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Author   Topic : "Help with heads...please?"
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Joined: 20 Dec 2000
Posts: 18
Location: Shelby Twp, Mi, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 7:25 pm     Reply with quote then...I've been having this problem for some time..and it's starting to plain out piss me off =P...PRoblem is I can't draw faces for crap...they all seem the same, I draw small for one, that might be part of it..but one the reasons is because my faces look like crap anyway, so might as well make it small and harder to tell no?...basically what I'm asking for are peoples methods of drawing heads and faces...Having major problems with expression and character..(Isric I KNOW yer good at that...if you ever see this) Asking for basically anything to help, written lesson type things, step by step sketches/drawings to show as examples, or anything else you might help with....I know the basic proportion of the head (eyes half way down head, 5 eyes wide, bottom of nose halfway between eyes and chin, mouth half way between that, etc etc etc...[basica basic at least]) just having trouble drawing it with anything that resembles humanity, no emotion, no individuality...just, blank eyes, blank mouths, blank cry for help...please?
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Joined: 09 Apr 2000
Posts: 494
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2001 11:53 pm     Reply with quote
post some examples
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Joined: 02 Jan 2001
Posts: 107
Location: Toronto, ON, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 8:21 am     Reply with quote
if you stick too closely to the 'rules' of proportion, sure you'll get faces that all look like copies of each other. also, you realize that drawing small might be part of the problem, so... why not try drawing bigger?

if you're not using reference, then try that. find photos of people with interesting faces (not models) and try doing portraits. if you have a willing model, even better. try a self portrait. looking at real faces will start to cue you in to the differences in peoples faces.

the big challenge drawing faces (and most everything else) is to draw what you see, not what you THINK you see. and that takes practise, plain and simple.

also, if you have any other ideas, try them. its not like you're going to hurt anyone experimenting with a technique that doesn't end up working. just don't try to pass off someone elses drawings as your own.

Make your eyes smile
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Joined: 15 Jan 2001
Posts: 57
Location: Dallas TX USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 8:51 am     Reply with quote
My advice is, get some reference. Specifically, get some reference books about anatomy for artists. The old-school classic is 'Constructive Anatomy' by George Bridgman, and the new school classic is 'Atlas of Anatomy for the Artist' by Stephen Rogers Peck. Both of these books do what medical anatomy texts do not, which is break down the human form into its basic shapes and the relationships of the shapes. Bridgman is much more classical (he taught figure drawing to Norman Rockwell), but Peck actually illustrates the body with skeletal details and 'flayed' muscles. For you, also, both books have excellent sections on faces and facial expressions, Peck being the better one, IMO. I've been using him a lot lately to do some modelling (the results of which I'll post soon).

Proportion is a good skill, but it's only the start. The thing that you should probably work toward is first, understand the basic structures of the head, and second, learn how to apply that knowledge to the real world. Then, you get a nice pic of Sarah Michelle Gellar (or your fave celeb babe), and try to draw her. You'll immediately see where all the cartilage in her nose is, and how the curve of her eyesocket goes.

Post your samples if you want specific feedback. And don't give up!

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Joined: 12 Oct 2000
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 8:57 am     Reply with quote
if ya havent figured it out yet, everyone is saying the magic word.....REFERENCE!

you can study an anatomy book for years, but you will never get past the mechanical part of drawing face until you draw differnt faces from references.....

just grab any ol magazine and draw a photo from it. even if you are not going to use it for a portfolio, still just do some sketchings.

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Joined: 05 May 2000
Posts: 487
Location: Indianapolis

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2001 1:13 am     Reply with quote
we look at faces all our lives, so we instinctively know when someone draws a face that looks wrong or is unproportional.
depending on how detailed you want it, the face can be as complex as the body. Especially when it comes to color.
using photographs is a good place to start, but don't let it be crutch. Remember, we see with two eyes, not one, like a camera lens. So alot of the photographs you see or use for reference are not showing all the sides of a face or what ever it is your drawing.
If you hold your hand out in front of your face (palm facing you) about 8-10 inches and focus on your fingers you can slightly see your knuckles, or just around the edge of the fingers, if you close one eye, you lose that depth. So, keep that in mind when using photographs for reference. Photographs tend to flatten out the subject matter.

there are plenty of cheap books on learning how to draw human heads, check out a local book store to see if they have any that catch your eye, or something that is along your own skill level.

As mentioned before, practice, practice, practice
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Joined: 20 Nov 2000
Posts: 220
Location: Albany, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2001 8:10 pm     Reply with quote
Why not start with your own face? put a mirror on your desk and draw yourself with a silly grin, angry, sad, looking up, looking down, etc. Since Rembrandt did this I'd say the idea has merit. I'm sure I've seen examples from Joachim and Micke on this great exercise too.

Best current book on learning to draw faces with emotion is:
"The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expressions" by Gary Faigin
Simply put, an awesome book. Big, thick and exhaustive. Not cheap, but worth it.

It sure can be frustrating, that's for sure. Stuff rarely turns out to our own satisfaction. I don't think very many of us are ever very satisfied with our work - there's always something we could've done better, and we always see the faults rather than the good points.
Just keep going... my favorite teacher always said "You've got to be a bad artist before you can be a good one...just keep drawing." Look at Van Gogh's early work... pretty awful stuff. Hey, it gives ME hope.

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Joined: 29 Dec 1999
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2001 4:28 am     Reply with quote
I love your name
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Joined: 30 Dec 2000
Posts: 551
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2001 5:13 am     Reply with quote
Are you trying to draw Male or Female heads?

It seems to me that you understand basic proportions, but you should understand the differences between Males and Females. This might help you begin to add character and basic realism to your faces. For example a male eyebrow typically is thicker and usually has a sharper arch to it. Whereas a Female eybrow is typically thin and has a smoother curve. These are only 'idealistic' though...

There are many differences between the sexes. One other example is the lips. For Females typically the upper lip is accentuated. For a Male the lower lip is more prominent. Of course once again this has variation. <<Oops, I think this could be wrong though!!!

Well, all that of course was if your problem was about defining basic faces as either male or female.

hope it helps anyway...

P.S. Try this tutorial link, it has examples of many different faces.


[This message has been edited by Collosimo (edited January 25, 2001).]
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