Creative Heads | Drawing Characters and Portraits From Imagination | Chris Petrocchi | Skillshare

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Creative Heads | Drawing Characters and Portraits From Imagination

teacher avatar Chris Petrocchi, I help artists grow on their journey

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (1h 27m)
    • 1. 1 mindset and framework

    • 2. 2 Art Theory 1

    • 3. Story 1

    • 4. Story 2

    • 5. Rendering 1

    • 6. Rendering 2

    • 7. Rendering 3

    • 8. Chaos 3

    • 9. Tools to get started

    • 10. Step 1 Raw Materials

    • 11. Step 2

    • 12. Step 3

    • 13. Step 4

    • 14. Step 5 Secondary Cre8tive Headzz

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About This Class


This course is going to show you how to dive in to the creative process and conceive portrait drawings from nothing. I call it Creative Heads, and my biggest goal is to help you break out and start creating some of your own unique portraits.

Inside I'll give you 4 keys to unlock greater creative expression with your art that will give you a clear plan forward so you don't get lost in artistic quicksand. I'll help you focus on specific things to get the creative outcomes you want more often by providing a framework that assists your creative thought process as well as gives you practical mechanics to get your idea out of your head and onto the paper all the while overcoming fears you may have in with the artistic process. I will help you not just do drawings but become a visionary (in your own unique way)

If you've ever wanted to be creative with your drawings but didn’t know how to start. Or, You felt the task was too big, you got overwhelmed and quit. Or maybe you are pretty good at drawing realistic portraits but struggle with making things up and you wish u could be more “creative” then this course is for you.

Join me on YouTube live every Wednesday night @ 7pm PST: 

Join the Draw Juice Facebook community to get support and level up your art skills:

I want you to be the best artist you can be. I help artists of all levels crush obstacles, become dominant in their fundamentals, and overcome their fears to become the visionary fine artist or commercial industry professional they dream to be. For my 1 on 1 mentorships please visit

I look forward to seeing you in the course!


Visit More Classes To Improve Your Drawing

Draw Portraits Better Than Anyone Else

Draw The Head Fast With One Simple Shape

Draw The Front Planes of the Head Made Easy

Easy Way To Draw The Face Using Shapes

10 Minutes To Better Portrait Painting

Also, feel free to join the Cre8tive Heads Facebook Group  and request to join to show your work, get feedback and encourage others

Thanks for your support! If you want to know more please visit/follow me online here:



Chris Petrocchi | Draw Jucie Studio

P.S. I want to share with YOU my personal favorite tools that I love drawing with to help you get started. Links for each tool online included! Find the FREE LIST here: (Affiliate links included)

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Chris Petrocchi

I help artists grow on their journey


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1. 1 mindset and framework: The hardest thing to do is to create something from the blank canvas staring back at you, and I find it's really helpful to have it planned of action. Really, that can help guide me through this so that I have, ah, more successful drawing experience. So the two essential ingredients that I find helpful are a mindset and a framework. Let's take mindset first. I like to divide mindset into two different kinds of thinking. The first is abstract design versus what you could call a literal mindset. The overall thrust of abstract design is really to convey a feeling, so to do that you're thinking about silhouette and proportion. You're thinking about merging shapes, designing shapes, for example, designing the shadow shapes, designing the light shapes. And again, as you merge shapes, you start to come up with shapes that have a language of their own. They convey a feeling of their own, and it's all very intuitive, right brained kind of stuff. So gradations black and white abstract silhouettes, simple black or white puzzle pieces against a dark or light ground. It might not make sense right now, but it will, and all this is primarily concerned with the elements of design and the principles of design. It's not really drawing, but it's concerned more with composition, the flow and the impact of the images on the page now contrast that with a literal mindset , and it's what you might expect. It's kind of a show, everything approach. You could say it's rather textbook, and it's the kind of thing we do when we're just starting out because it's familiar kind of safe, and no one's taught us anything different. Everything's out there for you to see. There's no mystery to it. It's all spelled out. Both of these approaches have their strength and weakness. It all depends on what your goal is and what you're trying to achieve but you can use. You can start out using one and and balance it out with another. You can go back and forth between these mindsets, and that's why mindset is very powerful, because it gives you choices not only by helping you get started but keeping you on track all the way through to the end. I would say that an abstract design mindset is a little more advanced and a little harder to do, and the literal mindset is what we as beginners start, and we're comfortable with that, just looking at things and translating exactly what we see onto the page. But these Air two mind sets that you should be aware of and can really help you in this creative process. The second key is really a framework to help wrap our minds around the complexity of the task. And I've broken that down into three key ideas. The first idea in this framework is story. Story is the motor that drives this whole thing. It's really the emotion story has content. It's really the big idea. An emotion is king Emotion is like the catalyst that reaches out and grabs people's attention. Now your idea. Your idea. Trump's technique again. Ideas drive this whole process. So if you have a poorly presented film painting drawing whatever the medium is, if the message reaches out and grabs people. If the message or idea is strong enough, people won't be bothered by the technique. However, you could have a masterful drawing with great technique, but it could come off as boring or stiff because the idea isn't there. It's just all kind of surface detail that looks great and might even look photo riel and wow the audience. But that's it. And then they move on. Or if they're not wowed by the technique and the idea isn't strong enough, they'll just get bored. So that's a risk inherent with just drawing pretty pictures. And believe me, I love pretty pictures. But if we can slip in some kind of idea that gives it another level of interest, I think that strengthens our case, so to speak, because the more options we give viewers to relate to our piece, the more they're gonna hang around, look at it and be able to enter into it. The second important idea in this process and it's really kind of a workflow is designed. Just think of these three steps as a workflow that organizes and speeds up your process. Design is concerned with composition, silhouette, things like proportion, value and shape a shape has a shape language that's very powerful, that conveying emotion. So the more we know about it, the better would be able to use it to touch our viewers and communicate our idea with our designs. The third key idea in this workflow is painting or drawing The stage is technical. It's all about rendering and finishing. It's really just the mechanics of walking this thing out. On paper, it's the nuts and bolts of the whole project. It's the how to step by step. It's rendering, which is basically conveying form with light and dark. And it's finishing polishing, if you will. Okay, so those are the two main ideas, the mindset and it kind of a framework or workflow. And these things are just there to help you think about the process, organized the process and then do the process. All right, let's move on to the next step. 2. 2 Art Theory 1: So let's talk about the theory of art for a moment because thes theories are going Teoh help keep our process from running off the road, so to speak is going to guide us through the chaos, the chaotic experience of creating something from nothing that it can be so often So. I've got a triangle here that represents the hierarchy. It's a hierarchy of ideas and of the organization of ideas. The lower third of the triangle is the base. It's the thing we need to set down first in order to build and get to the second and third levels. You can think of this triangle as how we do art in theory, and the first level is shape. So that's the first and probably easiest thing that we can draw is just you flat two d shape. So in this level, it's primarily to D. It's iconographic, it's flat and Onley expresses two dimensions and proportion is important. So the shape and the proportion or the silhouette and proportion are the easiest things to start with. To get the drawing going and gives us a firm foundation to go to the next level, let's show some examples two D Shapes can be categorized into geometric like triangles, circles, squares. And then you have organic shapes that don't fall into the straight line category. But they're more curvilinear, with less right or acute angles and again, more curves, more organic, more natural kind of feeling to them. We not only use thes shapes to get the drawing started on the paper, but we used these shapes to compose what's in the frame, and we used these shapes to get a good read. We need a good composition, good read, so people can see clearly what it is we're saying. Silhouette is important here, and the dynamism of shapes, that is, are the shapes dynamic? Do they have a sense of direction? And does their shape language communicate an emotion to us? So this is the first level of the foundation. It helps us get into the drawing and get it started and sets us up for the next level. And that is form. Form is related to everything that gives us a sense of three dimensionality to convey the illusion of form effectively will use value things like perspective, both linear and atmospheric. Lighting lighting is huge and atmosphere. So you have linear perspective and atmospheric perspective. These three or four things are key to helping us go from flat two D shapes to three D forms and was Take a look at what that would kind of look like if we start with a flat rectangle A to D shape and we use depth lines or cross contours to draw over the service. Weaken easily transformed this into a three D shape. It's that simple. We can take this six sided geometric shape, turn it into a three D object by giving it an inside corner. If you have two planes in relationship that Forman inside corner, you've instantly got three D and you're using the's depth. Flynt's inside the shape to convey that. So you have plane a plane be and where they meet forms and inside corner. That gives you the illusion of depth. You can also reinforce this linear kind of perspective with lighting. So if we add light from the top right, we can start to add assign value to the plains and really sell this illusion. Now there is no question in the viewer's mind what we're looking at its direction in space and how it's lit. So in this stage of the process, form makes things look three D. And to do this, it helps if your form has multiple sides two or more, right, because one is flattened two d. So you need two or more sides to make it look. Three D. It has to sit in space convincingly, and to pull that off, we need lighting and perspective. And the stage is primarily concerned with rendering. And that is using Value Line perspective, too. Convey the three D illusion of form on a flat two D surface. So far we've got ourselves a road map whereby we started with shape. We moved into form and enabling us to go to the next and last phase, which is the detail phase. The bulk of the work has been laid down, probably about 70% and this last bit will comprise 30% of the overall work. But things here will start to slow down significantly. Where on the 1st 2 stages, things probably went pretty quickly. It's in the detail stage where things slow down, even though it's only 30% of the work, it could take 70% of the time to do, because details are hard to do in their time consuming and the 1st 2 stages, much less so in terms of the time cost. So details are primarily concerned with texture, color, material and surface detail. In this phase, we're gonna take that cube that we rendered so nicely with her lighting value perspective, and then we're going to add life to it. We'll start with major things like maybe breaking off an edge. It's right that would give it some kind of sense of history, writes bumped into a few things. We'll put some major cracks in the surface. All right, break those up and then we'll add some tertiary details so the cracks would be examples of primary and secondary details. These little pores indicating this this is, you know, cement or limestone or whatever kind of rock that it is. We're just getting precise about the material. We're just gonna beautify it up. We're gonna polish it and transform it into something. Really, that's the illusion of something that's living that's breathing. That's actually here on the earth, something we can relate to. So this phase is the finishing face. It's rendering in part, it's the other part of rendering it's realism, giving that thing a life, something we can relate to emotion. And it's also our brushwork. So all this is gonna take a fair amount of time more time than the 1st 2 steps. It's 30% of the overall design, but it takes 70% of the time. But it's that necessary polishing step that can bring people in touch people by clarifying our message and bringing our art to life with that extra level of polishing care. All right, let's move on to the next step. 3. Story 1: we read to know we're not alone. C. S. Lewis, the great author and theologian. I just love this photo on the left. You've probably seen it before were the words of the page or like literally putting their arms around this person, comforting them. That's what a story conduce and can break the isolation so well shown in this illustration and the illustration on the right. This kid's standing upon the shoulders of giants symbolized by these books, says to reach the top. We stand on the books we've read, so story is important. It's probably the most important tradition we have the most important human tradition we have. Every good story contains a lesson that can help guide the culture and individuals to help help us to become better. And we can see ourselves in and identified with the life experiences of others in story. Because if you think about it, we are in the great narrative. We're in a story ourselves, and we're confronted with with good and with evil, with love, with complex problems that we need to solve. And a good story has, ah, a ring of truth to it. It's authentic, and that's what we want to shoot for now for our project. We don't need a novel. We don't need a long story. All we need is an idea. So she if you have an idea or a thought, this is good enough. If you have a little back story, that's good. And that's what we're gonna develop here. Story is really important because it's the glue that holds everything together. And not only that, it is the the oil that keeps it all moving forward story. If story is the is really the kingdom that we live and breathe in, then emotion is the king. Emotion is king in story because emotion is the catalyst. It's like the enzyme that gets the process started. It has the potential to ignite and reach out and really grab you. They can grab your emotions and pull you in, so emotion is essential. Like I said before, it's the king of the Kingdom of Story. So let's explore this idea of story and use it as a catalyst. The jumpstart, our process for our purposes were just gonna need an idea. So let's ah, explore that now 4. Story 2: Let's go through the mechanics of story real briefly, and I've got a planning guide for you to help us get our story kickstarted and get moving. So the first step is gonna be to pick a scene. You can use a scene from a movie, a book, a dream you have a thought you had, or even an experience in real life. For this project, I used a scene from a tars and novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. So let's read it in this scene from the jungle. Tales of Tarzan tires in is confronted with the idea of God, and he thinks he's the king of the jungle. And so he's just wants to challenge God. Find God challenge God. But he's also curious as to the nature of God. So it goes around the jungle asking the natives, the animals who got is. So let's read this. And so Tarzan Harang, the moon. And when Goro did not reply, tires and of the apes waxed Roth, he swelled his giant chest and bared his fangs and hurled into the teeth of the dead satellite. The challenge of the bull ape you are not Bulla Meow to Meow meow, He cried. You're not the king of the jungle folk. You're not so greatest. Harz at mighty fighter Mighty Hunter. None there So greatest Tarzan. But if there be ableto meow to meow, Tarzan can kill him. Come down, Goro. Great coward and fight with Tarzan. But the moon made no answer to the boasting of the eight minute. All right, So when I was a kid, Tarzan was my favorite superhero. So I just loved everything about tars and everything he did, how he looked, everything about the jungle. All that stuff fascinated me. So this is the ground from which I will build my image. So the second step after you pick a scene, you want to use a word or a sentence to describe the main feeling of the character, the scene or the story beat. It's not that easy to do because you're forcing yourself to edit out all kinds of extraneous words, but that's good. So I want this peeling. Unattainable are just when you're looking for God. That's what you kind of some of the words that are appropriate for there's unattainable and so on. So that's the feeling that I want to get across. The next thing you dio is Step three pick inspirational reference images. This is a mood board. Basically, this whole planning guy is a mood board. That's what it's called in the filmmaking business in Games TV animation. They go through this process. So this is really good stuff if you're interested in that kind of work or creating work like that. So there's an idea here about cross pollinating images or ideas, and that simply means just to combine just to combine two things and you come up with something new, right? If you combine an insect with a fighter jet or a fish with some kind of submarine, you're gonna get something new. So that's the idea of cross pollination. We can do that with ideas. You can do that with images, and that's the nature of Of creating new things is to kind of merge them together and see what happens. That's fun stuff. It's an experiment, and you don't know what's gonna come out right. So we have our reference images here that I have scoured the Internet for, and let's take a look at this. What I'm thinking of that paragraph. That scene in Echo Rice Burroughs book. I'm thinking of God, I'm thinking of the moon, obviously. And I just kind of hunt around for images that strike me, and I'll just grab him and put him in the mood board. So I've got, you know, the universe, the solar system. Looking up, you can see little person's very small compared to the vast universe. I like that feeling. It's that description, visually, of the word awe that comes to mind for me got, you know, half Dome here, you've got just the curvature of the earth the sun again, the solar system. And then we have the moon here. We've got, you know, a bit of jungle in these two right misty jungle, the vines and leaves, the fog, the mystery. And then I've got rocks Here, here. I love Rocky, you know, textures. And then we have fossils here. Right? So all of this stuff is comes into mind, textures, places, feelings. Um, and I just put it all in the mood board. I've got that little hint down there. Cross pollinated objects to keep things fresh, interesting and inventive. So cross pollinating is the most mother of all inventions. it's it's just really asking the big question. What would happen if I did this to that? You know, it's gonna what's gonna be the outcome? And that's you as an artist asking that big question. So that's a mood board. That's what it's about. That's how you make one. And it's a very efficient way to get things out in front of you on the wall or in photo shop. It's really to put like a framework around infinity, right, cause you could just go off and never make a decision. So you're forcing yourself to make a decision here, and there's the three steps. Just pick a scene, convey one simple feeling when overall feeling for you're drawing and then grab some inspirational reference images and let's go on to the next step 5. Rendering 1: up to this point in our creative heads exploration. We've discussed two key ingredients to get us started. One is story, the other is mindset. And now that we've got those pretty well sorted out, we need one more key ingredient. We've got to get this thing on the paper, so I'm going to suggest two steps. The first is create a little random chaos. The second is to impose order on that chaos with two simple rendering techniques. And with any luck, our creative head will come toe life before our very eyes. So let's take Step two rendering first, and we'll do the chaos part after that. Now it might seem obvious what rendering is, but let's go ahead and clarify our terms. Just so we're all on the same page. So what is rendering? Rendering is the process by which we draw or paint, and we take something that is flat and two d and we make it three d. We give it form. That's what rendering does. And here's a couple of tips on how will be approaching it for this project. Let's say we have some flat two D shapes, like a circle a triangle and a random organic shape doesn't matter what it is. They're all flat. One simple way you can take your flat two D shapes and make them three D is by something called cross contour or depth lines, and that simply means to draw over the form, transforming the circle into a sphere. The triangle into a cone and the organic shape into more of a three D blob and you're just following the surface with partially lips is in the case of the sphere in the cone and the organic shape or you condone. You can create an infinite amount of surfaces using this technique just drawing over the surface as if your eyes, your eyes air, feeling that surface, translating that that feeling to your hand into the pen or pencil in onto the paper. Another way to render and make something three D is to use what's called a modeling tone, and that's just imagining that you are the light or that there is a light source is coming from a certain direction and you're using a tone to push the sides back. So let me show you what I mean. It's just simply if you're if the camera is the light, or you're the light than part of the form that's closest to you. Closest to the light will be light her and the parts of the form that start to turn away from the light or deny the light start to get darker. So you add just just a modeling tone to quote, push the sides back right There you go. So you gone from two D to three D very simply with this technique, and I learned that from Glenville Poo, who's an amazing teacher. You got to check him out for figure drawing. But just that modeling tone and the idea of pushing the side back will take you from two D to three d quite handily. All right, let's talk about step number one, which was laying down some random chaos, some raw material for us to work with so we can conceive of our creative head 6. Rendering 2: now we did step to first, which was included some aspects of rendering and imposing order on chaos. We skipped ahead for a reason. I I think it's gonna make sense. But now let's go back to Step one, which is chaos where we're just gonna throw downs, random shapes, lines, tones and work from there. But before we get into that, I just want to remind you to simple ideas when it comes to rendering when rendering, we use light and dark value to turn the form, just like we did with the modeling tones on the edges, pushing the sides back. And that looks like if we put a gradation there follows the laws of light such that if the lights coming from the top, you get a characteristic highlight. Have tone core shadow reflected. Look, coming from the left, you get the same thing coming from the right and from below, wherever the highlight is, that's where the direction of the light is, and then it follows. Those five areas, basically of highlight half light core shadow reflected light, and if it's coming from the center, you're the light source. Looks like that. Okay, so light and dark turned form. That's the way we see form. It's that value change that makes it look three D and solid. And I was just putting a gradation. They're in for a shop just to make it quick. So those are the rules. If we want to make things, go bump and look three d, you probably already know those if you do, a little review never hurts. And if you don't, you learn something new. The standard tools give us form. But what if we want to create depth in a different way? We want to push in. So this is making it bump out this stuff. What if we want to push, push in right and create kind of that depth into the picture plane not necessarily bumping out, but pushing in what we're gonna do? There is just use dark. The darks are gonna appear like we're pushing in and creating a shadow, right? So if I just create something like that, it looks like suddenly I've cut a hole in this circle and what we're going inside. It's dark darks and shadows look like they're going away from the camera. They're moving away from us, whereas the lights look like they're coming towards the camera. Pretty simple. So all I'm doing, you know, I can create all kinds of gradations in there so that it appears to kind of start shallow, move in deep, see if I think right, and then come back out shallow again, right towards the surface of that spear. Alright, so I've created kind of a trough, and that's basically basically it. Very simple, but effective. If you're using the darks, the darks will push in in Crete shadows that'll make it look like whatever that part of the form is is moving away from the camera. So I can create a little notch in here a couple notches and start to really sculpt this thing out in a different way. Again, If you've seen this before, it'll be obvious. But to those of you who haven't, it'll be very helpful with the darks you're pushing in. So if I'm using hard edges just like looks like you're cutting in maybe a window or a door right into something. If you were creating kind of, Ah, a cityscape background, a building, something like that. It could be a doorway, a window just because it has hard edges. It's in the shadows. If you didn't have a handle on that, now you do again. So in this system instance, using light dark to turn the form and make it go bump. And in this instance, you're pushing in and you're creating depth right into the picture plane using shadows. These techniques absolutely will help you find and render your creative head were almost all the way there in terms of creating three D illusion. But we have one more trick up our sleeve, so that's checked that out. 7. Rendering 3: All right, let's do one more exercise, using value to create form really quickly and just see how easy it is to create an illusion of form. Let me just throw down some tone here and make this thing undulate. Remember the rule. Whatever is facing you. If you're the light source, it's in the light. Whatever planes facing you, it's light. It's the lightest. Okay, if that plane starts turning away, it gets darker. Very simple. So if it's the same plane, it's the same value. If it's a different plane, it's a different value. So all right, so we have some value. Lay down here. We just put another one down here. We'll see how easy this is. All I have to some value and some edges already. It looks like some parts are lifting up and coming toward us. Some parts are looking like there going away. Okay, The lighter planes are facing us because we're the light source. So they appear lighter and ones that are appear to be moving away are on a different plane . Like these guys right here, right? These guys here are at a different angle. There's a different plane. They're turning away from the light or denying the lights so they are darker and in shadow . If we just lay in some tone and then we put in another variable of edges where we just soften edges here and there, right, we really sell the illusion. Some of the forms are round and go slowly away from the light so they have soft edges. If it has a hard edge, like here on the left, it means that surfaces turned quickly away from the light like a narc, it textural form of geometric form, or Iraq. But if there's a gradual change than on you need to do is create a soft edge. Just think hard and soft edges and you'll be OK. So there we go. We've got this thing looking like metal now, and all we did was sort of acknowledge where the placement of the light waas and the's shapes these forms relative to the light, where they facing the light, her turning away from the light. And then we can make it look like it's bumping up toward us or on some kind of inclined going away from us, and it's really that easy. You should try this and just play around with it because it's gonna pay dividends when you go to more complex forms that you're trying to sell. And this is really kind of, ah form study something you can play around with and should play around with should experiment with this until you you understand how to do this. This is your meeting potatoes for expressing three D form, so you can see how this this part looks like it's toward us in this part. Looks like it's going away. And these two planes, this one and this one, they're facing us while these two planes here, they're facing away from us at a certain angle and they get a similar value. You're facing away from us at the same angle. Then this one comes back to face it on. This one is at, ah, a gentler slope. So it gets more light right, and this is bumping up again towards us. It's an illusion, cause it looks like it could be also going away from us, right? And then really coming, accelerating coming toward us and then obliquely facing us and then gently rolling away right? Or it could go the other way this looks like it's, you know, bumping up towards us and then going down an accelerated slow, then a gentler slope and then suddenly changing direction and going up again and down, right so they appear to be coming in or coming out anyway. That's the kind of control you can have with just values, edges and understanding that the planes that are facing the light get the most amount of light. The planes that are facing away from the light get the most amount of dark. Okay, something to think about a simple exercise. But it's the meat and potatoes of how I create the illusion of form. When I'm painting, drawing, creating, it's it's just this. And now let's move on to throwing down some chaos. It's getting exciting. All right, we'll see you in the next one 8. Chaos 3: All right, let's lay down some chaos. You This is the fun part. And you want to create a dialogue between you and the emerging art as much as possible because who's in control? Right? And it's fun not to be in control to a certain degree. So we're going to need a couple of things. Three things shapes, values and edges to guide us as well as the brain's natural knack toe look for order in chaos. And we're just gonna leverage that to our advantage as we're throwing down shape. So this is so much fun. I can't wait to show you this. Now you can use photo shop. You can use anything you can use charcoal paint, watercolor. You name it to do this process pen in ink. And I'm just gonna look at this and you're gonna see that something. There's some hard edges, soft edges. There's a There's a shape, there's an overall silhouette, and I'm just gonna use the principles of lighting and follow a few rules that we already talked about. And I'm gonna find just edges right. Something that I Congrats on two. I can also introduce more light on the inside right. And pretty soon, I'm going to start to see something. When I play with it a little bit, I'm gonna start to see something. You're going to see something different than me, right? That's the beauty of this. But I'm already seeing something. So let me see if I can, you know, take small brush and zero in on some stuff. So it's good to start with a big, fat brush that's very suggestive. So we've just, you know, suggested stuff and big out of control brushes work. Well, for that, you can keep it low resolution kind of pixelated, as if it's kind of blurry, and you can't really see what's up. It's coming out of the five, but now I'm gonna use light to make it come forward and dark to push it back or to push the sides back. And I'm gonna hold on. I'm gonna grab on two edges. So I see this this edge right here, right, And that could be an eye socket, right? I don't know what it is, but it's something there. Here's here's a former to try and build these forms out of this, and I can use cross contours right to make something bump up. Same thing on the other side. Whatever this is, I don't know. Let's just make it, you know, make it some kind of knows. I'm thinking about what do I know about, you know, dogs, noses or a squirrel, And then I kind of see this form may be coming up in front of that form, creating some teeth. I just got a little puffy cheeks right here, so I'm really looking at edges. Aiken, grab on to I'm looking at forms I can start to clarify, right? What? Things behind what? Things go in front of other things. And these were kind of, like, little years. And I'm just playing around. I'm letting this thing suggest to me what it wants. And then I'm going ahead and trying to make that really to the best of my ability, Given what I know about, you know, some anatomy, you know, human anatomy or animal anatomy. In this case, we're doing, you know, creative heads. So I'm looking for for noses, heads, eyes, different things I could grab onto, but I'm using, you know, I'm looking for edges that I could grab on to and start to push and pull. So if I push in here, you know, I can push this part back behind this year structure by darkening it up. That's that kind of pushes it away into into the shadows where I had, like we talked about that could be in shadow, casting shadow onto the side of whatever this thing is. So I'm playing around here, you know, I've got another year of this side. I don't know what this is. You know, it's just presenting itself to me, and I'm using it to be creative, right? And then this could be some kind of wrist with some kind of hand, you know? So it's it's anthropomorphic here. Okay, this is some kind of weird neck. Could be an elongated neck. Could be a costume. And then I can use my lights to bump, make things go bump, push him. Pushing forward. Right. I can use it for highlights. Make it appear kind of wet. Depends on the material, right? Like if the eyes just glistening off that that cornea, right? Whatever this thing is, I don't know, right? And so that's how you would do it. That's how I would do it anyway, So you're gonna find your process, you know, comes to you in a certain kind of way. It's going to be natural for you. Well, might be a little bit different than me. But I would suggest playing around like that, giving yourself some raw material just to start to build from, because it's hard to do from just the blank white page. That's a little intimidating. So give yourself some uh, it's a material play with, and you're gonna come up with stuff that you never would have come up with if you I tried to draw it right. This is kind of partly subconscious, and it's, well, a lot like the automatic drawing video I did on YouTube. You can check that out. Automatic drawing involves this kind of process. It's very meditative and fund, and the thing starts to emerge in a certain way, And, uh, it's totally, totally fine. All right, so let's move on to the rial demo now, where we just go for this from start to finish. OK, see you there await one more thing that I think could be really helpful when you're choosing your shapes and throwing down some random chaos. You can choose shapes that are characteristic of heads, like ovals, right or even triangular shapes you could use squared off shapes, right and just try toe have enough variation in the center of it in the middle of it that starts to suggest things to you. You can also use, um, shapes that are kind of like a head and shoulders, right, like a bust or like triangle neck and, you know, shoulders in a bit of the chest, right? That's kind of suggestive of the silhouette of a of a human head, right? So pick your shapes. You can totally lay down completely random chaos shapes. Or you can give yourself a little break by using shapes that are like heads themselves, right? They could be circular square triangular, more like a bust or just anything you know, head neck little his shoulders just to give yourself ah hint. Almost like a jump start. Okay, I hope that makes sense, and you can use shape language. So if you want to convey emotion that's somewhat scary or fearful, you can use triangles if you want friendly and happy use round shapes. Okay, if you want solid, strong, masculine use squares. Okay, so that's a little bit on the shape language. Spiky stuff is scary. And round stuff is happy and friendly and light. So just a bit about shape language there that could help you. All right, now let's get to the demo. 9. Tools to get started: okay for this Creative heads exploration, and I'm gonna use to basic tools. The first is the pan pastel palette knife. And I'm going Teoh by some blue color with it just to get some value going. Some undulations and variations. Something that I could grab on to easy, Right. Raised that very quickly. The second tool is the cola race colored pencil. I love these pencils there. So amazing. I used to use them all the time when I was an animator doing two D animation, and I just love it because it's the tip is a bit waxy, so it grabs the paper value silkiness of it. I can just get all kinds of nice tone value all the way to about 70% gray, so it doesn't go all the way to Black so I can control my bag. Use that way, and then I can, of course, keep it sharp. And I can get some very fine marks out of this thing. And it's not dirty either, because it's not charcoal or lead, so it doesn't smear all over my hand and all over the paper and get that super dirty so it works. Well, then I'm gonna use a basically a magic rubber eraser that I've cut the edges off. So it's very chiseled if I need to get the very fine edge like hair. I shouldn't do that with this thing, or I could be very aggressive about it and just take out a bunch of information. The 2nd 1 is the Tom Bow mano zero Love this guy. You probably have one yourself or have heard of it. And this thing is is really good for getting highlights and small details. So that's it. So let's jump in. 10. Step 1 Raw Materials: all right, We've done all of our creative work. We've picked the scene, We've got the basic feeling that we want to get across. And we've picked our reference images to create a mood board. And this is honestly, the most fun and exciting part of the process because it's the culmination of all our hard work. And we're going to take all that inspiration and energy and apply it to paper to the best of our ability. And don't forget, we have a map that we're gonna follow so we won't get lost. We'll just start with some raw material and start building form into that. So the first all important step is to lay down some random organic shapes with minimum control. That's why we use the pan passed out great for that and just have fun. Just feel it, put it down randomly and just begin a kind of conversation that helps you tease out the image that's starting to emerge in front of you on the paper. So, up to this point, what I've done is put on some value with pan pastel palette knife, and I'm just suggesting things I don't want to go to dark and I don't wanna be to light because I do need some value there. So but the suggestion is enough for me to start to sculpt Intuit toe, actually visualize and see something into it and then sculpt a form out of it. Now, I know generally what I'm shooting for because of my research that I did ahead of time and I'm going for this moon shape and I want a face in there somewhere. So the biggest thing really to me in the design phase is to go for the silhouette and proportion, even though I'm kind of getting into some of the features of the face right now, I have enough of the pastel put down that I like the overall feel that the silhouette is giving me up to this point in the process. And I like the proportion, the height, the with interesting cuts in and out and angles. So that's my first concern or consideration is just toe have a cool silhouette with just some suggestions of form inside. So right now with the blue pencil, I've done a little bit of the profile of the face, and now I'm going and searching for just where are the edges of this design? Where does it's really start and stop? How tall is it? How narrow is it or how wide is it? And what's the shape language overall? And is that going to convey my story and my emotion of unattainable? Ah, we'll stay out of too many details and keep it simple. So that's what I'm thinking about at this first pass in the design. All right, let's move on to the next step in the process. 11. Step 2: Okay, guys, No one. I mean, absolutely Nobody goes to a movie or reads a book. If they know the ending, it just doesn't happen. Do you agree with that? I mean, we kind of know where this is going. We've done some planning, but we do not know exactly where it's going to end up. And that's good because it keeps you interested and it keeps your viewers interested. But you are the architect of this vision. You are the visionary. You're the one making it happen, and you have to be interested. There's got to be a story, and it has its own story built in. There's a beginning, a middle and an end to this process of conceiving this creation on the paper. You've got to create your own drama here and be a part of it. This drawing is like character walking on stage. The lights go on the deliver their lines, take a bow and walk off stage. This is a performance and you get to shine. So now we're firmly in the middle of this artistic drama as it plays out on the page, and we're taking the next step of imposing order onto that organic chaos that we first laid down were using line and we're using tone were using cross contours to draw over the form to make it go from flat and two d two more three d and we're using value to were using dark value to push things back in space. And we're using light value to make things appear like they're coming closer to the camera . Pretty simple stuff. So as we add structure to the organic chaos that went down first, we're also gonna be using identifiable anatomy and details. And those are some of the tools at our disposal on our tool belt. Another very important tool for making something look structural in three D is lighting. After all, without light, you can't see anything. So light reveals the planes of the form, and they're different. Value is a different plane, So not only do I want to use lighting and value to describe form and realized this object in front of us, I want to use it to create a focus of dramatic focus somewhere on the piece so that I can direct the viewer's eye to a specific place in my drawing that has a payoff, and it's going to be an expression of the main narrative more on that later. But for now, I'm just working the whole piece, going around from section to section to try and really figure out and make clear the forms that are in my mind and also emerging from the page. And I'm letting the page or more to the point, the drawing dictate what you see happening right now and dictate the choices that I make. So again, I have a main narrative that I'm trying to express that we worked out so carefully, and yet I'm also leaving room for the drawing to speak to me. I'm still engaged in this dialogue, this process, this call and response, if you will, figuring out what this thing actually is and it is challenging and it is fun. All right, so let's go on to the next step 12. Step 3: we're now into the technical rendering part of the process. The story and the design are firmly set down, and now it's just straight painting from here on out or straight drawing in this case. In this phase, I'll be putting down the main shadow passed, plus secondary details and add some basic textures. Now, when rendering, you want to make sure it has multiple sides. It sits in space convincingly, and we do that by using perspective and lighting so we can use atmospheric perspective. Linear perspective. We're working on architectural things or geometric objects, atmospheric if we're working on geometrical things or organic things, and if there's a sense of deep space that helps a lot. But for this character, I'll concentrate on using lighting and value to sell the illusion. I'll be using a modeling tone to push the sides back, and I'll be using cross contours to describe the surface of the form and its direction in space to the viewer. And I'm just feeling the drawing with my hand, as if my hand had eyes, and another way to describe it is picture an ant walking over the surface of something oven apple. Let's say it will follow the exact curvature of the apple and every nook and cranny, every peak and valley. And that's what I'm thinking and feeling as I'm drawing this, uh, and Tran trying. Translate that through the pencil so that you feel the forms coming towards you and going away. So I've got the faced pretty well realized or on its way to being realized. You can see like that. The front of the cheek that's facing facing us is lighter, and as it turns away, it gets darker. The wings of the knows the part that has volume is lighter, and it goes into the ball of the nose. It's a little bit darker under the nose at the filter. Um, it's darker. The lower lip is darker, some just telling you what planes are facing you, what planes are, Ah, not facing you or not facing the light. And I'm just kind of going through and, you know, looking for anatomy. Looking for ways to describe the form. I'm using the side of the pencil, which is really effective for laying down broad swaths of value, and it's got that sensitivity that I need when doing that, you can also crosshatch with the tip of a sharpened pencil that works a little bit about lying quality. You could see that I was just beefing up the outside contour line of the forehead and under the chin. And beefing that up has kind of effect of containing the form and saying, Look here, it's both making that character a little bit more bold, a little bit more solid when you have ah thicker contour line going around the whole design . Now I'm just using two tone to push that neck area back in space and also noodling around just to find structure inside. It's some of this secondary detail is not set yet, so I'm going for secondary details in this space, for example, these tapers shapes. I'm looking at my reference, and I'm looking at those rock formations and shells and fossils, and I'm drawing from that now, drawing inspiration from that and I'm using pattern to. So these repeated shapes kind of tapered triangular shapes within the bigger triangular shape is a motif, and if you can find it pleasing shape or a pattern, you can take that pattern or shape and repeat it all around your design so that overall it has, uh, tapered shapes. Or overall, it has square shapes or circular shapes or triangular shapes, so that the design looks coherent. So real quick rule of thumb is that you could take one shape and repeat it three times within your design and make it big, medium and small in terms of its size. So by secondary details, I want to just describe that a little bit better. You take the major forms, and then inside those major forms, you start to flesh out and detail out what it is that this thing is made of. It's called material Indication, and if it's a rock, you want to start making it look like a rock. If it's a shell or if it's made out of glass or plastic, you start to render it accordingly. So after you get the main forms blocked in of your design, the next pass would be the secondary details, so you can use that as a workflow that will be very effective and really speed up your drawing process. Okay, let's move on to the next and final sequence 13. Step 4: all right. This next and final step in the process is the refining and finishing phase. I'll be adding tertiary details and refining the textures, and we're going to really try to give it life. We're gonna try to make it look real. We're gonna take it from something that has form and substance to a living, breathing entity with a history and a future. And it's alive. That's the magic. And the goal of this stage is about realism, life, emotion, technique and refining each part of the drawing so that the illusion is maintained and the viewer buys it hook, line and sinker. And maybe if we're lucky they'll even be touched by it on some level. Or maybe just be excited by seeing how cool it is. So in this phase, I want to be careful to go around the whole design and take care of every facet of it. Everything should be brought up to the same level of finish. All the textures, the lighting, the values, all the anatomy should really read and work together as one coherent visual story. Now, a minute ago, I said that the goal of this phase is to turn this thing into a living, breathing entity with a future. And maybe it even looks riel. Now buy riel. I don't necessarily means that it looks like a photo. It could be stylized or very cartoony in its appearance. But what I mean by really is that it capture some aspect of reality. Well, usually it's some inner reality that weaken relate to his humans, like an emotion or state of mind linked to some experience we've had, whether real or imagined. So this is important because everything, every physical aspect of this drawing the paper, the pencil, it's all psychological, the the motivator motor that's driving. This is the thoughts and emotions. It's the intangibles, and this is just merely a projection of that. And that's fascinating. That means that you have access to creative potential. You have thoughts, you have feelings, emotions. You have dreams, and those are the things that make you human and you're able to draw upon those things. It just takes practice and some courage to start making statements on paper based on those things. Something about shape language that I mentioned before that I want to come back to is when you're using shapes. You want to think of this simplest, most clear shapes you can use, like circles, squares, triangles and so on. That's important because shapes have their own psychology. There's a psychology of shapes. For example, round round shapes together in a design convey friendly, happy, buoyant and light kind of feelings or thoughts. If you have triangular shapes with points on them, they convey the darkness. They convey a threat. They could be dangerous and so on. Square shapes are solid, steady, boring. And you want to be aware of that so that depending on what your designed and what you're trying to convey with your design is, you can simply use those shapes. You don't have to try so hard and create things out of thin air. Just used the language of emotion that's of drawing of design, and it's very simple and fun to do. Now it's just putting some textures there on the side of the head. I was thinking of maybe some kind of, uh, again, some rock kind of texture, some erosion being worn away that rocks might have. And so I'm really just having fun. Now I've been putting on some tone. You're the back half of the of the design to kind of quiet it down so that you see the front of the face more because it has more value. Contrast. I'm refining shadow shapes. I'm refining basically the secondary and tertiary details. The tertiary details would be those again, those little rock shapes that I put on the side of the head, the very small kind of micro details eyelashes, nose holes, skin texture and pours, wrinkles cracks in the rocks. And I'm still pretty well, relying heavily on my mood board with my all the photo reference. And I'm just kind of looking at that and finding places on the design where I can put those shapes or put those textures for Put those details. So I've got this big spike at the front and top of the head, and it has a color accent, and I'm also putting a gradation there to give it just a little bit more weight and attention than the back half of the design, but not as much as the face itself. So I really wanna have I want I want aren't direct your eye through this piece, so I want to have a primary secondary and tertiary read, the primary read is gonna have the most detailed. The most contrast, the most color secondary Read will have a little bit less, and the third read even less. And that's how I'm gonna orchestrate this piece because I want to get the viewer's eye to move through it. I wanna have something that's really important we need to talk about is that there's a payoff to this thing. If I put detail everywhere and texture everywhere and the same amount of contrast everywhere, then people won't know necessarily where to look, and they may become confused and disinterested. But if I organize some of these things and use some things more than others in certain areas and use it like seasoning like salt and pepper, um, people won't get tired and overwhelmed because of the amount of detail coming at them. They'll be able to rest their eye on a certain place and and just look at it and enjoy it and then move through the peace through areas that don't have as much, uh, detail. That kind of makes for a more pleasing viewing experience in my mind, like if I go to a museum. I'm quickly overwhelmed. There's just too much information and I just wanna stop. I want to get out of there So we don't want the our viewers to have that kind of experience with our artwork. We want him to stay around. We want him to linger and enjoy it. We want to give him pay off. We want to give him little areas that they discover later. We want to give him passages of just awesome lighting, cool anatomy details that are like eye candy and just overwhelm, um in a good way and in a way that they end up having a great experience looking at your heart. Just remember, and this is really important that all your techniques and tricks need to be in service to your narrative, so you don't want them to get in the way of that. You want them to express it in a clear way. If you can manage it as we come down to the home stretch, I want to go back to the theme. It was from a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and it's a scene where Tarzan was yelling at the moon use trying to find who God Waas. Because this was a new concept to Tarzan, Tarzan and thought he was the Lord of the Jungle. But now there was rumor that there was a Lord that was more powerful than to him. So he was questioning the jungle around him and all the life forms enquiring whether they knew about God. So he climbed this the highest tree, and he shouted at the moon and the moon was named Goro. Now Goro didn't respond to tires and And when he didn't Tarzan waxed Roth. It said he swelled his giant chest and bared his fighting fangs and hurled insults at the dead satellite, beckoning him to come down and challenge him, fight him and that Tarzan would kill him if he did. But the moon Goro, not surprisingly, did not come down from his lofty perch and instead ignored Tarzan, who thought that was extremely cowardly. So here we have Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, yelling at this brilliant, silvery disc in the sky. And I wanted to make a crescent moon half moon with a face, looking away, ignoring So we see the profile that's characteristic of someone ignoring us, and I added fossil and rock texture because that's characteristic of what's on the moon. And I used triangular shapes characteristic of something that could be dangerous and threatening. And Tarzan definitely thought the move was a potential threat and he was trying to find out if that was true or not. Well, that's what I came up with, and I think it was barely successful. It sure was fun, but I really thank you for dropping by. I hope you really found this lesson insightful and enjoyable and just a quick recap. We made a creative heads planning guy. It was a mood board where we picked a scene from a book or a dream or a movie. And then we picked an overall feeling that we wanted to convey. We gathered inspirational reference images. We had a design phase and in a technical drawing phase to finish. So I hope this really helps you in your creative process. And I would love to see your creation, So please post them. All right, we'll see you next time. And until then, remember to keep on creating 14. Step 5 Secondary Cre8tive Headzz: no, Uh