Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Drawing Lesson 3: The Eyes

Drawing the Eyes
As you’ve observed in lesson one, the shape of the eye resembles a circle.  It is the eyeball that is the shape of the circle, but adding the other elements such as the eyelids, iris, etc. will make it look more like an eye.  To make the eyes more realistic you have to make it 3 dimensional (i.e., sphere).  You do this by adding light and dark shades & then blending those shades. 

There are many different eye shapes.  They can be distinguished by genes and/or nationality.  The above diagram shows a few examples of these shapes.  The droopy eyes are down turned.  They are smaller in the inner corner, but bigger in the outer corner and you can see more of the ‘whites’ of the eyes.  The shape of this eye resembles a teardrop.  The prominent eyes are bigger with larger eyelids.  This eye is rounder in shape.  Almond-shaped eyes are in the shape of almonds.  These eyes are more standard and are typically used when showing how to draw the eye.  Asian eyes are sometimes smaller with hooded eyelids. 

Anatomy of the Eye

  Take a moment to study and examine the eye before proceeding with the next portion of the lesson.

Eye space is very important.  Some eyes are close-set (i.e., closer together) or wide-set (i.e., further apart).  Typically, the distance between the eyes is measured by an eye length.  Simply put, when drawing the eyes draw three in a row then erase the eye in the middle.  See the next example:

 As you’ve examined, the eye in the center is lightly drawn to show you the space between the eyes.

 Below is a step-by-step example of how to draw the front view of the eye:

A.     Start with drawing a circle.  Next, draw a vertical & horizontal line in the center of the circles. The lines will help measure the correct proportions. Draw two more circles inside that circle (medium & small).   Add 1-2 smaller circles alongside the pupil (this indicates eye sparkle).  
 B.    Next, lightly fill in the iris & the pupil with your pencil.   The iris can be any shade of gray indicating any eye color you choose. Color the pupil black. Leave the smaller circles white.
C.      Draw the eye shape of your choice around the eyeball and pupil. I chose the almond-shape.  Remember to draw the inner lid and the caruncle.  The caruncle should start at a third from the bottom of the iris.

D.     Begin lightly erasing the guidelines & the parts outside of the eye you’ve drawn with your block eraser.  Lightly fill in the rest of the eye using the #3 or #4 shades on the grayscale.  (FYI- The eyeball should never be white).  Add the fine lines of the iris using your kneaded eraser.  Notice the red arrows--these indicate the curvature of the eye.

E.      Start developing tones of light & dark by using the value scale and then blend using your tortillions.  Remember to create a shadow from the top eyelid onto the eyeball, which adds dimension. Eyelashes are optional at this point.  We will elaborate more on that later in the lesson.

 Below is an alternative to shading in the eye:
A.     Follow the same step as above.
B.    Next, color the center circle black & leave the smallest circle white.  Draw short lines around the pupil as though you are drawing sunrays. Do the same within the border of the iris as indicated.
C.      Follow the same step as above.
D.     Follow the same step as above and instead blend the lines inside the iris using your tortillion. 
E.      Follow the same step as above.  In addition add more dimension to the iris by using your kneaded eraser to lift tones- adding highlights & redefining the sparkle to the eye.

When drawing the side of the eye the angle changes and you can only see one eye at a time.  The shape resembles a triangle and the upper lid protrudes the lower lid.
A.     Start with drawing a circle.  Draw a dot as close to the center of the circle as you can.  If it’s not perfect, it’s okay! 
B.      Next, draw a V shape from the center dot off to the side.  The V should slightly extend outside of the circle.
C.      Draw the eyelids.
D.     Begin erasing the dot and the circle outside the parameters of the eye. Color in the entire eye with the reflected light shade of gray (#4 on the grayscale).   
E.      Draw the iris & the pupil. Keep in mind, the pupil does not touch the edge of the iris. 
F.       Start developing more tones of light & dark by using the value scale and then blend using your tortillion.  Also, use your kneaded eraser to ‘lift’ the tones to get lighter shades & add dimension.  For now, drawing lashes are optional.

The ¾ view of the eye will be the last step in this lesson.  This step will be the most challenging as well as the other facial features in this view.  Before you begin this step, you have to learn a little bit about perspective drawing. 
If you want your drawings to look more 3 dimensional, you can use this method. In perspective drawing you have what’s called a ‘point of interest’.  A point of interest is where the vanishing point is going to be.  You can also have more than one point of interest.  The further away your lines are from the point of interest, the more they vanish.
Another element of perspective drawing is foreshortening. When an object is directed toward you, it creates an optical illusion making the object appear shorter than what it actually is.  Below is an example of perspective drawings with one POI.

Let’s begin our first perspective drawing. We will begin with ¾ view of the eyes:

A.     (This step is optional) Begin drawing a horizon line.  Next, draw a vertical line directly down the center of the horizon line.  This will be used as a guide.  It doesn’t matter how long the lines are.
B.      Next, draw three circles slightly overlapping each other. Keep in mind, the more the circles overlap each other the more the face is turned.  
C.      Erase the lines and the middle circle.
D.     Draw a line horizontally through the center of both circles.  Afterwards divide the circles vertically into three parts.  Attach a curved dotted line to the first vertical line.
E.      Erase the vertical lines from each circle.
F.       Draw two circles (medium & small) inside each circle at the intersecting lines indicating the iris and the pupil—don’t forget to add an extra circle for the eye sparkle.   
G.     Slightly fill in the entire circle with shade #4.  Next color the iris & pupil. Now draw the eye shape of your choice over the iris & pupil. (FYI- The ‘whites’ of the eyes will show more on one side depending on the angle & direction of the eyes).
H.     Erase the entire area around the eye.
I.        Draw the eyelids (top & bottom) and other details.  Develop tones of light & dark by using the value scale and your tortillions creating depth &dimension.  Continue building tones until you get the look you’re happy with.

v Key Points to Remember
-When drawing the eye, start with a circle eventually creating a sphere.
-Remember, the eyes are an eye width apart in front view.
-Perspective drawing gives your art a more 3-Dimensional look. 
- In ¾ view eyes are less than an eye width apart. Slightly overlap your circles.
- In ¾ view the ‘whites’ of the eyes will show more on one side.
-Have patience
-Don’t be hard on yourself & have fun!
-Keep practicing! It will make you a better artist.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Drawing Lesson 2: The Face

Drawing the Human Face
There are many different shapes of the human face.  The standard shape is an oval/ellipse.  I often use this shape in examples to simplify drawing the face, but there are many other shapes to consider.  Not everyone’s face is shaped like an oval.  Just like we all have different body types, we have different facial shapes.   Below are some examples:

Oval-Shaped Face Features are equally rounded from the top of the head to the chin; No distinctive features (i.e., cheekbones & jaw line); Face is slightly longer than wide.

Circular Face This facial shape is fuller & wider than the other shapes; No prominent jaw line; Round hairline.

Triangular Face Jaw line is wider; Face tapers from jaw line to forehead.

Square-Shaped Face The sides of the face are straighter (forehead, cheekbones, & jaw are aligned); Face is long as it is wide.

Rectangular-Shaped Face Face is slightly oblong; Jaw line & hair line are square.

Diamond-Shaped Face High, prominent cheekbones; Chin is pointed; Forehead & jaw line are tapered.

Inverted Triangular-Shaped Face is slightly longer than it is wide; Forehead is wider; Chin is pointed; Jaw is narrow.

Heart-Shaped Face This facial shape is the same as the inverted triangular-shape, but the hairline has a widow’s peak.

When drawing the face, you first want to determine which facial shape you want to draw.  Keep this in mind as you go further in the lesson.  Let’s examine how to draw the baby, adolescent, and adult faces.  The following shows examples of each:

Baby.  The shape of a baby’s face is drastically different than the adult face.  It is rounder & less angular.  As babies, we have “baby fat”.  As we grow older, we lose this baby fat.  The shape of the head is less of an oval/ellipse and more of a rounded-square shape.  Because the baby’s face is smaller his or her features are more compressed & the features are divided into smaller parts starting at the eyebrows, which are depicted in the following image. 

Adolescent.  An adolescent is between the ages of 12-17.  The face has become more firm and less “chubby” like a baby.  The shape is similar to that of an adult’s, just a smaller frame and no prominent shapes (e.g., square, heart, etc.) are formed yet. Starting at the hairline, the facial features are divided into three parts.

Adult.   The adult face shape comes in many shapes as shown above.  The face is fully developed so it will take on a prominent shape depending on weight, genes, or other factors.  It is slightly larger than the adolescent face.

In this portion of the lesson we will examine the differences between a man’s face and a woman’s face. 

                                                         Man                                               Woman
 o   The man’s face is more angular & the jaw line is more squared.  This is not to say that a woman’s face cannot have the same features, but these are more common in men.  The brow line or the brow bone can also be heavier in men. 
o   The woman’s face is more rounded, less angular, and the features are more subtle. 

Lightness & darkness are important when drawing the face.  If you want to emphasize light, you have to decide which direction you want the light to come from before you draw your figure.  Lighting can create a certain mood (ex: natural sunlight on the beach or a spotlight on a dark stage).
Stage Light              Front Light                 Rim Light                Top Light              3-Quarter Light             Side Light

You have just learned the different facial shapes, types, and lighting.  It is now up to you to decide how you want to draw the face!

v Key Points to Remember

-The first step to drawing a face is deciding which facial shape you want to draw.
-Although there are many different shapes of the human face, start with the standard oval.
-The baby, adolescent, & adult faces all have unique characteristics. 
-The shape of the baby’s head is more of a square shape divided into 4 parts starting at the eyebrows.
-The adolescent & adult heads are divided into 3 parts starting from the hairline.
-The man’s face is more angular & the woman’s face is more subtle.
-Have patience!!
-Don’t be hard on yourself & have fun!!
-Keep practicing!

Drawing Lesson 1: The Basics

Introduction (The Basics)
The purpose of this art lesson is to teach you how to draw realistic images of the human face & it’s features.  To create realistic looking images you have to learn the art of blending, the value scale (or gray scale) of light & dark shades, and the 5 different elements of shading.  Blending has to be smooth & seamless.  The smooth blend is achieved by using tortillions.   The closer the tortillion is to the drawing paper, the smoother the blend will be.  The value scale consists of 5 shades from darkest to lightest:

Smooth Blend Gray scale

Crosshatch Gray scale

The elements of shading are as follows:
1. Cast Shadow This is your darkest shade on the value scale, which is black. This is when an object casts a shadow on a surface.
2.  Shadow Edge This is your next darkest shade (dark gray) on the value scale. This shade draws away from the reflected light of an object.
3. Halftone This is the medium shade on the value scale or the middle shade. The actual shade or ‘color’ of the object is the halftone.
 4. Reflected Light This shade is the lightest next to white on the value scale. The reflected light is located directly on the edge of the object located between the cast shadow & the shadow edge.
5. Full Light This is the lightest shade on the value scale, which is white. Where the light fully hits the image is the full light. It should be naturally blended from the halftone.

To draw any image you have to consider that image in terms of shapes.  This makes the    creation process more fun & less complex.  Knowledge of basic shapes is all you need to learn how to draw. If you can draw a stick figure, you can draw.  Below is a diagram of basic & 3D shapes with examples:
Basic (Flat) Shapes   

3D Shapes

The above examples seem simple enough.  Drawing the face, body, & any other object is just as simple.  All you need is basic knowledge of shading, shapes, patience, & determination! 
The image below is a rough draft of the face.  You can see some of the basic shapes represented. 

As you develop your skills in drawing the face using basic/flat shapes, you can gradually begin developing your skills in drawing 3D shapes.  This is necessary if you want your drawings to look realistic.
o   Drawing paper with a smooth surface 
o   #2 Pencil & Mechanical Pencil
o   Tortillions and/or Blending Stumps (you can also use tissue for blending)
o   Block Eraser
o   Kneaded Eraser
o   Fixative Spray or Aqua Net Hairspray (cheaper)
o   Ruler
o   Templates/Stencils
o   Art Case/Box (optional)

 v Key Points to Remember
   -Blending is the key to making realistic looking art.
   -Although I used 5 shades in the grayscale, you have the choice to use more
   -There are 5 important elements of shading: cast shadow, shadow edge, halftone, reflected light, & full light.
   -When drawing the face & body, simplify it by associating them with simple shapes (basic & 3D).
   -Have patience.
   -Don’t be hard on yourself & have fun!!
   -Keep practicing! It will make you a better artist.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Welcome to my blog! As mentioned in the sidebar I am an artist, tutor, & most recently a blogger.  I have been an artist for many years.  The first time I've ever drawn anything was at the age of 5 and I never looked back.  Being an artist is something that I've always known I wanted to do since childhood.  Professionally, I pursued a career as a freelance illustrator for five years.  After those five years I reached a point in my life where I was no longer certain I wanted to be an artist anymore.  Due to a few setbacks in my life, I had reached a crossroads with my art career and I was quite confused about my next step.  It was at that moment of feeling perplexed that I decided to reach out and help aspiring artists to become better artists by tutoring; hence, the Perplexed Artist was born.  I can only hope that my former feelings of perplexity & minor setbacks will now influence and assist aspiring artists in their artistic endeavors.  I have created lesson plans with the purpose of teaching step-by-step how to draw the human form (face & body) and I may have a few extra surprises down the road.  For now, I just want to welcome all to my blog and I hope you will get as much from it as you can.  Feel free to contact me anytime or leave a comment.