Draw­ing heads

In the lat­est part of our anatomy draw­ing se­ries, Chris Le­gaspi passes on his ad­vice for draw­ing heads ac­cu­rately, ei­ther from life or ob­ser­va­tion

ImagineFX - - Contents - Chris is keen to share his knowl­edge of art the­ory. You can see more of his work at www.freshde­signer.com.

Be­cause head draw­ing is so com­plex, I try to sim­plify as much as pos­si­ble, start­ing with sim­ple shapes and then slowly adding de­tails such as the fea­tures.

I like to be­gin by first mak­ing good ob­ser­va­tions and look­ing for key land­marks, such as anatomy, and the ges­ture of the head. I es­tab­lish the outer shape, look­ing at the ex­treme edges of the face and hair. Then I draw an out­line that cap­tures the gen­eral shape.

Next, I be­gin to place the fea­tures by lo­cat­ing the cross­hairs – the ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal cen­tre of the head. This de­fines how much of the face you see and the di­rec­tion of the model’s gaze. I in­di­cate the fea­tures by defin­ing the rule of thirds, which places the hair­line, brow ridge and the bot­tom of the nose.

To con­struct the head, I like to use boxy forms and planes. Planes work well in head draw­ing be­cause they de­fine cor­ners and di­rec­tion changes. I like cor­ners be­cause they make my heads feel solid and three di­men­sional. Once the planes and struc­tures are es­tab­lished, I com­plete the draw­ing stage with the fea­tures, and other small de­tails, like the eye open­ings, nos­trils, ears and hair.

To fin­ish the draw­ing, I add light and shadow. First, I use mid-value tone to block in the shadow, mak­ing sure to group dark ob­jects (such as hair) as well.

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