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How to Draw the Head from Extreme Angles

September 5, 201210 Comments


1. Go to my facebook profile -
2. On my profile, RESHARE the post to this video
3. Check back September 14 to find out if you won.

[UPDATE]  winner – Ale Balcázar


If you prefer to read, here is the transcript:

In this episode, we go EXTREME!

Extreme angles are usually very challenging and frequently ignored by most artists even some advanced. Studying the extreme angles will make you better at the more common angles because you’ll have a better understanding of the method.

To help us visualize the extreme angles, we have a special guest… This is Loomy


Let’s start by talking about the twist, or rotation along the z-axis. This has a few important effects. First, the center line and brow line will be at an angle. Second, the side plane will go down to reveal more of the top of the head or up to reveal more of the bottom.

And this ellipse will be angled perpendicular to the brow line. This is cause by the ellipse being in perspective. Ellipse perspective should be the topic of another video. For now, I’ve included a link to a good resource in the description.

To get the proper angles on the front and side planes, remember that the head can be simplified into a box to visualize the perspective.

So, this is what we have so far. The hard part is over. If you do the part right, adding the jaw should be fairly straightforward.

The third effect a twist has is on the gesture of the neck. Look for the curve. No lollipop necks, please.

The concept of stretch and pinch applies here too.


Now, let’s take a look at extreme up and down tilts along the x-axis. I always look for the degree of the tilt by observing the angle from ear to brow. find the angle of the brows and then the thirds. Remember what we learned in part 2 of this series about foreshortening. The thirds will get smaller as they recede from us. So, in an up tilt, the bottom third will be about the same size as half of the side plane, and the forehead will be fairly small. And the opposite in a down tilt.

A confusing area for most people is the shape of the jaw as the head rotates up and down. During this rotation, the relationship of the corners of the jaw and bottom of the chin will change. As a person looks up, the chin will come up and at one point be in line with the jaw, creating a boxy shape. If you keep going the shape actually inverts and you get the opposite triangle. In an up tilt you’re also seeing the bottom plane of the jaw, which wraps around the cylindrical neck. As a person looks down, the jaw shape becomes more triangular.

Another common area of frustration is the tip of the nose. In an extreme up tilt, the tip will be unusually close to the eyes. It’s so unusual that most of us will feel like we need to move it down to lengthen the nose. Observe the shape of the bottom plane of the nose and compare it to the length of the middle third.

It’s important to remember that the eyes and lips are not flat on the face. They are rounded in their simplest forms. So observe the curvature of these features as they wrap around those forms.


We’ve covered the extreme rotations along the 3 axes, the only thing left is the effect of moving the camera, or vantage point of the viewer, above or below the head. When this happens, the side plane rises or drops, similar to the twist, but this time without changing the angle of the center-line. The neck will be mostly covered by the head, and we just see shoulders.


I decided to do a little competition to help promote this video. The prize… Your own loomy ball. The one I used for this video. How do you get it? Pretty simple. I posted a link to this video on my facebook. All you have to do, is find my profile and reshare this post. I will use a random generator to pick a winner on September 14th. Good luck!


Drawing the Head and Hands – by Andrew LoomisMy videos summarize this book. The full version is a great resource.

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Comments (10)

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  1. Andrew says:

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for putting all of these together. Great work!!

  2. alfred says:

    thanks for putting up these great tutorials!
    you are a great artist :)

  3. Guillermo says:

    GRACIAS MASTER!!!!!!!!

  4. Danilo De Guia says:

    its a great blessing for me to see this videos because not only a lot of people like me who wants to learn more about the proper way to draw thank you very much and God Bless.

  5. Croquis says:

    I love your demonstration!
    thanks a lot.


  6. kit says:

    Oh gosh I need to make myself a small version of loomy to put beside my animation table! This is amazing!!

  7. Michael Walker says:

    How would i know I mastered the fundamentals of each lesson? The feeling of doubt in my own skills might be coming from my head but i just don’t know?

    • Michael, don’t think of these lessons as something you practice a few times and then stop. These are skills you will have to maintain for the rest of your career. When you think you’ve mastered something, that’s when you stop improving. Realize that you can always be better, but don’t beat yourself up because of it. As long as you are putting in the effort to improve you have something to be proud of.

      • Michael Walker says:

        :D thanks Stan now i know what attitude to be in going through the lessons. This support thing is nice, I usually don’t get any support from anyone. Well on to the next lesson I go.

  8. Hey Bruno I show that process in the premium version of the portrait course :)

    Fifths – ya I personally don’t use that from any angle other than front. It’s not useful in other angles

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