If you prefer to read, here is the Transcript:
Well hello there! My name is Stan Prokopenko, I’m going to be doing a series of video tutorials. 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..
So, if we remove the eyes, nose, lips, and ears from the head we are left with 2 simple masses. A ball for the cranium and 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 very close representation of the cranial mass.
When drawing the head, I’ll start with this ball and an oval to indicate the flat side plane. The sizes are important here. Make sure the ball is a perfect circle. Don’t be sloppy. 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 ⅔ of the height of the circle. From the center and top of the circle, divide that area into thirds, and this will give you the top of the oval. Do the same at the bottom.
The width will depend on the direction the person is looking. Compare the size of the front plane to the size of the side plane. The top portion of the oval falls on the corner of the forehead, where the front plane meets the side plane. This area is usually rounded and so it’s open to the artist’s interpretation. I’ve found that it usually lies near the end of the eyebrow.
We indicated 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 identical 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, 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 chin.
Observe the general shape of the jaw and draw in the major angles starting from the brow and ending at the side plane of the head. It’s usually about halfway into the oval, or a little bit further back.
Now that we have the foundation of the head established we can finish it by putting in all the features! Don’t worry, I’ll explain this step in more detail in another video. Each feature deserves it’s own episode.
Let’s go through that one more time.
- Start with a circle for the cranium.
- Oval for the side of the head
- Angle to show the person looking up or down. I’ll go with a subtle down tilt this time.
- 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.
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 on 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 from brow line to ear is the same as the angle on side plane of the box. These angles are really important cause they establish the head as a 3-d form in space.
This video summarizes this book. The full version is a great resource.