So that was sort of a reason
and then we move down to
the lips, the cast that I personally think is my
favorite mainly because I just I think that that's the
most necessary thing to learn to do in order to capture the
character of a model a likeness, you know, I think
it's in the lips.
Then we moved onto the nose which from a structural
standpoint makes sense as one to begin with in a sense
because it's so simple but also because it's so
just a block could also be why it's very hard.
And now we're on to the ear, which about the
complexities of which I've been talking
for a while now and how hard it really is and how we lack the -
how we don't have the same exposure to them as we do
to other parts
of the face. So in a sense, I just keep questioning and
thinking about them and I mean I end up just answering myself
that I just think of all of this is sort of equally hard.
And you probably - you probably learn the same things no matter
which one you start with.
The important thing is that you don't just draw these a single
time. And I'm not saying you need to do this
right away multiple times. So you can, right, you can just
practice them until you feel like you've gotten them up at
least up to a point. I just say
do what you can,
practice them, move on, but then come back to them. That's the
It's not about what you start with.
I chose a particular order,
perhaps in the future when you instruct others, you pick a
maybe because of the, you know, due to the things, you know to
be because you think
one thing is is better to learn earlier and so on right. And
I'm totally open to that. I think that's great.
But the only way that you will be able to really understand
them as a group, understand the principles that we're covering
just you know a little of anatomy of a little bit of just
what things are called, but also
just observing a form and converting it into something on
that resembles the form and has the illusion of
and is creating the illusion of this that the the illusion of this
form on a two-dimensional paper of a three-dimensional
environment within the paper.
We are -
the only way you learn to do this is if you just practice,
That's sort of platitude right? I'm sure you're already aware
that the practice is everything.
But you know,
I feel like that's something you can't ever get too tired of
repeating with. This little part right here on the earlobe right
earlobe itself we need to kind of dissect as well, right, in
terms of what are the changes of plane.
Up, flat, in, flat.
Now the earlobe
this is the a great exercise right here. Just on its
own, this little part can teach you a lot about
just composing. We've encountered this before but we're
also going to encounter it
again, and again and that is
the kind of object in front having stronger contrasts than
a flat background behind it. So this light has to be a lighter
value then this flat bit of background, but this half tone
has to be a darker value than that. So what is a single,
that we find here
that will work that way.
Something like this. Now this is an incredibly important thing.
It feels minor. It feels like an - okay so I mean
it's just establishing a couple of values in a row, right? But
it's this will really differentiate the foreground
from the background and all of that stuff.
Let's just do a little bit,
right, just let's move this value up into here, leaving this
area pretty much completely white
Though we could slightly tone it back, right, just lightly so
that we already have a sense that this upturned part of the
helix is the brightest.
With this, let's take a break. Let's give our eyes a little
bit of a rest again. And then we'll come back and work on
polishing this off just like with the other casts. I'll see
you in a few.
little bit. Let's take a look at
how far we need to push this to get to that
that polish. All right,
let's have at it.
So in general, I think the
the amount that's already developed here, you can see,
because of the way that I've been working on this, because I
have been working on this with
kind of not following the order of the
the procedure that we have been so far
to that extent as strictly, you know, I'm just concerned right,
like I'm getting in certain darker half tones or while I'm
working on the shadows and erasing highlight, all that
is happening a little bit more at the same
time this time around, right? I find that this is
a good thing to do is we work on the last part of the facial
features, the ear.
You can see that even here, we're much further along,
and with greater accuracy than we had been
on the previous features. So what I want to do now, right,
now we essentially break things back down into planes,
right? Let's take it piece by piece. Let's take the helix
all right, and I'm not going to outline every plane and then
figure out a value. I'm going to -
I'm not going to do that. No, I'm going to kind of outline a
plane and find the value right away. So I'm going from from
one plane to the next but already thinking a little more
Right. We're just making things a little bit harder but also
speeding things up. Okay, so there are these triangular
things. Now keep in mind we're okay with sharp, hard angles.
And getting back into a shadow, make sure that shadow that make sure that shadow
reads, get it lighter and lighter as you reach the tiny
little cast shadow from the upper crus of the
helix, antihelix on to
right in the middle of the two crura.
Yeah, also nice to add some
anatomical terminology. So keep in mind here's what the plan is,
right. So if you're doing this
in the order that it's presented,
right, you have not yet encountered too much anatomy. I
mean you might have on your own and that's great, but just from
this course there hasn't been that much anatomy. Now, I
assure you there's plenty, plenty to come
in the next parts. So the interesting thing about
this is that if you're getting a little bit lost in
just ignore it, right, and just kind of follow along and think
about the structure, think about the changes in plane, think
about how we're converting what we're looking at into a planar
form and then returning it to a more organic form, all of that
stuff. Ignore the anatomy in a sense. I mean remember what you
can if you like, but don't worry too much.
If you've already done some of this anatomy, already accustomed
to using specific names for things to define them and then
see where they are and you know all that stuff. If you're
already used to that
then of course now the anatomy
and me talking about it will play a larger role. It'll
be easier for you to follow I think. So that's the
idea, the idea is -
now the one thing about this being the Russian Academic
and this sharpener is of course, no one would
ever use this sharpener at the Repin Academy. It would be
Now that's of course insane
and we need to not
concern ourselves with what the traditional people at the Repin
think of us using a sharpener.
I was one of those people up until I saw this sharpener, I
yeah, it's getting this. So the idea is that yeah, so the way
they were speaking about this.
I hope this allows you to interact with
this particular instructional
instructional content, the specifics of working on a cast.
It allows you to interact with it on multiple levels, right,
you get something else
as you come back to it, right? So like you add more to your
you know, that's kind of - so don't concern yourself
that much. So for example, if there's something that I'm
talking about that
that sounds a little confusing or you just ignore and that
happens of course, you know, like if you're just not aware
and you're focusing on other things you will just ignore
certain things that I'm talking about and this - and whether this
is by the design of how I'm teaching this or
just that's the way it happens because I think that is how it
happens. We can't
incorporate everything that we're taught in one go,
which is the whole reason for repetition and learning and
practicing, right? So so keep in mind that that's just
cool. That's fine.
It's all good.
Take as much as you can,
roll with it, you know,
learn as much as you can from it,
and then move on but then come back and get something new out
of it, you know. So because of all these strong curves, right,
on the nose weren't that many curves, a lot of flattened planes.
Here because of the curves we're running into
certain things happening on that outer edge,
right? The outer edge is beginning to have a strong half tone
beginning to curve in.
And that's a something to just watch out for.
So that outer edge, right?
Soft but has a value, you need to see it twisting and curving
or curving in, curving around.
this part right here, right, that whole part of the ear of the
helix cannot be as bright as everything on top. So we're
continue with our general toning away of this area. This is
hard, right? Because this is a bright spot. So we do need it
to read like a bright spot. We just can't have it
compete with even brighter spots, like the hardest part is
those really precise
and very close relationships in the brighter half tons.
So what do we have here? Let's kind of push this, right,
everything is tubular. So there's going to be a little - on
the helix itself, even though primarily a darker value
there's going to be
the lightest half tone at the top.
Now the antitragus,
let's get a little more precise in terms of form. Right
rotates, going to be brightest.
Then we knock that back a little bit
and bring this,
I actually think it's called the
in the intertragular something, right? It's in
traguses, maybe it's tragi. guy
Right, maybe it's tragi.
Don't know the plural of tragus,
which is funny because you think there are two of them so
maybe make sense to know the plural of tragus.
look into it.
Let you know when I find out.
So now just squint, right, squint and look at the ear lobe right?
See those changes this whole side. We can push it down.
Of course, you know doesn't the usual happens it begins to
fall into that shadow right next to it. But
we all know how easy to fix that is.
No, yes, there we go.
Good and origin of the core of the cast shadow, knock it back.
the cast shadow, knock it back.
Interesting. All right, look at that, that is
already getting more and more refined.
But notice the little more sort of intuitive and organic in
procedure, a little more out there. Now, look at how bright
this whole part up top is.
We can actually extend
that light of the crease
in between the helix and antihelix further up. Need a sharp eraser
for that of course, but it's possible.
it's kind of okay. I like what I'm seeing. Now this part right
here, right? It's very bright. So we need to knock back.
Knock back this
part of the antihelix. See already more turn, more of this
moving upwards. Everything's much more organic so be wary
of it, be -
well, no, don't do that. Just keep it in be you. Just just keep it in
mind. Be aware.
wary because we don't need that here. We just need to
to tackle it and solve problems as they arise.
All right cast shadow from the helix onto the antihelix.
Wonderful. It's very sort of a
I have not used that descriptor before but I think it's a good
one for certain really crisp shadows that wrap around the
form, they give you that -
see that you get a lot of these here because there's one form
inserting into another, overlapping. You get a lot more
of that here
then you do on the nose for example,
the nose is much smoother and softer all over.
And yet as a whole is much more of a block.
look at -
let's get a little cleaner on top here. I'm just going to
erase those lines a little so that we can but look at this
shadow but this shadow kind of runs along this edge and you
can see how it affects the value of that edge. And then it
probably looks like it's falling behind that edge so
that line gets lighter because it's no longer the shadow.
But it's just a half tone along that edge. Right? So we need to -
here let's keep that pretty much just a line. But as we
forward, right, we're moving forward in terms of the
head or to the left on the page in this case.
We kind of expand on this and see how much it gives us in
terms of form.
A lot. It gives us a lot.
All right. Look at that. Okay. So
what I would like to do of course is to make sure that
this whole area
I'm squinting now
and it's so hard to tell really what part of this is that
bright. Let's just make sure it's here so you can slightly
tone this down.
I'm more concerned with wrapping it than toning it
at this point, but most importantly,
let's knock back
this part behind.
Right, we get it back.
And these overlaps become fundamental, right? Oh, man,
look at that. So sometimes that happens. The eraser has some
crap on it. Now
just don't don't worry about that though. If that happens
get rid of what you can and just keep moving. It's not
a big deal.
alright more brighter, stronger.
And that overlap, right? How do we get that overlap as clear
Knock that back. Knock that back.
Maybe I'm making that area behind the ear there
may be a little bit darker than it actually is, I think I am but
I think it works right? I think it adds
what we need there. It has that dark against that light and
we can progress with this, move this left. within move this left.
So that we have a light now against the dark, right? We're
always playing around with that, we're always seeing what we can
do with light against dark, dark against light.
That terminator and you think isn't this a
little bit light at this point, like it feels that way. We
can get down and get a little tone on it but in general
it reads clearly darker than any of this and there's a dark
line separating that edge. So I think it reads like a
terminator and even though it's fairly light falling into some
of our half tones it reads as though it is
in shadow, but also in an area in which it is not very
important. Right, we're always thinking
in this way, I'm always thinking this way. I'm trying.
It's not always the easiest thing it's hard to do, but you're
kind of combining an understanding of what's close
and what's further away and seeing how
you work that against what's important and what's not
And if that sounds confusing to you, don't don't worry. We're
going to do much more of that.
Much more of that.
You're going to really enjoy it.
There really is a lot of that to come and it's just
going to be reinforced every time so no worries.
Now similar thing here, right? Look at how this line right
here is a line because it's shadow. It's tiny so
we need to expand on it just a bit and get narrower and
narrower and narrower until it becomes
a line or a little area but that's not as dark.
Keep in mind, right everything is at
a tilt on the plane,
right? There's a plane behind this ear.
It's leaning, it's sort of a monolith a little bit.
See look at this. I'm just going to take that shadow. I'm
going to soften it a lot more than it really is softened in
I just extend that past. I think it's nice because it doesn't
create that sharpness, going to do similar thing here.
Good. Extend it past what we see so that we can
not have such a hard edge.
Those hard edges
are kind of problem.
get a little bit more
of that on the tragus, get a little more tone towards
the bottom. But then what can we do here? What can we do on
Just going to tone down that as well so that the lights of the
lower part of the ear stand out even more.
Right now I'm just sort of composing. I'm pulling and
pushing the background. It's flatter than any of the other
we worked with so far.
Just putting some finishing touches.
Hmm, I do think maybe a little bit more now that we've
established these in large changes
and small changes too actually. I'm more concerned with going
back to this.
I want to know what we can do
to get that large plane change, that large
movement out of this flat then flat again.
I think maybe even what we have here doesn't need to be as
bright. Just slightly darker, right? It's enough, now it's
that time for that broad hatch,
right, that kind of just treating -
yeah a broad hatch in places.
Squint, take a look at this. Ah, look see I think even more
the trick is right that you have to really round
off that antihelix. Everything here has to read like this
arch and that's usually
what's happening. Oh see those little highlights help
with the helix. The helix is a little
flatter, has some sharper edges. So we need to -
so that highlight's actually quite helpful. So I'm just
gonna just place an almost imperceptible value of the top
there, right, and get that highlight up there too,
hardly see it.
Hardly see it but it plays a role.
there's a strong - this light right here at the bottom is
because of the edge, this light on top is not. This light on top
is the light part of the lower crus.
So there's an area, it's sweeps in and under
so we don't need a delineate it in this way.
Where's my little eraser? I'm going to get this and then just
mix - that's kind of one of the brightest
One of the brightest highlights.
But a squint I think right now, this half tone and this half tone
are a little too close. Probably gonna have to push this one
Here is what I wanted to round out and round off the helix.
Hmmm, there we go, right? It's just clearly underneath,
sweeping in while this is though dark still an upturned
plane. I mean, it's turning a little left, but it's
an upturned compared to this total downturn and remember
what I mentioned earlier,
before I get to that let me just adjust that reflected
light. We don't need to overstate it, never overstate
those reflected lights.
Well that looks rather volumetric. I think
that's achieving a good effect there. I'm just gonna extend
this dark half tone off of the lower - upper margin of
the concha, the lower crus.
And then I'm going to tone back that highlight on that area as
well because we don't need that that active.
Now even in here just going to get a little information.
Just get a little
A couple of small tiny little highlights.
And just to move some tone around here.
I'm liking this ear. I'm liking what came of it.
maybe it's because the order
with which we're -
I'm happier with this one. I like - there's a -
but that's probably because it's not so organized
in procedure, it allows for a certain spontaneity that is of
course exciting to observe in a work. So obviously that's going
to happen. But that is actually quite a good
way to take a look at this and just and think about
what can be achieved with
A lot can be achieved.
You learn the thing obviously,
but then what could be achieved by taking what you've learned
and rolling with it, right, allowing it to become a little
as an example.
Okay, let me just clean this up,
right, the way I do.
And let's take a look
to see if it's looking
Keep stepping back, squint,
think that's a
pretty good ear.
So that completes all of the features of the face.
Now, let's take everything we've learned up until this
and put them all together to do a cast of the entirety of a
with this course, you're going to be working on the cast of
the ear. Now, of course if you happen to have access to a cast
of an ear then use that but it's very important that you
work on the cast of the ear and not an actual ear. You have
plenty of time to practice the ear in portraits and possibly
people that you can ask to pose for you. In this particular
it is necessary for the cast to be large enough and
to have no color
in order for you to really begin to analyze the
constructive elements of the ear as well as the more
particular play of light and shadow on a form. Good luck.
Free to try
1. Lesson Overview26sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Analyzing and Blocking in the Structure of the Ear23m 24s
3. Defining the Cast Shadows and Halftones of the Ear28m 9s
4. Resolving Edges and Applying Finishing Touches30m 54s
5. Assignment Instructions58s