Head Construction

This content covers:

  • An efficient linear strategy for drawing the head (to aid the development of competence in this difficult skill)

  • Drawing the head from imagination and observation

  • Skull structure - essential artistic anatomy of the head

  • Average head proportions, against which individual characters and likeness can be judged.

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3D Skull Models

These models are stages of developing a plasticine skull model in the the introduction to the skeleton in the Form, Gesture, Anatomy course.  The model below labeled "Skull Simplification 4" is the aim for this exercise.

To view, click any of the images and you will be taken to a page with all the models, that you can view in 3D

Linear process for developing competence in head construction from observation

Stage 1

1. Basic Shape of head as a flat shape in five lines, noticing height to width ratio and apparent angles.  Begin with the two "facial lines" if possible

2.  Establish orientation in space of the head with the lines of longitude and latitude developed in sphere drawing lessons of The Fundamentals of Form Drawing

3. Complete the shape of the head

4. Make a note of the visual half way horizontal and verticals, relative to a details near this point for step 5

5. Eyeline, temple, to establish the extent of the features within the shape of the head

Stage 2

Step 6:  Ear, plane break from zygomatic to chin, front of ear/back of jaw, base of nose, join of lips, bottom of bottom lip, front edge of nose

Stage 3

7. Hair line, Check angles for mistakes:  temple to aural canal angle, nose to bottom of ear/base of skull angle, jaw refine

8. Check distances: nose to cheek, edge of nose to tear duct of closest eye to viewer, rear corner of eye to side burn, rear corner of eye to front of ear, space from back of ear to back of skull