10 Minute Face Drawing Practice

by KittytheLamb, March 27th 2024 © 2024 KittytheLamb

Howdy! Here's a face that I tried drawing in ten minutes. Looking for critique/helpful tips :)

Aunt Herbert

Lots of very impressive stuff here, great job!

-The proportions are on point. I see you started from a circle and there is an indication of a brow line, so I somewhat assume you are working from a Loomis-head abstraction, although you didn't go through the full procedure, just enough to orient you on the page. Valid decision.

-You found very clean shapes to indicate the features. You are also clearly aware of the bone structures and the muscle tissue underneath the face.

-You nailed the likeness.

My first thought was, that the line work could be cleaner, before I realized, that the image is clearly zoomed in quite a lot, which overemphasizes slight natural variation in the movement of the pen. A mechanical fix I found for that specific problem was to just lower the dpi of my scanning software quite a bit, so that not every drawing looks like it is observed through a hefty magnifying lense, but at approximately the scale I saw while drawing it, and I assumed to be ideal for observing it.

I also tend to raise the contrast and lower the brightness when scanning, so the paper looks clean white and the lines look darker. Pro: I think that looks cool. Con: I may be overdoing it occassionally, and it might hide mistakes in drawing. Your decision whether to do it, but you might at least consider the option.

You used hatching to indicate the shadow value on the face, and especially with the overmagnified depiction, you run into the typical hatching problem: the hatching pattern has to be almost unnaturally regular to prevent the brain of the viewer to read it as additional details on the figure. But with that overmagnified depiction, I am not even sure, how fair it is to judge your execution.

Just on the topic of hatching, I was listening to Harold Speeds "Practice and Science of Drawing" on headphones while doing my practices, and he was making a big fuss about the direction of the hatching pattern. Vertical lines he recommended only to indicate solidity, like for stone or concrete, for default hatching he recommends "drawing across the figure" which sounds like horizontal, but in his examples he himself usually hatches diagonally, more or less following the natural anatomy of a right-handed artist. I always thought hatching pattern that follow the shape of the object were really cool, but he only recommends that to emphasize foreshortening.

So, at least according to dear Harold, your strict vertical hatching pattern is a bit of extra work with little gain. You could try whether it conserves you a bit of energy to just hatch the way it is easiest to execute.


Wow, thank you so much for your detailed response!!

I didn't even think about scanning my image clearer, but you're so right that it can really effect how my image is seen by the viewer. I really appreciate all the tips for that :D (I did make my line work pretty messy, so it's not all the image qualitys fault 😅)

I found your critique of the hatching super helpful and completely agree with your assessments. I think hatching in a direction that's not perfectly vertical or horizontal would add much more to the organic shape of a human face and make it seem less 2D. Also, totally agree that it needs to be more uniform so it doesn't seem like the subject has those lines as an actual part of their face+figure.

Again, really appreciate your thoughtful and detailed response!

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