# Thread: Need Help with the Axis!!!

1. Registered User Level 1 Gladiator: Andabatae
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## Need Help with the Axis!!!

Hi.

I’ve been studying Loomis’ method for drawing the head and I can’t figure out how you would locate the “axis” of the sphere. Can someone show me how?

It seems like these “crosses” have a lot to do with how to divide the head correctly, even in perspective. Loomis said to divide the head according to the “axis”. If I know where these “crosses” or the axis is located no matter which direction the head tilts, I will be able to accurately divide it into their proper proportions. How can I know where they are?

2. SM
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Originally Posted by Rainfall
[...]I can’t figure out how you would locate the “axis” of the sphere. Can someone show me how?

[...]
How can I know where they are?
I dont understand how this is a problem?

Basically a sphere is made of billions of circles (crossing one another), any of which can be used to construct the cross you're talking about.

So its 100% up to you to decide where the cross should be depending on the orientation of the head you want to draw.

Only thing is the two circles you pick to construct the cross must be perpendicular to each other and have the same middle as the sphere.

Does that make it clearer?

3. Registered User Level 1 Gladiator: Andabatae
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Originally Posted by S.M

Only thing is the two circles you pick to construct the cross must be perpendicular to each other and have the same middle as the sphere.

Does that make it clearer?
I understand until up to there. Can you clarify what you mean by that?

4. Look at a globe. Where the prime meridian and international date line cross the equator (off the cost of africa and approx the middle of the pacific) are your two axis points. Now take the globe and rotate it any way you like.

5. I just took a ball I found and did what Loomis did. For a good part of 2008, I was constructing spheres and seeing if I got the axes somewhat correct by checking afterwards. You could try this but I would think it would work much better if you manage to find a translucent/transparent ball.

I don't really know the exact formula though.

6. SM
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Originally Posted by Rainfall
I understand until up to there. Can you clarify what you mean by that?
The cross is only the intersection of two circles of the sphere.

However in order to follow Loomis' method you need to draw the cross at the intersection of two circles that are perpendicular to each other and of wich middle is the same as the middle of the whole sphere.

Below are two examples of wrong construction;
a) the vertical circle is tilted
b) the circles are perpendicular but the vertical one is not centered
In both cases the cross looks off.

Check out Loomis' "Succesful Drawing", it has a chapter on construction of simple objects like spheres, cylinders, etc in perspective.

Like The Amaranth suggested, you can also use a real spherical object and draw a few landmarks on it to practice from life.
Heres one i did a while ago with a marker pen on a polystyrene sphere from a decoration/art store.

This said, understand that while yes its important that you know how to construct stuff like spheres ellipses and whatnots in perspective, the whole sphere thing is more about visualising the human head as a 3D object like another than anything.
Finally, i found Loomis' method is best when coupled with drawing heads from life or photos.

7. Registered User Level 1 Gladiator: Andabatae
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Originally Posted by Abacus
Look at a globe. Where the prime meridian and international date line cross the equator (off the cost of africa and approx the middle of the pacific) are your two axis points. Now take the globe and rotate it any way you like.
That's a good idea. I'll keep that in mind when I need referencing.

Originally Posted by The Amaranth
I just took a ball I found and did what Loomis did. For a good part of 2008, I was constructing spheres and seeing if I got the axes somewhat correct by checking afterwards. You could try this but I would think it would work much better if you manage to find a translucent/transparent ball.

I don't really know the exact formula though.
Thank-you for your suggestion. I'll try to look for one for further references. Sphere are hard to work with.

Originally Posted by S.M
The cross is only the intersection of two circles of the sphere.
[. . .]
Wow, this has certainly helped me tons. Everything is tremendously clearer now. I've been having problems with this for months. No matter how many spheres I drew and experimented with and how many times I revisited Loomis' drawings, I did not have a clear grasp of what was at work. Thank-you very much for this! I will definately take a look at Successful Drawing.

On a last note, just to make sure I've processed everything correctly concerning crosses: The other two crosses besides the main one (the one for locating the top of the head and the one for locating the side plane of the head) for the sphere you've made would be other intersections between the two circles, as in:

Correct?

8. SM
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No you made a mistake, to draw the cross at the top and sides you need to introduce a third circle which is perpendicular to the two others;
thus dividing the sphere in 8 equal quarters (like this one), their edges crossing into 6 crosses each of which can be used indifferently either for the brow line or the sides
or the top/bottom of the head.

So if you followed me you will agree that you could draw 12 different heads out of the three visible crosses of the last sphere below.

(Note that as you draw the internal structure of the sphere, things get rather confusing, so especially when working on paper its good to play on line weight to establish a line hierarchy at least between the outline of the sphere and the rest.
Also note that the outline of a sphere is always a perfect circle never an ellipse or something else, no matter the perspective)

Ok i hope all of the above isnt too confusing because really its not that complicated in practice...
And yes check "succesful drawing" by Loomis and see how the sphere should be constructed into a cube, itself constructed in a perspective setting.

Its good to make conections between all the pieces of knowledge you have and go back and forth from specific problems like drawing a sphere, a hand, etc to bigger problems like drawing a scene with a streetlamp lighting a man holding a ball in his hands.

good luck :)

9. Registered User Level 1 Gladiator: Andabatae
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Originally Posted by S.M
No you made a mistake, to draw the cross at the top and sides you need to introduce a third circle [. . .]
Those visual-aids are great! They aren't confusing at all, in fact they make things much easier to follow.

Okay, I've studied the diagram and I do agree that it is possible to draw 12 different heads out of the three visible crosses. I can see how everything fits in place. One thing that's still worrying me is making those circles perpendicular to one another within the sphere. I'm still not sure how to construct that third circle so that it's perpendicular to the two others. Is there a way to tell where that circle should begin? It's going to be difficult going through these steps everytime I draw a head if I can't properly construct that third circle.

10. now if only a head was indeed shaped like a sphere...

11. SM
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Rainfall, i hate to sound rude but you're being a tad lazy here, checked "Succesful Drawing" yet?

The right angles and spheres in my diagrams are all eyeballed, using the transform tool in photoshop to construct the ellipses...
Loomis' succesful drawing is the real deal!
Time to put the keyboard away, grab the pencils and get the studies started!
After some significant practice youll be more aware of what a good sphere looks like and be able to draw decent ones freehand.

Plus what Hyver said,
learn to construct a sphere because you want to be able to draw simple stuff like that but dont let it be an end but a means.
Glenn Vilppu
There are no rules, just tools.
Good draughtsmen can draw heads out of spheres, squares, cylinders, cones, whatever they're just tools to help breaking complex forms into simpler ones.

An excelent illustration of that applied to the whole human body is all of Kevin Chen's Class demos; here and here.
(I find those a great ressource.)

12. Registered User Level 1 Gladiator: Andabatae
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Ok. I guess I was getting a little too obsessed with the rules. That's mostly how I do things. I even use a perspective grid for a simple object like a cube. I'll continue practicing and studying. Hopefully I'll be able to get things right.

Thank-you all again.

13. keep the faith!

have good hope!

yes you can!