had the experience of being told by someone that a head he has painted or drawn looks like that person or like an acquaintance or relative of the speaker.
For the artist's purpose, the simplest plan is first to think of tin- skull as In-iiig pliable and having taken a certain shape as a result_of^pressures—as it one squeezed .t rubber ball into various shapes without changing its actual volume. Although skulls have a great variety of shapes, actual measurements tally very closely, which means that the volume is about the same and only the shape is different. Suppose we model a skull in soft clay, then, between boards, press it into various shapes. Thus out of the same volume we can make a narrow head, a wide head, flaring jaws, and all the other types. How heads got to Ik- this way is not our problem. which is only to analyze and thus determine the type of skull in the particular head we wish to draw. Loiter, when you become more familiar with the construction of the skull, vou will be able to show these variations so sue-cessfully that you will be able to draw practically any type you choose and make it convincing.
At the same time you can set down undcrstand-ingly any type l>efore you. By the time you understand how the flesh is distributed over the l>ones of the face, you will Ik? able to vary the expression of the same head. The thing to remember is that the skull is fixed in position, and, with the exception of the jaw, immovable, and that the flesh is mobile and ever-changing, and v also affected by health, emotion, and age. After the skull is fully matured, it remains the same through life and is a structural foundation for the varying appearance of the flesh. Therefore the skull is always the basis of approach, and all other identifying features arc built into or upon it.
From the skull we get the spacing of the features, which is more important to the artist than the features themselves. The features must take their proper places in our construction. If they do, we have little trouble in drawing them. Trying to draw the features without having located them properly is an almost hopeless task. Eyes do strange things; mouths leer instead of smile; faces take on weird and unholy expressions. In trying to correct a face that appears to be out
A SHORT CHAT '
of drawing, the chances arc that we will do just the wrong thing. Instead of moving an eye into its socket, we trim down a check; if a jaw line is out, we add more forehead. We should know, in first laying in the outline, that the whole head is in construction. This 1 am sure you can learn from the pages that follow.
The big difference between the completely amateur attempt and the well-grounded approach is that the l>eginncr starts by setting eyes, ears, noses, and mouths into blank white space, surrounded by some sort of an outline for the face. This is drawing in the two dimensions of height and width only. We must somehow get into the third dimension of thickness, which means that we must draw the whole head as it exists in space and build the face upon it. By doing so we arc able not only to place the features, but also to establish the planes of light and shadow, and, further, to identify the humps, bumps, and creases as l)eing caused by the underlying structure of muscle, bone, and fat.
To help the beginner to start out with this third dimension, many approaches are suggested by various teachers. Some use an egg shape; others a cube or block. Some even start with one feature and start building the form out around it until the whole head is encompassed. However, all these involve many chances for error. Only the front view of the head looks like an egg, and even that gives no line of the jawbone. In profile the head is not like an egg. As for the cube, there is no accurate way of setting the head into it. The head is totally unlike a cube from any angle. The only value the cube has in drawing heads is to help set the construction lines into perspective» as you will learn later.
It seems more logical to start with a shape that is basically like the skull, one that is simple to draw and is accurate for purposes of con-Struction. This can be done by drawing a ball resembling the cranium, which is round but Battened somewhat at the sides, and attaching ril THE READER
the jawbone and features to it. Some years ago I hit upon this plan and made it the basis of my first book. Fun with a Pencil. I am happy to say that the plan was received with great enthusiasm and is now widely used in schools and by professional artists. Any direct and efficient approach must presuppose the skull and its parts and its points of division. It is just as reasonable to start drawing a wheel with a square as it is to start drawing a head with a cube. By cutting off corners and further trimming the square you could eventually come out with a fairly good wheel. You could also chip away the cube until you had a head. But at best it's a long way around. Why not start with the circle or ball? If you can't draw a ball, use a coin or a compass. The sculptor starts with a form of the general shape of the face attached to the ball of the cranium. He could not do otherwise.
I present this simple plan in this volume since it is the only approach that is at the same time creative and accurate. Any other accurate approach requires mechanical means, such as the projector, tracing, the pantograph, or using a squared-off enlargement. The big question is really whether you wish to develop the ability to draw a head, or whether you arc content to use mechanical means of projecting it. My feeling is that, if the latter were the case, you would not have been interested in this book. When your bread and butter depends upon creating an absolute likeness, and you do not wish to gamble, make the best head you can by any means possible. However, if your work is to give you joy and the thrill of accomplishment. I urge you to aim at the advancement of your own ability.
The drawings on pages 14 and 15 show the possibilities of developing all kinds of types out of the variations of skulls. After you have learned to set up the ball and plane, you can do almost anything you please with it, fitting all parts into the construction by the divisions you make across the middle line of the face. You have at your disposal jaws, ears, mouths, noses, and eyes, all of which may be large or small. The
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