Friday, 1 June 2012

Art Class 3 - Facial proportions

Okay, I've shifted my lazy arse and sorted out the photos for the art class posts that I've missed doing.  You lucky people.

So, class 3 was about drawing faces, front on, and getting the correct proportions.  There is a template that you use, the proportions for which work pretty much with every face; the positioning and distance between the different facial elements - eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows - are standard(ish) for everyone.  It's just ears that are contrary and can roam around the side of the head, from person to person.  I'll just leave you with that imagery.

Of course, this is just a bog standard template and once you've sketched it in you have to tailor it and fiddle around with it so that it starts to look more or less like the face you're trying to portray.  The eyes might be slightly further apart, the nose might be wider or narrower, the mouth bee-stung and pouty, or wide and grinny.  Chins will be different.  Jawlines will vary.  Eyebrows might be huge Gallagheresque monobrows or non-existent.  These are the elements that denote personality and will be individual to the person you are drawing.

But the basic proportions will be the same and the template will give you a starting point.  And it all begins with an egg.

In the pictures below I'm using an A4 sketching pad and a graphite stick (which is, like, the biggest fuckoff pencil lead you've ever seen - I'm coming to like them a lot), and then my final drawings are a mixture of graphite stick and very soft pencils - 8B or 9B ones, and I do a great deal of smudging with my fingertips, but you'll see these in later posts.

Let's get started, shall we?

Get your drawing pad and draw a large upside down egg.  It doesn't need to be perfect, this is just to give you a rough idea:

Then you either imagine or - in this case, draw - a vertical line right through the middle:

Next, you draw a horizontal line more or less exactly halfway up:

Believe it or not, this is the eye line.  The pupils - the centre of the eye - sits on this line.  Eyes are much lower down the face that you might think.

Next you draw a horizontal line exactly halfway down the bottom half of the egg:

This is where the bottom of the nose/nostrils sit.

Next, draw another horizontal line exactly halfway between the nose line and the bottom of the egg:

This where the centre of the mouth lies.

Can you see how it's starting to make sense and is beginning to look like a face?

Now, you can put in the pupils of the eyes and these lie, more or less, above where the mouth ends.  Of course, in the final drawing this will all depend on the width of your sitter's mouth, which direction their eyes are pointing, but you get the idea.  I've added some dotted lines to show you how everything lines up:

The outer edges of the line showing where the nose is, more or less, line up with the inner corner of the eye:

I've included the irises here.  Again, depending on your subject's face, you may need to adjust all these, but this gives you a rough guide.

The outer ends of the nose line not only line up with the inner corners of the eyes but also the beginning of the eyebrows:

Ears, as I said, tend to wander around so just for the purpose of this template, I've added an ear that starts at eye level:

And there we have it.  The rough proportions of the human face.  From this you then add all the other details and hope to God you end up with something recognisable.  Which is more than I could do so I'm not going to show you my final drawing.  Trust me, you wouldn't want to own up to it either!

Next up - how to draw profiles.

1 comment:

Susan said...

That is really simple and clever; I was always rubbish at faces but no one ever taught me to do that, I must have go.