How can I get my char­ac­ter’s head pro­por­tions right?

Jennifer Fox, Swe­den

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q&A -


Dave replies

I strug­gle with this my­self, and I find that un­der­stand­ing the head as a three-di­men­sional form makes draw­ing it in any pose much eas­ier. Andrew Loomis taught that one must place the fea­tures cor­rectly on the head, or no amount of ren­der­ing will com­pen­sate. His pop­u­lar method treats the head as a sphere with slices shaved from the sides, and a rounded rec­tan­gu­lar form at­tached at the lower front.

If we draw axes on the sphere, then the “equa­tor” line be­comes the brow line, which then forms a cross with the ver­ti­cal cen­tre axis. This cross is the key el­e­ment for plac­ing all the fea­tures cor­rectly.

Half­way from the cen­tre of the cross to the sphere’s top is the hair­line, and that same dis­tance straight down gives the nose bot­tom. Twice that dis­tance down gives the jaw­line. The eyes are just un­der the brow, and fol­low­ing the brow line a quar­ter way around the sphere gives the ear po­si­tions.

You can pivot this three-di­men­sional form ac­cord­ing to your pose, and the con­struc­tion lines will al­ways help you place the fea­tures cor­rectly.

Find­ing the “cross” un­locks the cor­rect po­si­tions of the fea­tures, and helps you more eas­ily place the face cor­rectly on the head for any pose. Our faces are not flat, but by think­ing of the head as a block form, it’s eas­ier to find the con­struc­tion lines for the fea­tures.

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