Drawing Basics: Think Egg!

Face drawing: Dame Ethel Smyth by John Singer Sargent
Dame Ethel Smyth by John Singer Sargent

Create a Face Drawing That Speaks Volumes

Features and body position can be used and contorted to tell us all kinds of things in a face drawing. But you don’t always have to think up dramatic scenarios when drawing a person or a character.

You can be subtle, too. Like using the mere tilt of the head to say something about the figure you are drawing.

It sounds simple, but there are a few easy drawing tips to think about when making a face drawing or contour drawing of figure with a tilted head.

First, remember to tilt your measurement guidelines running along the cant of the head. For example, if you want to locate the position of the mouth in relation to the iris of the eye, draw a guideline that slants with the tilt of the head. That way your proportions stay correct.

Face drawing: Nijinsky by John Singer Sargent
Nijinksy by John Singer Sargent

Measuring the position of the eye? Mark a tilted line up from the outside of the crease of the nose toward the inside of the eye.

If you really want to challenge yourself with drawing exercises dealing with the human figure and face, try to draw the head from a lower vantage point looking up into the face. Watch out for making the face too big-truncating the chin and widening the space between the nose and the eyes.

To prevent this, just think egg. Yep, remember the head’s structure is similar to that of an egg. What’s that mean?

+The chin curves toward you, so it is going to be much larger than you’d think.

+The forehead curves away, making it appear like the head recedes sharply at the hairline.

+The nose goes in the air and seems to jut out in front of the eye in a three-quarter view.

More Figures, Tip of Head to Tip of Toes

If you crave the ability to open a sketchbook and sketch a person with confidence and ease, Figure Drawing Essentials Kit is the way. Brent Eviston is a teacher who understands the language of a learning artist and he makes putting limbs, head, facial features, anatomy and proportion together fun!

I know the figure is my biggest challenge, but learning the ins and outs is my delight too. I want the same for you. Enjoy!

 

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

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