Hey guys! 🙂
So, in light of comments I got since the last article I did, some people have told me they would like to get back into drawing,which is lovely :).
What better way to start than by drawing heads, right?
Hence, for the next 2 to 3 weeks I will be handling this subject, taking notes I made from some YouTube tutorials and Andrew Loomis’ Drawing Of The Head And Hands book. Today will just be an intro to what a human head generally looks like and features you should remember.
Before we start, it’s important to note that the head is comprised of two parts: the cranium , and the jaw. Collectively these two areas make up the skull. Secondly, you cannot draw convincing looking heads unless you know their basic anatomy, which is why I am writing with this post today.
The cranial mass is usually a circle that is flattened at the sides, and is fuller at the back than at the front. You represent this area using a circle (which is challenging to perfect, but oh well)…
After a few failed attempts (sigh), and successfully drawing the circle, draw an oval inside it. The height of this oval will always remain the same, regardless of where your character is looking, but its width depends on whether your character is looking sideways, up/down, or front view. The oval also happens to be two thirds of circle in height, i.e.
This oval will be used to divide the cranium into thirds:
1st third: Is about halfway in the oval and meets the rest of the cranium at around the corner of the eyebrow. Extend it to the rest of the cranium and you get the brow line 🙂
The degree of tilt of this line denotes whether the character is facing up, down or straight ahead, hence no need to worry about how to draw a head on extreme angles.
2nd third: At the bottom of the oval, draw a parallel line to the brow line and that’s where your nose bottom is.
3rd third: The head is equally divided into thirds. Just double the distance between brow line and nose line, go downwards and there’s your chin line.
If you draw a parallel line to the brow line above the oval, you get your hairline. (Seriously, everything starts with brow lines).
If you want to measure these ratios using your face or that of someone else’s (as long as you ain’t creepy), feel free to do so. These proportions are adhered to in real life, no kidding.
Once you get your chin line, you can now draw a line connecting a brow line and chin (this line isn’t vertical, instead it tapers into the chin), then connect it to the oval using jaw lines. usually its about halfway inside the oval. From there, if you want to add a neck at this point, you can.
To find where the front plane of the head is, find the centre point of the chin and draw a line dropping from the centre of the forehead to the centre of the chin (oh my God, so many words describing one line). See illustration below.
From here, now you have all your basics done and you can add the facial feature like nose, lips and ears and BOOM! You, my friend, have created a face (cue sound effects).
Okay, now you may be thinking all these explanations to draw a freaking head may be so freaking technical/scary,. but here they are in summary form:
- Draw a circle representing cranium and determine the direction you want your character to face (front, sideways, up, down)
- Draw an oval inside the circle and around its midpoint, draw a line that extends to the cranium (brow line)
- Draw a parallel line to the brow line at the bottom of the oval (nose line) and if you want to, draw another parallel line above the brow line (hair line).
- Double the distance between the brow line and nose line, and below, mark your chin line.
- Join the chin line with the cranium to form the jaw.
- Find the front plane of your character’s head by using the centre of the chin and the centre of the forehead as guiding points.
- Add all the other features of the face.
So you see, it ain’t so hard! and trust me, once you get the hang of it, drawing faces becomes more and more interesting as you go along.
Just so you know, I will do a tutorial on drawing cartoon heads (for those of you who are interested), and, cartoons are all about simplifying stuff so it will be much easier.
Did you enjoy this article? do you have any questions or comments? Do letme know! I’m also not very sure if I explained this in a way beginners can understand, so feel free to let me know if you need any clarification.
Until next time, 🙂