Drawing the head from all angles

Drawing a head from different angles is an important element of layout and also impacts the way characters visually communicate with one another. For example, having a character in the foreground talk with a character drawn in the background requires that the character in the foreground turn around and face the background character. Visually, you draw the back of the head of the characters in the foreground. Figure 6-9 demonstrates an example. In this cartoon the character is looking out a window and talking to another character standing outside.

Sketching the character's head from this angle adds visual interest to the drawing while allowing the reader to look past the character in the foreground and see the character in the background effectively. It also adds a sense of realism, because this is actually what you would see if you were standing behind the character with his back to you; it allows the reader to be more a part of the cartoon. Small things like drawing the character's head at the correct angle add up to better storytelling.

The rear view isn't the only visually interesting variant you can play up in your cartoons. You can draw the head, or any object, from many different angles. If you were to have someone take a picture of your head each time you moved it around a quarter inch to the right, and your head was 24 inches around, then they would end up taking 336 pictures. So you can see that drawing the head from many different angles can add dimension to your cartoon characters. Unfortunately, I don't have the space to show you that many, so I focus on four basic head directions and angles. Focus on these four angles and their relationship to the center guidelines.

Figure 6-9:

The character's head in the middle foreground is shown from a rear view.

Figure 6-10a demonstrates the head from about a three-fourths right rear view. Your character may look like this if he were turning and looking back toward the right. To draw the head in this angle you need to line up the center guidelines so that the vertical line runs down the back of his head on the far left, as opposed to running down the front of his head if he were facing forward. The horizontal line runs across the middle as shown. From this angle you can see only the right side of his glasses from a rear view looking forward. In addition, you can see slightly behind his right ear.

Figure 6-10b shows the character's head as he faces right in a profile and slightly three-fourths view facing forward. From this view you can see both sides of his glasses with the center guideline running down the front centered between them. The horizontal line runs across and is at eyeglass level.

Figure 6-10c is shown from about a three-fourths left rear view. This angle shows the character turning and looking back toward the left. To draw the head from this angle you need to line up the center guidelines so that the vertical line runs down the back of his head on the far right and the horizontal line runs across the middle as shown.

Figure 6-10d shows the head of the character facing to the left in a profile and slightly three-fourths view facing forward. From this view you can see both sides of his glasses with the center guideline centered between them and running down the front left side of the face.

Math Angles Cartoon

Figure 6-10a demonstrates the head from about a three-fourths right rear view. Your character may look like this if he were turning and looking back toward the right. To draw the head in this angle you need to line up the center guidelines so that the vertical line runs down the back of his head on the far left, as opposed to running down the front of his head if he were facing forward. The horizontal line runs across the middle as shown. From this angle you can see only the right side of his glasses from a rear view looking forward. In addition, you can see slightly behind his right ear.

Figure 6-10:

The same character head from four different angles.

Figure 6-10:

The same character head from four different angles.

Different Head Angles Cartoon
Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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Responses

  • Iggi
    How to draw characters in diff angles?
    2 years ago

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