where you work, as a constant reminder. If you have worked them out convincingly you can well take pride in the fact. They will be of interest to anyone, for through them you have stated your knowledge in no uncertain manner. They serve to help you memorize the qualities which should go into a well-drawn head, but which, of course, could not be incorporated into a single drawing with each stage in evidence. In the finished drawing, I believe you will feel this background of effort, which I hope will convince you that drawing heads is more than mere copying.
Plates 35 through 39 may help you in the matter of technical rendering, though it is my feeling that technique should l>e left very much to the student himself. The problems of proportion, anatomy, and planes are basically the same for all of us. but technical solutions of those problems are, to a large extent, an individual matter.
Unfortunately, the student is usually unable
\D AND HANDS
to see many good examples of head drawings, because so few are published. In the past decade there have been few men in the field good enough to have their drawings published regularly, aside from the fact that many artists ability to draw the head is concealed by their use of mediums. I would like to call attention to the work of William Ol>erhardt, who stands almost alone in drawing the head. I hope the reader may at some time come across a few of the many drawings of his that have appeared in publications. The schools in England seem to have produced many more fine examples of head-drawing than those in America have. I think this is bccausc the young American artist tends to turn to photographs for material before he has any real knowledge of the head. The drawings in this book are offered humbly, since there are many draftsmen whose skill exceeds mine, but because of the lack of helpful books on the subject, 1 submit whatever I have to offer hopefully.
PLATE 32. Modeling the planes
As a basis for learning to show light on form, turn to Plate 9 and make a drawing of the planes of the head as shown there. It will help you a great deal with the material to follow. Let us understand that we can depict solid form only as it appears in light, halftone, and shadow. The shadows get darker as the form turns away from the light. A single light is always simple to draw, for more than one light cuts up the shadow tones, making everything more complicated. Think now in terms of flat areas in varying tones, and forget surface wrinkles entirely.
PLATE 33. Combining anatomy, construction, and planes
This page is one of the most important in the book, since it shows the stages of drawing a head from the anatomy and construction, through the outline, to the planes and the final completion of the drawing. It would be impossible to follow without considerable study of the preceding information, not in order to copy this head, but to draw one yourself. Study this page carefully; you will find it invaluable for reference.
PLATE 34. Building tone with planes
This page shows how the planes may be treated as straight flat surfaces, each carrying its own value between light and dark. The very light planes should have very little tone and be treated very delicately. By directing the stroke, you can make the plane turn without changing the value more than slightly. You get more solidity if you make all the planes in the light a little lighter than they appear, and those in the shadow a little darker.
PLATE 35. Every head is a separate problem
Ever)' head is an individual assemblage of shapes, lines, and spaces. Because of the variations of skulls and features, together with variations of spacing, millions of combinations occur. Forget every other face and concentrate on the one you are drawing. Accent the individual forms wherever you can. Start drawing real people, and collect clippings and photographs to practice from. Don't be tempted to trace; just draw.
Was this article helpful?