Realistic faces?

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  1. #1
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    Realistic faces?

    Name:  realism attempt.png
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    First of all, I hope I inserted the file correctly...

    Anyway, hello! I'm new here, fresh from DeviantART. About ten years ago, I started drawing...Manga. Not just manga. Really, really terrible manga. And I drew that for much too long before realizing that I should learn how to draw properly before branching off into anything stylized, so now I'm starting over from scratch. The thing I'm currently struggling most with is faces, and I'd love to get some critique on this drawing, which is the closest I've gotten to realism in a while.

    To be honest, I'm more than a little intimidated by this whole site. I've lurked around for a little while before making an account, and I've seen some incredibly amazing work here that I know I won't be able to compare with for many many years. However, people seem really nice, so I'm going to give it a shot; I'm pretty desperate for critique that isn't either "lol cute" or a flame.

    To the point: This drawing is from a little while back, and looking at it again, I can see a lot of things wrong with it. Most obviously, the mouth is too narrow and something's wrong with the chin. The shape of the neck is weird, almost upside down, something that I'm currently working on improving in general. The hair was supposed to look messy, but it just looks sloppy, and of course there's the classic "the other eye won't look right, I'll hide it with hair!"

    And here comes my problem: Even though I can see a lot of things wrong with this, I don't know what to do to improve it. For instance, I've tried drawing wider mouths, but they just come off as wonky and too wide. I still can't draw symmetrical eyes to safe my life. So how do I improve these things? Is there anything else that sticks out and looks off? Any particularly good tutorials for realistic faces? Any help is greatly appreciated (:

    Sorry for the long post, just wanted to explain myself a little first. The point is that I want to get away from the manga and into the realism and I'm not sure how to do that properly.

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  3. #2
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    You can start by studying some anatomy book. I'm currently studying a book from Andrew Loomis named "Drawing the head and hands". I think a lot of people would recommend you this book as well. There is also this Youtube channel that shows you how to apply the methods described in this book, I find that it helps a lot, you can have a look at it and see if it teaches you something

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ProkoTV

    But mainly, keep in mind that at your level (and at any level I think) you won't be able to draw a realistic face right from your imagination. To begin with you should study from life or from photographs, you must observe carefully what an human face look like. Use references

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    You can start by studying some anatomy book. I'm currently studying a book from Andrew Loomis named "Drawing the head and hands". I think a lot of people would recommend you this book as well. There is also this Youtube channel that shows you how to apply the methods described in this book, I find that it helps a lot, you can have a look at it and see if it teaches you something

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ProkoTV

    But mainly, keep in mind that at your level (and at any level I think) you won't be able to draw a realistic face right from your imagination. To begin with you should study from life or from photographs, you must observe carefully what an human face look like. Use references

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane01 View Post
    The point is that I want to get away from the manga and into the realism and I'm not sure how to do that properly.

    It's quite simple, really:

    1. Find a photo of a human face.
    2. Get a #2 pencil and a sheet of white paper.
    3. Using the pencil, copy the photo as precisely as you can without tracing. Focus primarily on edges and contours. Shading is a secondary concern. Aim to work for about two hours on a single face.
    4. Scan drawing and post on ConceptArt.org for feedback.
    5. Absorb what people have to say. Return to step #1 and proceed through the loop until you reach Rembrandt-level skills at observational drawing.

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  6. #5
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    Use actual construction when working. It looks flat and distorted because it is. You need to figure out the actual shape and form of the head and face before you can start getting dressy with it.

    Amateur Artist. Professional Asshole.

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  8. #6
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    I'll add that sometimes using a grid will help when you are 1st learning, especially when you are using photo reference. It shows you your obvious mistakes relatively quickly (you'd be surprised at how hard it is to do right ) and helps you see the relatively small errors that compound quickly.

    Cheers

    D'Arcy

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  9. #7
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    Like other people said, you need to learn what real facial features actually look like. I can't for the life of me find it, but it was a short comic on deviantart explaining the hang-ups a lot of artist find when trying to transition from manga to realism. Essentially a lot of people just swap one symbol for another (eg instead of big sparkly manga eyes, they draw a round eye with a pupil in the middle) without actually learning how these real life features look like. Then they get discouraged because they can't figure out why their attempt at realism has failed.

    This guy has a whole series of tutorials on how to make the transition from manga to realism, as well as another one on understanding anatomy. They're pretty good starting places and give you an idea of what kind of concepts you need to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    3. Using the pencil, copy the photo as precisely as you can without tracing. Focus primarily on edges and contours.
    I'd rather recommend drawing a living person, and focusing on the structure and form, not contour. Copying edges off a photo is an awful way to learn for a beginner.

    OP: you need to learn drawing from bottom up. Learn the fundamentals: form in space, perspective, lighting, and anatomy.

    If you want to focus on faces, get "Drawing the Head and Hands" by Loomis.

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    Thank you very much for the replies, everyone! (:

    I'll do my best to keep it all in mind and go draw some people today (and tomorrow and the day after...)

    As for drawing living people vs. copying from a photo, I'll try a both and see what works best for me.

    Last edited by Jane01; January 22nd, 2013 at 05:51 AM.
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    Stupid computer... Sorry, double post.

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  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane01 View Post
    As for drawing living people vs. copying from a photo, I'll try a both and see what works best for me.
    Bear in mind that copying a photo may seem to produce a better result to you, because a photo does not move. It is not going to give you the necessary volume drawing skills, though, unless you know what you are doing. Since you are a beginner, chances are that you don't know what you are doing, so practice on live people and small household objects like boxes, teapots, apples, what have you.

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