Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Head sketches

I'm gearing up for book two: "The Penance of Borund the Bear" which will be an illustrated short story (mostly prose but with some illustrations). I'm doing the final edits to the story, so I'll be working on the artwork soon.

After "One Step Ahead", I just wasn't happy with how I was drawing faces, so I've been studying this book and doing some practice: Anatomy of Facial Expression.

This is an incredible book and I highly recommend it!

I started with bits and pieces of faces. Trying to do upshots and downshots of faces means fighting with your brain a lot. It's tricky.

After a lot of frustration, I started drawing faces from photo reference. (The weird-looking top left image is my loose, reference-free warm up. This helps to get started on a drawing session.)

Faces are such subtle, nuanced things. A philtrum curling inwards or outwards is the difference between a slight duck-face and a tight-lipped expression, and it really doesn't take much to change the face's entire mood.

Often I would find that the photo reference was smiling harder than my drawing, so I'd go hunting for clues to find out why: lower lid covering the lower part of the iris, wrinkles around the eyes, the cheek crease (caused by distortion of the malar fat pad, something which DOESN'T EXIST IN OTHER ANATOMY BOOKS, DAMN IT!), the stretch of the lips...

Faces are tricky, but I'm going to decode them! Or die trying.