Facing Faces

by Pastabrother, June 26th 2024 © 2024 Pastabrother


I am still practicing my face renderings... and expressions.

Thanks for review on this one.

Aunt Herbert

Hi Pasta.

You are a talented draftsman, with a keen eye, and enough experience with the pen to bring your observations to paper.

I am still convinced, that you would do yourself a big favor in getting used to working with an underlying construction, that organizes the proportions, and in the case of the head helps you to exactly arrange the features.

Faces and heads are much more similar to each other than distinct, that is why pretty much every professional works from one idealized abstraction or the other. And when they deviate from that idealization to individualize or even exaggerate, they do it deliberately and consistently.

With your drawing, you are 90% there with naturalism, but some parts look doubtful. Are those eyes inside proper sockets, or are they sitting flatly on a sphere? How does the nose ridge relate to those sockets?

Is the forehead really that small, or is the hairline too low? What about the planes of the forehead? How is the transition from forehead to eye ridges exactly working? There are some indication of shadows, but they don't tell anything about that.

The lips seem rather big in comparison with nose and chin, is that purpose or accident?

If I draw an imagined line from the eyebrows to the tip of the ears as browline, and a line exactly through the middle of the features, a center line, then they usually should be perpendicular to each other, and pretty much define the perspective of the skull, its tilt and rotation. If I do that on your drawing, the lower half of the face seems to do something different from the upper half, which breaks the spatiality of the entire drawing and flattens it out.

The line on the neck could either be one of those muscles that go from the jugular towards the ear, but then it would be strangely bent, or it could be the line separating the neck from the shoulder. It's probably meant to be the lower bounds of the neck, but it doesn't really succeed to indicate that cylindrical form, that it should.

None of that stuff are really huge blunders, and it feels nitpicky to point them out. As I said, in pretty much all cases, you are 90% there from observarions alone.

But those are still all minor problems, that someone used to working from a construction would easily avoid. And it's not just that pros are used to work that way, also audiences are used to look at stuff, that is designed that way. If you knew what you are doing and deliberately broke all the rules, it could look funky in a cool way, but with the 90% there, but not 100%, it looks like you are trying hard but failing. Everybody would praise you for effort, but nobody would put that stuff up on their wall.

You mentioned your ideal of art flowing naturally from your intuition, and seem somewhat reluctant to practice actual methods. I can relate, because I had that fear of losing my self expression, too. I can just tell you, the purpose of those methods isn't to replace your intuition, but to hone it. Once you got practice in following them, you can still skip all of them and just let your pen run wild, it will just find its own way a lot more precisely, and the results will look ace much more often, without that one or two hard to pin down blunders, that still pull down the effect of your entire effort.

And yes, maybe you can eventually get up those stairs all on your own, through sheer perseverance and consistent rigorous self critique. I am just saying, people installed an elevator for that route long ago, and if you use it, it will save you tons of time and energy.



Polyvios Animations

Hello and good morning, Pasta.

Say, I think you're getting to be even more talented with your expressions, heads, and faces. What I really like about your facial expressions and facial drawings are two things: First of all, I love how much clarity you've gotten into your colors and tones. And second, how much boldness and audacity you've totally manipulated your looser facial muscles, skulls, and fats.

If you ever need some constructive critiques, my bigger issue with your drawing above is, there isn't really enough of your clarity and simplicity of expressions over ambiguities yet. How would you like to 1) Stand back and look at your face drawings fresher, and 2) exaggerate your expressions more extremely with 20 face and expression drawings with 30 secs for each??

The reason is because your faces and expressions can, shall, and will be quickly sketched out less rigider but more funnier, zanier, but less than busier in details.(especially with the lip wrinkles) So if you really need and want to help perfect your rendering of simpler head shapes, kindly study heads of people in cafes, and study your own faces in your own mirrors, so that they can and will be your better model sheet packs. Good luck.


Thank you all for the comments... they helped me quite a lot... for insights and also for motivation...

I see now ... that I can't just cut corners or skip to the end... like in a book... it my be fun.. or more interessting... but I can't really understand the workings and underlining structure and most importantly can't "incorporate" the knowledge of the head and transform it to an intuitive part of my skillset.

This just draw from observation only is very tempting for me, as a kind of an analyst I allready work so much with my thoughts. deduction and logic all day and only rarely use my gut feeling and intuition...

But still ... it seams right to take a step back and restart I bit more systematicly in the next weeks with more loomis, just quick sketches and make a lot of them before a reapproach quick portraits with more features. Just to add more foundation...

So as you said, my exaggerations and deviations are more diliberate and less out of the moment and ... just a hunch.

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