When I stopped paying attention to all the confusing, spacially-intense hard shapes and bullshit planar geometry that many traditional drawing books teach, I was finally able to free myself from those demanding expectations and draw the head with that juicy animator’s flow I so always wanted.
Hard geometry equals measurement, shape guides, and robotic levels of line control, and measurement equals stopping to measure shit, which means taking yourself out of your imagination. I don’t know about you but I get fighting mad when I see a tutorial tell you to measure things. That’s boring. I’m fun. Listen to the fun guy.
Now, there should be nothing new in this tutorial that other people haven’t already done better than me, but this is the ordered process of things that has helped me improve and be consistent the most in regards to drawing in general. And in case you haven’t noticed, my native drawing style isn’t exactly terribly simplistic. It’s a blend of semi-realism and slop. So if I can get my slop to read halfway decent, you’ll probably be better off than me.
Note 1) The “eye mask” is a fucking radical concept. It captures not only the specific planar angle of the eyes and eyesockets on the face, (Eyes being laid down properly are #1 most importantest.) but it also denotes the height of a brow ridge, or the configuration of the eyebrows to make for the beginnings of an expression, and since it’s a very simple, recognizable and symmetrical shape, it can also help you to compensate for various perspectives. And it’s pretty non-committal because it can be erased and redrawn in seconds. Avoid commitment until the final draft at all costs.
Note 2) That imprecise cartoon blob that denotes the jaw is supposed to be imprecise. You chisel it down mere moments after drawing it into the exact shape of jaw you want, what we want out of the blob is an approximate volume. The volumes of everyone’s parts are unique and are arguably the most important aspect of character recognizability. And thus, they need to stay consistent for a character to be identified among successive drawings. And as with this example, it’s best to break the character not so much into hard shapes, but rather into flowing volumes that actually fit together without much hassle.
Note 3) The rest of the skull ends at the top row of teeth. The mouth obviously goes right between the top and bottom part of the head. The nose is between that and the eyeline which you denoted first. It’s a very neat and tidy little package that keeps you loose and away from the goddamn ruler as much as possible.
The idea behind this is to let you deduce proportions and feature placement as you draw the character, this improves consistency and reduces the need for meticulous measurements that could potentially give you an aneurysm. Aneurysms are often fatal.
This surely wasn’t planned but turns out to be a lesson I have to
learn over and over. I had already completed various tutorials and
exercises about the head, but I’m still struggling with it. Without a
reference, I am lost. So I’m challenging myself with the task „ten faces
a day“ and combine drawing with and without references until I get
Sycra has a great lesson about what he calls „iterative drawing“.
What he basically describes is that instead of copying something that
you see, draw from memory and compare afterwards and then draw again
from memory, to get better. It’s a process of repetition, comparison and
memorising in a continuous loop.
Like I concluded almost a year ago: In my opinion, mastering drawing
& painting is based on three components – knowledge, practice and
loosening. Don’t just save tutorials ;) Go for it! Persistence!