What’s the best way to ap­proach draw­ing a head from imag­i­na­tion?

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q&A -

Nathan McGin­ley, Canada

Na­dia replies

You can’t skip the the­ory, so I’ll ex­plain how to un­der­stand faces. In my ex­am­ples I use Pho­to­shop for sketch­ing and colour­ing, to­gether with my Wa­com In­tuos graphic tablet. But what I want to teach is a way of ob­serv­ing your sur­round­ings and then make notes for yourself vis­ually. Use what­ever tech­nique you’re most com­fort­able with, but don’t use erasers while study­ing.

The com­mon prob­lem with de­pict­ing faces and their vol­umes is that most people have no knowl­edge about the empty spa­ces be­tween eyes, nose and mouth and all around them. You have to be in con­trol of these flat sur­faces, and know how they be­have and fit to­gether. If you could draw these empty sur­faces then the main fa­cial el­e­ments would be pushed into the right po­si­tion au­to­mat­i­cally. But how can you draw some­thing that isn’t there? The an­swer is to trans­late vol­ume in­for­ma­tion into lines and use them as a con­struc­tion ba­sis for your draw­ing. I’ll give you one thing to ob­serve for each step, that you later have to turn into lines. I’ll also pro­vide some ex­am­ples of how I do it.

First I cut out the main planes around the ac­tual face: they’re the most ig­nored part of the hu­man head and the main cause for in­cor­rect per­spec­tive. In the sec­ond step, you’ll draw eyes, nose and mouth in re­la­tion to each other, to get their po­si­tion right. And in the fi­nal step, I’ll show how much you’re able to rely on these lines, even in ren­der­ing and shad­ing.

I’ve added a colour layer and set the mode to Over­lay. This means that I don’t have to redo any­thing and can start paint­ing in­tu­itively. A ren­dered ver­sion of

one of my sketches. I use the Chalk brush in Pho­to­shop to un­der­line the ab­stract look of my

ini­tial sketch.

St rengthen your strokes!

of bound­aries, but Know and stick to the set use ev­ery­thing else as your play­ground. Ex­ag­ger­ate first – you can come back to

fun. And in the re­al­ism af­ter you’ve had your

the most. end it’s your stroke that mat­ters

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