Draw the Head from Above Looking Down

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Last time, we talked about drawing the head from a low camera angle looking up from a worm's eye view. And we basically learned a little bit about perspective. We found vanishing points, we found the horizon line, and then we use the idea of a box to construct our head. And just wanted to review that quickly. And so I'm letting this play in the background. Before we get to the head, from a high camera angle looking down, but you can, you can see how pretty quickly an effective drawing the head like this can be using the planes, finding the planes finding the corners, the front sides, tops and bottoms, and the box works really well for that.

And when you're looking up one thing I wanted to point out looking at up at the head from an extreme point of view, you see more of the lower part of the face and less of the forehead. Head and it's something like a 6040 split you see 40% of the forehead and 60% of the lower head. And so that's important to keep in mind because it's flipped when we look at the head from a low from a high camera angle looking down. Okay, now let's do the head from a high camera angle looking down, which is basically a bird's eye view, high camera angle looking down. And so I'm going to find my horizon line, my vanishing points. My horizon line is usually on the vanishing points always so that when we're looking down the horizon line is up high on the page or on the canvas or on the composition.

So I'm going to use the idea again of the box. Finding the top front two sides because every head has a front to side And the top and the bottom and the more that I could show off the box the better. And of course there are modifications to the box and you'll kind of get a feel for that as you do your own and you'll have to do half a dozen of them to get it to kind of where it becomes second nature. So So I've got the nose in, I built the eye sockets, cheekbones. And now the two cylinder with a little bit of hint of the lips here. And then the chin box and everything.

I try to be careful that there's some overlaps because overlaps, really sells the idea of depth or distance just that one tool and You can use this for any kind of caricature or cartoon, or you can use it for realistic portraits, concept art, anything you want, it works pretty well. And then after a while, you won't really need to draw the box, it'll become second nature. And now I'm just rounding out the corners here so that my simple box shape becomes more characteristic. So the box is simple and characteristic, but it needs some finesse. It doesn't need those hard corners there, we don't want to see that we want to see the beautiful finished portrait painting. And so as soon as I can, I round out those corners and make it look more human more like skull.

And I'll erase those construction lines later. And then all I have to do is really just kind of think my way through You know, finding the centers, I found the center of the face, where the the noses and the mouth and once I find the center of the box, then I can go ahead and find the halfway vertically. That's the point where the eyes are and if I can find where the eyes are, then I can find a little bit above that is the eyebrow. And then I can find the nose now, etc. I can place the ears and using the box, there's no doubt where this head is in space. It describes the form and its direction in space with specificity and clarity that a sphere really can do for you.

And a tube can do it. But it can't do it like a box because a tube has no hard corners really. It has hardened But not hard corners, like a box has. Until you'll notice that in contrast to the last head I did where we're looking up, we're going to see more forehead, and less lower parts of the face than we did when we were looking up. So it's going to be a 6040 split the other way 60% we're going to see forehead, and maybe 40% the lower features of the face or the head. And that's helpful just to kind of handle the complexity of it.

I know I'm just going to see more forehead. So if I'm not seeing that, it means my drawing is wrong. Maybe that's why it looks wrong. And so I can correct it. Simply by asking myself am I seeing more of the forehead when I'm looking down? Like I should, if not, I'll make the adjustment.

And then I can put the hair on it and kind of treat that like it has a top and sides as well. And overlaps. And the hairstyle, you know, just kind of whatever you want it to be. And so this is a quick one, just wanting to get this kind of done and out the door. I think it's somewhat self explanatory. And you can see the process pretty fun and it takes a complex thing like a head and makes it doable from any angle.

So now you know how to draw it from an extreme camera angle looking up, or worm's eye view and an extreme camera angle looking down or a bird's eye view. So once you get a handle of this Like I said, it'll go pretty fast and you won't think about it. And you may not need to even draw the box at all. So the box, it's kind of like training wheels, it gives you freedom, eventually, you know, but it definitely helps place the head in space, and then place the features and build the whole thing. So it looks like a sculpture. The idea is to become a sculpting drawer.

So that your, your drawings, your portraits have a veracity and a kind of a, you know, a truth to them. It's just the fundamentals, always practicing the fundamentals, and just getting better and better at them, refining them. So on just like the guitar, it's the same stuff over and over and then you get better and better over time. And it's incremental. So you may not notice it right away. But if you look back to three months, you'll see that you've improved if you consistently practice every day.

So there's an idea here, I'm going to draw a series of a stair steps here and this would be a head and profiled. So you'll see the forehead meet the nose, and then the nose where it meets the upper lip, lower lip comes out, and then the chin. And now if you're looking up, you can see that these stair steps start to overlap in a way where it if you play with it, you can make the head you can extrude noses and lips and chins out of that. And conversely, if we look down on the head, you see the series of L's, right. And you can see forehead, nose, lips, chin, because the overlaps are so strong It just happens to work like stairsteps like that. So I'm just pointing that out right there.

If you make the overlaps, right, and you use the letter L or like the number seven, you'll be able to kind of quickly get ahead down on paper, just as a note for maybe a storyboard or just a thought that you had, or just to place it on the page and you can come back later and flesh it out, but at least you know what you're thinking about.

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