How to Draw the Head from Any Angle

Hey there! My name is Stan Prokopenko, I’m
going to be doing a series of video tutorials on drawing the head from various angles. Hopefully
there will be some interest and I’ll continue making more of these for you guys! In this first video I’m going to *attempt*
to summarize and simplify Andrew Loomis’ approach to drawing the head. Here we go.. If we remove the eyes, nose, lips, and ears
from the head we are left with 2 simple masses. The first is a ball for the cranium and the
second is a boxy shape for the jaw. The cranium is spherical, but with the sides
flattened. So, chopping off a slice from both sides gets us a simplified but close representation
of the cranial mass. When drawing the head, I’ll start with the
circle for the ball. and after a few failed attempts… rip out your hair. take a deep
breath and try again. But seriously, make sure it looks like a circle and at least the
height and width are the same. The oval is a bit more tricky. The height
will always be the same, no matter what angle you’re drawing the head from. It’s 2/3 the
height of the circle. So I’ll usually look at the area From the center of the circle
to the top, divide that area into thirds, and this top third will be where the oval
begins. and the same for the bottom. The width of the oval depends on the direction
the person is looking. Compare the width of the front plane to the width of the side plane.
The top portion of the oval falls on the corner of the forehead. This is where the front plane
meets the side plane. This area is usually rounded so it’s open to the artist’s interpretation.
I’ve found that it usually lies near the end of the eyebrow. So as I just showed we indicate the left and
right turn of the head by the width of the oval. Now we need to find the up and down
tilt. This is indicated by an angle along the side plane. If the head is tilted up,
the angle will point up and if the head is tilted down, the angle will point down. The
degree of the tilt will determine how steep to make this line. I like to use the angle
from the ear to the brow. From there, I’ll continue that line over to
the front plane. Since this line represents the brow, pay attention to the angle from
one brow to the other. Then, draw a curve parallel to the the first
one, this time starting from the bottom of the oval. This represents the bottom of the
nose. Drawing the same line again from the top of the oval, would bring you to the hairline. Since the face can be broken down into nearly
perfect thirds, chin, nose, brow, and hair, we can use the measurements we’ve already
found, to find the length down to the chin. Observe the general shape of the jaw and draw
in the major angles starting from the brow coming down to the chin, and going around
to the side plane of the head. It’s usually about halfway into the oval, or a little bit
further back. We’ve already found the side plane of the
cranium. Now we need to do the same thing with the cheek and jaw area. There’s a rhythm
that starts at the top of the ear and curves down to the outside of the chin. Then find
the centerline of the face. Remember, this is the center of the front plane, not the
center of the whole head width. and finish with the neck. Now that we have the foundation
of the head established we can finish it by putting in all the features! eyes, nose, lips,
ear, hair, jaw, cheeks, chin. Don’t worry, I’ll explain this step in more detail in another
video. Each feature deserves it’s own tutorial. This approach is really good to establish
the perspective of the head. A good exercise is to try to think about the head as a simple
elongated box. The angles in the front plane of the face such as hair line, brow line,
nostrils, lips, and chin will be the same as the angles on the front plane of the box. The angle on the brow line to ear is the same
as the angle on the side plane of the box. These angles are really important because
they establish the head as a three dimensional form in space. Let’s go through that one more time. Start with a circle for the cranium. Oval for the side plane of the head Angle to show the person looking up or down. Draw an identical curve to find the nose And double that distance to find the chin Attach the jaw and you have a 3 dimensional
representation of the head ready for the features. At first this approach might seem a bit technical
with a lot of important details to remember but once you get the hang of it, it actually
becomes really easy. So get that sketchbook out and practice this a hundred times, with
various angles. Did you like this video? Your friends might
too. Please help me out and share on your favorite social network and don’t forget to
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