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Drawing faces


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Drawing faces

  1. 1. presentsDrawingfaces Learn How to Draw a Face with Attitude, How to Draw Eyes with Impact and How to Draw Lips with Structure
  2. 2. Drawing FacesHow to DrawDynamic HeadsDepicting features is only the beginning. Putting life intoa head drawing requires assimilating it with the rest ofthe body, capturing an attitude—and much D an GhenoT here are many ways to keep your figure drawings lively, fresh, and dynamic. But there is one sure way to destroy an active and energetic drawing: by plopping a stiffly rendered, ham-fisted headon top of an otherwise nicely drawn figure. Toomany artists, perhaps fearful of their subjects,treat the head as if it were nothing more than aninventory of features or an empty, blocklike shape,void of life, sometimes sitting straight and rigidlyon its neck, contradicting the underlying gestureof the body and looking like a lifeless lollipop. This eons-old challenge of how to put morelife and energy into drawings, paintings, andsculptures of the human head is easily answeredonce you get beyond the fear and the seemingcomplexity of the subject. I will outline manysolutions throughout this article appropriate forboth the beginner and advanced artist. Some ofthe cures will seem deceptively simple. Otherswill reach beyond the obvious, studying the headfrom all sides, including top and bottom. And justabout all of them will somehow involve the overallfigure, with the head serving as the crown of themagnificent machine that is the human body.Friedrich Karl, Prince of Prussiaby Adolf Menzel, 1863, gouache over graphite, highlighted withwhite, 115⁄8 x 9.Notice how, from behind, the nasolabial furrow obscures some ofthe nose and mouth and seems to unite optically with the cheekboneand rim of the eye. This connection helps to push the nose backand, along with several other overlapping shapes, reinforces theroundness of the underlying egg-shaped head structure.This content has been abridged from an original article written by Dan Gheno. This premium has been published by Interweave Press, 201 E. Fourth St., Loveland, CO 80537-5655; (970) 669-7672. Copyright © 2012 byInterweave Press, a division of Aspire Media, all rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without consent of the copyright owner.2
  3. 3. Drawing FacesAttitudePerhaps the most powerful key to a stronger head isthe most obvious one, which even advanced artistsoften miss in their obsession to get the features justright—that is, give your head attitude. Faces need tolook somewhere; their eyes need intensity and aim. Youhave probably noticed how the eyes in some Old Masterpaintings and drawings often seem to follow you as youmove around the room. This dynamic event occurs inthe viewer’s mind, usually when the artist depicts thehead in a three-quarter view with the eyes looking off toone side, as Leonardo most famously did in his MonaLisa. In drawings such as Leonardo’s Study for the Angelin La Vierge aux Rochers, observe how the irises (the cir-cular, colorful portion of the eyeball) seem to peer out ofthe corner of these eyes, gazing past the canvas or draw-ing toward the viewer. Remember, you can’t move irisesaround willy-nilly. The upper eyelid bulges above theiris, so every time you change the direction of your mod-el’s gaze, you must also change the shape of the upperlid. If you draw the model looking off extremely to oneside, you will find that the lower eyelid pulls up with it. The tilt of the head is equally crucial to achievingattitude in your figure drawings. It should somehowcomplement or contrast thegestural movement that flows above rightthrough the body from the Study for the Angel intoes to the neck and, finally, Madonna of the Rocks by Leonardo, silverpoint,and hopefully, into the head. 71⁄8 x 6¼.In Ingres masterpiece of The eyes in some Old Mastera portrait, Louis-François paintings and drawings oftenBertin (not pictured) some seem to follow you as you move around the room. Thispeople seem to lean forward dynamic event occurs in theimperiously, head locked viewer’s mind, usually when the artist depicts the head in ainto their shoulders as they three-quarter view with the eyesspeak to you. Others lean looking off to one side.back, their noses tilted up, rightand their irises barely peer- Drawing of a Maning past their lower lid. by Leonardo, pen-and-ink, 11 x 8½. Collection Royal Library,Pay close attention to body Windsor Castle, London, England.shapes and gesture, even Describing his diagram,when drawing a vignetted, Leonardo explained, “The side of the head on which the (light)seemingly isolated head. You rays fall most directly will bedont want to draw a husky, the most highly lighted, and those parts on which the raysmuscular man with a pencil- fall most aslant will be lessthin neck or a young child lighted. The light falls as a blow might, since a blow which fallswith a fullbacks shoulders. perpendicularly falls with theLook at the model intensely. greatest force, and when it falls obliquely, it is less forcible thanNotice how the neck leads the former in proportion to thefrom the shoulder into the width of the angle.”3
  4. 4. Drawing Faces b c aabove left to the head are numerous, and they It’s useful to draw numerous studiesDrawing of a Woman With Loop Earringby Dan Gheno, 2006, graphite with white chalk can be quite evocative of an individuals of the features—like Jusepe de Riberaon toned paper, 10 x 8. Collection the artist. character, psychology, and emotion. did in Study of Eyes—cataloguing andabove right committing their basic construction Getting a LikenessMy Father Posing for Facial Folds to memory. At the same time, try toby Dan Gheno, 2006, graphite, 12 x 9. be sensitive to the bilateral symmetryCollection the artist. It may seem like a waste of time wor- that underlies the face and its features.Facial folds occur at right angles to the direction rying about whether you’ve captured a Use guidelines to line up one side ofof the muscles underneath, very similar to atheater curtain being pulled across the stage by likeness or not. It’s unlikely the viewer the face with the other. But remembera horizontal cord. The zygomatic muscle runs will notice that something is missing. this very important caveat: As much asfrom the cheekbone to the corner of the mouthand, when contracted, creates dependable True, it will not matter in the end to you may want them to, features do notcreases in the face, the most important being the viewer. But I feel it’s imperative conform to a simplistic rule of abso-the jugal furrow (left of A) and the accessoryjugal furrow (B). Note how the shape of the to always give it a sincere try. The lute symmetry. Look closely at any Oldlarge chewing muscle, called the masseter (C), pursuit of likeness keeps my concen- Master portrait. You will usually findbecomes more defined when the chin is pulled in. tration focused, it keeps the entire that one eye is almost always a little drawing process compelling, and, in bigger or a little farther from the nosehead. It doesnt matter if you are only the end, the struggle leads to a more than the other, one nostril a little taller,drawing a small snippet of the neck in active-looking and vigorous drawing. one side of the mouth a bit lower thanfact, the shorter the line, the more crucial There is no doubt that the individual the other. These artists’ use of subtlethe correct angle becomes. If the line features and the distance between the asymmetry gives their subjects’ headsfragment angles outward or inward a features are essential in getting a like- and figures life and a sense of action,little too much, the error will become ness and a psychologically animated as if the features are in motion. Thismagnified once you imagine the line head and figure. I explained several fea- asymmetry is vitally important fromextending outside of the image, inferring ture-measuring techniques in my first the likeness standpoint as well. It’san implausible body type for the head. article for American Artist [“Painting been proven in clinical and psychologi-Body postures and their relationships Portraits”] in the February 1993 issue. cal studies that when a photo is sliced4
  5. 5. Drawing Facesin half, with one side reversed and hair and full cheekbones at the top slid- Purge Yourpasted next to the other, the viewerfinds it difficult to recognize the sub- ing into a narrow jaw and smallish chin below? Or perhaps your subject has a Preconceptionsject within the new-found symmetry. wide, rectangular face with a broad jaw, After determining the global shape of No matter how enticing your sub- full cheeks, and a flat, closely cropped the head, assessing the facial angle isject’s features, the hard truth is that the hairdo—or a tall, rectangular head, the next most important factor in get-ratio of the head shape and size to the narrow but angular from jaw to top of ting a likeness and keeping your headbody is much more crucial to captur- head. Maybe your model’s forms are drawing lively. Forensic specialists fre-ing a likeness or creating a dynamic built on soft, circular shapes. Whatever quently use this technique to identifyimpression. When looking at your your subject’s essential structure, decomposed remains, and 19th-cen-model, ask yourself what sort of geo- you can always distill it into a simple, tury phrenologists used it in a foolishmetric shape typifies his or her head. quickly identifiable shape in your mind attempt to catalogue racial intelligence.Does your model have a triangular head that will guide you through the compli- You can discover the facial angle oftapering toward the bottom, with lots of cated process of laying in the drawing. your subject by drawing a line from the ear hole, or external auditory meatus, at the base of the skull to the bottom of the nasal aperture (Fig. B) and then compare that line to one that runs from the base of the brow ridge, or glabel- lum, to the upper dental arch. Called the “muzzle,” this protrusion doesn’t project as far forward in humans as it does in animals, but it usually juts far- ther outward than most beginner—and some advanced—artists are willing to accept. The real human head is quite unlike a Greek statue; it’s very rare that all of your subject’s features will line up in a straight, stagnant, and vertical for- mation from forehead to chin. Unless you’re trying to render some sort of classical ideal, look for this basic facial angle, and then compare it to the usual- ly receding angle that leads from the tip of the nose to the base of the chin, or the angles that radiate off the forehead, across the top of the head, and back down to the nape of the neck (Fig. A). Even if you get all of the big shapes of the head correct, you’re not out of the woods yet. You need to compare the facial size to the overall head size. Two Studies of the Head and Shoulder of Little Girl (detail) by Jean-Antoine Watteau, ca. 1717, red, black, and white chalk on buff paper, 9½ x 73⁄8. Collection Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, New York. Always look closely at the periphery of the face. Study how Watteau drew the far eye and eyebrow in this drawing. Approach your own head drawings like him, finding the subtle overlaps and the delicate forms that often lurk behind the horizon of a spherical face.5
  6. 6. Drawing FacesStudy of Eyes are only human. Governed by our spe- extreme distance. Just be sure you areby Jusepe de Ribera, 1622, etching, 57⁄8 x 81⁄2. cies’ psychological focus on the impor- doing it on purpose, not because youCollection Albertina Museum, Vienna, Austria. tance of the features, we seem eagerly got carried away. Usually, this prob-It’s always a good idea to study the subforms predisposed to expect a large facial size. lem creeps up on you. As one worksof the face. Whenever you have a free moment,draw isolated views of the eyes, nose, lips, and on the features—or any detail of the Larger Than Lifeears from every direction. Soon you will build up body, such as the hands or feet—onea subconscious understanding of each feature. can become captivated, and if an artist Many large-scale drawings have a built- doesn’t step back often to gauge theQuite often, even the most experienced in dynamism. Unfortunately, it’s often relative size of the subject’s face to theartist will make the facial area—the hard to feel good about a face that’s rest of the figure, those features willspace between the mouth and eye- drawn larger than life, especially when tend to grow. Artists then compensatebrows—too big or too small for the rest drawing a delicate person. Even if all by enlarging all the other features,of the head. Then they wonder why of the features and underlying angles then the entire head, until finally thethe head looks too big or small, even are impeccably placed, the face will rest of the figure must be redrawn atthough they’ve measured the overall almost always seem “off,” or at least a larger size. Then, to add insult tohead size against the body a thousand surreal, because it is larger than we injury, the feet may be falling off thetimes, and it adds up correctly every have experienced in real life. Perhaps page or the hand could be cut off awk-try. That’s because we often judge the you want to embrace that surrealism wardly by the edge of the paper at thesize of the head with our gut; and if the or want to capture some of the heroic knuckles, forcing the artist to scrapfeatures are drawn too large or small, power we see in such sculptures as the whole figure, including the head.the head will seem likewise. Most Head of Constantine (not pictured). I do No artist is free from this malady. Ioften, artists tend to make the facial that a lot myself, as do many artists I know myself too well, and to counter-mass too big, especially on a foreshort- admire. Perhaps you are doing a mural act this tendency, I draw lines at theened head or bearded model. Artists or altarpiece that will be seen at an top, bottom, and middle of my figures6
  7. 7. Drawing Faceswhen I sense my proportions going nose. To maintain your objectivity and not fooling yourself. Like Sargent, youawry. Whether you are a beginner or an a gestural quality in your drawing, may purposely choose to elongate youradvanced artist who is continually deal- always move around the face and figure figure by giving your drawing a smalling with this problem, draw these lines when working on specifics. But once head—many of his figures are nine ornear the outset of the drawing process. the size of the nose is set, compare 10 heads tall and quite plausible. LikeThen, if you find your face or figures all of the other features to it. Say, for him, just be sure to equally lengthenexpanding even a little beyond these instance, you accidentally make the all the other body subforms. Nothinglines, resolutely and bravely enforce a nose too big. If you’re vigilant, you will looks sillier or more stilted than a tinyhard-love discipline on yourself. With likely catch it before its stealthy effect pinhead on a hulking body or incon-head drawing, this usually means first cascades throughout the features and sistently exaggerated body parts. Onrevisiting the size of the nose, since body with increasing magnitude. the other hand, don’t fall prey to theall the other features radiate off this opposite problem—making a head toocentral point. Indeed, when initially Purposeful large—to try to compensate for a heavy Exaggerationlaying in the proportions of the face, or muscular body type. Even if you wantit’s a good strategy to put more work to embellish the muscularity or heavi-into the nose once you start delving You might find yourself justifying an ness of the body forms, you must payinto the details. Of course, you don’t overly large head size by arguing, “Well, particular attention to the way the fullwant to spend all your time on the some people just have large heads!” neck tucks dramatically into the front of Think—and look—again. Proportional the diminutive head on a large, heavybelow relationships tend to reoccur through- model and the way the thick shouldersEthel Smyth out the body. There are no absolute of a muscular model taper graduallyby John Singer Sargent, 1901, black rules, but when someone has a seem- into the back of the normal-size skull.chalk, 231⁄2 x 18. Collection NationalPortrait Gallery, London, England. ingly large head, many of their otherFrom a low, three-quarter view, the lower face subform proportions tend to be stocky Elements of Head Structurelooks quite large as the spherical shape of the as well. Among adults, our bodies canhead curves toward you. On the other hand, theforehead looks rather small and the nose jumps range anywhere between six to eightup in front of the far eye as the head rounds out heads tall. If you wander beyond that Light Source: The more you work inaway from you. Don’t inadvertently lengthen thetop of the head and shorten the lower area to limit, you surely need to take a second a representational manner, the moreconform to your subconscious preconceptions. look at your subject to be sure you are you need to consider the underly- left Head of a Young Woman by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1765, black and white pastel, charcoal, and red chalk, 131⁄2 x 101⁄4. Greuze treated the shadow running through the young woman’s face simply and graphically. He knew that light illuminates detail, while the absence of light obscures visual information and leaves the shadow in a relatively passive state. He reserved most of his subtle details for the light side. He rendered the forehead in a dramatically bright highlight that then tapers into progressively darker values, as the face gradually curves egglike away from the light and recedes into the halftones of the chin.7
  8. 8. Drawing Faces 1 2 Measuring Facial Features 3 In my “Portrait Painting” article in the 1 February 1993 issue of American Artist, I 4 explained several feature-measuring tech- niques. Here is a brief recap of these impor- tant concepts: First, partition the features into 2 three equal divisions (Fig. A): The top partition runs from the hairline to the eyebrows, the second one from the eyebrow to the base of the nose, and the third one from the bottom of the nose to the bony point of the chin. This classically derived system of measurementFigure A, above left if your subject has a high hairline. In thatDrawing of Paul case, use the point where the forehead has been used by artists to get their bearingsby Dan Gheno, 2006, graphite with begins its transition into the top of the since the Greek golden age, and it’s nothingwhite chalk on toned paper, 12 x 10. skull (1). more than an averaging of our collective facialCollection the artist. Figure B, above right proportions. As artists, we need to look at theWhen judging a likeness, compare the Diagram of the Facial Angledistances that make up the forehead (1-2), model and determine where their particular by Charlotte Bertuch-Froriep, ink.the nose (2-3), and the space between the proportions diverge from this standard. Askbottom of the nose (3) and the chin (4). To determine your model’s facial angle,If you don’t transcribe these proportions compare an angle that runs from the brow yourself, Which of these three divisions is theaccurately, you’ll never find a likeness no ridge to the upper dental arch (1) with one largest, which is the next largest, and whichmatter how well you draw the individual that runs from the base of the nose to thefeatures. Sometimes you might find it ear hole (2). is the smallest? If you don’t catch these divi-difficult to assess the top of the forehead sions correctly in the beginning, it doesn’t matter how elegantly you render the specific features. Many people have a hard time locat-ing structure of the head and figure to keep your drawing robust ing the position of the ear when drawing a sideand exciting. Your choice of lighting is a crucial factor, particularly view; they usually underestimate the overallwhen working tonally with value masses. Other artists may make width of the head compared to its height. Trydifferent, equally valid choices, but I deliberately place my light comparing the horizontal distance between thesource off to one side and above the model for the maximum dra- outside of the eye and the front of the ear withmatic and form-making effect. I limit my illumination to a single the vertical distance between the outside of thesource, and I position it so that the shadows break decisively along eye and the outside corner of the mouth; thesethe edge where the major front planes and side planes meet. measurements are usually very similar. Notice, The Egg Effect: Shapes, proportions—everything seems to measure as Leonardo demonstrated in his diagrams,correctly, and you know for a fact that your drawing is not larger that the overall width of the eye is roughlythan life. You even take a second look at the relationship of the equal to the nose and that, consequently,front plane to the side planes, but your head and figure still appear the wing of the nose usually lines up with thedull, flat, disjointed, and not quite a likeness. So, what’s wrong? inside of the eye. Meanwhile, the top of theChances are you missed the “egg effect”—the spherical form that ear lines up with the eyebrow, and the bottomunderlies the more angular planes of the face. Close attention must coincides with the base of the nose. Once yoube paid to the subtle play of graduating light as it crosses over the begin to render the individual features, youwidth and length of the egglike head. The head doesn’t just cor- must be equally diligent about their peculiarner from the front to the side planes, it also curves within the big likeness. Ask yourself some basic questions,planes from top to bottom and side to side. It’s sometimes hard to using a horizontal line as a reference point: Dodiscern, but the light tapers subtly darker as the underlying sphere the features rise above the line, sit flatly acrossturns away from its source. If you have a hard time seeing this for it, or drop below the line? Does one side or theyourself when working from a live model, try cutting a couple of other rise or drop past the reference line?8
  9. 9. Drawing FacesSkull From Above holes in a piece of paper. Hold Age and Folds: Age and weight play an important roleby Dan Gheno, 2006, graphite, the paper in front of the model’s in the dynamics of the face—its structure and its emotional4 x 5. Collection the artist. face, and keep moving it back expression. The older we get, the more our skin drapes, withPurge your mind of and forth until one hole isolates creases occurring at right angles to the shape and action ofpreconceptions when drawingthe head from an odd angle— the light of the forehead and the the muscles underneath. The zygomatic muscles, runningthe face is barely visible when other hole isolates the light on from the cheekbone to the corner of the mouth, have thethe head is seen from above. the chin. When working from greatest influence on the face, so when they contract, they photos, you can usually dis- also produce one of the strongest folds, called the nasolabialcover this cascading light effect by turning both the furrow, running from the nose and partially encircling thephotograph and your drawing upside down. mouth. Seen from behind, as in Menzel’s Friedrich Karl, Necks: If heads are fundamentally egglike, necks are Prince of Prussia, this furrow seems to visually connectbasically cylindrical. Try not to disturb their underlying with the cheekbone and partially eclipses the nose itself.shape by overplaying the sterno-cleido-mastoid, those strap- I’ve been fascinated by facial folds for most of my life, everlike muscles that straddle the throat and support the head. since I saw Stephen Roger Peck’s wrinkle chart in his bookLike the subforms of the features, these muscles sit on Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist (Oxford Universitythe curving cylinder of the neck and should participate in Press, New York, New York). Using his seminal dia-its graduating value changes. Remember also that thesetwo muscles are antagonists, an anatomical term that indi-cates they work as a team. Immobility occurs if they bothcontract at the same time. This means you can’t renderboth muscles in equal definition, at least if you’re trying toshow the head in motion. When one of them contracts andbulges out, pulling the side of the head toward you, drawthe other muscle more relaxed and less defined. One morewarning: When working from life, expect some movementin the pose if the model’s neck is twisted to an extremedegree. Always anticipate some unconscious movement ofthe head and neck toward a more centralized position. While paying heed to its cylindrical character, notice thatthe neck isn’t a telephone pole, shooting perpendicularlyinto the head. Observe how the neck projects diagonallyfrom the shoulder into the base of the head, pushing thehead forward. This dynamic, diagonal relationship is mostclearly identifiable on a side view, but as you likely knowfrom experience, it’s much more difficult to grasp on athree-quarter view. You’ll know only too well when you’vemissed the neck slant. The head will often seem mashedinto the neck, and both the head and the neck will seemoff-center, placed too far over to one side on the shoulder.To correct this problem, try concentrating on the throat—ortrachea—instead of the outside edges of the neck. The under- Foreshorteninglying projecting angle of the throat is much more apparent Exercisein this view. Draw upward from the pit of the neck, alongthe forward edge of the throat, until you reach the under If you have a difficult time seeing and drawing the noseplane or canopy of the chin, and add the outside lines of the close to the eye, try this exercise: Find a photo of a fore-neck later. Whatever you do, avoid the static, lollipop look I shortened face; draw it freehand, concentrating on thewarned you about at the beginning of the article, with both eye-nose relationship; then trace the photo and comparethe front and back of the neck reaching into the head at the the two drawings, noting where you may have inadver-same parallel level. The back of the neck intersects the skull tently increased the eye-nose distances in your first draw-much higher up than the front of the neck, often aligning ing. Keep repeating the exercise with other photos untilwith the base of the nose when the face is on an even keel. you conquer your habits of distortion.9
  10. 10. Drawing Faces Put Your Head in a Box Use perspective to better gauge the tilt of the head by trying to visualize the head encased in a box, as Albrecht Dürer illustrated in his notebooks. It’s easier to imagine a box tilting in space, with oppo- site sides slanting at near parallel angles. This helps you remember that if the front of the face is angling down, the back of the head follows the same slant. If you are imagining the head encased within a box, you’ll also remember to tilt the top and bottom of the head as well. It also helps to use perspectival tracking lines to align the features as they recede into space. Keep in mind that these imaginary perspective lines converge downward Stereometric Man if you are drawing theStudy for the Portrait of gram as a base, I’ve tried to catalogue by Albrecht Dürer, face from below and con-Louis-François Bertin how these furrows interact with and 111⁄2 x 81⁄8. From verge upward if your eyeby Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the artist’s Dresden1832, black chalk, 131⁄2 x 137⁄8. telescope into one another when the Notebook. level is above the model.Collection The Metropolitan Museum head moves and how they vary amongof Art, New York, New York. different ages and weight types overAlthough Bertin was one of his friends, years of personal observation andIngres portrayed his subject with all ofthe imposing imperiousness that the study. Like cloth drapery, facial foldsthis newspaper editor likely displayed follow dependable rules, originatingto his employees, political adversaries,and business competitors. at certain bony points and compress- ing and stretching at other depend-able landmarks. Then of course there are the effects of gravity onthe face. If your model lies down to one side, the muscles andfolds of the face will droop downward under the force of gravity.Even a wrinkle-free child hanging upside down on monkey barswill look quite different than when sitting up straight in a chair. If you develop an interest in facial folds, as I have, try not to overdoit. Sometimes folds are barely visible when a face is turned into thelight, and that is especially true for younger people. As you work,keep in mind that there are no concave forms on the human figure.Don’t cut inward when you draw one furrow meeting another or whenbone meets flesh. Nothing ages a model faster than when an artisttries to emphasize a person’s cheekbones by cutting inward underthe bone or when drawing what appears to be a dip below the bone. Bone Structure: The cheekbone, or zygomatic bone, is just one ofmany bones that compose the skull and serve as the foundation for thehuman head. Buy a skull and fill your sketchbook with skull drawings,rendered from all standpoints—the top, back, bottom, and sides. In10
  11. 11. Drawing Facesabove left understanding. Money shouldn’t be an draw a feet-first, reclining figure, youDrawing of Daniel (detail) issue. Many art stores sell inexpensive, will frequently notice the nose extend-by Dan Gheno, 2006, graphite with white chalkon toned paper, 11 x 10. Collection the artist. usable plaster and plastic casts; you can ing far above the receding forehead. In always visit a natural-history museum any of these unusual positions, alwaysThe "muzzle" is very small on the human face,but it exists nonetheless, growing out of the base to sketch one there; or, if you’re truly make a comparative measurement ofof the nasal bone and encompassing the pro­ strapped, you can buy an inexpensive the features against the cranium tojecting area of the nose, dental arch, and chin. model kit from the hobby store. At the be sure that you are capturing—or,above right very least, you can work from an anat- if you want, exaggerating—the cor-Drawing of Donna (detail)by Dan Gheno, 2006, graphite with omy book borrowed from the library. rect proportional relationships.white chalk on toned paper, 7 x 10.It’s important to study and understand the musclesof the neck, but don’t let your interest in anatomy Points of View Tiltobscure the neck’s underlying cylindrical form. As admirable as doing so may seem, As you know, you can use the fea- don’t concentrate exclusively on the tures—and contort them into all sortsfact, take off the skullcap and do some front of the face and its features in of symbols—to achieve emotion. Thisdrawings from within. You will prob- your studies. If you want to impart a can get awfully melodramatic and leadably learn something new each time dynamic look into your figure draw- to a visually flat image. A “simple”you sketch the skull, including how ing, you need to understand all aspects tip of the head can do so much moreit reaches its fullest, widest point in of the human head, as seen from all with almost no twisting of the features.the back of the cranium at the parietal points of view. When drawing the Admittedly, this simple task is easiereminences above and behind the ear; head from behind, notice how large said than done. It’s easy enough to seeor how the cranium (or brain mass) the back of the head looks compared that when the head turns upward, thetakes up more than two-thirds of the to the face. The distance between the ear drops downward, and vice versa.skull—among many other crucial bits ear and the periphery of the face and But many artists freeze when theyof information. Don’t worry about nose are usually smaller than you may look at a tilted head, unsure of howmaking the sketches finished, polished initially estimate. When drawing a to use the other basic guidelines thatproducts. Any scribble will suffice, and reclining figure that’s head-first, you’ll help keep the features in their properany amount of time will do, even if it’s likely find the features mostly eclipsed bilateral position. The answer is to tiltless than five minutes. The goal is to by the brow ridge and the cranial mass your measurement guidelines runningacquaint yourself thoroughly with the above. The nose often extends far along with the cant of the head. So, ifhead’s bony structure so that you can beyond the nearly invisible dental arch you want to judge the position of theattack the living, flesh-covered skull in this sort of extreme, foreshortened mouth as it relates to the iris, draw awith more confidence and instinctual position. Ironically enough, when you guideline slanted with the tilt of the11
  12. 12. Drawing FacesModeling a FaceWith LightI could write an 8,000-word article on the subject oflight and shadows—indeed, Leonardo enthusiasticallyfilled more than six notebooks dedicated to the subject(plus many extensive passages in other notebooks).Briefly put, once you find the outside contours of yourhead and features, you need to see the “third line”within the limits of your forms—where the light termi-nates and the shadow begins. Called “the terminator”by astronomers, this line helps establish the inner formwhere the big planes of the head meet and turn crisply.Therefore, the light on the eye and the cheek that iscloser to the light source is almost always brighter thanthe ones that are farther away. As an example, let’s sayyou’re drawing someone with a weak chin, illuminatedfrom above by a bright lamp. You may correctly placeall of the terminator lines, perhaps finding a strongshadow shape running down the length of the face fromforehead to chin, as in the drawing above by Tiepolo.But if you make the broad lights on the lower part ofthe face the same bright value as the forehead, the chinwill not recede and you won’t achieve a likeness or asense of full volume no matter what else you do.head, from the iris to the mouth. If foreshortened, the nose often seems Study of a Boy With His Hand to His Mouthyou want to measure the position of to jut out in front of the eye in a three- by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, pen and brown inkthe eye, drag a tilted line up from the quarter view. Foreshortened or not, it’s over black chalk, 95⁄8 x 73⁄4.outside of the wing of the nose toward helpful to compare the position of the eye Squint your eyes when you look at the model, andthe inside of the eye, and so on. to the junction point where the forehead assess the big value masses as Tiepolo did in this strongly graphic drawing. All the details should A foreshortened arm or leg is diffi- dips to meet the nose. The eye is either merge into the bigger shapes. None of the detailscult enough, but the most difficult body above, alongside, or just below this point. in shadow should jump out and appear as light as anything in the light shape, and none of the lightspart—and probably the most dynamic should look as dark as anything in the shadow.of all the head positions—is the view ofthe head from below. Many artists draw The Nobility of ing.” You can say a lot with an intenselythe facial mass too large in this fore- Head Drawing observed drawing of a simple, isolatedshortened position, usually increasing In this article, I’ve tried to stress the face or head. The Mona Lisa or one ofthe distance between the nose and the importance of the head’s dynamic relation Rembrandt’s self-portraits say more toeyes and often shortchanging the chin. to the figure. Sometimes, when doing a me about the multilevel, universal humanYou need to remember the underlying full figure drawing, it’s best to start with condition than any book I’ve ever read.egg structure of the head. The chin is the body and gradually work up into the You know the power firsthand: Howcurving toward you, so it’s much larger head, measuring it against the neck; Draw many times have you shuddered painfullyin this low-level view than you might some imaginary lines that lead upward, when a friend sarcastically rolled theirimagine. Conversely, the forehead is off either side of the neck, and ask your- eyes or slightly cocked their mouth tocurving away so the head shrinks visu- self how much head you should draw in one side in derision? On the other hand,ally as it rounds out toward the hairline. front of one line and how much in front how wonderfully bracing is it to look intoMeanwhile, the nose swings upward off of the other line. But don’t let other art- a loved one’s dilated eyes and, to borrowthe underlying curve of the face, even in ists chide you for concentrating on the from a corny song, gaze at their uncon-a straight-on view, and when it is highly head or—heaven forbid—“portrait draw- scious, subtle Mona Lisa smile? n12
  13. 13. Drawing FacesHow to DrawEyes withImpactby Courtney Jorda nI f the eyes are the windows to facial feature, so that your the soul, then a painter needs portrait paintings or draw- to get them right when creating ings do approach that a portrait. But the “oval, circle, "window to the soul" ideal. dot” anatomy of the eye that we For starters, it is always all first learned as children is far good to approach paint-removed from how to give the illusion ing of the eye with itsof a real eye in your work. But eyes can basic anatomy in one of the most challenging features There are two lids to the eye, one above above bottom left Jusepe de Ribera’s Van Gogh’s self-portraitto depict because its forms and colors and one below. The lower lid is the Penitent Magdalene is an exercise in line,are incredibly subtle and delicate. But one most people tend to forget, so be (detail) is a moving but notice how it example of how emotive varies in thickness andthats not to say it cant be done. mindful to define it. This will prevent eyes can be. Notice direction, especially Here are a few tips about painting the eye from looking like it is hover- how convincing the eye around the eyes. socket and area aroundthe eye that I like to keep in mind. I ing above the face instead of securely the eye is painted.hope these will help guide you when it seated in its socket.comes time to depict this particular And it isn’t just the eye that can As with most features on the face, give a the sense of roundness or three- nothing is really defined with strong, dimensionality to a face in a portrait or unbroken lines. Use varied lines and drawing of a person. The cheekbone shading to create the peaks and valleys and brow ridge give a sense of the curve that turn the form. around the eye as well. Think of the eye We all love the idea of bright eyes, as almost nesting between these two; but that doesn’t mean the eyeball itself inset into the anatomy of the face. is pure white. Try a pale grey or beige Highlight the upper eyelid and cast and lighten it up with a bit of skin tone the lower lid in subtle shadow–that’s color for the eyeball. It’ll look more the way to give it roundness. But be natural that way. careful to approach your color transi- The facial features of every person tions subtly. Too sharp a contrast will are so unique, and yet there’s a com- undermine the realistic representa- monality about them. If you can master tion of your work. Also don’t forget to these intricate features, you put your- depict the crease where the upper lid self in a position of painting anyone folds when the eye is open. Otherwise well, creating compelling, believable the eye will look flat. portraits in due course. nThis content has been abridged from an original article written by Courtney Jordan. This premium has been published by Interweave Press, 201 E. Fourth St., Loveland, CO 80537-5655; (970) 669-7672.Copyright © 2012 by Interweave Press, a division of Aspire Media, all rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without consent of the copyright owner.13
  14. 14. Drawing FacesUnderstandingAnatomy:Lips Study of Grace (unfinished) 2008–2009, charcoal and white chalk on toned paper, 14 x 11. Collection the artist. Image courtesy Henoch Gallery, New York, New York. Lips come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on multiple factors including size, age, ethnicity, and even eating David Jon Kassa nU nderstanding the way the muscles of the mouth express the emotion of your subject is crucial in determining how to depict that emotion in your drawing. In this article I willtouch upon the form concepts and muscularstructure of the mouth and lips so that you canhave some general guidelines in the back ofyour mind when you draw your next model. There are many variables to consider whendrawing the lips. Everyone’s lips are unique; thereare different sizes, shapes, and configurationsthat depend on the model’s size, age, ethnicity,and even eating habits. Luckily there are somecommon attributes as well, and they are help-ful to keep in mind while drawing the mouth.Visual Structureof the LipsThe lips are soft, movable, and very flexible.They are divided into two main parts, the upperlip (labium superioris) and lower lip (labiumThis content has been abridged from an original article written by Jon Kassan. This premium has been published by Interweave Press, 201 E. Fourth St., Loveland, CO 80537-5655; (970) 669-7672.Copyright © 2012 by Interweave Press, a division of Aspire Media, all rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without consent of the copyright owner.14
  15. 15. Drawing Faces inferioris). In most cases the lower lip tends to be somewhat larger than the upper lip and is pillowy in its fullness compared to the upper lip. The upper lip usually falls into a form shadow because of its inward slant, which starts forward at its apex and ramps down and backward as its pulls inward, causing a slight over- hang over the pillow shape of the lower lip. The lips can be broken down further into five distinct shapes. The upper lip may be divided into two wings on either side of the central beaklike shape. The little vertical inden- a tion just above the upper lip is called the philtrum. The two lips together lay over the cylindrical shape of b the muzzle of the mouth. Understanding this roundness c of the overall form helps the artist depict how the center d of the lips are closer to the viewer (on a straight-on view f of the model) and thus how the corners of the mouth g i e fold away from us in space, as if each side were attached to strings that were being pulled tight around a tin can. h The lips are really the transition point between our exterior facial skin and the inner smooth lining (or j mucosa) of the mouth. This meeting point between these two tissues is called the vermilion zone. The name vermilion comes from the red color that is characteristic k of this facial feature; this color is unique to humans and comes from the many blood vessels found in the dermisAbove: Below: and their close proximity to the thin, translucent epider-A. Levator labi A. Philtrum mis that covers them. The skin of the lips are only threeB. Zygomaticus minor B. Fubercle of the upper to five cellular levels thick, compared to other facial-skinC. Orbicularis oris lip—beak areas that are as many as 16 layers thick. The ridgesD. Zygomaticus major C. Vermilion zoneE. Buccinator D. Node found in the lips are a result of a highly folded dermisF. Node/Modiolus E. Lobe of the lower lip that is not found in the skin of any other body parts.G. Masseter major F. Groove of the lower lipH.I. Platyma-labial portion Risorius G. Mentolabial furrow H. Pillar of the mouth Muscular Structure Triangularis/DepressorJ. anguli oris of the MouthK. Platyma The extreme expressiveness of the mouth is due in part to its flexibility and wide range of movement. This range is attributable to the muscular structure that controls the lips under the surface, a complex web of facial muscles a that are so interconnected with one another and with the b d c e f g h15
  16. 16. Drawing Faces a b c d e A. Levator labii superioris f B. Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi g C. Zygomaticus minor h D. Zygomaticus major E. Orbicularis oris-orbita port F. Node/Modiolus i G. Risorius H. Orbicularis oris-outer portio j I. Platyma k J. Triangularis/Depressor anguli oris K. Mentalisdifferent facial features that if you were The fibers of the orbicularis oris mentalis can even wrinkle the wiggle your nose, your upper lip have origins in other facial muscles that Another important muscle is thewould move from side to side as well. end and join with the lips’ own muscle masseter, which starts at the zygo- The main muscle of the mouth is fibers. Specifically, the three muscles matic arch (cheekbone) and stretchesthe orbicularis oris. The orbicularis oris that lead into the upper lip are the leva- down to the ramus of the mandible.forms the muzzle by surrounding the tor labii superioris, the levator labii This muscle controls the opening andorifice of the mouth with several differ- superioris alaeque nasi, and the zygo- closing of the mouth as well as theent layers of muscle fiber and extends maticus minor. These three muscles pushing out of the chin; it is used tofrom the base of the nose down to the control the upper lip region and move express anger and emotional of the chin. The buccinator works the lips sideways and raise them. They The lips are one of the face’s mostwith the orbicularis oris, stretching are well connected to the nose, too, prominent and expressive features.the circular fibers around the mouth’s and are helpful for wiggling the nose They help to visually communicatecavity. It is used when compressing as well as expressing emotions of grief our emotions, and they have manythe lips and cheeks against the teeth. and contempt. The nearby levator labii functions, including helping us toThe buccinator starts at the mandible superioris originates at the maxilla. The eat and articulate speech and—most(jawbone) and moves deeper than muscle that flanks the mouth on both important—to kiss and be intimate. Itthe rest of the facial muscles to con- sides and is in control of raising the lip takes careful attention and observationnect to the modiolus and the upper high and sideways is the zygomaticus to evaluate each subject’s own uniqueand lower lips. Laterally flanking each major. The lower lip and mouth is con- turns, tucks, folds, and roundness ofangle of the mouth, the modioli act as trolled primarily by three muscles: the the mouth and lips. But the time andthe anchors for many facial muscles. risorius, the triangularis (or depressor patience is well worth it; with this prag-These muscles are held together anguli oris), and the mentalis. These matic and well-observed structure inby fibrous tissue and are extremely muscles are used to pull down the cor- place, you can infuse your subject withimportant for facial expression. ners of the mouth and lower lip. The an emotive strength. n16