Okay, let's look at the planes and the rhythms of the head. Nothing beats these tools for simplifying the complexities of the head. And that was indeed, the exact intention of its creator, Frank Riley. That's the name Riley abstraction. His purpose learning to his words were to help his students understand it and organize the anatomy of human form without getting lost in the complexities. So Frank Riley, he was a respected artist at the Art Students League in New York.
And he was teaching there in the 30s through the 60s, and his influences date back to the French Academy of the 19th century. And he studied with George Bridgman. If you don't know who he has, you should find out definitely and Bridgman studied with Jean Leon zero, and he was one of the most prominent artists of the French Academy. Me. So Riley developed these approaches to drawing to help his students, you know, organize all that complexity of the, the head and the form. And that method was taught by Fred fix ler in Los Angeles and that's where I got these was from Fred fixers website and ficks law had been a student of Frank Riley.
Okay, so that's to put it into context a little bit. And I ran into was first exposed to the rhythms by one of my teachers Sheldon Bornstein, and his teacher and mine was the famed Glanville poo. So when I first discovered the rhythms and the planes, you know, at first I really didn't like them to be honest. They're, they're very mechanical and robotic. There's too many hard lines in there and I'm a tone person. And I resisted it.
I didn't see all those planes in the face. I Beautiful, rounded forms. And these didn't look beautiful to me. But when I discovered their utility, I was all in and use them. So the Reilly abstraction is a kind of diagram and it's a great tool to show the box like structure of the head and the features of the face so that your drawings looks 3d. When you're practicing the drawing the planes and the rhythms.
The point is to overdo the box, overdo the diagram to give a better explanation of the things you're trying to show. Knowing the planes and rhythms of the head helps you draw through your shapes and connect everything together. You have to do a dozen or so of these diagrammatic drawings to become familiar with them. So you can use them as tools to draw the face and better explain what's being represented. Again, you've got to do them half a dozen times or 12 times before they get into your muscle memory. Once they're there.
You have the power to draw the head from every different angle. So you need to get this inside your brain, inside your muscle memory, and then draw them from imagination. So remember, it's a diagram. It's not real life. It's a kind of blueprint. So just do it enough so that it becomes part of your toolkit.
And then when you draw the model, make sure to draw the model and not just draw a diagram. Okay, let me show you how I use these when I worked at Electronic Arts. I did hundreds of character designs as a lead character designer, on the Godfather, Lord of the Rings, and I use this exact method. And you can see some of the approaches that I took on the left side over here, and they show the rhythms Okay, I don't know if you can see that. And then the finish on the right. That's the way that I constructed them.
I started this way and was able to do hundreds of character designs. So, you know, these things are really powerful, you can make a living at art, if you're looking to make a living, you want to get into games. I've been there. And this is how I did it. So it's very effective. And everything that I get to teach you I did in the studio, it was a great joy.
Actually, here's some close ups of some of those characters. So you can see a wide variety of characters. In this one, we can close up a little bit, you can kind of see the underdrawing really well. It's a great start, it's loose. So it's got the framework there of the rhythms and the planes. And then you can put your beautiful paint on top of a firm structure.
So this is like kind of like a blueprint and putting in the framework. And then you can put your beautiful paint as a decoration. So doing a drawing is like building a house. First you have a blueprint, then you have the foundation. And then you put the walls and the plumbing, electricity and then you put your decoration paint on top. So drawing the head is a lot like that.
It's also like building a song you put in the drums and the bass for the foundation. And then you have your melody over the top in terms of a singer, guitar player and so on. You can think of it like that, if that's helpful. Alright, so here is basically the idea for your studies. And what I would recommend that you do is you can do this in Photoshop or have a tracing paper overlay of some photo reference. So find some photo reference of photos that inspire you in different lighting conditions.
And you can practice finding the planes and rhythms and you draw them over the top of the photo. That's a great Way to practice again, it's a way to get it into your muscle memory. And I did it, I'd recommend you doing it so that it gets in there quicker. And then you don't have to struggle over this but it is a bit abstract. It's a Riley abstraction after all. And so to get through it, you need to just expose yourself to it a number of times, and then it'll become easy for you.
So let's do a couple right now.