Author Topic: HAN103: Basic head (3/4 view)  (Read 5967 times)

Pa Kalsha

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HAN103: Basic head (3/4 view)
« on: September 11, 2016, 09:39:36 AM »
Now you’ve drawn a few front and side views, we’re going to put them together to draw a head turned slightly away from the front - called a “three-quarter view”. The biggest hurdle here is to start thinking of the head as a 3D form; once you’ve got a handle on that, everything that follows starts to click into place.
The placement of the features in this view is difficult to explain precisely as they’re subject to foreshortening as the head rotates, so using a model, statue or some kind of reference image here is incredibly useful. With practice and experience, you’ll get a feel for where the features begin and end, but you should always1 use a reference when studying. After all: practice makes permanent.

I said before that the base shape of the head is a ball but, so far, we’ve just drawn that as a circle. Now we’re going to make it look like a sphere. If you need a refresher, look back to the Basic Shapes: Spheres lesson.

Taking a slice off the sphere gets a little trickier in 3D, but not insurmountably so. From the centre line of the ball, measure the two-thirds marks as before, and take them across until they intersect the 90th meridian (where the ear connects). Join those points to get the vertical centre to the slice, and use what you know about drawing circles in perspective to rough out the rest of the slice.
Cutting a slice off of a sphere is going to change its profile - we saw that when we drew the head from the front and we’re going to see it again, so carefully erase the parts of the ball that protrude beyond the edge of the slice.
Remember - we’re cutting slices off both sides of the ball, so repeat the process on the side you can’t see.

Drop the centre-line for the face as before - the same distance from the nose as the nose is from the brow - and the corner of the jaw on both sides.
From there, the jaw comes around to join the mark for the chin. Make sure to keep track of the stuff you won’t be able to see in the final piece - it helps to cement the idea of the head being a physical object and helps prevent the finished head looking flat (usually a result of key landmarks missing from the far side of the head).
Join the chin and the far side of the skull with a gently curved line.

Mark out the level of the eyes, nose, mouth and hairline as before.
The eye on the far side of the head is foreshortened in this view so pay close attention to your reference. We’ll discuss drawing eyes in more detail in a future tutorial but for now - observe, record and correct.

There’s nothing new here except the construction of the nose, which we’ll cover in loose terms now and more thoroughly in a later tutorial.
The nose is a series of flat planes forming a rough pyramid-like shape. Although noses vary wildly, for the purposes of the mannequin, the top of the nose is a flat plane, the sides angle down to the face and widen as they approach the base. The widest part of the nose is roughly halfway between the tip of the nose and the base. Observe your references carefully; noses are hard, but they get easier with practice!
The edge of the slice marks the transition from front plane to side place, and aligns with the end of the eyebrow. Marking the curve from the top of the ear to the chin indicates the point where the front of the face becomes the side. Although it’s not often seen in line drawings, this line will come in handy when you start to shade the head.
Finally, don’t forget that the ears stick out of the head to a greater or lesser degree, and themselves have volume.

When inking, be judicious in your use of line, especially around the nose. You don't need to draw in every plane change, just the most extreme: the top of the nose (although it's common only to outline the tip of the nose when drawing young or feminine characters), the nostrils, and the join between the cheek and the alar lobules (the 'wings' of the nose).

Congratulations! A three-quarter view of a head is, by far, the hardest thing I’ve asked you to do so far, and it introduces a lot of concepts we’ll expand on later - volumetric thinking, perspective and foreshortening, and construction drawing.
If you found it hard, don’t worry, keep practising, observing and drawing from life and it’ll come.

Three common mistakes:
  • Squashing the far side of the head
  • Misplacing the bottom of the nose
  • Not taking foreshortening into account

« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 10:37:42 AM by Pa Kalsha »