Human Face Sketches

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Step 1. Now, to show you how to put together everything you've learned so far, the artist draws a front view of a complete head. He starts out with the traditional egg shape and visualizes the neck as a slightly slanted cylinder. For symmetry, he draws a vertical guideline down the center of the egg. Then he adds horizontal guidelines for the brow, eyes.

nose, and mouth. He divides the eye line into five different parts: two of these parts will become eyes, of course, but the space between them is also the width of one eye—and so are the spaces on either side of the eyes. The hase of the nose is also 4ione eye wide." The mouth is about "two eyes wide,"

Portrait Guidelines

Step 2* The first simple skctch of the features goes directly over the guidelines of Step 1. The artist squares up the jaw just a bit, adds the ears—which align with the nose and eyes—and suggests the shape of the hair, which extends beyond the edges of the egg. He draws the lines of the eye lids and suggests the shape of the iris. He quickly sketches the bridge of the nose, the shapes of the nostrils, and the tip. He draws the characteristic wing shape of the upper lip and the fuller curve of the lower lip. The sitter's collar curves around the cylinder of the neck.

Pencil Portrait Drawing

Step 3. Switching from the point of the pencil to the side of the lead, the artist begins to darken his tones with broad parallel strokes. The light comes from the left, and so most of the tones are on the right sides of the shapes. He carries the tone downward over the side of,the forehead, cheek, jaw, and chin, adding the shadow on the neck. He adds the first suggestion of tone to each eye socket, iris, and pupil, and then moves downward to add broad, simple tones to the nose and lips. As usual, the upper lip is darker than the lower, and there's a shadow beneath the lower lip. Touches of tone appear on the ears. The hair is visualized as a big, simple mass, lighter on one side than on the other.

Graphite Drawing Human Mouth Chin

Step 4. The artist completes the drawing by darkening the tones with the side of the pencil and sharpening contours and details with the tips. He builds up the modeling on the shadow side of the face, where you can now sec a distinct gradation of light, halftone, shadow, and reflected light. On the lighted side of the face, he adds touches of tone where the cheek and jaw turn away from the light. He darkens the eye sockets» the underside of the nose and nostrils, the tips, the tones within the ears, and the shadow beneath the chin. With the point of the pencil, he sharpens the contours of the ears, emphasizes the detail of the eyes and eyebrows, draws the nostrils more precisely, and suggests the detail of the collar, He completes the hair with broad strokes made with the side of the lead.

Face Shadow Drawing

Step % The procedure is essentially the same in a three-quarter view. But now the guidelines are a vertical egg overlapped by a horizontal egg. The center tine moves as the head turns to the side, The horizontal guidelines are stili in the same places, of course. Across the eye line, the artist locates the eyes with tiny touches of the pencil point. Moving down to the line at the base of the nose, he locates the outer edges of the nostrils in the same way. The neck is a slightly slanted cylinder once again. Notice that the back of the head protrudes well beyond the line of the neck.

Human Head For Artist

Step 2, The artist reshapes the contours of the head over the original guidelines, adding the angular details of the brow, cheek, chin, and jaw. The features appear in their correct places on the horizontal guidelines. Although the head is turned to a three-quarter view, the ear slill aligns roughly with the eyebrow and nose. Notice how the tip of the nose and the nostrils are visualized as distinct forms. The eyelids are clearly drawn, as are the dark paCches within the eyes. The upper lip has the distinctive wing shape, while the lower lip looks blocky and masculine, The hair starts just below the crowii and extends beyond the guidelines of the upper egg shapes.

Rough Portrait Drawings

Step 3* The artist blocks in the tones with rough strokes. First he places the biggest tonal shapes on the side of the brow, cheek, jaw, and chin. Then he moves to the features, adding tone to the eye sockets, eyelids, nose, and lips. The nose casts a slanted shadow downward toward the right. As usual, the upper lip is in shadow, the lower lip catches the light, and there's a deep shadow beneath the lower lip.

Charcoal Face Drawing

Step 4, The artist finishes the drawing by building up the darks throughout the face and features, and so now you can sec the lights, halftones, shadow, and reflected light distinctly. The point of the pcncil sharpens the lines and adds the details, is this four-step process becoming familiar? Good!

Four Step Process

Slender Strokes. Working with the sharp point of the pencil, you can build up the tones of your drawing with groups of slender parallel strokes. The halftones and reflected lights arc clusters of fairly pale strokes; the artist has applied only moderate pressure to the pencil. The darker shadows consist of heavier strokes; the artist has pressed harder on the pencil. The strokes are closer together in the shadow areas, while there are more spaces between the strokes in the halftones and reflected lights. Observe how the strokes change direction to suggest the curve of the cheek.

Pencils Sketch Stroke Pictures

Broad Strokes. Here's the same subject executed with much broader strokes. The artist holds his pencil at an angle so the side of the lead touches the paper. He presses harder on the pencil to make the darker strokes, which are closer together than the paler strokes. The pencil moves diagonally (with a slight curve) to suggest the roundness of the check. Then the pencil moves vertically downward to suggest the squarish shape of the jaw. And the strokes become slanted again as the pencil follows the angle of the jaw down to the chin.

Human Face Sketches

Strokes on Rough Paper. It's worthwhile to try a variety of textured papers, many of which are rougher and more irregular than charcoal paper. In this portrait of the same woman you see on the left, the artist has used a thick stick of graphite in a plastic holder and drawn on extremely rough paper. The thickness of the drawing tool and the irregular surface of the drawing paper combine to make the strokes look bold and ragged. The marks of the graphite stick look granular, with big flecks of bare paper showing through. The strokes are less precise than those on the charcoal paper, but more dynamic.

Strokes on Charcoal Paper. Charcoal paper isn't just for charcoal drawing. Its subtle, ribbed surface is equally good for pencil drawing. The delicate tooth (as it's called) of the sheet combines with the pencil strokes to produce a lively texture. In this close-up of a woman's portrait, the thick-and-thin pencil strokes in the hair are softened by the textured surface of the paper: tiny flecks of bare paper pop through even the darkest tones, making the strokes vibrate with a kind of inner light. These tiny flecks of bare paper lend softness and transparency to the tones around the eyes.

Drawings Woman Face

Modeling with Strokes* This woman's face is modeled with delicate strokes that travel carefully over the forms, For example, there are two patches of tone above the right eye socket; each consists of slanted strokes that are carefully angled to express the roundness of the form. Now follow the route of the strokes that model the cheek on the shadow side of the face. In the pale halftone area under the eye, the lines are delicate diagonals. As the cheek turns away from the light, the strokes curve and darken. The entire face is rendered with carefully planned groups of strokes.

Continuos Tone Drawing

Continuous Tone on Charcoal Paper, Still another way to build up tone on charcoal paper is to rub the side of the lead gently back and forth as if you were sharpening the lead on a piece of sandpaper. The tooth of the paper gradually shaves away microscopic granules of graphite, which slowly pile up to create the tones of the drawing. The more you rub—and the harder—the darker the tones get. For the delicate tones of the eyes, the artist passes his pencil lightly over the paper once or twice. To create the darker tones of the eyebrows and hair, the artist presses harder and moves his pencil back and forth several times.

Rendering Human Body Pencil

Modeling by Blending. Another way to render tone is by blending the strokes of the pencil (or the graphite stick) with the tip of your finger or a paper stomp. Look carefully at this drawing of the same sitter and you'll see that the artist has started with broad, rather casual strokes—not as neaE or careful as the ones in the drawing at your left—and smudged them to create soft, velvety tones. The blending doesn't obliterate the strokes completely, but they melt away into smoky areas that look more like patches of paint. The softer grades of pencil arc easiest to blend.

Two Tone Fade Away Paint

Continuous Tone on Rough Paper, You can do the same thing on rough paper, which shaves away the granules of graphite more rapidly—like rough sandpaper—and builds up more ragged, irregular tones. Once again, the artist presses harder and moves his pencii back and forth several times for the dark tones, while he just skims the surface of the paper once or twice for the paler tones. He works with a thick, soft pencil—or a graphite stick in a holder.

Step 1. For your first pencil portrait, see what you can do with a combination of slender lines and broad strokes on an ordinary piece of drawing paper. Use the sharp point of the pencil to draw the contours with slender lines. Then use the side of the pencil to build up the tones with strokes of various thicknesses. The artist begins this demonstration by drawing the usual egg shape of the head. Within the egg shape, he draws a vertical center line and four horizontal lines to help him locate the features. Over these guidelines, he draws the eyebrows, eyes, nose, and mouth. The neck is a slightly slanted cylinder around which he draws the curved lines of the collar with swift strokes. A few more lines define the curving contours of the hair, which extends above the egg shape and beyond it on either side. At this stage, the artist works entirely with a sharpened HB pencil.

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