Monday, March 4, 2013

How to draw a face (Part 2)

This is a series of blog posts I'm starting to try to help others learn how to draw as I did. used to do these techniques when I was initially learning portraiture from another artist that was trained in Germany. Of course, over time, I've stopped using the guidelines, as my muscle memory seemed to train in position and guaging the proportions by eye and hand. But this is a good way to learn, as it gives discipline and helps create a good result.
I started drawing faces as a very young child, but never caught a likeness until I was ten. After that, I was on fire! I drew constantly trying to get that almost mystical connection, the portrait that looked like whoever I was drawing...
I went to Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) constantly when I was thirteen and on vacation there one summer, learning from the portrait artists... They took pity on a young girl and let me sit and watch, and after awhile, they starting looking at what I was drawing and helping me! It was a wonderful two months...
Later on, I started selling portraits on my own (very cheaply!) to fund private art lessons to learn portraiture from a local artist where I lived, her husband was in the military, so she had originally trained with a classically educated portrait artist in Germany... She learned in the late fifties... I learned from her in the early seventies.

General sketching guidelines, explanations and tricks to train your hand and artistic eye to draw faces. This excludes shadowing, which I will go into later.

How to draw a face (Part 1)

How to draw a face (Part 2)

Now, let's take a look at how to draw the nose. The previous section was on drawing the overall guidelines and how to draw the eyes. See the previous post for this info.

Noses:  They come in all shapes and sizes and on top of that, they are constantly stretched and pulled out of their 'resting' state by the facial muscles, so you can get many different views of a specific nose even viewed face on. 
The larger the size of the nose, the more distinct the lines (and later on in this workshop, the shadowing) around it…

Generally, within the framework of the lines we have added to the egg shape, the nose fits centrally in the face.
The length of the bridge itself is approximately the length of the third eye we discussed earlier. Where you measure the bridge as it starts to slope outwards from right between the eyes and end it at the bulb of the nose itself.
The top of the bulb of the nose generally starts just below line e in the diagram above, which is the top of the bottom third of the middle section of the egg.
If you place the nose too far up, it looks unrealistic, but it’s a very common mistake when first learning to draw the face.

Tips:  The nostrils are always drawn darker; this gives the nose depth and makes it appear more 3D. I like to draw in a suggestion of the light shadow line on the bulb or nose tip as it gives it a more defined shape.

The parts of the nose are the bridge, nostrils, nasal septum, philtrum, and bulb (or protruding tip of the nose). See diagram to the left of a front view of the nose.

You can indicate the bridge of the nose by drawing a line on the darker side of it, in a line drawing this gives a feeling of depth. Shadowing can be used instead in a drawing using shading techniques. Which is a post for another day!

I draw a curved line to indicate the dip under the nose, properly called the philtrum.
The nose is generally two eye lengths in total from between the eyebrows to the tip. Although it can vary slightly, from the tip of the nose to the centre line of the lips is another eye length. The width of the nose is about one and half eye lengths.
To determine the eye length, I've included a modified diagram showing the invisible third eye covered in part one of this post series...

Note:  If you enlarge the eyes, make sure your measure of an eye length is based on the unenlarged size. Which shouldn`t really be an issue as the enlargement should be in the height of the eye, not in the length horizontally. The eyes I've illustrated above are almost comically large, you can see even though the distance between the eyes is correct (which is why if looks attractive!), the eyes are so big, they give the impression of a child's eyes (with makeup on, somewhat creepy!).

Below, I've illustrated examples of how the angle of the nose can affect how it appears, even from a front on viewpoint.
Note that you have a nice, clear view of the nostrils, and their shape is almost circular...

As the nose angle changes, foreshortening changes the size and shape of every part of the nose, including the nostrils.

Even when you can't see the nostrils, it's a good idea for composition's sake, to draw the line delineating the bottom edge of the nose darker, to give the drawing depth and make the nose appear to project.