1/ Draw the shape of an egg/ovoid. Try to do this with a free, expansive movement, sensing the shape rather than using your eye to gauge it precisely. Repeat the shape several times, drawing over your original lines, as I have done here. Now draw an ellipse, as shown, to give the shape the appearance of form.

2/ Create the basic form of the neck by adding a cylinder to the bottom of the egg form.

3/ Draw in outline the back of the head. Now extend the ellipse to meet these lines, giving the form of the skull. The lines of the ellipse are called cross-sectional analysis lines. They enable you to have a full visual understanding of the form and a sense of the back, front and sides of the head you are creating. These lines also provide the illusion of volume.

4/ Now we begin to build the face. Draw two parallel lines at a slight angle from the centre plane of the forehead. This appears as a wedge protruding out of the front plane of

Parallel Lines Skulls

the face, and is the basis of the nose. At the bottom of these two parallel lines, draw a line between them and which then extends back in space following the front plane or angle of the face. Now draw a line tilting back in space and following the side plane or angle of the head. Join up this triangle by drawing a straight line down the front of the face. From both corners of the front plane of the forehead draw two downward lines to just below the bottom of the original egg shape. Make these two lines slightly narrower at the bottom to give a sense of form to the front of the face. Join these two lines at the bottom with a straight line that follows the angle of the front plane of the face and then follows the angle of the side of the head through to the back of the original egg. If you look at the drawing, you'll see that you are repeating the lines used to establish the nose, only on a bigger scale. We now have the underlying form of the chin and jawbone.

5/ Add spheres to denote the eye sockets. One sphere lies in front of the nose, the other directly behind it. Now we have the underlying volume of the eyes.

6/ In the preceding five stages we have built an overall sense of the volume that makes up the head. Once this is established it is your base over which you can draw in the characteristics of the particular person who is sitting for you. It's important to allow this under-drawing to remain, because it will reinforce the illusion of form and guide your over-drawing.

Drawing Person SittingHenry Moore Drawing Technique


Like the copy of the Picasso, the drawing based on a sculpture by Henry Moore, is directly related to the form of a figure. There the similarity ends. The Picasso copy has been made up to represent the human character and form, whereas the Moore is based on observations direct from a figure.

Sculpture Henri Moore
A build up of crosshatching techniques.

Using crosshatching to build form.

Name Point Perspective Lesson
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  • simon allan
    How to draw form and volume?
    5 years ago

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