|Themes > Arts > Drawing > Silhouettes Drawing > Drawing the Portrait|
People's faces come in a
variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Round ones, thin ones, smiley ones,
frowning ones. There are literally thousands of combinations of the basic
structure of two eyes, one nose, one mouth and two ears. But there are also
some generalities common to the facial structure of male and female heads.
Generally speaking, a man's head has straighter lines, thicker neck, eyes closer to the eye brows, longer nose meeting the forehead at a sharp angle.
A woman's neck is narrower and usually longer, her silhouette has more concave curves, eye sockets wider, eyebrows trace more of a wing like arc, lips wider and eyes larger.
Children's heads follow more of a square format with larger foreheads, less definition of the nose, smaller chin. The eye's move up the face as the child grows older, in the younger child the entire face is in the lower ½ of the head.
the proportion of the features and the relationship of the negative spaces
between the positive feature shapes that make up the likeness of the
portrait. The expression and the lifelike portrayal of the portrait will be
discussed in future articles.
It has been said "The
eyes are the windows to the soul". They are the most expressive features of
the face, yet we tend to look at the lips when we are speaking or listening
to another person. Lets look at the eye construction. First the eye ball is
a sphere held inside an eye socket. The upper lid slides up and down over
the eyeball, the lower lid moves very little. Both lids have thickness, the
lower eye lid is mostly seen as a highlight as the light falls on this
ledge. Even though we see very little of the eyeball itself, the part we do
see must give the impression of roundness, therefore, we should indicate the
cast shadow over the eyeball from the upper eye lid, a slight shadow on the
lower portion next to the lower eye lid and the lightest area in the center
of the sphere closest to us. The upper eye lid overlaps the lower eye lid at
the outer corner and is joined together at the inside corner by a small pink
muscle. The iris and pupil are round. Because the eye is always moist, the
light reflects from the surface. The catch light will always be the same
shape as the original light source. To create the moist appearance the iris
is usually lightest on the opposite side of the catch light. Can the nose
have expression? Have you ever turned up your nose at something distasteful?
We say that a large nose is a "Roman" nose, a witch has a hooked nose, a
boxer has a flat nose.
I hope this gives you some insight into the complexity of painting a portrait. Your accurate drawing is essential when creating a portrait. Next time you look at your spouse, begin to notice some of these special features in their face. They sure look different now don't they? Next month we will evaluate the values and planes of the face. God Bless and have a wonderful time drawing.
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