Heads/Faces: how do I transition from realistic and structured drawings to a stylized and comic style?

Home Forums Practice & Advice Heads/Faces: how do I transition from realistic and structured drawings to a stylized and comic style?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Muralis 6 days ago.

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  • #25876

    Hello!
    I've been studying and practicing how to draw heads and faces for a while, and I've reached a point where I'm starting to see progress on realistic portraits (by realistic I mean trying to copy the reference as much as possible, I don't mean very detailed). Those drawings are not that good, but I can see improvement and I kinda know where I need to focus to get better.

    However, if I try more stylized faces with simplified features (kinda like for comic book or animation styles) I feel completely lost. I costantly need to erase and replace the features and I have no idea how to simplify things like the eyes or the nose.

    I'm guessing that I need to do more of those structured and detailed studies before thinking about simplifying stuff, but how do I actually make the transition? How do I learn to represent the features with a few lines instead? How long do I need to practice slow studies before going into simple heads? I've watched a ton of videos but almost everyone is mostly about "draw the eyes like this" but that doesn't teach me how to draw stuff from any angle and with all the variations.

    Btw just for info: I've studied the head/face mostly with Michael Hampton's book (which derives from Loomis) and Steve Huston's course. I've watched Marco Bucci's course on Skillshare but his approach of learning all the different planes of the Asaro head didn't quite click for me, so I went back on those first two approaches.

    Thanks!

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    #25888

    Hello Muralis.

    I'll break your question in parts.

    Question1: How do I learn to represent the features with a few lines instead? [like in comic book or animation style]
    Answer1: Find comic book or animation artists that draw the way you want to draw. Try to get pictures of their face drawings from all angles you can find (Pinterest and 'comicartfans.com' are good places for that. See how they simplify the face and its features, and try to redo their drawings. First you draw them from the same angle as the original drawing. After you get comfortable with that, try to draw the same face as the original but in a different angle.

    Q2: how do I actually make the transition? How long do I need to practice slow studies before going into simple heads?
    A2: I don't think this transition have to be linear. Try the two approaches, detailed and simplified, in parallel, until the style you want to draw becomes easy to you. But if you get in trouble, in the simplified, with some angle or feature, go back to the slow studies until you solve the problem. The two approaches have a lot in common, and what you learn in one will never be useless to the other.

    One more thing I would like to say is that, no matter how simplified your approach of the head will be, every head drawing should always have two things: solidity (it should look 3d) and simmetry in features placement (you don't have to follow no idealized proportions of the features placement, but it must be simmetrical)

    Hope this helps.

    Att. Breno

    #25889

    Thanks for your answer Breno!

    It was really helpful, and I'll definitely start studying some artists that I love.

    Cheers!

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