How to draw heads from the facial expressions practice

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Aunt Herbert 1 month ago.

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    I really do not know how to break them down into shapes at all. If anyone could show me an example that would really help

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    Heads work quite differently from poses, as the proportions of a head are very uniform. The big shapes of a head with an angry face and the shapes of a head with a crying face or the shapes of a head with a laughing face are still basically the same.

    This is, why there are various abstractions of famous artists, that have defined such shapes and proportions.

    Andrew Loomis:

    Frank Reilly:

    Henry Bridgman:

    Steve Huston:

    John Asaro:

    or even japanese industry style, which sacrifices natural proportions for style, and is mostly shared by a lot of japanese artists, look for Manga or Anime style:

    The problem is, that in drawing faces and heads, other than with poses, you generally don't start with capturing the emotion, but instead you use the idealized form of a human head, and mostly only change the direction in which it is looking. The emotional expression of the features isn't really part of the big simple shapes you draw in the first minutes, these are basically treated as rendering details, that are added on top of the human head.

    Memorizing at least one of the abstractions above is really helpful for drawing heads or faces. You don't have to sketch it out in all details at the start of every drawing, but the process of drawing such an abstraction will teach you which proportions and shapes to measure and uphold, even when drawing "freehand"

    Most popular abstraction for general purpose is Loomis, because it is simply the easiest to learn and good enough for 90% of basic drawing needs. You will find more detailed tutorials for each of those abstractions all over the web, by just using the names as search words.


    Hello and welcome aboard, Erisef. Well, gesture drawing as applied to faces and expressions? I thought you'd never ask for help. So, to draw out the faces, you first start out with the gesture, then you carve out the interior and exterior spaces of the faces, and later, work out the facial proportions and angles, and next the tones. That applies likewise to most gestural grotesque caricatures and animation drawings. For furthest info, please suggest youself to look at this video from Force on drawing faces and expressions, combined with the face and head formulae above.

    So, good luck to you and your progress and process.


    thereisnogestureinfacesthereisnogestureinfacesthereisnogestureinfaces.... human beings just don't gesticulate with their noses or eyebrows! Unless we are talking about elephants or octopods, there is no gesture in facial expression!

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