Cranial Mass

Facial Mass

The cranial mass is quite even and regular: a simple, curved dome in general outline.

The facial mass, on the other hand, is uneven and irregular: a somewhat hard-cornered, triangular form.

Drawing Outline Human BodyHead Upward

Cranial Mass, Three-Quarter Down View

Facial Mass, Extreme Up View

Cranial and Facial Masses, Th ree-Quarter View

Lower Jaw Form, Back View

Contour of Cranial Mass

Seen from the side, the cranial mass curves upward from the mounded ridge of bone just above the rim of the eye socket. This is the superciliary arch or visor of the brow. Beginning at the frontal depression in the bridge of the nose the cranium rises up the forehead to the vault of the skull and sweeps backward across the crown in a great curve toward the lower occipital bulge at the base of the head. The base line of the skull then proceeds horizontally forward to meet the hinge of the jaw. From the jaw hinge, the brain case line continues obliquely upward to the starting point at the bridge of the nose. This line forms the boundary between the two great masses of the head: the cranial mass above, and the facial mass below.

crown cranial mass superciliary arch lower occipital bulge base line of skull jaw hinge facial mass crown cranial mass superciliary arch lower occipital bulge base line of skull jaw hinge facial mass

Line Drawing Human

Contour of Facial Mass

The facial mass descends along the projecting nasal line from the bridge of the nose. At the point of the nose, the facial mass scoops sharply inward and swings over the bulge of the teeth to the protruding mound of the chin. From here, the contour moves angularly up the lower edge of the jaw line to the angle of the jaw. Here it rises steeply, almost vertically, to the jaw hinge in the base of the head. The boundary line, connecting the hinge with the nose bridge, divides the facial mass from the cranial mass.

cranial mass nasal line jaw hinge facial mass bulge of teeth angle of jaw jaw' line cranial mass nasal line jaw hinge facial mass bulge of teeth angle of jaw

Cranial Mass

Proportions and Measurements

The size relations between the cranial mass and the facial mass reveal two different sets of proportions.

cranial mass facial mass

FRONT VIEW

From a direct front view, the cranial mass and the facial mass tend to be equal in size.

cranial mass facial mass

FRONT VIEW

From a direct front view, the cranial mass and the facial mass tend to be equal in size.

Side View Human Head

SIDE VIEW

From a side viewr, the cranial mass is virtually twice as large as the facial mass.

cranial mass facial mass

Human Head Side Outline

SIDE VIEW

From a side viewr, the cranial mass is virtually twice as large as the facial mass.

cranial mass facial mass drawing correct frontal proportions

When you draw the head, it is helpful to visualize these proportions in the following manner.

Outline Egg Shaped Head

step 1

Frontally, the head, with its two great masses, is clearly egg-shaped. In order to establish the shape correctly, first draw the outline of this ovoid form.

Human Head Shape

step 2

Now divide the simple head shape lengthwise in equal halves with a center line (A-B) drawn from crown to chin.

Human Head Measures

step 3

Take the width of one of the halves of the egg (C-D) and measure this against the vertical center line# (A-B). If you have drawn the egg properly, the center line (A-B) should be three times the length of the horizontal line (C-D). Thus, the total width of the head (C-E) is just two thirds the length. If your first drawing of the head shape is too long or too short, use these space divisions to eliminate the distortion.

dividing cranial and facial masses

Now, using this egg shape as your norm for the front view head, draw it again and divide it with a horizontal line (A-B) midway between top and bottom. This line reveals the equal measures of the two major masses: the cranial mass above, and the facial mass below. If you then divide the egg with a vertical line (C-D), the )oint where the vertical and lorizontal lines cross (E) identifies the position of the bridge of the nose in the mid-region of the head.

drawing correct side view proportions

To establish the plan of the side view head, take two egg-shapes of identical size and draw them one over the other, the first upright, the second horizontal. The downward bulge will identify the lower jaw. The backward bulge (the widest part of the horizontal egg) becomes the back of the head. Note that the height (A-B) and width (C-D) of the side viewr head are equal. Furthermore, if you drop another vertical line (E-F) at the inner edge of the upright egg, you find that the width (C-D) divides into three equal parts. Finally, if you visualize the upper egg as the cranial mass, you wrill see that the cranial mass is twice the size of the facial mass.

Drawing Cranial and Facial Masses

This series of drawings shows how to simplify the two major masses when you draw difficult views and extreme positions of the head. What is most important in this first stage is to set down a firm and correct foundation upon which to build the smaller forms. Specific details of these smaller forms are left for later refinement. See howr easily a difficult viewr of the head may be solved by starting the drawing with the initial placement of the twTo great masses. Note the flatness of the under-jaw and skull base.

Oblique Side Up View

Three-Quarter Front Up View

Skull Side Airbrush
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Responses

  • thomas
    How to draw side skull step by step?
    8 years ago
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    How to draw human noses?
    7 years ago
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    What is your cranial mass?
    7 years ago
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    How to measure width of egg?
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    How to draw the human head worksheets?
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