Planar Head Portrait Drawing w/ Gary Geraths (Otis College)

Planar Head Portrait Drawing w/ Gary Geraths (Otis College)

November 9, 2019 38 By Bernardo Ryan


Howdy there folks! This tutorial will focus
on using the structure, the proportions, and the planar head to draw a complete, holistic
portrait. Now having said that, please remember that this is a step by step tutorial of a
drawing in progress. Look, learn and apply it into your practice. This is an angular,
planar head drawing that shows a certain methodology. You start out this exercise as we have with
the others, as a basic sphere and axis line construction. >>I use a laser pointer to show
basic areas that I am focusing on. The larger planes and the measuring points of the head.
The blue lines show the angles I am using for the first pass. The orange lines are adjustments
I will make in the jawline later in the video. After establishing the vertical axis I counter
that with the horizontal lines to block in the position and proportions of the features. It is important to get everything working in tandem but also keep it light, loose and
changeable. Here are the horizontal axis lines through the eyes and under the chin. I have
already seen proportional mistakes in the length of the face and I’ve already made changes
in the chin by moving the horizontal axis line up slightly. The darker area shows the side plane away from the light. The green plane turns more toward the front but is still in a light shadow. Now we speed up and block in the neck and shoulders and get the whole drawing to work together. At this point we get the three-dimensional forms and angle
sights to work in tandem, constantly holding up the pencil between my point-of-view and
the portrait to check out my measurements. Check the very shorter angles and variety
of line weights in the jawline and the cheek. Here is the line up for the axis lines I translate
from the model’s face and the planar head to the drawing: top of the brow, eye axis,
bottom of the nose, mouth or crease between lips. Using the angular light contrast in
the cheekbone, I use the comparison between the overall distance across the face to the
shorter side of the head. This way I see if the head is too narrow or too wide. Also I use the box on the four outer points of the head to get the head’s proportion right. Back
to the planes of the cheek to look at how light affects the line and anatomical information in the head. Making the universal marks work together to complete the concept. >>Now we move into some of the smaller planar changes and measurements. Even a smaller distance between
the cheek edge and the mouth can decide if the mouth is too wide or too narrow. Compare the size of the head and the vertical to horizontal forms. Remember every light change is a line
weight change – dark too light. Now we speed up the process and angle sight the top planes of the head and block in the ears lightly. Using the forehead measurements I block in
the planes of the hair. It is important to use the light instead of texture of the hair.
Focusing on the hair strands can make a drawing look flat and cliched. Don’t overly pay attention
to the model’s hair color. Block it out in accordance to the light that is generally
falling on the upper planes of the head. Like all other parts of the process also angle
sight it and compare the abstract measurements of how the volume of the hair covers the head.
Now the shape and the dimensions of the head are correctly coming together. I check the
angles of the cheek and chin to get the edges right then move on to the features
and measurements. Check the inside corner of the eyes to upper outside corner of the
nose, down to the plane changes of the mouth and chin. Then the middle of the eye, to the
outside corner of the mouth. These points generally line up. Then the outside corner
of the nose to the outside corner of the eye, this angle varies so check it to get the proportions
right. Then straight across horizontally, from the top and bottom of the ear into the
front plane of the face and line it up to the features. At this point I edit out some
of the lines and angles and check the brow line. I also make sure I pay attention to
how the depth of the eyes are placed into the skull socket. This will affect the light logic
and level of line weight and shadow in the drawing. To get these smaller angles I hold
the pencil up in front of the model’s face. Make note of the degrees and measurements
and place those decisions into your drawing. As I get a better idea of the bigger correct
picture, I quickly move around the portrait, constantly questioning the whole image. >>Blocking in the front plane of the nose helps establish the three dimensional quality of the face. After getting the general forms of the nose right, I move into expanding the modeling
by blocking out the nose tip and sight cartilage. I also make sure the underside of the nose
is drawn at the right angle. Angle sight the upper wing of the mouth from the center of the upper lip. Then check the proportions of the mouth and lightly angle sight them in. Don’t outline them. It makes it look cartoonish. Remember the lips and mouth are surrounded
by important forms from the nose to the chin. At this point I examine the planes and anatomy
of the cheeks. These areas are important in that they catch reflective light changes. Now that all the pieces are working in tandem, I use the planes and measurements to settle
the eyes into place with the brow, nose and cheeks. Using the planar head for comparison
I check the shape, form, and proportion of the brow, lids, and eyes. These work together
to support the rest of the process. Here you can see how the features fit into the landmarks
of the planar head and the model’s face. Again, notice how I bounce around the head and portraiture
to check various proportions and line weight. Remember this demonstration drawing is angular
and structural to focus on the larger concepts of the planes and measurements of the head. Even as the portrait structure is solidifying, I’m still seeing the more delicate lines and
reinforcing the differences between the front and side planes. Here is the comparisons between
the drawing, the planar head, and our model Parker.