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Thread: Faces

  1. #1
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    Faces

    I would like to improve upon drawing faces, as well as the entire head and hair (which is especially a weakness of mine). For this work, what tips would you suggest?

    Name:  Face.jpg
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  3. #2
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    Learn how to construct the head in space, for instance through the videos on http://www.proko.com
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    That's a very good start, in my humble opinion.

    Regarding some specific points:
    - Eyes could show more volume. Look more spherical and follow face perspective;
    - The hair looks better when it's grouped in clumps. If the person have very straight hair, you can simplify them as ribbons. If the person has a thick or curly hair, you can make'em like "hose-like" forms. But in any case, clump it together in a few of these simplified forms and it should work better.
    - There's a weird shadow on the middle of her chin. If that was meant to be a dimple, it would be smaller and a bit lighter, I think.

    Have you tried tracing a wireframe over the drawing, digitally? It helps a lot.
    "There're no lines in real life" / Is this a sketchbook? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I just started reworking it, but there's still a way to go:

    Name:  Draw.jpg
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    I noticed several issues with the perspective and shadows, so there was not a great sense of volume. These things look more noticeable when I scan it and zoom in. It's challenging since the head of the figure occupies such a small area on the page. I'm going in with a 2H to work on all these areas to make the values cleaner.

    I will redo the hair but it looks challenging.

    I've made it smaller since, but this was the area of the chin:

    Name:  Capture.JPG
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    As it seems like she has a very curly hair, I'd try squinting the eyes quite a bit to capture the big chunks of values and then work for that.

    As for the shin, your work still looks a lot darker than the reference. Looking at the reference, I can't really tell why that center part of the chin looks darker. It doesn't look like a cast shadow from the chin. Maybe it's a change of color of the skin itself. In any case, it isn't helping to show the form, and in those cases, you can disregard it in favor of clarity.
    "There're no lines in real life" / Is this a sketchbook? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Worked on the face some more. what do you think now?

    Name:  Face.jpg
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    You picked a hard subject with a bad reference. The easiest fix for now is to lighten up the deep shadows around her face, in the hair, which takes away some of the sensitive rendering of her face. Next time, get yourself a better reference, which shows how light and shadows can be used to model te form.
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    There's no much difference between your first and last image in terms of value treatment.

    The problem is; You're using too much contrast for secondary form modeling while forgetting about "big" value changes across primary forms (e.g. oval of the whole head). The illusion of head volume is lost because of this and your minor bumps look like dirt (e.g. forehead).

    To combat this habit of compartmentalized perception of the reference, practice drawing rough 3-value notans. It'll train you to properly group values in high, mid, and low ranges across the whole image, minimizing tendency to "overshade" details.

    This is the most common woe beginners face. Without overcoming it your work will always look amateurish.

    Name:  Draw.jpg
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  11. #9
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    Thanks for all the advice. I definitely see how lacking in the overall sensation of volume this and other drawings have been. I had been focusing so much on copying the photo, and the values in the lights and the darks appeared so close (to me) that I didn't think about big form modeling. I've been making numerous changes to the perspective and clarity of the features and to the shadows, so I will be interested in seeing another critique once I upload it.

    Any more advice on hair? I like the way some of these artists do it, like this one by Steven Assael, but I don't what procedure would get me to that point:

    Name:  Assael.jpg
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    Last edited by FlameDragon; June 27th, 2018 at 01:46 PM.

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    I like what you're doing here, but the hair is overdetailed. This is not photography, try to capture the essence of what you see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque View Post
    I like what you're doing here, but the hair is overdetailed. This is not photography, try to capture the essence of what you see.
    I edited my post to make it more clear, but the one above is by Steven Assael. It was an example of hair with characteristics such as volume and visual interest, characteristics that I am striving to incorporate in my drawings. But you would say that it is overdetailed?

    For the hair in my drawing, if I erase it, what would you say would be a viable approach? Should I start with some contour or start with placement of values?

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlameDragon View Post
    I edited my post to make it more clear, but the one above is by Steven Assael. It was an example of hair with characteristics such as volume and visual interest, characteristics that I am striving to incorporate in my drawings. But you would say that it is overdetailed?
    Yes, I do.

    For the hair in my drawing, if I erase it, what would you say would be a viable approach? Should I start with some contour or start with placement of values?
    I suggest you leave your drawing as it is, I like it, but in your next drawing, model the big mass of hair, with a few locks and strands, and just enough detail to make a hairy statement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque View Post
    Yes, I do.
    me too. in the end its 95% texture and contrasts in an (for me) uncomfortable way, with how the face is done. hes a great artist, but this particular picture, i dont like much.

    to me the best way to treat hair is to draw ribbons with volume... like slabs of clay. get the general movement/gesture and volume right and then you can add as many single hairs as you feel like. try to avoid to think about single hairs as long as possible .

    its also not of real importance imo... except its a keyvisual for a shampoo . your main focus should be on the face.

    LaCans OP is great. study it. overlay it over yours in ps and look really close. how he changed the eyes, the lips... those eraser marks across a shape/volume of hair (not a quantity of single hairs! ).

    i also advise looking at the reilly abstraction (http://bfy.tw/IneO) and getting sculptris (free, or zbrush) or some clay and toy around with reillys abstraction in 3d aswell. sculpting helped my understanding of the volumes of a face tremendously. [edit] its basically a wireframe to keep everything in place and consistent.[/edit]
    Last edited by sone_one; June 27th, 2018 at 05:08 PM.
    "Have only 4 values, but all the edges you want."
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    "To any man who has slaved to acquire skill in his art, it is most irritating to have his ability referred to as a 'gift.'"
    Andrew Loomis

  16. #14
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    Thanks for all of the feedback. The website constantly seems to be down but I had stopped working on this about 3 weeks ago. This is the last version of it:

    Name:  Drawing.jpg
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    The paper had been ripping, so certain changes just couldn't be made without further damaging the page. I think it looks better than the previous versions at least, but going forward I realize that I need to approach drawing the head, hair, and facial features differently. Thinking of things in a more structural manner like this academy drawing I've seen will help me with the perspective, organization of values, and sense of form:

    Name:  SkillsUp.jpg
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    I plan to work on drawing basic forms in perspective and revisiting Proko's videos on facial features.

  17. #15
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    I think hair doesn't have any volume, try to treat as 3d Form, which will have a shadow side and light side, and light source is from above so upper lip will be darker than lower lip also your reference is a little bit blown out, so cast shadows will be darker, especially on neck, lower lid of eye will catch light which you've made it darker
    your approach is also important, first and most important part of a head drawing is lay-in, every stage should be accurate, there are a lot of different approaches to a head drawing, some people use Loomis or Reilly abstraction to navigate some just use shadow shapes
    nathan fowkes
    nathan fowkesDavid kassan

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