Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to Draw the Head / Face / Portrait with Steve Huston PART 1 (3 HOURS!)

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Hi, I'm Steve Huston, and I'm excited today to bring you a free head drawing lesson. Over

three hours of content. this is part of much bigger series, over 15 hours of content. You

can find the whole series at

I hope you'll check that out. But for now,

let's get to it and try and draw the head with basic construction and good confidence.

This is my basic head structure class. Im going to show you the basic drawing structure

for the head. All the major planes, the major shapes, how the features set in terms of construction

lines. Well get that basic information down. Well do some assignments where youll

draw a little bit with those ideas. Ill draw a little bit with those ideas. Well

look at the old masters and see how they did it. And then well bring it all together

at the end and hopefully have a good, basic constructed understanding of the head by the

end of class. So I hope you join me.

Okay, as we start with our head now, I think of the head as the first gesture of the body.

Were going to talk about the gesture and structure here. The head is the first gesture.

As we look at the art, as you look at me, youre going to look here first and then

move down through. So if this is a book, chapter number one here. We have to get this right

and then everything follows from that. In fact, we can use the head as a yardstick to

measure the rest of the body to make sure it follows. So we want to get that head working,

and were going to make it out of the anatomy here. We have two major anatomical elements.

Weve got the skull, the full round shape of the skull. And then weve got the mask

of the face that holds the features. Those two shapes have to work together, and then

we flow off that. All the detail well talk about are going to work on these great structures,

so were going to start with these great structures.

So let me set this here, and well get going.

Lets talk about the proportions first. If we look at the shape of the skull, its

going to be an egg shape. Now, as we go through different characters, and well save that

for a different chapter, but as we go through characters well find that egg shape can

change in proportion. It can be a little more spherical. It can be a little more elongated.

Were just going to do a basic egg shape here. It could be this. It could be this.

Anywhere in there. Thats going to be the skull from a profile like so. Its going

to be crucial to get that egg right. Ill show you why in a moment, because its going

to give us a good connection to our next problem. Were going to draw that egg. Now if we

saw it from the front view or the back view that egg, just like looking at a breakfast

egg end on it would be a spherical shape, and itll be masked behind the features.

Ill show you that in a moment. Or it will be the skull that we see, and well see

that also momentarily.

Shape of the egg, thats our first shape. The shape of the feature mask, mask of the

features. Now we can do all sorts of shapes. Lets do a different shape here for a second.

Im going to do an egg, and Im going to do another egg. Now, the advantage of doing

another egg is it gives us kind of a roundness, and everything on the body has a certain softness,

roundness. Maybe youll draw in a little child thats very round shaped. So it can

be seductive to choose that egg shape. The problem is that if we draw shapes that are

too curvilinear, too rounded they start to get out of whack.

We start to have trouble getting their position.

So if we can feelnotice coming back up here now we did the nice, round egg because

that was characteristic of what we saw. We made the face shape, I made the face shape

a little square, a little more boxy. By making that second shape, the mask shape different

in character from the first it distinguishes them, and also notice we have a sense of where

one ends and the other begins. So we can get a sense of where the face shape comes off

the skull shape. Thats going to allow the position to be set more easily. Well get

a quicker read of how that position is. Now we know immediately that were looking down

slightly with that head. Whereas in here sometimes it can be a little bit out of whack. What

if we have a character with a really full nose and a receding chin? Were not sure

whether that would be right or that would be right. It can throw us. But if were

as little square, little flatter curve here, rounded curve here, it gives us a good sense

of positioning, and thats what we want. Notice we can shortcut this. I can also take

this and kind of stylize it and simplify it and group the two shapes, skull and face mask,

into one bigger shape, a sailboat shape.

The advantage of this is it is much quicker, much simpler. The disadvantage is then we

have some work to do to get it back to that true skull shape. But quite often well

have a hair style, say a woman with a ponytail bun thatll cover that. So we have choices

there. We can make it a little simpler. We can make it a little bit more sophisticated.

We can keep it a little more open. We can keep it much more completed. You can choose

whichever you prefer. What I want, though, is something thats simple enough for me

that I can get it down quickly and effectively so that I can get it down, have it work to

build off of, add other shapes to it, or make it simple yet characteristic so it not only

gets down quickly and fairly easilynothing is easy in art, especially with the head.

But its characteristic of what I see before me, the character I want to draw, the thing

I want to take simply and refine. If its still characteristic of what I see, the refinement,

in this case, shaving off a corn or adding on some bumps and bulges, that kind of stuff,

as well learn to do in a minute. Thats easier.

So whatever I choose in my construction I want to make sure its simple, simple enough

that itsI can get it down easily, characteristic of what I see so it reads well right off the

bad as a head thats looking down as a woman with a certain hairstyle and characteristic

so I can refine it and turn it into an advanced finished rendering if I so choose. In other

words, Im going to think like a sculptor. Im going to start out with something simple,

and then Ill refine it. Ill add to it, take away from it, build it, and finish it.

Now, thats the structural idea.

If you have or plan to go to any of my basic drawing classes, youll find that I have

two ideas, the structure and the gesture. The gesture, there is actually two gestures

to the head. There is the gesture of the skull going back this way. Let me switch colors

so you can see that. Gesture of the skull going back and the gesture of the face going

down. If we draw it againyou can see by drawing that simple sailboat shape. Its

one of the reasons I like it for quick sketches. Its characteristic, its simple. But

it still shows not just a characteristic shape thats useful, but a characteristic of the

two gestures of the skull going back.

One of the big mistakes people make is theyll have the mask of the face pretty well set

however theyve chosen to do it, but then theyll draw the skull this way. Theyll

give it short shrift. Itll be the wrong proportion. There is not enough there to fit

on a neck, for example. Look how skinny the neck gets when you get that skull wrongly

set. But also, we dont get that drift back. We get a rolling curve up off the face. We

dont feel that characteristic move back from face to skull. It starts to look a little

alien. Oftentimes, a hairstyle might fill out somehow and hide that drift backward,

but we still want to feel it.

The other thing that we want here, and notice I could make this much more boxy. Make much

more square choices rather than round choices so we have a continuum of choices there. Notice

what happens when I thrust that skull back with or without the hairstyle, and Im really

conscious of that move back to the skull as opposed to that movement down for the face.

Then Im going to respect the fact that the skull hits up high at the top of our construction.

Thats going to give me a much better fit, and well go through this idea of connecting,

fitting to the next thing, the neck, in more detail. Notice that we come off the throat.

We come off the back of the neck. We put in a little bit of shoulder line so you can get

a sense of where wed be going with that. Notice how high the skull and neck connect.

They connect very high. In fact, they connectlets do that so you can see what were after

and visualize more clearly. Notice that the head and neckthe skull and neck come together

about at the eyeline. In other words, if I checkIm always my own best model. If

I feel where the bone of the skull meets the meat the neck, look at where that is right

there. If I throw that skull off and make it incorrect, make it too much of a ball,

a little ball that looks alien, or a really big ball like this, notice what happens here.

The neck fits too low.

If you have a real heroic guy, a superman character you can kind of get away with that

with the bull neck because the meat fills up and takes us up to that higher or at least

close to that higher level there, and we can get away with that. Actually the books, the

very fine books by Andrew Loomis, he uses a stylization. But hes doing these heroic

fashion models, kind of fashion model meets Superman character, so he can get away with

that because hes doing this heroic type. But if youre doing the average person its

quite a different connection.

Alright, so again from the profile we keep that egg shape up high. That gives us the

sense of the movement going back. We build the face down. Notice I can do this. I can

do this. I can do this. All those choices. Simple, yet characteristic. As long as its

that, pick whichever you want or myriad others. So gesture going back, gesture going down.

This is the one that really counts. If you goof this up we have the problems that I suggested.

The reason I say this one really counts is this is the gesture thats going to then

flow into the rest of the body as we move down. So its the face to the neck. The

neck to the torso. The torso to the hips, legs, all that good stuff. So we want to make

sure were thinking of this movement down. Now, lets look at the proportions here.

If I were to take this whole structure notice its the mask of the face without the features,

without the nose sticking out, without the eye sockets digging in. Its the skull without

the hairstyle. But if I were to take that bare-bones construction youll notice that

it creates a square that is just slightly longer in the face and slightly shorter in

the skull. Okay, so its not a perfect square. Lets say this would be a perfect square.

Its a little longer. If youre going to screw up a little longer yet, and what

that does is just give a heroic chin. Even if youre doing a woman it feels attractive.

If you get too long, which can happen, then its a problem. Just a little extra going

down. Then notice once you add hairstyle and features, nose pushing out, hairdo pushing

back, that can reverse, of course. But that gives you a sense of the construction.

Lets just take this farther. If we break this whole thing in half, so equal part here

or there more or less. Again, if Im going to screw up, always a little extra chin is

kind of the default ideal, at least in western art, in heroic art. But if we get that halfway

point, cut it in half, that is basically the eyeline. Let me put a little bit of the eyebrow

in there just so you can see it. Notice the eyeline where the upper lid meets the lower

lid. Thats a halfway point. Again, thats about where the neck is, neck meets skull

somewhere in there. If you ended up down here or up here, anywhere in that range, youre

still good. More than likely the hairstyle is going to cover it anyway. Or if its

a male with short hair, you know, the filling in of that more massive neck relatively more

massive neck is going to take care of it.

Without the hair skull to chin, cut it in half, you have the eyeline. eyeline to chin,

cut it in half and youve got the nose. It can be a little shorter, a little longer,

but thats more or less the nose. When you say the nose not the tip of the nose, but

where the root of the nose meets the mouth shape in there. Cut it in half again, the

edge of the lower lip on average. Again, if I have a little too much chin thats better

than a little too much upper lip here, upper plain, and two little chins. I want to keep

this a little shorter if Im going to goof up, the chin a little fuller and bigger if

Im going to goof up.

Its always nice as an artist to know which way to screw up, where to error. If we generally

as we go down, if we make each thing a little bigger than it should have beennose slightly

longer, chin slightly fuller, then the neck a little longer than it should have been,

the torso, the limbs, the legs all the way down. Adding that length it just looks more

statuesque or more heroic. Thats usually in western art especially, and western art

has kind of taken over the world aesthetically at this point. With lot of exceptions, but

just in general thats going to be more idealized. Thats why women wear the high

heels, longer fingernails, low cut gown here, putting the hair up. It creates that length

that seems more beautiful, more idealized.

Lets look at the front view then. Let me go back here. If we come across to the front

now Im just going to do a sphere. Notice that the eyeline herelet me switch here

one more time. Notice that the eyeline which was our halfway point wasnt the skull.

The skull could have been where the skull meets the neck could have been at that point.

It could have been lower. It could have been quite a bit lower. It could have been down

here. So it doesnt necessarily have any correspondence. It could even be higher in

some cases. That skull is coming down and crossing that eyeline point at whatever place

it crosses it. But the bottom of the egg is a little bit different. The bottom of the

egg will make that a little bit fuller down here. In general, if we cut the egg in half,

the ball in half, I should say. If we take that spherical end, cut the ball in half,

one half, two halves, add another half. If Im going to screw up make it a little too

long, a little more of a half, half-plus rather than less. But we can use that as a construction of the head, making it a

little bit more heroic in the jaw or not. Either way.

Notice then what we have. We have a head without the ears, without the ears, without the hairstyle.

Put those on in a second. We have a head that is one, two halves wide. We put it down here.

And we have a head that is one, two, three halves long. So this is almost a perfect square.

Its whatever by whatever. This is a 2 x 3 proportion, two across, three down. Thats

because the lose the drift of the skull going back. Its now hiding behind the face. Well

see it in a little bit, the face hiding behind the skull. Lets do this. So there is half

the skull. There is the rest of that round sphere for the skull. There is adding onto

it the rest of the mask of the face, which adds to the other half. There is our two by

one, two, three proportion. In that middle proportion, that middle half, the ears will

tend to sit in there. They can drop down quite a bit lower. Every once in a while they can

rise up a little bit higher, although that looks a little wolfish when you do that, a

little like an elf or something. But the ears tend to sit somewhere in that middle third.

They tend to be symmetrical although youll see a lot of people where one ear is actually

lower than the other ear. Well talk about how to draw ear shapes later in detail. But

for now you can just do a little C-shape, a little egg shape, a more chiseled boxy shape,

or any variation of that. Make it more rounded on the bottom, square on the top, any of those.

You can curve these. Anything like that is fine. Well find that the cheek, the side

of our skull egg is overlapping that ear and hiding some of it. So we want to have a sense

of that idea, the overlapping. Its behind and below. The ear sits in there.

And then this same rule is true, of course, whats going to be true from the profile

will be true from the front view. Lets just switch back to this. So if I went back

to my full shape and cut it in half, lets say here, this would be my eyeline in there.

Thats where the upper lid and lower lids, if we just think of it as a real simple almond,

well have to be more sophisticated than that. But the eyeline where upper lid meets

lower lid if it was a little Egyptian itd be where the makeup line is. Thats more

or less our halfway point. Its better to make, again, our halfway a little more chin

for heroic reasons without the hairstyle.

Then if we cut that in half thats more or less the nose. The root of the nose where

its meets the mouth. Not the tip of the nose. It might turn up or it might hook down

in relationship to that. Then if we split that in half right in here, then that would

be where the lips sit on that construction line. The halfway point is where the lower

lip rests. The rest below that is chin in here.

Now, when you do this front viewagain, its without the hairstyle. Oftentimes youll

lay this out and youll go, okay, I did everything I was told to do. It still feels

funny. Sometimes youll lay that out and youll realize that youve drawn the whole

face and you havent really drawn the skull. Sometimes youll need to come back then

and add a little bit more skull, and maybe even add a little bit more skull up this way.

Once again, if you added a little extra chin below then adding more skull above youre

balancing out. Its not going to look funny. Its not going to look like an alien with

a little face down here squished or a little infant, fetus kind of thing. So having that

extra chin can help for that. Its real easy from these front views to draw in effect

an egg. Thats a real quick version of this, but notice when I do that it has a certain

character. The width up here is equal to the width down here, whereas here even with a

strong jawed male were going to have the shapes diminish down towards the chin and

fill out towards the skull shape. And so its more of a true chicken egg kind of thing,

where its tapering down. Its a truer egg rather than just an ellipse.

The other thing Ill do sometimes is notice how adding that square mask of the face that

we talked about earlier. Square this out a little bit. When I do that

notice how this line and this line are now parallel to each other. In fact, they are

parallel to the center line. We draw an imaginary center line so that we can space the features.

We have a little bit of nose on this side, equal amount more or less on that side. We

have a little gap here. Then the eye starts. We have the same more or less little gap here,

and then that eye starts. So we have that symmetry. The eyebrows arch up, and theyre

going to be symmetrical give or take an expression or such off that natural center line. As soon

as we draw then rather than the egg a pill shape, a capsule shape, notice when were

thinking that way then our center line tracks in these more difficult positions. Then we

have the tapering chin that is very square into the, off the jaw, or we have the rounder

chin that rounds smoothly off the jaw, whichever the character suggests. Younger, feminine,

child-like, be a little rounder. Square or more heroic, more exaggerated superhero-ish,

more male, a little squarer. Take your pick. Once again, as we lay this stuff in, split

it in half. There are the eyes. Eyebrow line somewhere over there. Well look at hat.

Nose, lips. The rest is chin. And you might say, whoops, I gave them too much chin or

her too much chin, and you can trim it off before you move on to the next idea. Well

figure out how to add that stuff on momentarily.

And then you say, well, I have to get my ears. Theyre somewhere between the eyebrow line

and the ear incidentally. Come back here up to that third again, and you can see the parts

of the eyebrows just on a broad average depending on the expressions, the character, the arch

of the eyebrows can be at that third line. Notice that I can design the proportions of

this head based on halves. Cut in half you have the eyeline. Cut the lower half in half

again. You have the nose line. Cut that lower half in again youve got the lower edge

of the lower lip line. So having down gives you your information, or we can do it in thirds.

We can say from the top of the skull without the hair down one-third thats the eyebrow

line. Down another third thats close to the nose line. Down another third youre

at the chin. The hairline would be inside that breaking that up.

So there are several ways to do it. But in any case, well go in between the eyebrow

line and the nose line for those thirds, one-third, two-thirds, three-thirds. Nose to chin is

the three-thirds. Eyebrow to nose is the middle two-thirds. The first third is the top there.

And then we add our ear somewhere in there symmetrically placed. Then we realize, whoops,

we need a little more skull maybe because we just drew a capsule that was perfectly

symmetrical. It showed the face shape, didnt give us that fuller skull shape. And then

we build off there to build the hairline and all that good stuff in the shape of the styled

hair and all that.

Okay, so thats our basic idea. Coming back now to this. Once Ive got a good chin,

good back of the skull, however Ive done it; good chin, good back of the skull can

be rather sophisticated, very sophisticated, more so than we do here, more like well

do later, or the simplest possible choice. In either case there is relatively simple,

yet characteristic. I can find now the neck right off this chin. Notice what happens here.

The chin goes back this way. Thats called the digastrics plane. Thats the thickness

of the face. One of the dangers of drawing the mask of the face is it looks like just

a mask. If you get it at some weird angle it looks like a cut out cardboard Halloween

mask with your cutout features on there, and its not convincing.

So what we need to feel is that bottom plane to the face. It gives it thickness. Thats

called the digastric plane. It gives thickness here from different angles as well see

later. Well find that more clearly, and it will give us great volume. It will keep

this from looking like its flat and cutout. Notice were working on a flat page, and

yet were trying to get the idea of volume. Thats always a hurdle for the artist to

jump. So we go along that digastrics plane, and then we go right down the throat. If there

is a big Adams apple we ignore it and swing back. Unless youre a ballet dancer or a

soldier at attention usually there is a little bit of sag. Ill exaggerate it. Little bit

of sag. So that neck to chin, from the pit of the neck to the chin thrusts forward. That

gives us even in a fairly upright view there is a thrusting forward that has this beautiful

movement forward. Well find that that becomes a dance of forms that plays all the way through

the body.

So chin through the simplified neck to the pit of the neck. Anywhere in here is fine.

You made it a little too long. You made it a little too swinging back or a little too

not quite thrusting forward enough. Anywhere in there youre probably going to be fine.

Notice that making it too long is a much better mistake than making it too short. Length for

the next form, form number one, form number two, construction number one to construction

number two. Each time making the next structure all the way through the body a little longer

is a better error, better mistake to make usually than the reverse.

But anywhere in there were good. So lets pick one. Now Im going to come off the

back of the skull, coming off the back of the skull. Anywhere in here is good. Youre

only real guide will be not to make this too skinny or too thick. Make sure the neck speaks

to the character or the model. Is it a big bull-necked guy or is it a long and wispy

neck? Make sure it rings true for that. And if youre a little off or you should have

made it a little chubbier, should have made it a little skinnier, you can always add more

on later as you come to that realization. As long as youre in the ballpark youre

good. Notice this great change here. Notice how low the chin startsIm sorry, the

neck starts in the front. Notice how high. It may not be that high. It could be anywhere

in here. Again, you have room for error. Notice how high, lets just pick this one in the

middle. Notice how much higher the neck connects to the head structure in the back. It connects

very high in the back. It connects very low in front. Getting that high-low is going to

be what gives it credibility. Notice when we put on our costumes herelet me button

thisnotice how my shirt tracks that same high-low. Notice how the collar sits up high

in back and sits down low in front, following that same torquing dynamic of the neck. Thats

going to lead us in a very interesting way into the body. Well see that a little bit

later, again. Tease, tease, tease on that.

If it should be a little bit fatter, its out here. Anywhere in there is good as long

as this is ballpark and as long as that sits up high. So my two parameters are to make

the neck in the ballpark of the correct thickness. Dont make it super skinny. Dont make

it super fat. If its way out here its a problem. If its way in here its a

problem. Somewhere in that mid-range of thickness. And make sure the neck connects into the skull

or underneath the hairstyle. Maybe the hairstyle does this. Make sure like the neck feels like

it connects to that skull up high in back. Make sure that it feels like it connects to

the face down low in front, and youre good.

Now, if we go to a front view we will find on a younger model child, young adult, youll

oftentimes get a thinner neck. Not every time, but just on average. So if you make it thinner

its going to look younger and/or more feminine. If you make it thicker itll look more male,

a little older, mature, and more heroic. If you then get a very aged model it can thin

out again on you. But if you want to do a heroic male as Loomis did as I mentioned before,

youll make the neck almost as wide or as wide, just depending as the jaw line on the

male. If you wanted it to be more feminine or younger youll make the neck a little

more narrow than the fattest part of the jaw line somewhere around that nose line, basically.

Where the nose line is thats the widest part of the jaw because its coming off

that big ball of the head, the skull, before it tapers to the skinny, narrow chin. So anywhere

in here is good.

The only time youre going to make it much bigger is if youve got some lineman for

the 49s, you know, some football team, some big massive athlete type, bodybuilder,

you know, all that kind of stuff. Or youre drawing a superhero, a character thats

hyper heroic, you know, a comic book Captain America, the Hulk, that kind of stuff. But

the normal average person, average mature athletic male, youre not going to get any

wider than that. Notice when we addlets do it again down here. When we go down low

in front high in back, pay special attention to the thickness of the neck and correct accordingly.

Were doing an hourglass kind of shape. Now the head can really articulate on the

torso and twist that neck into all sorts of stuff back and forth. It can pinch it like

an accordion, stretch and pinch like an accordion. But in general, most of the time youre

going to feel that hourglass idea. That kind of thing going on. So when its more profile

think of the hourglass. When its more front or back view think of the tube, just a simple

tube. Its a tube thats stiff and straight if its a guard at attention. Or its

a tube thats curve if the head is in some dynamic position in relationship to the body.

So it can curve off like so.

Alright, so now lets start looking at other positions here. Weve got the basics. What

happens if we get behind. Well, from the front the mask shape with all the features dominates

the skull. You dont see much skull. In fact, drawing that capsule or the tube idea

shows you can do a pretty good head. Then you just fill in with a little bit of skull

you missed. On the back view its all skull. And the face is hidden. That creates a different

set of problems. So what were going to find, and again we are our own best models.

Well notice that the skull is now facing you guys, facing the camera. Facing the viewer

of our artwork. I notice it goes down into the neck, of course. Whatever hairstyle in

there is in there. But head, skull, and neck flow together. The face is around the front,


So as I said, its going to create its own set of problems. The big simple shape is easier.

We dont have all those pesky features to plot out carefully in proportions halves and

thirds and all of our choices and proportion. But, its going to be harder to place this

thing in space and be effective with it. Its going to be real easy to make it look like

a lollipop, just a ball on a stick. Its not going to be very satisfying. So what Im

going to do is Im going to take special attention to how the neck fits. Lets go

back to the front view again and do a quick version of our face. Weve got room for

error on this kind of stuff. Just do that much so you get the sense of things. Then

we had that tube of the neck from a front view we said. We just kind of stopped it there.

It was curved or it was straight, but it was just a tube. The fact is, when Im learning

any particular body part, the head, the hands, the rib cage, whatever it is, I want to pay

some attention; in fact, I want to pay special attention to how it connects to the other

or others, the other body parts. So I want to know how the rib cage connects into the

shoulder girdle and into the head and neck and definitely how it connects down into the

pelvis. I want to know how the thigh connects to the hips and down into the lower leg. In

this case I want to know how the head and neck connect into the shoulder line and then

into the rib cage.

So were going to talk about that a little bit. Were going to depart from our subject

so that when we get a mastery control of our subject, get confidence in our subject then

we can integrate that into the whole figure that is probably our goal. Even if were

doing a portrait, a bust shot, you know, portrait commissions is our bread and butter. We still

need to show that connectivity. Very seldom are we doing to have a floating head without

anything to it. So always pay attention to the connections. When Im drawing from life

or drawing from reference, Ill spend several drawings, maybe every 5th drawing working

on the connections. Or if I have more time I lay in a good head then Ill go ahead

and lay in some of the connective tissue, the connective shapes for the shoulder line,

so I can feel how it moves into that new hole. So if I was drawing these two together and

I had more time, Id go to the connection at the elbow. Spend more time drawing and

analyzing that so I feel a more confident and a truer connection there for my audience

and a better understanding for me. So the connection, the joints are key, the transition

points where you go from one part to the next are key in our understanding so we need a

little bit of information.

So head and neck. Now, pit of the neck will be somewhere down here. Again, another third

of a head. So you can use the skull or hairline with the heroic pose and with a fuller skull.

Notice how the hairline is a good place to pick a third, one third, two thirds down to

the nose, three thirds down to the chin. Notice I didnt do all that great of job in doing

my thirds. This is too much. This is too little. Maybe this is just right. And its still

forgiving isnt it? It still feels good, good enough.

If it doesnt feel like a likeness of our model because were drawing some big chinned

fellow, we can always a little bit more if we needed. So weve got room for error.

We dont have to nail exactly. If were sculptors we can always add a little extra

clay later or take a little clay away as we need. This goes down. The neck will end at

the pit of the neck in front. As I said, its another third equal to these, more or less.

If Im going to screw up better to make it too long and make it more of a half. Oftentimes

if youre doing a statuesque woman youll give her a longer neck. Its more attractive.

It seems to be more in terms of the Greco-Roman classical sense, that longer neck is more

attractive. The male, bull neck, little shorter is fine.

So anywhere from that third to half range gets us to the pit of the neck. Lets stay

with the third which is usually more accurate on average. Now what Im going to find is

Im going to have a shoulder line, and the shoulder line can be, you can pick out any

of a number of anatomical points, and I wont go through the minutia of that. But anywhere

in here is fine. Anywhere where you go from top to side, that shoulder line into the arm

transition. Here, here, here. Weve got room for error. Doesnt matter. Pick a spot.

You can pick it right at the collar boneor Im sorry, right at the pit of the neck.

It can be a little bit above, anywhere in there. Usually its a little bit above is

usually more accurate because we have that slightly hunching posture that I talked about

that drops to the pit of the neck. If you come up like this at attention then it gets

up closer to the shoulder line. But anywhere in there is great. Shoulder line. Then were

going to have the shrugging muscles, the trapezius. Theyre going to be the transition you have

to take us from the tubular neck out to that shoulder line. Its just a sagging triangle.

But its a triangle. It feels good to do that so sometimes Ill take extra time just

to squeeze it, but basically what Im looking for is that goes right behind my neck. Where

is it going? Behind the tube of the neck. Here is the tube. This is a top and back muscle.

It goes down all the way to the mid back, trapezius. Its a shrugging

muscle. It does this basically.

So all Im going to do is do a sagging triangle. The skinnier I make the neck the more I sag

it. The younger and the more feminine it will seem. The thicker I make the neck and the

fullerin fact, it can bulge over this way even if youre doing a heroic character.

The fuller I make that triangle its going to look more mature. Not old as in elderly

but more mature and more male and also more heroic goes with that, of course. So Superman

might be here. Star football player might be here. The average guy on the street might

be there. An old man or woman might be way down here. But anywhere in there is good so

as long as its similar to what we see, characteristic of what we see. Typically its

a sagging triangle, as I said.

Notice that we havewell just default to one type now, the more heroic male. This

is the neck coming from behind the face, coming down, and it just fades away actually. In

subtle ways that well deal with in another lecture group. Not in the head group. This

is the shrugging muscle going behind it. So you can imagine going way up and attaching

to the school and back. Well see that in a moment. Then we have the neck in front of

that sagging triangle. The tube is in front of the triangle. The neck is front of the

trapezius. And so if we were to draw this as just a really simple tube that were

slightly underneath wed feel that. Its behind.

So now when we come here Im going to do the same thing. I dont have the mask of

the face though. Im going to draw the tube of the triangle, and Ill make it nice and

fat and wide or nice and skinny, however seems appropriate. Ill do that. Lets color

code it. Itll actually attach up here. There is the neck of our heroic male, lets

say. It attaches up here even though the egg sits much lower. It doesnt come to a point.

If you felt back there you could feel that. Its two cables basically that split around

the spine. They have thickness so it comes up like this, sags down this way, and sits

on the shoulder line. Well doing more male looking art because thats a long, fairly

full, lets make it a little fuller trapezius, and we have that nice wide neck. Thats

whats doing most of the work.

Notice now over here we have the neck tube in front of the triangle. Now we have the

triangle in front of the neck like so. Pretty sophisticated stuff there. Since we dont

have all the features to mark out this looks pretty easy now to me. I just have to get

this stuff plotted out basically with construction lines and little dashes in effect for the

placement, the rough placement of the features. I can just do this little kind of robotic

schematic hairline, all that good stuff. Thats pretty easy compared to this. There is some

sophisticated thinking going on. Notice that we had the neck and then the mask of the face

was in front of the neck. So the face is in front of the neck. The neck is front of the

trapezius, the shrugging muscle. From the back view it reverses. The triangle, trapezius

shrugging muscle is closest to us. The neck is farther, and the face, unless we have a

huge neck, well see a little bit of face, the face is the farthest yet. A little bit

of face. A little bit of face for that wider chin and skinnier neck relationship.

Then notice where here the ears were almost an afterthought. We stuck them on because

theyre visible and they deserve to be there. But they didnt really add a lot of information,

any new information to the mix. It was just plotting out one more detail like picking

out eyeglasses. When I put on eyeglasses its not really giving me more information, just

a new shape in there. And so from a front view, this straight-on front view, the ears

dont add much other than a more refined character of what we were seeing. But here,

the ears are going to be much more important because they are going to be the only feature

that we see. All the other features are hidden around that far side. So drawing those ears

are important. Notice how I drew them. I just drew them like this. In fact, I made a little

double line or a thick dark construction either way, and that shows the thickness of the ear.

As we get into the ear construction well do segments, chapters on each feature in detail.

Theres a lot to be understood with each and every feature. One of the things well

notice is that C-shape or whatever hybrid shape we drew for it has a thickness. Otherwise,

its going to be flat and not be believable. Itll have a thickness just like the mask

had that digastric plane thickness idea. So we could draw the ear from a front view like

this to show that thickness. Think of it as a disc, a slice of a tube like that. So when

we put the cheek on it were seeing this much of that disc or slice, and the rest is

hidden. From a back view then well see that whole back of the ear thickness here.

Thats what were drawing. So drawing a double line in effect shows us that thickness.

All this subtle stuff in here we dont have to worry about because its just a construction

at this point. This is the simplest, most characteristic thing we can do. Again, its

in that middle third range. But its harder to see that isnt it because the chin gets

lost down here. The hair is here but we cant see the eyebrow line. We cant see a hairline,

so we cant inch our way down to that or inch our way up to that position. So its

a little trickier.

Then youll have the hairline, itll do whatever it does, maybe a little ducktail

shape in here, or its whatever, you know, long hair covers whatever is going on there.

But well just do that. That sits in there. Each of these little details, you know, you

could have a little cowlick spiral here, or this could be a bun or ponytail. Hair, any

of those details will help. Notice that we can take again the head of the skull, I should

say the skull, the face, and neck, and we can turn this whole thing into a simpler idea,

just a tube, kind of this idea. So Im going to do a tube and then here is my shoulder

line, lets say. And then I need to go back through those machinations we just went through.

Lets see, this is the center of the head. Its right here. Thats that. There is

the neck. Here are the ears here. You can turn them this way if its the complete

back view you can turn them in the same direction if they start turning into some kind of three-quarters.

So if this head is starting to turn this way a little bit then we can turn the ear that

way. Then we can just place it in that mid range of the structure. Maybe we see a little

bit of the jaw going into the chin before it gets lost. Maybe we dont. Thats that.

So that gives us a basis for connection. Were not showing any of the articulation yet of

doing this kind of stuff. Well deal with that later. But that gives us the basics.

The last thing I want, I should have mentioned earlier and I didntlets do this.

The ear. When we place that ear we said if see it from a front or back view the ear sits

in the middle third of the head more or less. You can use the top of the skull or you can

use the hairline. I usually use the hairline. It feels a little more accurate. It ends up

making the features a little fuller, gives the chin a little bit more oomph. When we

use the top of the skull oftentimes the chin feels a little shorter, and the nose may be

a little too big. But anyway, anywhere in there is good. So the ear sits in the middle

section of the head. There is a section on top. There is a section on the bottom. The

middle section is where the ears float in more or less. They fill up the whole section.

They are smaller than that. They can be slightly below it or slightly above it. But theyre

in that mid range. When we get to a profile we can see the same thing happening. Lets

put our box back in here and notice the way I drew that. Bad teacher. It should be a little

less here and a little more here. There is our box there. There is our box there more or less without features

or hairstyle, a little longer in length, a little shorter in width going across.

Notice if we come in front of the ear that sideburn area, cut it in half, the ear is

very close to the halfway point of the head there. So the middle of the ear or the whole

ear sits in the middle of the head from top to bottom, however you want to do it. The

middle of the ear is at the middle, or the ear sits in the middle third. Take your pick,

doesnt matter. Also, its in the middle this way. The front of the ear touches or

comes very close to that midrange. Give or take features and hairstyle. Like so. It sits in

that midrange. Thats incredibly useful because now look what happens. If I take that

same Im going to use as simple as possible shape now. Take that same sailboat shape.

If I take this section here and cut it in half and put it in there, make sure it sits

more or less in the bottom third. But if youre off some notice how this got much bigger.

This got much shorter. It doesnt hurt anything, really, but you can adjust it down or trim

it back accordingly. But when I do that it feels like a nice profile like this.

Lets do it again. Im going to draw that same sailboat shape. Now instead of putting

it in the mid-area more or less, Im going to push it really close or fairly close to

the front of the face. When you do that, now notice that the face, the jaw, the face, always

sits in front of the ear. It ends in front of the ear. It doesnt go behind the ear.

It sits in front of the ear. Some people will draw that ear and then theyll put the face

back here. Its got to sit in front of the ear. Look how little face there is now. Let

me flesh this out a little bit. Ill show you how to do this another time, but just

so you can see it. There is a little bit of the nose, a little bit of lips, eyebrow, eyelashes,

hairstyle. Lets do this to make it easy on us. Theres the necks appropriate

thickness. Well deal with how to articulate this later. Lets just leave it like that.

Notice if I push the ear towards the front of the face youve done this. Youve gotten

behind the head. The farther we push that ear to the front of the face until it overlaps

it slightly off axis, overlaps it perfectly into a back view. That ear positions the head

this way in the rotation. Now, when weve got a front of the face its less important

because we have all the features. Once we get past the profile then those featureslook

at how the features, the nose. And again, well look at this more carefully later.

The nose and the lips and the eyelashes are overlapped by that cheek and jaw construction.

Were starting to lose those. So placing that earlets do it again.

Now Im going to push the ear back here. Ill keep it in the middle third more or

less. Ill make it a little smaller, a little bigger, anywhere in there. I can always adjust

it slightly if I need to. Notice now when the ear pushes back getting very close to

or equal to the back edge more and less, more and less. Now we start to get a three-quarter view. Notice now if

we do the center line of the features itd be over here, and were in a three-quarter

view in there. So the placement of the ear, crowd the skull. Youre more of a front three-quarter

view. Crowd the face youre more of a three-quarter back view. Get the ears on the outside or

very close to the outside, youre in a full or more or less full back view. Put them on

the outside in front, ditto for the front view.

So where you push the ear this way or that gives you incredible information. It gives

your audience incredible information very, very quickly about how its placed in space.

Alright, so the ear is a wonderful thing. This is the simplest of our choices is my

favorite for these simple constructions. If Im doing a real careful portrait, Ill

break the shape of the skull down and the face carefully. But I almost always start

with this. Even if Im doing a big painting with a big full realized head, its just

easier to place. So let me talk about the ear again. So as I said, if we crowd the ear

into the face were getting behind that face. Well notice that the brow, check,

jaw, start to overlap and cover our features. They hide away.

Thats true, of course. Same way if I crowd the skull. Now its turning toward us. And

we dont need any more information than that to start to get the idea that were

now in a three-quarter front view. Were certainly going to want to do more, but immediately

that gives us and our viewer, our audience, a clue into what the position is. But also

notice if I push the ear down lowerlet me do this. Im going to more fully realize

that skull. In fact, Im going to make it boxy because when I get into difficult perspectives

the squarer I make things, the more clearly it is placed in space. Its the corners

and the alignment of the sides that due to our vanishing points if we were to be that

ambitious and give us a sense of true position.

If I do roundnessand again, look to my basic drawing lessons for a full explanation

of this. But the rounder things are it can have a good sense of rendered volume, but

it doesnt have great sense of position. Are you behind this ball or in front of this

ball. Until you get something else in relationship to it you dont know. But here you know

immediately how its sitting, that its tilted facing, tipping in certain three-dimensional

position. So the squarer things go, the better in terms of working out difficult perspectives,

difficult proportions because we can break those corners down into measureable segments

and difficult dynamic objects. Notice by pushing that ear a little bit lower from a, just really

generically lets do this and this one, two, three. Lets say those are equal, and

we put the ear right in the middle that way and this way. Thats a perfect profile.

Wed add on all the stuff. Ill a little bit of stuff just so you can feel the truth

of that idea. Thats a perfect profile give or take proportions, of course, of the character

youre drawing. If I move it this way it turns. If I move this way it turns. If I push

it up this way or if I push it down that way, its now going to turnwell, not turn,

tilt in and out of the picture plane. So by pushing the ear down a little bit lower Im

going to exaggerate it here. Well see this better when we get some reference and we do

more sophisticated versions of these things. But for now this is as far as were going

to take it. There is that kind of stuff. Again, Ill help you work that out more carefully

later, but just so you can see in context.

Notice how we have the ear, less than an ear away from the chin, or even lets say a

full ear away from the chin. Here we have an ear and a half or an ear and two-thirds

from the top of the head. That wasnt true here. We were very close here. So as the ear

gets lower we start to get on top of it. You can see it right here. Heres my ear somewhere

in the middle. Now as I do this the chin is receding so the ear is getting closer to the

bottom of the head structure, and the skull is coming and revealing more and so were

getting visually more mass on top. And then, of course, the reverse would be true. Push

the head down. Were on top of the head just were on top of a tube. Push the head

up. Im sorry, push the ear up. Its going to make us feel like we are underneath the head.

Again, Ill show you subtleties of this at a later time. Im just putting them in

now so you can really clearly visualize what Im saying. Notice when you lay in these

very simple shapes sometimes you have to modify them to make them ring true for that particular

dynamic position. In the simpler positions we can do simpler shapes in more dynamic positions.

Its a difference between looking at a box or looking at a box. In the more dynamic positions

we have to articulate those shapes a little more carefully. You might find you need to

lift a little bit. You need to square out a little bit. Notice also we can conceive

of this as a boxy form. Im going to make it very simple here. Again, Ill describe

and explain that structural stuff later, but we can make it rather boxy. So the ear can

be on the side of the box. And the features could be on the front of the box. The ear

can be on the side of the box, and all the other features are on the front of the box.

Or we can have it as a tubular idea. We can conceive of this, were underneath not a

box but a tubular idea. And the ear is on the side of the tube and the rest of the features

are on the front of the tube like so. Front of the tube. Notice what Im doing here.

Just generically Im going to make the eyebrow line, specifically the arch of the eyebrow,

the height of the ear. Thats not going to be true for every model or even most models,

but its roughly true. Oftentimes the ear will be close to the eyeline, but I love those

arching eyebrows. Well see this when we get into more sophisticated structure. If

I use the eyebrow line to the ear I have a natural construction line, whether Im doing

a tube or a boxy idea, a tube or a boxy idea, notice that this is the eyebrow line and this

is the movement of the ear. It can be a rounder conception or a squarer conception. Here are

the eyes. Here is the nose. Well talk about how to do that. Heres the mouth, the chin.

Notice that now I have to flesh out my skull or hairstyle to make it ring true. There is

a square conception. Theres the rounder conception. Chin is on the bottom of the tube,

or the chin is on the bottom of the box. Take your pick. Of course, we could do it egg like.

We could do eyebrow line to ear high line. Nose, mouth, chin. Adjust that jaw line. Again,

make sure that youre getting enough skull there. Oftentimes you have to add a little

skull on these things. Add a little skull or refine the skull.

Okay. And then we add theif its more front than side we add the tube. If its

ore back than side we add the tube. If its more side than front we can do the hourglass

idea. If its somewhere in between, three-quarter, you can take your pick; do either one. So

this would work okay doing that too, hourglass in those three quarters. Alright, so thats

the basic head shape in basic articulating perspective. No deep perspective. Were

conceiving it as simple forms, simple shapes. It can be a simple shape thats square,

a simple shapes thats more tubular, a simple shape thats very round. It can be a hybrid

of all those things. The choice doesnt matter as long as its simple, yet characteristic

with what we see. It doesnt depart radically from what we see unless were doing a radical

piece of art. Were going to play very close attention that whatever we do by the end of

it we feel that the skull drifts back as the face drifts down. Skull drips back, face drifts

down. Unless its very close to a full front or back view, were going to feel that skull

having a motion back thats distinct. You can think of a parting of the hair. If you

have a hairstyle like this where the part is. The part is going to run along that axis

back into the skull.

Alright, there is one last point I want to make here before we move on. If we look at

our skull so we get this idea of our ear, the ear is about right here. Remember the

ear sits right behind the end of the jaw. The jaw sits right in front of the ear. So

this is a sideburn area of the hairline. The ear sits in here. So just watch this little

point or my finger here. As we turn this way you can see how the ear is going to crowd

the face and eventually overlap the face. That was the point we were making earlier.

Then as we come back this way the ear is going tolets do this for the ear, I guess.

The ear is going to crowd the back of the skull and then overlap the back of the skull.

So that ear gives us a great landmark for how this turns especially in this back three-quarter

range where we dont have the features as landmarks. These features are fantastic landmarks

for plotting out the structure, the three-dimensional position of the head. When we get into this

three-quarter back view, back view to the other side, we lose that ammunition. So then

the ear becomes crucial. So there we have it there.

Likewise, if we tilt, say this is the top of the ear, as we tilt the head down notice

how the ear is now crowding the bottom of the face visually and moving well away from

the top of the face. So if you draw that ear lower in your skull shape, your sailboat shape

or whatever construction idea youre using, its going to help immediately put that

head in that top orientation. Likewise, if it comes this way and the top of the ear starts

to crowd the top of the head, now we know that getting underneath it. Again, it becomes

a great landmark especially in these positions to show that.

So anyway, that little point. Now lets move on to our master drawings and have some fun.

Okay, now we have our old masters to look at. We have Hans Holbein on the left and Raphael

on the right. If we look at the Holbein you can see the egg. Notice we have a hat here

and so the skull is up in here. If I draw that basic egg shape wed see the hat is

up here. Remember, when we do the egg shape, though, its going to be much more accurate

to what were after if we make that egg shape a little fatter at the top, more of

a true chicken egg rather than an ellipse. We can do that. Or, we could make it more

of a capsule shape, which means flat on the sides. Notice if we look towards the hairline.

Im going to modify the hairline just slightly down into the lower jaw. You can feel that

kind of flattening there. The problem with that is, lets go back again. Let me get

that color back. The problem with that is shes got those wonderful cheekbones. So

what Im looking for is a simple shape, egg or capsule, but the most characteristic.

And so I want the sense of those fine cheekbones popping out. Lets do it this way. And so

maybe the bulging egg. You might even modify further.

Notice with this particular character we could modify. Maybe we use more of a diamond shape

to show off those cheekbones. Again, watch that the diamond doesnt distort and lose

the mass of the skull, but maybe through the hairline we put a little diamond shape inside

the egg. Notice that its simply a characteristic, and there is a nice range of variations we

can do. We can modify that shape. It can be elliptical. It can be capsule-like. It can

be egg-shaped. It has a fatter end and a more narrow end. It can be more diamond shaped

and more and more and more. Lots of choices there. Round on the top, square on the bottom.

You have lots of ways to go. As long as it is simple, yet characteristic you choose.

And if youre doing refined heads, portraiture or trying to bring in personality rather than

a generic sense of an A-head but a personality head, then youd want to modify those shapes.

Simple, yet characteristic. You want to stay nimble with that.

If we look at the Raphael its chubbier features. So the egg is fuller and rounder

and morea little bigger hereand more characteristically a classic egg. Whereas

on the Holbein we could argue for a rather square-ish bottom here because of that strong

jaw of this woman. But with the Raphael thats the case. Were going in, of course, for

the little baby here too. Were going for that nice simple and much more true egg shape.

In any of these cases there is great subtle variations of the final contour. It wobbles,

bumps, sharpens up, smoothes out, does all those different things that a contour is going

to do, but thats in the finished stage. So again, were making it simple, yet characteristic.

As Ive done the Raphael, the mother and child, we can see then simple construction

lines show us the center line, the eyeline, the eyebrow line, the hairline, the line of

the nose and the chin. Darken that up for us a little bit. And so we can break that

basic idea down in proportion, just a general generic proportion about halfway.

In this case its not quite true. Lets put it down there. Its a little more than

halfway on top. The top is catching more and the bottom is a little less. And with the

hairstyle its even more exaggerated. But she is actually, the position of this head

is actually slightly underneath us. Shes tilting forward. So if we put a bucket on

her head, wed be on top of the bucket that way. So that means if we were to draw our

construction line that would stay the same. This line, of course, then would turn this

way. And so the eyes are on a slight arc moving over. And as we find that tilt with the ears

and such then were losing at it moves down into the paper, were losing a little bit

of face at the lower end. Its getting a little shorter. Head is coming up over the

top towards us. Were getting a little bit greater lift of head. Notice that what I drew

here is a more exaggerated version than what our friend Raphael has done, and that adds

even more skull to the view. This one has more skull. This has less skull. This has

much less face and this a little more. Here is an exaggerated version of the slight tilt

here. This is a slight tilt compared to this one which is perfectly straight on and formal.

Notice that even the craftsmanship brings this up, but just in terms of design, when

we have a very formal pose like this, notice what it does to the feel of the piece. Notice

how this is more distant. Now, she has that character, but thats one of the reasons

he chose this front view. Shes very formal and standoff-ish, whereas this is a mother

who has great empathy. So we feel that empathy and were drawn into it. So the slight tilt

of the head off axis and the slight tilt of the head into the picture plane adds to that

intimacy and that informal or compassionate view. Then this little baby is doing what

he is doing this way. Those baby proportions would have an effect that well save for

another day. Once again, always a big danger when were drawing this egg-like, capsule-like

constructions of the head. Notice that on this mother figure here I drew the egg without

enough skull. So the skull would really be out here, a fuller egg this way. And so really

pay attention to that. Its a real killer for your drawing if you dont give that

fullness of that skull. It loses character. If youre doing a cartoon or something that

could play into the style actually, but in realism youve got to feel that full skull.

Usually youre saved even if you screw up your construction. Even if I had stuck with

that original construction, by the time we add the hair, the mass of the hair on there,

thats going to cover that mistake. But still, we want to see it as a truism.

So basically were going to draw the egg of the head or whatever simple shape, the

egg of the head. Then were going to draw a T, center line, center line, eyeline. Thats

going to split it halves. Two haves here, two halves here. More or less, give or take

the dynamic position of the head. Give or take the portraiture, the personality, the

quirky proportions to the head, but a halfway point. Then were going to build off that.

Notice that the band of the hat here acts pretty much as our hairline. And so if we

break it down into hairline and eyebrow line, eyebrow line to nose line, nose line to mouth

to chin. Those end up being about thirds. Now if youve got a more dynamic, dramatic,

heroic figure you can actually go up to the top of the head, which would be the top of

the skull minus the hairstyle and do thirds down, fuller nose, and thats actually truer

in this case. Then the chin, despite its strength, chin and jaw is a little less so because its

a woman, more heroic character especially if its a male, mature male, itd be down

here and you can break the thirds. But, typically, on a realistic figure if youre not trying

to stylize heroism into the mix you go from hairline to eyebrow line to nose line to chin,

and thats your thirds. eyeline is below there, and thats your halfway point. Top

of the head to eyeline, eyeline to chin.

Alright, here we have Piazetta in a more or less perfect profile, somewhere around that.

Lets look at this from a couple of different ways. Notice the strong line here. We want

to be careful of that. What I really want is the line of the face. Im cutting off

the features. Specifically, well see this more clearly when we get into the placement

of the features and all their various structures, I want to go where the forehead, more or less,

where the forehead bumps into the nose right there and where the lips bump into the chin

right there. So these two points ending up somewhere near the hairline. Of course, that

can change radically depending on the recession. It can be anything close to that. It doesnt

have to be right on the money but in there. Thats the gesture of the face going down

that Im going to build my structure, my mask on. The gesture of the skull going back,

I dont want to go down this way and make that more or less a right angle. What I wanted

to do is rise up and back. It actually does, just the drawing fools us for a moment. So

it goes up this way. Notice how that opens up there. That angle opens up a little bit

from a right angle. If we were to do that sailboat shape itd be here or here.

Anywhere in there is fine.

If it were to be the egg shapeslets just bring this right back. You could actually,

if you wanted to, start with the egg of the skull I here, down in here. Anywhere in this

range is good. Then you come right off that egg, again down to your construction or your

gesture line for the face. So this is an egg that has an axis going back, but notice the

way I drew it, its actually going back and up a little bit. Again, it implies that

opening up of that angle. Lets make a clearer point of that. Look what happens if I go the

other way like that. It destroys the structure of the skull. Thats bad news there. Or

if we had the face coming down and the skull shape doing this. Well see a Raphael towards

the end of our little series here, and it suggests this. We have to be, we have to look

past a glance to see what hes doing there. But if we do that, where this is drifting

down, it destroys the skull. You dont have enough brains in there to be a functioning

human being when you do that. So we dont want to do that. We want it to open up. Then

we can come off that back of the skull this way and do a modified triangle, or as we said

before we can use a simplified hairline in front of the ear and over to the chin down

here and feel the mask of the face, that mask here.

Notice how the ear sits right in the center.

Now hes just barely turning away from us, and so that ear is crowding just a little

bit in this case. It varies from person to person and also canon to canon. Each artist

and art movement will idealize or distort the figure in a certain way, and so that will

play sometimes quite loosely with the facts. In this case we have the ear or the center

of the ear, as I said, right in the middle of the head even without the little bit of

hair lifting up. But anyway, its following our idea truly enough, close enough to work

with. Notice how the top of the ear lines up with the eyebrow line. Thats one thing

we want to pick up consistently wherever the eyebrow line is. Usually where the arch of

the eyebrow is we want the ear to be at that or close to that. Thats going to give us

a lot of good material to work with when we get into more dynamic poses as we will in a bit.

Notice how the bottom of the ear sits about at the bottom of the nose there. And so the

ear is sitting in that middle third. And by keeping it well away from the top of the skull

and well away from the bottom of the skull, bottom of the chin/face, it gives us that

sense that were looking more or less straight on to this figure, maybe slightly on top.

So anyway, the placement of the ear in the middle from left to right, in the middle region

from top to bottom, gives us a sense that thats a solid basic profile.

Alright, heres a Tiepolo. Here you can see the simple construction idea never really

taken any farther. Weve got mom here with a simple egg shape, but since shes off

axis, shes in a three-quarter view, then were getting a little bit of the skull

back here. So lets go back, look at that again and see exactly what our friend is doing

here. There is the center line of those features. Heres the eyebrow line or eyeline, the

T idea. Notice how when we start getting into these perspectives, were starting to get

off axis from a perfect front or a perfect profile then our T starts to get into dynamic

positions. The head is tilting down so the T tilts. Were underneath and in a three-quarter

view to the eyebrow line and eyeline. The eyebrow and eyeline tilt up, and so that T

throws off into a dynamic position.

So lets look at that one more time. There are several ways we can do this. We can draw

our sailboat shape, and we can take in the whole head. Notice how were going back

here. There it is there. Or, we could have started with this center line going back and

then add on a little bit more, or start outside and put the center line. Either way is fine.

Then the eyebrow line or eyeline. I usually do the eyebrow line because you get those

arching eyebrows. There is a clear, drawn-in shape of the eyebrow rather than the little

vaguer sense of where the eye is. So I use that to place it and then work off your proportions

from there. The other way we could have done this, of course, is the egg shape. I do not

want to do an egg shape for the whole thing. Thats too crude. Thats simple but not

characteristic. There are two shapes going on here. As soon as we move from a front view

towards a profile or even to a back view, were going to see the face shape and the

skull shape, so we need a construction strategy that shows both. So I want the face shape

as a mask. It can be rounder or squarer. His is much rounder. Other artists would make

it squarer. Center line is right through there. Eyebrow line is right there. eyeline if you

wanted that too is right there. Then were going to add on a little bit of the egg of

the skull. Notice as soon as we do that were getting that gesture down for the face, gesture

back for the skull that we have to have. Lets look at our little baby character here. Here

weve got the face tilting this way, eyebrow line, center line. Sometimes it helps to do

the construction lines first. Sometimes its better. Probably usually its better to

do the big constructed face, gesture, structure. There it is there. Then we add the center

line on. We end up with that sailboat shape. Its very pointy. Its got those corners.

So maybe because this is a baby were going to start with the egg of the skull first cause

that kind of dominates. Were in a three-quarter view, and the head is tilted down. So we have

that strong egg shape. Then we add on a rounder mask here, picking up our construction lines

on that like so. The eyes sit in here like that, and you can mark off.

Lets do it one more time. There is the skull shape. Here is the face shape. Here

we can complete it through or leave it open-ended, whichever way is appropriate. Since we dont

have a hairline, its a little easier to imagine it as open-ended maybe. Here is the

center line, eyebrow line in there. You can see a little bit of the ear here. Right there

is a little bit of the ear.

Now notice, as you have already have, Im sure, the simple conception of this. Hes

just breaking down ideas. This is a sketch for a painting, some mural painting that was

going to be up on some high wall or ceiling. Notice that hes conceiving of this. This

is going to be this beautifully finished realized little baby Jesus, beautifully lit, beautifully

rendered, and hes just starting this out as an egg. Notice that the whole conception of that skull if we remove

it from the face construction and from the idea that it is a head, its just an egg.

If I were to draw just an egg and then light that egg with a light source thats equivalent

to what we have here it would be very close to that. It would do that or it would do that

or it would do this. It would do some version, give or take a variation of what we see there.

And so drawing the basic shadow shape of the forehead throwing the features into shadow

in this case in any way thats anywhere close to a simple egg on a table is going

to be what well start with. And thats the secret of making things up out of your

head. Thats a secret of animating things, conceiving things as so simple of an idea

that we can render quite detail on it. We can move it in space. We can redesign it,

re-imagine it into more dynamic, into alien eggs and monstrous eggs and heroic eggs and

all that kind of stuff for design.

Lets go back to our figure one more time of the female. We can see how again the simple

conception of mommy here, the eye sockets marked out give us a clear sense of where

their eyes would be, but not very accurately. Its just roughly true. This eye over here

maybe drifts out a little too far to the left. The nose gets a little darker here. The nose

is probably a little too short for it. Maybe even the face is a little long, but probably

not when you get the bottom of the chin here and the rest of this is the bottom plane,

the digastric plane in here.

But anyway, there are or could be quite a few errors there. We finish that off and maybe

we find should have had a little more skull especially with the cloaked head or the hairstyle.

All those little things. It should have been here but it ended up here. It shouldve

been here but it ended up over here. Those little variations arent a big deal, and

theyll be easily corrected as we move on through the drawing. As long as we get a fairly

close approximation it doesnt have to be perfect. You dont have to stress out about

that. Simple but characteristic. And as we simplify it and give it basic characteristics,

the variations then dont matter. Those subtle inaccuracies dont matter. They can

be corrected or left as a stylization or as a charming variation.

Okay, here we have another Raphael. A beautiful head, one of the most famous drawings ever

from the Renaissance. We can see again the simple conception. In fact, if you look at

just the hair you can see the hair itself is rather egg-like isnt it? You know, we

can feel kind of eggs in here and little eggs in here, the Renaissance curls. A lot of roundness

there. Eggs were huge in the Renaissance because eggs suggested the Christian idea of rebirth.

And egg was a potential life coming into the world, and so it was used as a symbol for

the religious painting that these often were. This was a saint in this case, and so it fits

in with that.

Lets go ahead and look for our shapes now. So we have a little bit of a dynamic position.

Its a three-quarter view. That means were going to see a lot of face and some skull,

and were on top of the view. That means the skull is going to dominate the face so

were going to see even more skull and slightly less face. Now, when you get a very difficult

challenging position, and this isnt extreme. Well get into that another chapter, but

its extreme enough when were starting out to give us trouble, or subtle enough that

if we throw off things a little bit we miss the point of the position, and it goes out

of whack for us.

So if we have a difficult position or a difficult shape, something thats challenging, oftentimes

Ill go to the construction lines first. Let me just mark this over here so I have

that to sample later. Here is that center line going down here. There is that construction

line, eyebrow line going here, with or without the eyeline. Take your pick. So sometimes

its best to start way. Then you can build on that sailboat shape. Notice how far off,

lets say this is the actual chin without the beard. Notice how far off your constructed

tips mind end up. This should end up pretty nicely withinlets put it here. Pretty

nicely within the structure. These two tips can stick way out, and we can chop them off

later. Lets do that again here. This can come out here. We can chop it off later like

so, just nip off those ends if we feel the need like that. So a sailboat shape orwe

always have several choices as long as its simple yet characteristic. Lets say Im

okay with not putting in the center line. Im going to draw the mask of the face first.

Im going to draw the simplified far side of the face. Im going to draw the simplified

cheer into the jaw line in front of the ear. Im going to draw a simplified hairline.

So just like it was a cut-out Halloween mask Im going to conceive it of that. This is

going to get totally lost in this case in those bangs. But thats okay, I need a shape

to work with. I could come way down here, but its nice if I can canonize my proportions

especially in the beginning. If I always draw theprobably a little lower here actuallyif

I always draw the hairline then Im seeing a shape of the same proportion give or take

the character of the model and not something thats radically changing because of an

accident of costuming. Then I can add my center line right on down through. Im looking

to where the forehead meets the nose and where the lips meet the chin, anywhere in there.

If Im off a little bit thats okay; I can adjust it later or build around it later.

Then it wont be a problem.

So there is my simplified idea. Thats a mask of the face. Thats not enough. We

need to get the shape of the skull. Im going to look for the shape of the skull without

the fullness of the hair. Notice I have a lot of room for error. I can be down in here,

feel okay. It could be all the way out to the hair, do just fine because the hair will

cover it. Id like to get fairly accurate, though. Not because the skull matters in this

instance because it will be covered by the hair, but because it will matter oftentimes

in how well I fit that neck in construction. So there is that hourglass idea of the neck.

Lets get rid of this little pinch. Well save that for a later structural talk. There

is that hourglass shape. Then I put in the ear at this point because its going to

help hide that binding transition between mask of face and hair. Its going to show

us how they fit together, and in this casenow if we come back and add our construction lines.

Maybe we didnt do the center line. Lets do the center line. Now lets do the eyebrow

line. Notice that the center line of the face and the eyebrow line of the features are all

on the front of our shape. So if we continued that around with a bucket idea. Oops, let me adjust that

a little bit. We put a bucket on the head. Notice that the eyebrow line follows the front,

in this case the right side of the bucket. And the ear, if theyre lined up pretty

well, as they are, follows a left contour, left side of that bucket. Notice in that tilting.

Also notice its almost always better to screw up the tilt of that bucket by making

it tilt too much. Cause whats our real problem here. The real problem is to fight

off this flat paper or flat canvas were on and give the idea, the illusion of three-dimensional

form of tilt and tips and facing dimensions.

So if we know we have to fight that flatness to get the illusion, to the get the idea,

Id rather overdo the idea a little bit to make it more exciting. If Im doing a

comedy as a film, as a story, Id rather it be too funny rather than not funny enough.

You can always back off later. But if its not funny thats tough. Tough to fix it

later. So if youve got a real flat drawing its tough to push into a three-dimensional

form. But if your form is a little too three-dimensional, tilting a little too much, its easier to correct.

Notice whats going to happen. When I pick up mybring this all the way across here.

We can take the hairline and let that be roughly the top of the tube. Then notice that tubular

idea starts to break down when we add that skull going back. We dont get a good sense

of the gesture going back. We dont get a good sense of how the back of the skull

finishes against the back of the face there. But if we continue that down notice the consistency,

and this is one of the powers of using simple constructed forms. Once you have that construction

conception, the tilt of the bucket, then that is going to carry through on all the features

and affect all the features. Notice how all the features track that same tilted construction

line on the front of our tube. Not the tip of the nose, but from nostril to nostril,

from corner of the mouth to corner of the mouth, or the very front of the lip or front

of the tip of the nose. The eyeline, eyebrow from arch to arch. Bottom of the chin and

even in this case the beard is tracking that.

So we have all, and even the bangs, the hairstyle tracks it with whatever little variations

there are. Theyre all tracking that same tilt, and thats what gives that dramatic,

dynamic illusion of that head in that lovely position. The ear is all alone isnt it?

Thats one of the struggles well have. We have all this feature stuff on the front

of the face to build nice three-dimensional positioning, but we only have the ear on the

side to do it, at least apparently so. Were going to have to work at that to get that

sense. But eyebrow to ear does a lovely job of beginning the idea of that tilt. Then theyll

be other things like the jaw line. As it drifts up its still giving a sense, an exaggerated

sense, but especially that corner. We get into that a little bit later.

But that gives us a sense of that.

Notice that we could have drawn this any number of simple ways. We could have drawn and egg

and played all this stuff along the curvature of the egg. Jaw line comes up. Swing all the

way around from the eyebrow line over to the ear. Notice that that egg, though, is exceptionally

unsatisfying for the skull. Weve cut off all the back of the skull. Weve left it

out. So wed want to add another egg going back so we get that drift back and get the

fullness of the back of the skull. Then it accepts our lovely hairstyle there and also

makes for a much more satisfying connection for the neck and body below it.

And then we could also make it boxier. We could make it a boxy idea this way. And then all the features here,

which sat on the front of the box and even the bangs. The ear would be on the side of

the box. And the hair and the skull would sit on the top of the box. Some way well

have to figure out and show the back of the box. Weve got choices, choices, choices.

Its just a matter of which way you want to go. Its a great exercise to do as Im

doing here. Draw those old master drawings, either draw over them digitally or trace over

them with tracing paper and a book or sketch them as you look at them as Im doing here.

Make those determinations. See which way Raphael leaned. Did he tend to use one idea or another?

Did he use all threetube, box, and ball?

Okay, heres another Raphael. A more dynamic position. A little baby here, of course. You

can see now here again is that triangle idea here, or since its a round baby and the

egg is so important to the Renaissance, we can do as he did. Let the egg dominant. Since

the skull were in almost a full profile, and were on top of that head. There is

a slight three-quarter move to that profile. And were quite strongly on top of the head.

You can see how an accident in positioningthis happens oftentimes on an adult or child. When

you get on top of the skull quite a bit the bottom of your constructed skull here gets

very close to your eyebrow line. It gets very close to both cause that skull cap, the mass

of skull is dominating the face in this case. So we feel it there. Youre still going

to want to be very careful on its positioning. Youll see that quite a bit.

And then here is the mask of the face in here like so, and then the ear separates or makes

the transition between those two constructed ideas. Now when you have something very round

like this, especially if its in a dynamic position, it can throw things off. Let me

show you what I mean like that. So if I construct this, lets say I constructed the skull

like this, and I look at that model on the model stand or that photograph on my drawing

board and I see that the eyebrow line really works nicely as the bottom of the skull, and

so Ive sketched in. But look what happened here. I ended up putting my eye and eyebrow

line here. And it distorts things off. Lets do this to make it worse. See how distorted

that is? Thats way out of whack. So rather than that, Ill go ahead and construct it

the same way. Ill use my eggs because thats in character. Its fairly easy to get big,

simple shapes in space. In this case we have that domination of the skull on top of the

face shape like this so its almost this kind of idea, you know, overlapping balls

in recession. So all thats great to show the on-top-of-ness of our problem here.

So I go ahead and do that but then I come back and I construct more carefully the end

as a tubular idea or as the egg tilting in the correct position. I look to the nose and

features. Again, the danger of these features are theyre going around the other side

here. Going around the other side and we cant see the other nostril. We cant see the

other corner of the lip. And so we see this thing and this thing, and then eyebrow line

and this thing. Notice when I just draw what I see theyre all going in different angles

and its going to ruin the cohesion. Remember what we said before. You know, if we think

of it as a tube the hairline, the eyebrow line, the eyeline, the nose line, the mouth,

the chin; all of those track together. They have their own quirkiness. The eyebrows arch.

The eyelids maybe droop. The nose sticks out. The mouth changes expression and on and on

and on. But, theyre going to track nicely symmetrically from one side to the other.

So, again, lets look at our Raphael and how to deceptive this can be. We look at these

features. None of them track. And so we think, well, hes Raphael. He doesnt make mistakes.

Im going to go ahead and draw what I see. Im going to draw this and this and this.

And your drawing is not going to look very good. So what Raphael did, and Raphael does

mistakes but he didnt make it here. Everybody makes mistakes. In fact, the old masters that

make mistakes (and they did consistently)we call that their style. Theyve stylized

the world into a direction that is not exactly real, not true, no photographically true but

beautifully aesthetically true. Most importantly, whatever theyve done its consistent.

Its the inconsistencies that screw you up.

So a Picasso might well make them all go off in different directions because Picasso is

after a different kind of truth, but this character here noticed that the eyebrows do

track. Heres the center line. Even though he drew the tip of the nose out and we cant

see that other nostril, it would be on this same construction line. It would be over here.

Same with the corner of the mouth. It would be on that same construction line. It would

be over here and the chin and such too. Go back one more time. Here is that center line

going down where the forehead meets the nose, where the lips meet the chin. Notice the eyebrow

lines. He works very hard to tilt that far eyebrow up. In fact, he repeats it with a

skull cap. Here is the casing of the skull intruding. That little baby skull dominates

the face in younger critters. Notice how those all track beautifully our construction line.

Lets bring it over here and just make it a bucket. Notice how the skull tracks back

up here, here. High line tracks back up or eyebrow line, whichever. Nose goes its own

way. Lips go its own way. The chin tracks back up. Then we add the big egg of the skull

there. So back down here, chin tracks back up to that beautifully.

Now, lets look at the other features that failed us. We cant get the other nostril,

but the tip of the nose tracks back up. The lower lid of the eye tracks back up. The lip,

the kewpie doll curve of the lip even starts to track back up here, and the lower lip tracks

back up beautifully. Even when the accident of information throws us off at the wrong

angles he works very hard to find places where we come back to the right angles here and

here and here. And here and here and here. Even the hairline is tracking that way more

or less. So it does track beautifully but in a tricky way, in a not quite apparent way

to begin with. You could even see the tone over here tracking with a cheek contour over

here. That also tracks back up beautifully.

Alright, so here we have Normal Rockwell. But, of course, there is still going to be

these drawn truths that weve been talking about in the painting, or in a sculpture for

that matter. We can find them wherever. Norman Rockwell was famous for his characters. Each

personality, the male or the female, the young or the old, had a clear character to them.

They were middle America and they were personalities and even slightly caricatures hed play

up. So when we look at this young boy, for example, were going to give a shape to

him that is specific and different than the shape of the adult who is giving him the lecture.

Notice what our friend Normal here has done. He has centered on a capsule shape. Notice

it could be a tipped over tube, that bucket idea this way. Its tilted enough that the

back of the tube, the tip of the tube therelets do it over hereis not exactly right but

close to the final shape of the skull. He is still giving a little bit more back here

to give that movement down and back for our skull to face, the gesture of the skull going

back this way in perspective and the face going down slightly this way in a different

perspective. But in the linear idea they are almost in the same position.

Anyway, he is picking up a capsule shape, lets call it. Down here probably. And so

the very shape, the simplified shape that he chose for the whole head started him out

simply like any of these choices would have, but more characteristic to his final thoughts,

to his final goal. And so by picking a shape that is specific, its less work. Think

of it as a sculpture. If we get a capsule shape of clay, thats going to be a lot

less work to finish it out than if we got a big perfect spherical shape of clay. So

we want something thats close to the finish line. Thats going to give us less work

to render it out. Things are going to fit better because well be able to see clearer

truths in proportion, and its going to connect better to the next form, the neck,

the shoulders, the hands in this case. All that kind of stuff.

Notice how were going to want to draw through the interruption of the hand and through the

distortion that the hand create to feel where that chin would be. Then its going to get

mucked up by the pressure of the hands against it. So then our construction lines are pulling

down this way, and hes slightly mucked with those construction lines, hasnt he?

The eyebrow here is a little higher, and the eyebrow over here is a little bit lower. That

throws our construction line off-tilt