BUILDING YOUR VISUAL LIBRARY I: The Human Head


*Radio Static* Hello and welcome to the Modern Day James Show – I am as always Modern Day James And this week we will be expanding our visual libraries In this series we will breakdown the world around us into easy to digest forms and try to retain that as knowledge We will be putting aside our traditional pens in exchange for the computer This way we can reuse affirmative blackouts in between each subject. Today we will be studying the human head So let us begin. Our goal here today is to build a repository of angles in which to view our subject In order to fully understand it and retain it In your visual library you need to be able to represent that subject in any angle and camera position Instead of rushing into a direct drawing of a subject or camera angle that I’m not particularly comfortable with I begin with a simplified primitive block out and rotate it sequentially. In this first group of block outs I’m starting with the camera position beneath our subject and then rotating the subject until it reaches 180 degrees. I started with the camera position this way because it’s the most challenging for me and I think it’s important to tackle our weaknesses directly An important thing to take note of – is that as we rotate our block out counterclockwise The left vanishing point moves further away from the center and our right vanishing point moves closer towards it. And now we’ve rotated to a point where we’re looking at the profile view in a one-point perspective. It’s not entirely necessary to show how this tilted cylinder contacts the form of the head But I included it to show how these forms would insert into one another. Now once again the left vanishing point will move further away from the center and the right vanishing point will move towards it If you’re having trouble creating these modified forms in perspective, take a step back and try to do it with a simple Cube first. I cover a cube turning exercise in the first episode of the becoming Aggie series that will strengthen your ability to do this. And if you’re completely new to perspective take a look at my perspective basic series – in it we cover one point two point and three point perspective, mirroring planes, and creating curves and ellipses But once you’re comfortable with simpler forms try your hand with a more complicated shape Even though we’re drawing digitally and we can sometimes take advantage of ctrl Z I think it’s important to try to exercise intent with every single line that we create and avoid creating fuzzy indecisive lines I’m going to do a future tutorial on different types of lines and how to improve your line work But an important component of it is being competent in your decision-making and having a steady hand Now let’s ship the position of the camera to above the subject I’m making a lot of approximations about the Convergences of these lines as I do this while there are more precise ways to create these twisting forms I’m just trying to find a subject that looks correct Rather than a form that is perfect Which I think is a really important point because while we’re trying to be very scientific about our decision-making We are still making art and a lot of times. It’s the imperfections that really give a drawing life and character Remember it is a left vanishing point. Let’s feather a twig it right vanishing point moves closer to us Thanks f3 t0j Now I’ll finish up the remainder of the block outs Now that we have our primitive blackouts in place we can start drawing our characters it’ll be a lot easier to pre visualize how the face will look now that we have this geometry underlying it I Have a reference photo off to the side from which I’m getting the details of the character But I’m applying them in accordance to perspective for example once. I place the eye closest to us I simply travel back towards the right vanishing point to find the placement of the second. Eye It’s important to not get too tied down by the geometry feel free to break out of or cut into the silhouette of the form Again while I’m taking advantage of ctrl Z I’m still trying to draw in a direct manner meaning that all lines are intended to be final lines I Think for me a really important part of line drawing is creating a distinction between different materials That’s why I spend a lot of time texturing the head hair and the facial hair Since the cameras positioned underneath them we continually see the underside of the jaw One thing I really struggled with as I was doing This is trying to maintain the likeness of the character between the poses because the character has a pretty distinctive hairstyle It’s kind of easy to take this a bit As the character continues to turn counterclockwise we see less of the front of the face and more of the back of the head Notice that the eye just becomes a small sliver as we approach these back views Also notice that the ear has a tilt to it with the top furthest from the head and Keep in mind that there’s a cylindrical volume that connects the ear to the head That’s a lot more visible when we’re looking from the back view Now I’ll draw the character again, but with the camera positioned above his head although I don’t put in a lot of rendering information I do include a heavy shadow underneath the nose to demonstrate that it’s a large protruding form and that the light is coming from above I’ve done this with all the sketches so far We most commonly encounter top lighting in real life, so all the planes that are facing downward Or are occluded by a forum will be in a heavy shadow That’s why the upper lip beneath the lower lip and behind the ears are all in shadow Because the hair is curving around the head some of the planes are in shadow and some of the planes are in highlight Areas that are perpendicular to the direction of the light source will be the brightest Hence why I draw the hair on the top of the head lighter than I do behind the ears Also take note of the fact that hair tense has formed small groupings each with their own gradient from dark to light and since the Nose is overlapping the cheek. I increase the line weight on it to show that it’s in front And this face didn’t really come out resembling the others Now that the head is tilted away from us once again We start to see the back of the ear in the back of the head At this vantage point the eye is really just a small sliver and is not very prominent Again twisting further back we can see how much volume is actually behind the ear and The front facial features are just small lines protruding past the cheekbone In this view we really don’t see any identifying features whatsoever just the brow and cheekbones and a little bit of the mouth Now once we’ve finished that turnaround we can start with another character using the same primitive geometry from before I Wanted to get a range of characters, so now I’m drawing a middle-aged woman I’m using a reference photo of a front view which gives me an idea of what the features will look like While still challenging me to turn it and perspective in my mind One of the benefits of doing this exercise is that it forces you to make observations that you may have previously Overlooked for example with this character, I noticed how the shape of the eye is affected by the drooping of skin from the overlying brow Also with this character her brow bone pinches in as it approaches the bridge of the nose It’s characteristics like these that you want to take note of that way You can recreate it in the future or even exaggerate it if you want to make your own characters Another feature that I had trouble with is the connection between the neck and the jaw But drawing it over and over again in different angles strengthens your understanding of the proportions And once again, we’ll place the camera above our subject Again notice how much of the eye is occluded by the drooping of the skin on the brow Also, take note of the shape of the eye. It’s very different than the typical pictographic. Eye. We instinctually draw as children There’s a lot of depth between the brow and the socket and we need to make sure that we captured our drawings And Now we’ll do another character a younger female this time in a younger person There’s much less drooping of skin and less folds underneath the eyes the female neck is typically much thinner than that of the male counterpart And it’ll often be a main component of making her appear feminine Additionally the upper lid is not occluded by the skin on the brow bone And now I just continue doing the same thing all the perspective of the blackout to find the placement of each future So go ahead and try this out for yourself You can do this with pretty much any subject matter you want to understand and it can be done with varying camera lenses And that’s it for this week guys. Thank you so much for watching if you enjoyed the video, please like and subscribe I’ll be putting out new videos every Thursday as well as live streaming every Friday through Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time if you want to catch up with all the previous live streams get group lessons Or just want to support the channel you can sign up at patreon.com Stick around until next week for another new episode. Thank you guys

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