The head and neck top off a striking structure. The cervical vertebrae go up into the skull and allow the head its range of turning, twisting, and bending. If you've ever had a bad stiff neck, you know how precious this flexibility is.
The head itself is roughly as wide as it is high in profile from the front, although it is thinner than it is high and has an oval shape. In the back, the skull is rounded, behind the shape of the face and jaw. The back of the neck goes up into the skull, while the front of the neck goes up under the chin and jaw. The main plane of the face is modified by the facial features: the wedge shape of the nose, the forehead, the eye sockets, the cheekbones, the mouth and jaw, and the ears on the sides.
Along with studying a few examples here—or better yet, in the hundreds of master drawings in books or museums—just get in there and try some head studies. They'll help with portraiture to come.
Was this article helpful?