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Draw Heads On Any Angle, From Your Imagination

Draw Heads On Any Angle

Imagine if you could draw heads on any angle from your imagination - and it was easy.

It's the ultimate comic artist super power, next to drawing full figures.

But how the heck do you do it? And how do you do it consistently?

I've compiled some of the key takeaways from my Heads & Faces Workshop on this very topic, so you can draw heads in perspective without breaking a sweat.

Drawing the front, side, and three quarter views of the head is one thing, but drawing them from above, below and every other position in between is a whole other ball game.

Yet for a comic book artist, it's an everyday part of the job. It's not as difficult as you might think either. In fact, I'm about to show you how easy it can be.

The secret is simplification

A simple head is much easier to visualize. You can turn it around inside your mind and reconstruct it on the page.

The added complexities of a fully formed head however make it way harder to comprehend, let alone draw.

So it's better to take all that complexity out of the equation and dedicate maximum brain wattage to what really matters - placement, form and proportions.

And for that, we need only a basic head model.

Simplify The Head

The simplified head model consists of two parts - the cranium and the face. Join them together and you've got the blue print for your head.

To master the foundational head model from every conceivable angle, you've got to practice drawing it from every conceivable angle.

Here's how we do it...

We take it apart. We study the cranium and basic face form separately, so that we have a complete understanding of those primary building blocks.

Then we join them back together. And if we've put in the groundwork, drawing the full head model from multiple points of view should be a walk in the park.

The Cranium

Drawing The Cranium

The cranium is essentially a sphere with the sides cut off.

It has an axis, which determines the tilt of the head's rotation, and a vertical guideline that runs down the middle to show what direction the head is looking in.

Another guideline runs around the belly of the sphere, ultimately serving as the head's brow line.

The sides of the sphere are flattened out, leaving us with a more accurate representation of the skull's shape.

Draw The Cranium From Different Angles

To draw the cranium, warm up with a few circles first (they're harder to draw then you might think, trust me).

Then add in the vertical and horizontal guidelines. This will convert our circles into spheres!

Next slice off the sides of the sphere. Remember, the height of the side planes should be about two thirds of the cranium's overall length.

Once you've captured the correct shape of the cranium, spend some time drawing it from multiple points of view.

The Face Box

Simplified Face Block

The face can be simplified into to a box, with a few modifications made to refine it's shape. It'll ultimately connect to the bottom of the cranium, completing our base head model! To draw it, lets keep things simple and start off with a regular ol' cube. Next we'll make the width of the cube narrower at the base. Then curve the side edges inward, and raise the back bottom edge of the box up, to complete the form.

Simple Face Block Drawn From Different Angles

As with the cranium, practice drawing the face block from every conceivable angle.

Become completely comfortable turning these forms in space and presenting them from multiple points of view.

Do this until it becomes second nature. Then, when you're feeling confident enough - join them together!

Combine The Cranium And Face Block

Simplified Head Foundation Drawn At Different Angles

Since you've practiced drawing the cranium and face block from so many different angles already, it'll be much easier to do the same thing with the foundational head model.

It's all about familiarizing yourself with the individual parts that make up the whole. That is the key to drawing the human head from all angles.

Here's the coolest part though.

Once you've got the foundation down, the rest is a breeze. You can lay the facial features right in on top without worrying about their placement and proportions.

Drawing Different Types of Heads

You might even add in some shadows and rendering later to further describe the anatomy - but the foundations are all taken care of.

Without them, nothing else works.

As I mentioned earlier, The Heads & Faces Workshop covers all this and more in comprehensive detail. And you can get immediate access to every lesson when you join the How to Draw Comics Academy today - just go here now to sign up and you're in!

I hope you found this tutorial useful. Thanks for reading and until next time - keep drawing!


Tutorial by Clayton Barton

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