Need help with making female face... look more female
Hello! I'm doing a portrait painting of Major Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell and I was wondering if I could get any help with the lines before I get started on putting colors on.
Any constructive criticism is welcome, however, I'm really having trouble making her look more feminine while still looking like a powerful female. Hopefully someone will understand what I'm trying to say ... however, I think everyone can agree she looks pretty much like a guy... I tried smoothing the face, making the lips smaller, etc... other critiques are welcome too like proportion, placement, etc.
Wrong question. The right question is "how do I make this look more like a face".
You can't hope to have control fine enough to create distinctions like male/female if you aren't thinking primarily of the form structure, perspective and underlying anatomy. You need to construct the face, not tweak the contour lines.
I have to agree with Arenhaus. Remember that the head can be broken down into a box, and the features put into perspective. If her head is tilted back and to the side, we should be seeing a lot more of the space above her eyes, even if her brow is furrowed. We might also see the underside of her chin, depending on the angle. Keep in mind that the eyes are spherical and enveloped by the eyes lids. Study how they sit in the eye sockets. I would also draw more of the figure's body, to get a feel for the gesture. The way her body is twisted in relation to her head is just... not right.
But yeah: Box in Perspective. Hell, just tilt your head and look in the mirror. A minute of simple observation will tell you more than I can.
Oh, and I saw you're studying Vandepoel's "The Human Figure." Cool! It was my first anatomy book and is still my favorite.
You should in theory be able to draw a face that looks of a certain gender without even putting in eyes, nose and a mouth. You need to concentrate on the form. The cheekbones and jaw and forehead and bony forms are the most important.
Also when doing this think like a painter in terms of shadow not outline. I have tried to fine some useful images for this but I am at work and have no come up with anything useful. If I get chance I will take another look or some other kind fellow might provide.
What the other guys said, but in answer to your direct question: Chin is large. Chin needs to be not as large. Chin can be square and still look like a female so long as it's small -- it's one of the main structural differences between men and women faces.
I agree that you should work more on the structure of the face. Mine isn't perfect but here's a little paintover to show you how you could make her more girly.
2) Small Chin
3) Rounded, full, curved, glossy lips.
4) Mouth closer to the nose.
5) Rounded features in general.
6) Extra advice: When you draw the hair, break it down into strands. My style isn't very realistic, but even if you're shooting for realism I think everyone breaks it down intro simpler strands, because that's how hair works.
I can't give you much advice on the head structure itself, since I can't do it very well myself yet, I'd only confuse you!
I just want to point out that not all feminine characters need to have full, pouty lips, long eyelashes and small features. Women come in as many different variations as men.
Personally, to me, she doesn't look too masculine. But, I agree with the other posters in that you need to work on your underlying structure and form. Try drawing a simple skull from ref and then fleshing the face out. That often helps me. Also the Loomis books have some of the best advice on drawing faces ever, so have a gander at those!
Thank you very much for the criticisms, everyone!... popped out my bridgeman book and looked at a few skulls... and here's what I got now... I don't think I'm going to paint this anymore... need to study colors and stuff more... however I'd like to have a "finished" line drawing so that's why I'm going to keep on working on this...
sooooo difficult and I've been drawing for forever lol
I really hope this looks better -.-
Why don't you try a simple(r) 3/4 view this time? Just a thought. You can use a reference for the angle/lighting, nothing is bad with that and it helps a lot. (I saw in your SB you're waaaaaaaaaaay better than this using a reference, maybe you wish to do this fully by yourself, I could understand that feeling. But it's not about copying, just using different refs to do something else. When you are good with copied stuff and too weak by yourself, using refs wisely seem a nice idea, at least it is to me.)
This one shares some flaws with the previous one. You drew her head even more from below than previously and we still didn't see the underside of her still huge chin... But you definitely consider the head 3 dimensional here and it shows.
Last edited by shiNIN; May 28th, 2012 at 05:21 PM.
It still seems to me like the face is in perspective but the outline of the head is not, and that's partly what makes the chin look long. Try bringing the chin up with the lips as the head moves back.
Could one or more of the following:
- Look at yourself in the mirror at a position like that (or any female relative/friend/whatever) and use that as reference.
- Find photo reference of a female head in that pose.
- As Grunler said, put the head in a box in perspective, then use proper perspective techniques to place the features. (If you don't know perspective, it's kinda important! Look up things like how to divide a square.)
Basically, right now you're trying to make it up but you're just guessing how things must look instead of knowing how they actually look. Easily fixed by reference, but difficult if you try to fix it by trial and error.