Head construction issues

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  1. #1
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    Head construction issues

    Hello,

    I'm at a stage where I'm really quite frustrated with my progress. I'm really needing to learn how to properly construct heads. I have taken a couple months off, and though I do realize that I need to practice all the time, which I did before up until about 2 months ago, as my frustration level was so high, that the thought of drawing made me physically ill. So I put it down.

    Well, I'm ready to tackle this again. My problem is, is that I'm not sure I 'get it'. I have read lots of tutorials, have the Loomis books, read the Ron Lemen tutes, 'Drawing on Right Side of the Brain, etc., everything to try to figure this out, but to no avail. I'm posting only 2 images here, for more examples, one can reference my sketchbook, which though it has not been updated in quite a while, the head studies in there are pretty close to what I have been doing now. Therefore, to save space, If you don't mind, please take a look there.

    Here I have posted 2 images I've done this weekend. One is an image of Scarlett Johansson, which I copied (I mean, I did NOT trace, but now I'm afraid to say used photo reference because I don't know what that really means), to be sure that it isn't that I'm just incapable of drawing. The other are just some anonymous head studies I did just before the Scarlett picture.

    But I need to learn to do this stuff from my head. I can't envision myself always having to copy photos in order to draw decent heads. Because then what will I have to do to draw hands? One of the things I notice, is that the far side of the head always seems to jut out, but when I try to pull it in, the rest of the features seem to compress incorrectly. Also, the placements of the far eye, mouth and nose bottom are always giving me a bunch of trouble. You'll see. And I have not even begun to try to do any type of expression, or draw open mouths.

    What am I missing? What things do I need to do to figure this out? I mean, if I have to draw 20 heads a day to get this I will, but, I'm afraid that because I am missing something, that I am somehow embedding incorrect habits that are messing me up and I need to stop now before it's too late.

    Here are the images, please help...

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  3. #2
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    Practice makes perfect

    here's a little secret, Devlyn. everyone uses reference when they start drawing (AND copy ). all your anatomy classes, life figure drawing, gesture drawing, all of those are learned with the help of reference (photos, illustrations, live models). you gotta master the observational drawing before you move on to drawing from your head. you can't expect to draw a perfect Scarlett Johansson's face right off (unless you're super freaking talented like some people in here ... i won't mention names ). that's what seperates a good artist from a bad one - the first practices all the time. don't worry that you got'em wrong, most imortant is that you're able to SEE your mistakes and with more practice and, again, more practice, you will eventually draw a perfect Scarlett Johansson's face. and maybe one day, when she sees your drawing, she'll like it so much, she will call you and ask you out for a date... ok, i lied about the last part, i asure you that won't ever happen but do practice, man! i can see you got it in yourself so don't give up now.

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  4. #3
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    Pay attention to the subtleties. You're missing the subtle tones on her face, and you left it white where it is actually very light grey. Look carefully, and you'll see it!

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  5. #4
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    Thanks for the crits - now that I'm looking at it again, I can see the issues your talking about. I'll continue to draw portraits from reference and life as much as possible.

    I'm also noticing that some of my issues that I constantly have are showing through, as usual. The forshortening on the far side of the far eye is incorrect, and now that I look at it real close, it seems to me that the far side of her brow is jutting, as usual, too far out. It is making her face look like a neanderthal and flat. Now that I see that, I'll do my best to correct them.

    Also, with the gray shades, I actually do see that there is much more tone than I put in there - lol - but I'm nervous about overworking, especially considering the current problems I have. I'm thinking that maybe the issue is that the darks aren't dark enough, so I have no room between the darks and lights. I'll work on correcting her up a bit tonite.

    But I guess it's not a big deal if I end up messing up the picture trying anyway, it's not like she'll be pissed off, cuz I aint showing her... I'll have something else planned when she asks me on that date...

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  6. #5
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    Your values are off. Make a value scale for yourself, make the picture black and white and try to get the values closer to the actual values. Then, rather than drawing the eyes and nose, look at the shapes of the values that make the eyes and nose and draw the shapes. You will see the features appear from getting the correct shapes and correct values.

    Whatever you do, don't look at my Sketchbook and Painting Thread!


    "I reject your reality and substitute my own" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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  7. #6
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    I didn't take time to go through everyones critiques but I would take the picture and put it into photoshop and put it greyscal to see what your values should be, people are never totally white. You should save white for your brightest highlights like maybe in the eyes and the reflection of light off her lips, thats it. Her neck is a bit think and in general people are softer and have no lines. the eyes are roughly a 25 cm in diameter ball stuck into our faces with flesh drooped over it and treat it as such. your on the right track i think though these are really all minor things but once you get the hang of it your work will be 100x better

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  8. #7
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    Cow

    Thanks again for the help.

    I reworked this for a couple hours tonite after. I attempted to fix her brow and far eye. I think it's better but may still need work. Unfortunately, my scanner is not picking up the lightest tones. I'll have to figure out how to get better scans, but it's probably the scanner.

    As I progressed I started to get worried, it started to just look like she needed to wash her face, but I just kept going and after a bit, it really did start to look like legit value changes.

    Unfortunately, her jaw is jutting out a little, I think and I committed to the darks too soon and my paper is starting to wear through from the erasures...

    Nevertheless, here is the update... and again, thanks for the crits

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  9. #8
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    it looks nice so far, but it seems to me that she has too sharp face features which make her look a little like a man. my advice is to try to slightly round her face features.

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  10. #9
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    looks more like reese (reece?) witherspoon to me.

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  11. #10
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    I keep having trouble to get the far side of the face look right. Something about the angle of the curve of the far cheekbone --- Reese W's face I think has a slightly jutting jaw. Perhaps that's part of the problem. See image below...

    Thanks for the help.

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  12. #11
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    I think the problem is her cheekbone's jutting out too far, which also gives the appearance that it's higher than it should be. Smooth it down a bit and place the curve lower.

    Looking much better, keep going!

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