Archive | 9:20 pm

Drawing Unknown Faces, part 2

1 Apr

Babies are so cute, and therefore so hard to draw. How do you reproduce this cuteness. I was only able to approach it, and only after many corrections.

Drawing unknown faces, part 2

Ah well, it looks like a baby. It just hasn’t got the expression I liked so much on the original photo. The left eye is also not drawn correctly. It’s that foreshortening thing again that keeps bugging me.

That is all.

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Drawing unknown faces, part 1

1 Apr

I guess if I publish my sketches on Flickr, I could just as well use Flickr to pick my photo reference material. So I decided to do just that.

Drawing unknown faces, part 1

Unfortunately, I was a bit tired, so I couldn’t see so clearly anymore what I was drawing. I suppose I should invest in some reading glasses to remedy this, but I really dread the costs and the social implications when I wear them in public (you, see my hair is already gray, so reading glasses would only confirm that I’m above a certain age). I could also make us of it, and make a feature out of it. I don’t have to squint, because I’m already seeing blurry.

Anyway, this chap’s eyes were a bit higher in his face than your average human. That is probably because he hasn’t yet reached adulthood.

To be continued, I’m sure, with another anonymous model.

That is all.

Diagram of the human face

1 Apr

To help me understand the human face, I made a simple diagram. It should help me, but I should not help it. With that I mean that observation always goes before theory. If the theory does not coincide with your observation, throw away the theory and use your observation as your guide.

Diagram of the human face

I’m sure this is not the last version of a diagram I’ll be making in the years to come.

That is all.

How to draw the human face

1 Apr

A long time ago, I bought this book written by Louise Gordon about drawing human anatomy. It is a translation from English into Dutch, so I won’t bother you with the title of the book. I’m not skilled enough yet to have a practical use for this book, but I certainly will use this book in the future.

Anyway, the book contained two good illustrations of how to draw the human face that is looking straight at you. The book uses the skull as a starting point, because that is more rigid than the other tissues, so it doesn’t change as much and is easier to use as a starting point, especially for faces with a lot of expression.

How to Draw a Face - the skull

How to Draw a Face - the sketch

Both sketches are by Louise Gordon and I only put them here for educational purposes, to help myself (and others) to better understand how to draw the human face. I also have manipulated the scans, because the illustrations in the book were much too faint to be of any use, really.

You can see I had some things right in my previous post about drawing Spock. However, the most important clue, mentioned in the book, was to start by measuring the width of the face and compare that to the height of the head. It gives you the (imaginary) rectangle in which the face resides.

Of course, this is only to help you get started with drawing faces. You really have to draw a lot of faces to become good at it. Also, at some point, you need to let go of the diagram on paper and do it more or less by heart. You still need to measure, though, just not on paper.

That is all.

Study of Spock from Star Trek 2009

1 Apr

I clearly am a novice at drawing faces. Drawing Spock of the upcoming movie Star Trek (the eleventh in the sequel of movies) proved that once and for all. I drew the eyes too high among other things, which is a good indication that you’re a novice draftsman.

Of course, I shouldn’t be too surprised, because I only started drawing in January of this year, so I can’t really expect to be able to draw as good as someone who has been drawing faces for years and years. I should cast my hubris and accept my humble role as a newbie at drawing.

So, how about my sketch? Well, here it is, with all kinds of notes added to it. I hope it’s not too technical for you.

Study of Spock from Star Trek 2009

Spock is looking straight at us, but his face is a bit rotated in the horizontal plane (to his left, our right). This causes some foreshortening in the face. Furthermore, the horizon isn’t at eye-level (the level of Spock’s eyes), but slightly below his eyes. I guess this is for cinematic effect, making him larger than the observer (that would be us), somewhat bigger than life.

Anyway, here as some rules of thumb I found in this face:

  • space between the chin and top of the upper lip is 1/4 of the height of the head
  • space between the chin and lower eyelid is 1/2 of the height of the head
  • space between the chin and bottom of the nose is 1/3 of the height of the head
  • space between the bottom of the lower lip and the top of the upper eyelids is 1/3 of the height of the head
  • the line through a mouth corner and the edge of the pupil at the side of the nose is vertical for each side of the face (provided the person looks forwards)

I tried to find a rule of thumb for the inner eye corners and the nose, but there doesn’t seem to be a simple rule, probably because the corners of the mouth and eyes are more or less in the same horizontal plane, while the nose sticks out of this plane. The same applies to the parts of the lips that stick out of the face (because of the teeth pushing them outwards). I guess that means you have to eyeball (read: draw blind) those features.

Before I attempt a drawing of Spock, I should look into the anatomy of the face, to check if what I have found isn’t too anecdotal, but applies to most adult people.

That is all, for now.