Getting Perspective On The Female Head

Another sequence complete! I had such a great time drawing these lovely ladies up. I think the destination always mirrors how much you enjoy the journey. If you really don’t like what you’re working on it’ll look forced. But if you loved every moment of it, your art is going to shine.

These gals are featured in the ‘How To Draw Women: Female Heads’ Course to help illustrate the importance of why it’s so darn critical to be able to draw the female head from all angles – not just the front, side, and ¾ views.

As a comic book artist you become the director! You choose the framing, composition and perspective of the shot within the panel. And being an effective visual storyteller, you understand that each angle can be leveraged to produce a certain feeling, context and sense of drama throughout the story.

For example, in the first panel of this sequential line up we’re looking up at the character from below. This produces a feeling of power and dominance as the character looms over us.

In panel two we have an almost opposite effect, as the camera looks down at the character from a higher vantage point. If not for her quietly confident expression, she might seem more submissive or in need of protection.

Point is everything makes a difference when setting the stage for your scene, and the way its shot can have major implications on its context.

But it’s near impossible to enrich our stories with the countless ways a character could be framed for dramatic effect if we don’t have the ability to draw dynamically. And although we’re focusing on the female head here, this really goes for the entire character. In fact we’ve got to take it up a few notches for maximum effect, giving our characters different expressions and poses to really bring them to life and make our comic books that much more immersive.

So there’s a lot of elements that come together to compose even a single panel. It can seem overwhelming, yet at the same time the sheer depth of what makes a good comic work gives the whole process of creating it more substance. There are so many tools you can learn and harness to create an incredibly riveting experience for your readers. It’s exciting!

That’s why I really wanted to take the time to do up a few examples showing how the skill to draw the female head from multiple angles might actually be applied. These can be so darn tricky to pull off correctly, even for me. Up until not too long ago, there were many occasions where I’d attempt to draw the head from an angled perspective – but it’d just end up looking weird. Even though I thought I had the structure right, there was something I was missing. And I know that when I first began posting these panels many of you wrote in expressing similar feelings.

One of the reasons these dynamic angles are so hard to master is because as we turn the camera to look at the head in a different perspective, its proportions become foreshortened. The shape and dimensions of the head, placement of the eyes, the nose, the mouth and the ears all become skewed. So it’s easy to see why many of us would feel that’s it’s almost impossible to learn how to draw the female head from these different perspectives and have it look right.