Drawing the Skull and Planes of the Head | Mark Hill | Skillshare

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Drawing the Skull and Planes of the Head

teacher avatar Mark Hill, Fine Artist

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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

    • 1.

      Plane intro


    • 2.

      Skull Explanation


    • 3.

      Skull Demo 1


    • 4.

      Skull demo 2


    • 5.

      Skull demo 2 Pt 2


    • 6.

      Asaro explanation


    • 7.

      Asaro demo 1


    • 8.

      Asaro demo 2


    • 9.

      Female Head


    • 10.

      Male Head


    • 11.

      Male Head pt 2


    • 12.

      Closing Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class we'll learn how to draw and construct both the skull as well as the planes of the head using the Asaro planed head. This class is part of the building blocks of learning how to draw portraits by working from the ground up with both the skull as well as understanding how to break the head down into simple and complex planes. 

These are typical exercises you would be doing in art school/atelier type system in conjunction with drawing portraits from life, reference or cast. I found that practicing these types of skills great improved my portraits and my understanding of structure as a beginner into the intermediate stages of drawing. Towards the end of the class I will show you how I apply some of these principles to doing an actual portrait through a simple block-in stage. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Mark Hill

Fine Artist


I'm a traditionally trained artist currently residing in New York City. I specialize in traditional mediums from graphite and charcoal to oil painting. I've studied in several places in Southern California, and recently finished my studies in New York at the Grand Central Atelier. I've taught everything from drawing to painting for several years, both publicly and privately. Looking to share what I know and help others on Skillshare!

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Level: Intermediate

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1. Plane intro: Hey everyone. So today in this class we're gonna focus on the skull as well as the planes of the head. I'm gonna do a few demonstrations so that I can walk you through these exercises. So follow along. So starting out with the class, we're going to focus primarily on the skull and just getting a good understanding of what the underlying structure of the head starts with. I'll show you a couple examples from a simplified version to a more complex version. And then we'll move on to the plains of the head. There will be several source images that you can use and follow along as I do the demonstrations. But I wanted to set this class up as really being more about doing these as a series of exercises. Our end goal with all of this isn't necessarily to do beautiful skull drawings or do beautiful diagrams of drawings or anything like that. But hopefully gain a better understanding of some of the underlying structures that make up the head so that we can apply this information to our own drawings. These are the kinds of exercises that I did quite a bit of when I was a student to supplement my own portrait drawing. So if you don't have a lot of access to models or things like that, it's great to be able to draw something like a skull or planed head just to get that extra practice in and then ultimately apply it when you do get a chance to draw from a model. So follow along and let's get drawing. 2. Skull Explanation: So before we begin to actually draw the skull, I just wanted to talk a little bit about what you may want to think about as you're approaching doing your drawings from this. And I would say you want to spend a good amount of time just analyzing the skull from different angles and better yet, if you have an opportunity to purchase a skull of some kind, is that would be a good and I would say, helpful resource in understanding the head better. And I think it's, it's just a nice thing to have as you're doing your studies and getting better at portraits. Now even though we're not technically drawing ahead, I would still treat the skull essentially the same way. So we would still have fundamentally a centre line and some axes lines that we would construct the head or skull with. And I don't really want to deviate too that, you know, this isn't necessarily a special subject matter, is still at the end of the day. It's very similar like drawing ahead except we're not having to draw out eyeballs and a nose with nostrils and like lips or anything like that. So I would still begin the same way, you know, with a large shape and then break it down into a center line with some axes lines and then aside plane. And so I think the biggest thing to keep in mind is we want to focus on some landmarks in the skull, very similar to how we would with the head. And so one thing to note here is that the side plane is bisecting the corner, the eye socket itself. And you can see how it kind of travels through the cheekbone as well. And, you know, depending on the angle at which you're drawing the skull, this will still remain relatively true, but it's just something to keep in mind so that you can use it as a landmark to help you construct the basic shape of the skull itself. Now the cheekbone itself is going to be another major landmark because this is something that varies quite a bit depending on the person you're drawing and their general structure. And this also extends into whether they're male or female. And let's just say, you know, ethnicity, age, those all become a factor when you're drawing a person. And so certain landmarks like the cheekbones and the brow ridge and even the muzzle shape of the teeth area are all things that you're going to be looking for when you're drawing a person because there's so much variability in the structure of the head. So these few landmarks are going to sort of be like a visual guide that you want to be looking for. Not only as you're drawing the skull, but anytime you're drawing a new person, you always want to be mindful of these little landmarks because those are going to help you with your construction process. Now looking at the skull from a different angle, you know, even if it's a profile or a three-quarter, the construction principles are going to remain the same. And I'm still, in this instance, I would still look for like a large shape. And from a profile I would maybe just look for the front plane. But I would say the thing to pay attention to is look at how the nose bridge as well as the mouth and the sort of what we would call the tooth cylinder. Look how far the protrude from the front plane of the face itself. Again, depending on the person that you're drawing, these are going to be so different from person to person. And so these are the kinds of things that I would be paying attention to as I do a portrait drawing. But again, we're trying to work from the ground up so that we can look at the skull itself and how we would go from here. And you can see where I drew a line through the corner of the socket. And again, that would represent the side plane and where that is existing so that it tells us what is the front plane of the face as well as the side of the skull. And even in a profile, this would still be relevant in your drawing. And then in this particular instance from a profile angle, I would, I would really pay attention to just how deep the skull is. And I think this is something that a lot of beginning students miss if they're drawing a profile, or even a three quarter depending on the angle or anything. But the skull itself actually has a great deal of depth from the front plane of the forehead to the back part of the skull. And so that would be something to keep in mind when you're drawing the skull from various angles is that it's typically bigger than, I think a lot of people suspect when they first begin. And to draw portraits or any do any sort of an anatomical drawings like this. Now another thing I would like to point out, and I think it's very obvious in profile and you would see this in three quarter as well is the general undulation of the lower jaw. And you can kind of see from the chin into the back part of the job itself the sort of fluctuation and the curvature here. And one thing I will say is that from different versions of skulls I've seen this can vary quite a bit. But I think the important thing to keep in mind is, again, depending on the person that you're drawing, the jaw line and everything like that is going to be something you're really going to want to pay attention to. And within the jaw itself, there's that tiny little pocket that we see in-between the mandible of the jaw and then the cheekbone. And you can really tell if someone's sort of if you sort of pucker your mouth or squeezed like your cheekbones in you can usually on most people you can see that sort of an indentation that we're seeing right here. But again, I think the other thing to keep in mind is when you're looking at the skull in profile or a three quarter type of view is the general sort of contour that we're seeing on the, you know, the forehead itself, the mouth, as well as the nose. And again, this is something I feel that a lot of beginning artists, when they're drawing the portrait, they're not accounting for just how much the mouth and the brow and the knows how much they actually stick off the front plane of the face. And so it's very obvious when you're drawing the skull, just how much of that is actually happening. And as the skull rotates to a three-quarter, it may become less prominent. But again, that's going to vary wildly depending on the person that you're drawing. So in the actual skull demonstration that you'll see me do, I'll kind of talk more about these points, but I just wanted to do a quick overlay of a couple different angles of the skull just so I can talk about a few things before we jump into the skull itself. 3. Skull Demo 1 : As you're beginning to draw the skull, I think the one thing you really want to keep in mind is don't treat it differently than drawing a normal sort of portrait. It is essentially going to be the same thing. And I think the one thing we have to remind ourselves is just detach to the idea that there is no eyes, nose or mouth or anything like that. But we're just drawing an underlying structure. So I would treat this as you are basically drawing a, a diagram of a head or, you know, very similar to the way you would begin an initial block in of any other head drawing. So I'm still going to start with a large shape just to kind of get me started and then finding the center line so I know where the direction of the skull is. And then I'm going to find some basic axes lines just to get me started. I'm going to estimate where the hairline is, the brown line, the bottom of the nose, and then the chin. And this is just going to be an estimation to get started. As I move further along, I'll probably make some adjustments the same way I would if I was actually drawing a portrait as well. I just need a place to get me started so that I can put in more information. I'm going to estimate where the side plane is coming into contact with the corner of the socket here. And right now, what's more important for me is to separate the front plane from the side plane. And that way it just takes the larger shape and breaks it into some smaller sections that are going to be easier to manage. Now that I have the front and side plane establish I can much easier or start to fill in some of the information in the features of the skull. Now one thing to keep in mind is there's a lot of little small plane changes in sort of undulations that you see in the skull. But in order to make it a little bit more simple for myself, I don't get caught up in a lot of the details in the beginning. I'm still just looking for very simple large shapes. Just to get a ballpark idea about where things are going to sit on the skull itself. And as I develop the drawing further, I can then focus more on subtle little plane changes or little contour lines and things like that. Early on though, you just wanna get things sitting in the right place and figuring out the large shapes so that you can develop the drawing farther. So you'll see as I'm building out the drawing, I'm using a lot of straighten angular lines. This is really just to simplify the contours down so that I don't get caught up in detail. But also I want to have a, what I would call like a sense of structure in the blog in I can always make changes as the drawing gets further developed. But early on, as I'm still placing everything, I really just want to have a good sense of solidity and my lines and I feel like straight lines are just going to push me towards that. So I'll stick with those for as long as I can. As I continue along here, I'm really just going to keep everything as simple as I possibly can. It would be very easy to get caught up in detail and I really just want to avoid that for as long as possible. And so as they develop this outside contour, what I'm really going to be looking for are the subtle plane breaks that I see. But I don't want to get over the top with them. I really just want to find the very large noticeable plane breaks and draw those in. And then I'll worry about specific contours as we develop the drawing farther. So as they begin to develop the mouth here, you'll really see just how far the muzzle shape of the skull protrudes from the front plane of the face. Now this is important because there is essentially a perspective change in the center line. And you can see that little center line that I put in the muzzle And how much different it is from my original centre line that I began with. Now this is something that's very obvious in a three-quarter sort of angle, but it's not something you necessarily see when you're drawing straight on or profile. The reason I bring it up though, is that it's something that I see people have problems with when they're drawing the mouth on a portrait is that they don't account for the perspective and the sort of volume of the muzzle shapes. So it's just something to really pay attention to and keep in mind. And I think by seeing it in the skull, it's very, very obvious about what's happening there. Go ahead and finish off the lower jaw here and we'll essentially have the skull blocked in at that point. Going forward, I will develop a little bit more contour and a little bit of extra detail just so that you can see how I would push this drawing forward. But ultimately, this isn't going to be a full value drawing. And I'm not necessarily concerned with tones or anything like that. I really just want to show you how I would start one of these drawings for practice sake. And then kind of just the landmarks that we really want to look out for and pay attention to. As soon as I develop the drawing farther, all I'm really going to be looking for is more specific plane changes that I see in the forms. And maybe a few contours here and there. I'll add a few more details just to kind of make the drawing look a little bit more complete. But for the most part, the whole point of this exercise isn't necessarily to do finish drawings, but to just get a better understanding of the structure of the skull itself. So I'm just going to inject some extra information that I do see it as being very obvious and it's mostly through plain change in the bridge of the nose as well as the forehead or the brow region that I see here. But, you know, like I said earlier is that this is about as far as I would really want to take a block in. And I don't really want to get too caught up in shadows or anything like that. I'll go ahead and put in some extra information just so that you can see it. But really at this point, for the intended purpose of the exercise, I would say you can take a drawing this far and then try another angle from the skull just to get the extra practice in. Maybe at some point you decide that you wanna develop one of these into a finished drawing. I would also think in and of itself is a great exercise and there's enough contrast in the lighting situation that I have the reference images for you in that you could easily do a finished, you know, full value drawing from if you decided that you wanted to do that. But I think in terms of the class itself, for, for what you want to try and get out of. Drawing the skull itself is kind of go through these block in stages of doing these drawings, and then move on to another angle. That way you can just get as much practice in on the skull itself before moving on. So I'll just add a few more things here, but this is more or less what I would call a finished exercise and I'm not going to worry about drawing teeth or anything like that or counting teeth. So my suggestion for you as a first sort of, you know, assignment would be to take one of the reference images. And you really want to just get it to about this stage. You know, this is something that you can do probably in maybe a few hours or so. You can do it in your sketchbook. It doesn't necessarily have to be a super large drawing or anything like that. But give this a shot, try and get it to maybe about this level in terms of, you know, finish. And again, we're not really concerned with, you know, modelling or details or anything like that. But just aim for a nice block and for this first exercise and see what you can do from there. And like you said, it's really just about mileage and kind of practicing different angles of the particular skull. And then from there we'll move on to the plane head. 4. Skull demo 2: So I wanted to do another demonstration of the skull itself, but this time what I'll do is I'll take this drawing just a little bit farther than the previous demonstration, just so that you can see how I would develop it. Now I would still encourage you to keep them relatively simple if you're just starting out and perhaps something in the range of like the first demonstration, you may spend a little bit of time keeping the drawings in a little bit more simple of a Finnish. And realistically these are just meant to be an exercise that you can gradually add layers of complexity to. And you know, as you get better and more comfortable with the shapes of everything, you can always add extra information in more detail as you go. So I'm still going to start the drawing the exact same way and the construction process is going to remain consistent regardless of the drawing itself. But what I'm gonna do here is just focus on adding some extra details and maybe be a little bit more nuanced with some of the shapes that I see. Now I'm still starting off with a large shape, a centre line and just finding my general axes lines. And I'll most likely have to make some changes at some point. And, you know, early on in the drawing, for me, a lot of it is still just establishing the general shapes on the paper. And as I see that I need to make corrections. I'll make adjustments as I move forward. But for now I just want to get as much information established for the general shapes and then I can start making adjustments as necessary. Now I still like to start off by establishing the sockets in the nasal bone with the scholars, I feel like it's sort of encapsulates the majority of the skull itself with just those handful of shapes. And from there it's a lot easier for me to start developing things like the cheekbones in the mouth, in the skull. Still gonna go ahead and put in a side plane here making sure I bisect the corner of the socket. And then with that in place, we now have a very clear division of the front and the side of the skull here. So I'm just going to establish the far cheekbone that I see here so that I can carry that over and establish the closer side of the cheekbone. And as you can see now my lower the lower jaws is definitely a little on the small side, so I'm going to have to extend that down a little bit. And just make that adjustment. And I think part of it is the angle in which I have the skull here is that it kind of as making the jaw perhaps a little on the larger side. And that could be like a perspective thing, but either way just needed the added some length through there. And even though I'm going to be adding some details to this drawing, there's certain areas like the mouth where I'm not gonna get too carried away and try to draw TIF or anything like that. I still want to keep this on the relatively simple side, but I do want to embellish a few details here and there. Once I get the rest of the drawing established. So I do want to establish a separate center line for the mouth just so I make sure that I can keep that in perspective. And I will for the mouth itself, I'm not gonna worry about drawing teeth or anything like that. I'm going to just sort of imply the general shape here as I established the rest of the drawing. And as much as I want to add details to the drawing, I don't want to, you know, this isn't going to be like a finished rendered drawing. I still want to keep it in the linear stage of a drawing, but we're gonna make it a little bit more complicated than the previous demo just so that we can embellish and have fun in a few areas. So with everything blocked in at this point, what I'm going to be looking for is smaller plane changes in the shapes themselves that are gonna help me get it a little bit more accurate to what I'm seeing. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to be focused on finding specific contours or anything like that. But I just want to start adding some extra information so that I can get the actual shapes a little bit closer. Now you'll find as you observe the skull closely, there's a lot of subtle contours in a lot of the shapes. And I find that I wouldn't get caught up in like just the minutia of the contours that you see. I would just try and aim for something a little bit simpler so that you don't get too confused or caught up in these tiny little details. And you know, it's nice to have in certain areas of importance, you know, let's say like around the sockets or maybe the cheekbones. But to try and chase the subtle contours of anything like that, I never really focused on that too much or make it a goal. I just wanted to try and get the essence of what I'm seeing. And as long as the shape reads close or very similar to what I am seeing, then I'll kind of have a tendency to just leave it at that. So again here in the cheekbone. One to look for those small little plane changes. Again, I don't wanna get too caught up in trying to draw or chase specific contours at this particular stage is it, it is mostly unnecessary think and, and at least in terms again, for the goal of the drawing is I don't want to get overly involved with very, very small details. I still just want to try and capture the general aspect of what I'm seeing and in the plane changes more specifically in the skull and develop the drawing that way. Now as I get down to the lower jaw and the mouth area, again, I'm not going to get caught up in drawing teeth or anything like that. And that would be my suggestion for you as well as in your initial drawings that you do of the skull is keep that area relatively simplified and think of it as a large form of the mouth, more so than anything. And if you decide that you want to spend a lot of extra time filling in the teeth and doing everything like that. It's certainly not a bad idea. As you get more competent drawing the skull and kind of get familiar with the proportions. It is something that you can certainly do. But if you're just sort of starting out drawing the skull than maybe kinda save the teeth for later and do a couple of practice drawings beforehand. And then you can decide later on if you really want to take the time and get involved with things like the teeth and the gum line and really small details like that. 5. Skull demo 2 Pt 2: So I've cleaned up the drawing just a little bit to get some of the excess construction lines out of the way. And so we can focus on some of the information that we do have in place in where we can start to refine it. Now I'll start to map out some of the shadow patterns just because some of the shapes there are fairly prominent. But I'm not gonna get too caught up in making this a super tonal drawing or anything like that. Nor am I going to really be concerned with modelling form. But in order to move the drawing forward, it is necessary to maybe add some of this information just to develop it a little bit further. So as I map out some of the shadows, I'll use a little bit thicker of a line just to separate them from the rest of the lines I've already established, but it really doesn't take much to start developing the drawing further from here. And it's going to be totally up to you to decide just how much time you want to spend on finishing the drawing or to what level of complexity you decide that you want to go with. Again, the goal of studying the skull is not necessarily to do beautiful skull drawings, but really just to familiarize ourselves with the shapes and anatomy of the skull so that we can apply some of this information when we draw the planes of the head or even do our own portraits. Now I will say that at some point you may want to do some more polished drawings of the skull just because I think it's a helpful exercise in the more detailed you can get with it, at least a handful of times. I think it does give you a better sense of understanding of what your drawing, just as it would be with anything else. However, if this is the first time that you're drawing a skull or maybe you haven't spent a lot of time doing these sort of exercises. Keep them very simple in the beginning and just get more familiar with the proportions and general shapes of everything. We can always add more information or make it more complex as we get more confident and just get more practice in. But for now, you know, if you're just starting out, keep it really simple in the beginning and then as you get better, just gradually increase the complexity. As you can see here, just by adding a little bit of contour and a few indications of some details, we can get a nice little allusion of a more or less finished line drawing. Again, this isn't going to be something ongoing to model with form or any sort of convincing shadows or edges or anything like that. But just as a line drawing and a sort of what I would consider again, like a finished block end stage. This would be a nice goal to have as you're practicing these drawings. And outside of that, there's no real need to make it more complex, but it would be something to aim for if you're, if you're starting out. And the first demonstration of the skull that I did was what I would consider a more simplified version where it's very general and broad and there's not a lot of information. And this might be sort of the next level where you kind of take that general information and you gradually make it more specific and you start adding some smaller details. And it kinda just gives you a little bit more of a polished feel in the end result. Hopefully with the two Skoll demonstrations, you get a better sense of what our goals are. And you'll have several images of the skull that you can practice from. And again, you know, realistically, I would say if you're, if this is the first time you're doing this as an exercise, keep it fairly simple and take as much time as you need. And I would err on the side of drawing, these may be a little bit larger so that it's not as difficult to draw some of the details of the skull itself and not necessarily things like teeth or anything, but sometimes even the sockets and cheekbone areas. If you're if you're working too small in a sketchbook or anything like that, it can sometimes be a little bit difficult to get some of the shapes in there. So something along the lines of a medium to large size. As you're working, we'll just make solving some of these small shapes a little bit easier. So at this point I would consider this a finished block in that I'm not going to really take any farther. But again, as you kind of start these exercises, keep the drawings fairly simple, like the first demonstration. And then as you get comfortable with the shapes and proportions of the skull, you can gradually increase the complexity and start focusing on some contours are smaller shapes and things like that. But again, in the context of this class, what we really wanna do is just get familiar with the shapes and structure of the skull and how we can apply that to our own drawings as we move on to the plains of the head, and then ultimately into some block and portraits. So do these as, you know, as much as you can. Just keep a really light and don't put too much pressure on yourself and make them simple exercises that you can repeatedly do. And again, you can always make a more complex. But the whole point for now is just to get familiar with the shapes and then we can move on from there. 6. Asaro explanation: So I wanted to start out with just a brief explanation about what the Asaro head is. And simply put, this cast was sculpted by the painter and a sculptor named John Asara. Oh, so thusly named MBSR arrowhead. And what you can see obviously is that it's a very sort of planar head. But the biggest thing that you may have noticed that there's two very distinct sides to it. There is a simpler side which is very large, simplified planes. And then there's a very complicated side where there's more subdivisions and smaller planes that he's carved out. So I wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about this cast and how it can benefit us as artists. This is something you might see or may have seen at some point. If you've had any sort of academic training or have been in and out of any sort of art schools. This is a very common thing that they may have you study as a means of understanding the planes of the head. And so what I'm hoping to do is just to break it down a little bit more for you before we begin drawing so that I can kind of explain how I interpret it and how I've used it in my own studies. So I wanted to begin by talking about each half of the Asara head separately so that way we can break it down. And I can kind of explain how I interpret this and how we want to use it in our studies. The way that I was taught about this tool was that the simplified plane side of the head was two, more or less represent the planes if you were drawing a female portrait or that of a younger person where they may not have a lot of the more characteristic development in their face or skull structure as an older person might have. You can see by the cheek plane as well as the eye socket where the brow is and just how big enlarge he sculpted the planes. And it's very broad and general. And in contrast to the opposite side where it's a lot more busy, you can see how this might be beneficial if you were drawing a younger person or a female as if you were to add more information to the planes, it would have a tendency to age them a little prematurely, or perhaps create more information that may not be necessary for that type of person. Now you'll hear me repeatedly say throughout the class that when you're using these planes, it's largely going to depend on the person you're drawing and which information you choose to use as you're developing that drawing. Again, something like a female portrait or a younger person. You're not going to use a lot of excess information because that is, you know, it's not going to be helpful. So if I were to carve in and add these extra planes, it does sort of become a little bit meaningless based off of the person that I'm drawing. Versus if it was an older person or someone with prominent cheekbones or a prominent brow ridge, then that might inform me to make other decisions where I may want to add more information. So now let's take a look at this opposite side and you can see immediately just how much more information is being represented in the planes. Again, the way I was taught and how you should interpret this is think about a male portrait or that of maybe an older person where their face might have a little bit more development in terms of age and where planes may start to stand out more as opposed to a younger person. You can see here just even in the cheekbone area is just how many smaller subdivisions he sculpted out in the planes. In realistically, again, this is going to be very dependent on the person you are drawing, but it's very helpful to understand what's going on and how you can make a comparison as you draw the skull along with this head. And you can see how they sort of work in tandem with one another. Now, all of the reference images that I've provided for you to practice from are going to be lit from above. Just the same way you might do this if you were in a classroom setting or in a Atelier type situation. And It's still my preferred lighting method for the majority of the portraits that I like to do, but I think it's also the easiest light source to practice from. And so while you're doing these drawings and you can see the very clear cut plains of the Asaro head is keep in mind about as you're looking at the reference images, what planes are most light facing and which ones start to receive less light. And you can see the subtle value changes in the plains of the face. And so that's something to maybe keep in mind as you're doing these sorrow had drawings, but also as a future reminder, as you begin to apply some of these principles to your own portraits, and you get to the modelling stages, I think by seeing how these planes are lit, it can help you understand a little bit better about how to model form. Given that there's so many small sub planes that he's really carved into this side of the face. My recommendation, as you do these drawings would be to draw them a little bit larger than even maybe what you're used to. And the reason I say that is is that if you are used to drawing smaller heads, are just drawing small in general is it can make it a little bit more difficult because you're going to be trying to cram in so much information and to a very small space. So draw a little bit larger as you're doing these exercises and really take your time to sketch these out as if you were doing a portrait. And the reason I say that is is I remember when I first started doing this as a practice. And it's really difficult at first because there's a lot of things going on and you may not be familiar with anatomy or the structure of the skull just yet. And so a lot of these things are going to be relatively new. And so that's adding an extra layer of difficulty. Now I'll be walking you guys through a drawing of the Asaro head so that you can see how I approach it and I'll share my thoughts with you as I go along. But you're gonna have plenty of source images where you can draw this head from several different angles so that you can see what these planes look like in different positions and different lighting. And hopefully just by seeing the head in different angles, it will all make a little bit more sense. Ideally, if you could actually purchase one of these, it's a great learning tool to have, but absolutely not necessary as the head itself is kind of pricey. But in the long run, if you really get into portraiture, it might be something to consider. Either way, hopefully this gives you a brief introduction to the arrowhead and what it is. In the following video, I'll be walking you through a drawing so that you can see how I approach this and hopefully make it a little bit easier. 7. Asaro demo 1: So beginning the sorrow head, I'm still going to approach it the same way I would begin. Any other head drawing. I'm going to mark off the top and bottom just to establish a general shape. I'll break it down into smaller sections with a center line and some axes lines as well. Now one thing I'll say early on with the Asaro head is that the proportions are a little kinda funky in the sense that I feel like the upper half of the head, especially through the forehead area. And I feel like even in the back part of the skull shape of the Asara ahead. It just feels a little large relative to the lower half of the mouth and chin. So just kind of keep that in mind as you're drawing it and just be mindful of your proportions as you begin to flush out the general shape and find your landmarks. Now the other thing that I'll mention is that drawing the head from straight on is perhaps a little bit more challenging in the sense that because the two sides of the head are so different from one another, is that it can make it feel a bit strange at first because of the asymmetry that you have to account for. But just in the beginning of the drawing, try and treat it the same way you would begin any other head, you know, and find your landmarks between axes, lines, and everything like that. And then as you see these changes take place from one side to the other, you can make the changes as you see them, but try not to let it bother you too much early on here. So I have established my initial thirds for the head just as a means to get me started. Again, I'll start to take to account the sort of differences that I see in proportions as I move the drawing forward. But for now, this is going to be a starting point so that I can at least get a bit more information established. Now I'd like to begin with the eye sockets and then work my way down just because I find that the eye sockets are so large and prominent, especially on a front view, that it makes it a lot easier to start with those and then slowly build out the rest of the drawing. Now they're not very prominent, but I do see both side planes on each side of the head. So I do want to account for that at least so that I know that there's a clear separation between front and side. So I'm going to continue to build out the eye sockets just to get the general shape. But from here, I feel okay about the proportions. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to construct the head one section at a time. So I'm just beginning with this small little plane that's connecting the two eye sockets together. And this is essentially the beginning of the brow ridge. So now it's a little tricky to see, but there's an entire section of the brow ridge that has its own series of planes, followed by the frontal planes of the forehead just above it. Now the top part of my head was perhaps a little shallow, so I'm making that adjustment right here. So you can see here these lines are connecting both sides of the entire brow ridge. And then just above that are going to be the frontal planes of the forehead. Now there's not a whole lot of perspective involves from this particular angle, but we still need to think about what is actually facing forward and what is transitioning away from us. In that's where you can see how I'm bending the curvature of the lines on each side of the head here. Getting back to the front of the face here, I want to establish the general shape of the nose, and I only want to establish a large shape for now, only because it's going to allow me to build out the cheeks as well as the mouth. Once I get the shape established. Ultimately, I'll have to separate the two sides as well as the bottom and front plane of the nose. But for now, I'm going to stick with a large shape just to get me started. The nose shape established, I can estimate where the wings of the nostrils are, but then use them to connect the cheekbone as well as the laugh line in the mouth. Once I have those shapes and I can kind of deviate and make changes as I need to. But I'm looking for just the general location at this point. So I'm going to establish the center plane that I see here in the nose in. It gets a little tricky on the two side planes. So at least for now, this front plane, you can see a little articulation through the bridge of the nose, as well as how he sculpted out the ball of the nose. But what you really want to pay attention to in this particular area is the fluctuation and the angle changes that he's developed in the bridge of the nose. It's almost like two trapezoids sort of stacked on top of each other that leads down towards the ball of the nose. So I'm going to establish the bottom plane of the nose. And while there are some smaller subdivision planes through there, it's very subtle to see from this angle and I feel it's more, it's more obvious from a three-quarter angle what you're basically seeing the bottom plane of the nose as it's also attaching into the septum area. So for this particular side plane, even though it's mostly in shadow, I'm still gonna draw an out as if it were in the light just so that you can see it. Now with this side of the face, obviously things are a bit more simplified. So the majority of the side plane is a single large shape with very little separation for the wing of the nostril. When we get to the opposite side here, he's actually carved quite a bit of cartilage into the nose. So there's several plane changes. And I would say very small plane changes are all taking place in a very condensed area. So I would say the nose on this particular side is something you would really want to slow down and kind of meticulously carve out the subtle shapes just so that you can understand what he's trying to show you with the various plane changes in this area. So we're gonna go ahead and establish this. I and I think for this side of the face you can, you can tell like he's really taken the general sphere of the eye and it's kinda sculpted it into planes. But and the fundamental shape is still that we get a sense of the, the wall of the eye being wedged into the socket. And I think some of the plane changes that we see in the eye. The way he sculpted it here as you still get a sense of that rounded form. But he's also showing a little bit of the, you know, the front plane where the iris of the eye would be as well as the top plane in the lid. And I think it's much more obviously when you compare it to the other eye where you can actually see the eyelids wrapping around the ball of the eye. This is kind of just a simpler representation of that same effect. 8. Asaro demo 2: So as i begin this other I hear, I would recommend taking this one a little bit slower only because there's a lot of smaller sub planes that he sculpted. On this particular side. I think it's most obvious in the plane changes that you see in the brow itself. But then also when you really look at the eyelids, There's a lot of smaller planes that he's carved out as they envelop a ball of V i. So it's just something to keep in mind as you're working in this area is to really kind of take it, take it slow and kind of look at each individual plane as you're drawing in the mass of the eye itself. So as they build up this area, I have a tendency to work a little bit slower only because there's so much information that sort of crammed in a very small area. And I would say this is true for the I and a little bit in the cheek area is that there's a lot of small sub planes that he's really carved in there. And I would say it's, it's easy to get lost in some of these areas. So it helps if you can just slow down and just sort of work one shape at a time as you're building this area up. So with the IM, I can start to build this cheek a little bit more. But I would say from, from this particular angle, it might be a little tricky to see some of the smaller planes. And so I would suggest looking at some of the different source images that you'll have. And with the different lighting scenario, these sub planes will be a lot more obvious. But I think from this particular vantage point being straight on and what the top-down lighting, Some of them are perhaps getting a little washed out. But nonetheless, I'm going to draw everything that I see in the demonstration just so that you can see it in the drawing and what that looks like. And so with the majority of the head established at this point, we're more or less just going to be filling in the gaps so that we can establish the mouth. From the film drum, which is just below the nose. I've built sort of a triangle shape which extends down to the chin. I already established the nodes of the mouth so I can essentially connect the dots between the two sides and then build the rest of the lips as well as the plane's just below the lower lip, as well as the chin. So as we get down to the chin here, one thing you'll just keep in mind is that very similar to the eyes is that he's taking the rounded form of the chin and sort of sculpting it into smaller planes. It's a little tricky to see from the front view, but what you're sort of seeing is there's a stair step from the lower lip to just below it, to the top plane of the chin, to the front plane of the chin. And there's sort of this undulating form that's happening. And if you look at the head from a three-quarter or even a profile view. It makes a lot more sense, but from the front, it's a little tricky to sort of make sense of, but that's where the shadows could potentially be a little helpful in that regard. Just something to keep in mind though as you're drawing. And so lastly, we gotta get those zeros in. To be honest, I would say, for the sorrow head itself in the ears are maybe not the most beneficial Of all the planes that he sculpted within the head. I just feel like with the ears, there's there's too many variables, I think, because the cartilage takes on so many different shapes and so I emphasize different things when I have to draw an ear and it's mostly going to be the top part of the helix. The whole shape in the ear, the concha, and then the lobe. You know, those are going to be sort of the main factors that I look at when I'm drawing an ear. But nonetheless, I do want to draw them in here just so that you can see it. However, I just don't put as much emphasis on the plains of the ear as much as I do the rest of the head. And again, it's just because there's so many variables in the cartilage, even more so than noses which also have a high degree of variability. So I don't know, it's just something to keep in mind, but I have a tendency to think of the ears as more of these organic forms than I do as planes. So it's why don't really put as much emphasis on them when I'm drawing the arrowhead. So at this point I'm just cleaning up the drawing in any excess lines or smudges I just want to get rid of. But this is more or less a completed block in drawing. And I would say, this is about as far as I would take one of these exercises. So fear assignment, I would suggest taking one of the source images and try and do a block in drawing just like this. I would say err on the side of maybe drawing a little bit larger, just so that it makes it a little easier to get some of the smaller planes in there. I would also say to really take your time with these particular exercises. I will say that drawing this head F first is actually rather difficult because there's so many little pieces to try and keep track of. And so I find that early on it can feel a little confusing because there's so much going on in the head. So try and slow down as best you can and really just take it one area at a time. And then that way, it might be a little bit easier to piece things together just by working one little section at a time so that it might feel a little less overwhelming. Beyond that, I would say really just try and pay attention to looking at the head and seeing how the angles are being portrayed in and try and understand how you might use some of these planes when you're constructing your drawing. Because ultimately we're not really trying to draw beautiful diagrams. We really just want to apply this information to our own drawings so that we can inject a nice sense of structure and our own portraits. 9. Female Head: So beginning this drawing, one thing that I'll say is that drawing like a young female or even like a young male is generally going to be, I think, a little trickier than an older person. And the reason I say that is that there's less room for error. And the more information that you put into the drawing. And this could be in the sense of construction or even planes Howard discussing here. But the more information that you start adding to the drawing, the more careful you have to be because every little line can make a difference and could potentially age of the person. So that's just something to keep in mind if you're drawing a female or like a younger person, you know, kind of like a teenager or even let's say like if it was like a child portrait or something like that, you just have to be really careful with the amount of information that you put in so that you don't overly age them or totally missed their type. So starting out, I'm just I'm establishing the large shape, but I'm also getting in the majority of the hair from the get-go. Because with having the longer hair, it kind of helps frame the entirety of the face just so I can see that whole face shape from the beginning. And so I'll still break it down. Once I have this basic shape in here, I'll start breaking down with my normal procedure. Center line, the hairline or axes lines in she's just off of I would say like it's more or less straight on but there's a very slight tilt. So I'm just keeping that in mind and dividing into my thirds. So even though this is a straight on sort of Coase, I do see a little bit of the side plane on each side of the head and it's not a whole lot. And then I do have the hair that is covering up things like the ears, but I still want to make sure that I capture that. So that way, it just gives me a better idea about how I'm going to place the rest of the features. With those in place. I'm going to establish my general socket shape. And again, what I'm looking at as I'm doing this is I'm asking myself what information can I put in that is going to be beneficial to me for this particular person and for this particular lighting situation. And the most dominant thing I think I see on her is that she has very distinct cheekbones. So I want to go ahead and establish that cheekbone sort of shape. And you can see by the shadow shape on the left-hand side that it's sort of very obvious and how it comes across the cheekbone and then down towards the mouth and then to the chin. And so with the one side. Basically built with the shadow pattern. I can mirror it on the other side just so that I maintain a sense of symmetry. And so from here I can go from the corner of the socket just to establish where the wings of the nostrils are going to end. And then I'm just going to create a large shape for the nose for now that is going to encompass both side planes as well as the front plane of the nose. So I'll just establish the center plane for the nose and then I'll have my two side planes next to that and I wouldn't get caught up in the cartilage, you know, sort of planes on a female type, especially on a young female. If it's not just, you know, unless the person has a very distinctive knows type. I might err on the side of keeping it a little more simple. Again, just to not age the model and add in too much information that really wouldn't be necessary. Now from the nose, I can sort of see the laugh line from the cheek that's connecting to the mouth. And now for the initial block, and I can draw a light line for where the laugh line would be. But I believe that it's something I would ultimately take out of the drawing because it that particular line, generally speaking, is going to add some age to a female so you can use it for the construction process, but it might be something that you would remove afterwards, you know, depending on the person's type or how prominent they are, cheekbones and the laugh line are. And in this particular instance, I feel like a lot of the shadows on her face are kind of giving us the information that we need. So, you know, things like the ball of the chin and how it connects with the shadow from the cheek makes these shapes perhaps a little more obvious. And that's sort of the benefit of having a nice, strong light source is that a lot of this information will often reveal itself to you so that you don't have to dig as much. But, you know, from a plane standpoint, it's kind of giving us enough information where I don't really feel like I need to inject that much more information to get the point across. And so even here with this, I mostly in shadow, what I'm still gonna do is I'm going to just draw the ball shape of the eye. And you can see by the cache shadow that's coming from the corner of the eye and gives you a sense of that sphere that's being tucked away into the deep socket of the eye itself. And you can see by the shadow shape just how prominent that is. On the far right hand side, you can see, you know, kind of the lower lid as it's attaching to the ball of the eye. And it gives you that sense of that sphere shape. And then there's just that little tiny shadow and the corner of worthy eyebrow meats. And as long as I can get those two pieces together in the, I will feel like it's attached to the socket itself. So at this particular point, I can start looking for smaller plane changes in the exterior shape of the head as well as the hair. But regarding the structure of the features and the planes of the face that I see. I don't know if I would really be adding more information at this point. And again, that just goes back to her specific type, but also any young person male or female. You just don't have as much flexibility with the plane's unless they have a very distinctive type. Or if, for example, they had very sort of distinctive cheekbones or like a forehead or, or a nose type there I feel like there's a lot less flexibility with a younger person. Whereas if it's someone who's older, you can almost get away with excess information because it may kind of play up a character type or you have a little bit more wiggle room, I would say, than a younger person. So again, you may, at first, as you're learning to use these tools and information, you may over inject information that may not be necessary and that's totally okay. The first few drawings, you may actually even want to put in excess information just from a Understanding aspect and from there you can kinda make adjustments to the drawing as you need to. Now at this particular point, I would say that the drawing is more or less completed for what my goal is and, you know, adding any extra information would just be a few extra details in the features and things like that. But I would aim for an, again, a nice simple sort of linear construction that maybe expresses the planes and any other information is up to you after that. But as long as your proportions are looking good and things are in perspective and you know, your axes are lines up and everything. I would say that's going to be a successful drawing for this particular class. And lastly, I'll just mention it again, but with a younger person is you just have to perhaps be really careful and maybe pre-planned some of the information that you're going to use as you begin your drawing. But hopefully by watching me approach this and you can see the information I included as well as not included. It will help you in your own drawing. And again, try and keep it relatively simple and look just for the major construction lines when you're drawing a younger person. 10. Male Head : So with this first demonstration, we're going to focus on a nail portrait. And what I will say from the beginning is when you're drawing a male and especially an older male in this instance, is that you have a lot of extra flexibility. And in regards to using more planes than you might would if it were a younger male or even a female for that matter. Now the one thing to keep in mind though, is regardless of the person's type or anything like that, we do want to only use information that is going to help us. And so even though I know that there's a lot of planes that can potentially exist on someone's head. I don't want to use unnecessary information that isn't really going to help me or push the drawing forward. So I'm still going to start my primary Construction first before I start inputting any sort of plain structure into the head itself. So we have our large shape. We've established our center line. And given that he's bald, I don't have a hairline to begin with, so I'm more or less looking for where I see a plane break in the forehead and I can estimate where the hairline may have started. And that's only so that I can place where am I align my bottom of the nose and the chin is going to be now I'll probably have to make some adjustments at some point, but given that it's so early in the drawing, I wanna get some extra information before I make those kinds of decisions. I'm still going to start in the center and build out my eye socket shaped from there just to get that large mass established. Now he has a little bit of a character to his eyebrows and I think just in general, his face has a lot of character to it. So well, I want to try and capture maybe some of that towards the end of the block in for right now I just want to get my general spacing and figuring out the size of the sockets so that I can build more of the head. With the eye socket in. I can go ahead and build the side plane of the head, which again is going to cut through the corner of the socket here. And I can carry that line all the way to the back of the skull. Right now I just want to establish a front-end side so that I have a better sense of perspective with the head. And then from there we can start putting in more features and hopefully get a better sense of how this is going to start to develop. Now notice I had my head maybe a little tall, so I wanna go ahead and trim that up just a little bit and get it closer to what I see now. He has this kind of unique sort of peak to his forehead. So I do want to make sure I capture that, but it's always a little tricky when you don't have a hairline or anything like that, because it can be very easy to overestimate the size of the cranial mass on someone when their balls. So just something to keep in mind for this particular person. I'm gonna go ahead and just carry my axes lines across so I can find the rough placement for the year and then I can attach that to the jaw line. From the ear. I wanna just follow that shadow shape down the cheek plane here. And once a kinda find the corner of the cheek, I can carry that from side to side so that way I can make sure that there's that sense of symmetry in the cheekbones that I'm going to need. And what's nice is that with him, he has such a prominent laugh line in the nose that it really frames Some of the musculature and the cheek on each side. But it will also help frame the muzzle shape of the mouth, which is then going to help me build the rest of the chin and the lower jaw. So you'll notice here too, I'm also using a lot of very sort of hard straight lines, but I feel like with his character type and, and just being an older male, I can get away with it. And it just gives the drawing a little bit of extra structure, which especially right now in the beginning, is certainly not a bad thing. With the general shape of the head established, I'm going to start focusing in on some smaller planes in the sort of center of the face. And I'm going to start with the nose and the sort of eye socket brow ridge area because it's fairly prominent on Ham, especially the nose shape and then, you know, the wrinkles in the forehead and everything like that. I'm not going to worry about. But he does have a fairly strong brow based off of a little bit of the shadow that I see. So I'm gonna go ahead and just connect that to the rest of the eye sockets. Getting back to the nose, I don't really see a very strong bottom plane on his nose type. So I'm going to put more emphasis on the wings of the nostril and maybe some of the side cartilage that I see in the side plane. But again, that's just kinda more of his type than anything else. I'll go ahead and establish a very simple shape for the eyes for now. And you know, when you do this as an exercise, you don't necessarily have to worry about drawing details or anything like that. I would focus on the plains in sort of simple shapes first. And then once you have everything established, you can decide whether or not you want to add some extra details. But what I'll do here is very much how we see on the Asaro head is I'll just draw a very simplified 4B, you know, for the eye and really just focus on making sure that it's connected to the socket and it feels like it's wedged in sort of inside the socket. And that's really what I would want for right now and this early on in the drawing. So you can see just how simple the relative shapes are. And I would say leave him like this for, for a while until you flesh out more information in their head. And ultimately, if you even if you left them like this, I think it would be totally fine for this kind of exercise. And as you get more comfortable understanding the planes and how things connect together, then you can kind of start adding those extra details to make it look more like a person and less like a mannequin. 11. Male Head pt 2: See, you can see so far with the construction we have in place is I've tried to just really emphasize the planes that I feel are most relevant for his face and his type and everything. And so you know, areas like the brow and the cheek, the cheekbone area, the front plane of the nose. Those kinda really stick out to me and as we move down the drawing, I feel like the chin and the kind of lower jaw area is going to be another portion of the drawing where there'll be maybe more emphasis. But for now I think, you know, the relative shape in sort of the, the feeling of the drawing is, is relatively close to his type, but we'll try and refine this drawing as we go along so that we can put in more information and try and get it a little bit closer. Now one thing I will say when you're doing these kinds of drawings is that it's very easy to lose a likeness or the type of person that you're drawing. And depending on where you're at skill wise with your own drawing is don't really be too hard on yourself with that, especially for an exercise like this. I would say generally focused on your construction and focus on just the idea of seeing these planes on a face because that in and of itself could be a very new experience if you're not used to doing that already. And so it's like you're already trying to juggle several things at once. So things like likeness and type are probably going to be the last thing I would be concerned about when you're practicing these drawings. So I want to start developing the lower half of the face here. And I'm going to start with that tiny little shadow shape under the lower lip because it's going to frame how the chin is sitting on the lower jaw. Now he has a fairly large chin, but I know with that shadow shape, as it connects to the rest of light, the jowl area. It kind of creates a circular rhythm for the chin and where that would exist in space. So we're getting close to having the bulk of information in place. You know, if I see any excess construction lines that are no longer useful, I do want to go ahead and try and either clean them up or remove them entirely so that way I can get a better sense of what I'm working with for the block in. And so, you know, realistically at this point we can start looking for smaller shapes in maybe subtle plane changes in line that I may see an, but for the most part, hopefully you can see a sense of the structure and the drawing in sort of what planes I emphasized and which ones I didn't really use at all. And it's like I was mentioning earlier, is that when you're doing these kinds of drawings, you do want to just use the information that is going to be helpful to you. So as you're practicing, let's say this particular drawing, it might be beneficial to have a similar heading angle of the Asaro head present and you can kind of look at it back and forth and decide what might be beneficial for this particular drawing that I'm doing, which planes are going to be the biggest help to me as I'm constructing and which ones don't I need? And I think that degree of decision-making, certainly something that comes with time and practice in just doing a lot of these types of drawings. But again, it's one of those things where we don't want to use excess information for the sake of using it because it will at some point just become extra things that you have to remove or take out or, or just get in the way. So keep that in mind as you're practicing the drawings is you really want to decide based off of the person you're drawing, what is going to be the biggest help to you. So with the majority of the head locked in, I do want to go ahead and add some details just so that you can see how I would develop this drawing a little bit farther. Now if you're able to get to this stage and in terms of construction and a block in with your planes and everything, I would say that's a very good sort of, you know, finish for this class. You know, outside of that, any sort of detail that you add is just going to be sort of an extra. But I will say, you know, as you get better at doing these drawings, you'll kinda maybe wonder, well, where do I go from here with this and what it's really going to entail to a large degree. And I would say this is going to apply to most people is you'll go back in and you'll really have to focus on cleaning up the drawing a bit as you add the details. Because what ends up happening is you will have all of these construction lines that are not maybe as useful as they were when you first began the drawing. And so that's where it can be a little tricky when you're practicing these exercises. But as long as you stay relatively light with your drawing, you shouldn't have too many issues in taking the drawing a little bit further and still being able to clean up a good majority of the drawing. So I'm just going to add some of the AI information in here just so that you can see, Keep it Simple and don't really get caught up in excess detail. And I would say for pretty much any drawing that's a general, that's a pretty good idea. But I would focus on just trying to get specific shapes if you're going to develop the drawing and add extra information, is really just focus on the shape design and see if you can get as good or as accurate of a shape you can in linear form, don't necessarily worry about tone or shading or anything like this. And once you have the shapes and you can decide where you wanna go with the drawing. But for the sake of this class and for that, I think for the sake of keeping things on the simpler side is keep everything linear like this for now. And then as you get more comfortable practicing these kinds of drawings and you get comfortable with the construction and the idea. Using these planes, you can move your drawings a lot further as you keep doing more of them. So I hope this was able to be at least of some benefit in how I would use the planes of the head and apply that to an actual drawing. You can see I really didn't use all of them, but I just used the more important ones that I feel like would be beneficial to use for this particular person. 12. Closing Thoughts: So to kind of end on just a few final thoughts here about the class is, I would treat all of this is simply doing exercises and don't get too caught up in doing beautiful drawings or anything like that. But just get comfortable with the types of shapes and forms that you see in the skull as well as the plane to head. These are the kinds of exercises that I would oftentimes do as a warm-up prior to doing any sort of life drawing or any sort of portrait drawing. And I did this throughout my entire time as a student. And these are just good exercises that you can always kinda come back to. So even if you'd go for long periods of time where you may not be drawing portraits are figures or anything like that. It's nice that maybe have a little fallback exercise like the skull or a planed head just to keep your hand moving and to get more familiar with the subject matter. So I hope that the demonstrations were helpful and you can at least see how a approach both the skull and the plane head. And hopefully it gives you an idea about where you may want to go with these sketches. And again, the last thing you wanna do is don't, don't put too much pressure on yourself. Just make it fun and keep these drawings fairly light. And again, the idea behind doing any of these is really just to get a better understanding of the head itself so that we can apply it to our own portrait drawings and move forward. So I hope you are able to follow along and thank you for watching.