Classroom Session #1.2

by Spencerm, April 21st 2024 © 2024 Spencerm

This was apart of a 1 hr 30 min session. I was trying to focus on facial expressions and being direct and sure with my line work. This was the last drawing which was about 30 min. I think I overdid it in terms of detail.

Aunt Herbert

Specific tip for the hair: You are currently making sure, that every bit of hair is symbolized by long lines. I would try to stay away from that. Instead, when drawing hair, realize, that it is shiny, which makes the contrasts between lights and darks stronger. If you just pick up the shapes of those darkest and lightest areas and dare to use strong contrasts, it will look more convincing than filling the area of hair with a lot of parallel lines.

The good thing about hair is, that it is quite forgiving. If your shapes are off a bit, nobody will be able to see, whether the model maybe just had a bad hair day.


First off thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it. Just to clarify does youmean I should forego lines all together and treat it as one shape and focus on the shading of the hair?

Aunt Herbert

For hair, basically yes. The way you are using the lines right now is basically as texture, but if you really look closely at hair, that texture isn't as consistent and obvious. It's not 100% a rule, depending on the hair and the lighting, off course, but especially with dark hair there usually aren't so many actual lines really visible.

Instead the texture shows up by giving the edges of shadow shapes and the shapes of highlights a bit of a jagged appearance.

Usually the part of the hair, where the lines become visible are only the midtones. And because hair is more reflective than skin, the contrasts are stronger and there are relatively fewer midtone areas. If you draw the lines all over, you basically mediate all highlights and all dark areas towards midtones and make the hair look less reflective and dull, and also quite flat.

Caveat, some of the older portrait images on this site actually have rather dull lightning conditions. So, again, what I said is more a rule to guide your observation than a strict law.

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Polyvios Animations

Well, Spencer, as Herbert said, I think your face's shapes, forms, spaces, and tones are coming across, but I feel that you care farthest too much in terms of every line of hair in her head. May I recommend just boiling down the fullest head of hair in one most rudimentary and basic shape, all done in a 10 minute face drawing, so that you could and furthermore would be most totally holistic.

So, for most details, please look into these YouTubes down below.

My hat's off to you.


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