Saturday, February 12, 2011

Starting From Scratch, Drawing the Head

I've decided to start from scratch by reading and practicing the drawings in the books by Andrew Loomis.   Starting with his book, "Drawing the Head and Hands", he states the cranium is shaped more like a ball.  The sketches aren't great but the focus isn't on a good sketch but on placement of the facial features.  In his book, there are several plates (photos) of head sketches in different positions.  Sketching the heads on these plates is good practice for learning to place the features and for sketching the head in general.  

A line is drawn through the center of the ball and that is known as the equator.  A vertical line is draw from the top center to the bottom of the ball, this is called the axis.  The center line (equator) being the brow line with the area to the top of the ball representing the forehead.  The center line to the bottom of the ball represents the length of the nose.  Measure the nose line along the axis from the center line to bottom of the ball, then mark that measurement from the bottom of the nose line to indicate the placement of the chin. 

You can see I practiced drawing circles but I also practiced holding the pencil in a different manner, which made everything feel very awkward.  With time and practice, the method of holding the pencil in a more horizontal position between my thumb and fingers, will become more comfortable. With the pencil in this position, I make a concerted effort to draw using the full range of motion from the arm/shoulder.  You can see in the last photo that I have my little finger lightly touching the paper, to give my hand better balance. 

Not sure how much sketching will be done today as the windows in the house are being replaced, so that means moving furniture, taking down drapes, etc.  I will be sketching in my head though, thinking about facial features, eye sockets, the hinges of the jaw and mentally drawing freehand circles.  


Sharon Williamson said...

You know what Ann, I downloaded the same Loomis plates just this weekend, and for the same 'back to basics' reasons as you! I'm hoping that I can master a reliable approach for drawing heads on my life drawings, which at the moment tend to be faceless...

Ann Buckner said...

Hi Sharon, so happy to hear you will be working with the Loomis drawings too. So much to learn there. the one thing I noticed is it doesn't mention how to measure for the eyes, etc., so am assuming it is the usual way measuring with a pencil or a ruler.

Mermaid's Palette said...

Glad to see that I am not alone with needing help in this area! Great, informative post!