Term I, Head Drawing I, Week 2

For a description of this unit see my Head Drawing I unit plan. For full context, see the description of my Art Home School Curriculum.


I decided to stop the 100 challenge this week. I feel like it’s 1) jumping too far ahead of where my current skills are, and 2) encouraging rushing through drawings instead of taking my time. I’m going to continue the ground-up style of learning head drawing and save finished heads for when I’m ready. It takes an hour and a half to draw the classic Asaro heads, and doesn’t include any real facial features, shading, or realism, but I learn much more from those drawings than I do from trying to finish a head in 20 minutes just to complete an arbitrary challenge.


Only 25 hours this week, but 24 of that was actual drawing. I didn’t need to do much studying because drawing each head type 6 times (once from a photo, once from a drawing, and profile, 3/4 and straight on for each) was plenty of homework. I only need to draw one more head to finish the Head phase I course, and then I’ll move on to phase II, where I can focus more on the individual facial features.

Drawings and Critiques

Monday, Dec. 14

Medieval sculpture.

I still like doing the shadow lay-ins, which is all I can get done in 45 minutes in the morning before work.

100 head challenge and Loomis heads.

As simple as the Loomis heads are, it’s still really hard to make them look right.

Warm up and Reilly abstraction heads.

Still trying to get the hang of this.

I tried doing some really quick head abstractions, but realized that I don’t like that exercise. Sure, the drawings don’t take very long, but they are mostly incorrect and I don’t learn as much. I’ve also started enjoying taking my time with drawings, which is a trait I intend to cultivate because of how necessary it is for making good art.

Tuesday, Dec. 15

Medieval sculpture.

I like the braids.

Loomis heads.

Even heads this simple are still difficult to get right.

Reilly head.

The eyes ended up too high on this one. When I realized this, I was far enough along that it felt easier to start over than to try and fix it.

Classic Asaro head, straight on, from drawing.

This is known as the “Classic” Asaro head, with the left side being simpler and the right side more complex, with more planes. The complex side is the last step from geometric forms into the smooth transitions of the planes of the real head. I drew this head 10 times this week: from the instructor drawing and from photo of straight on, 3/4 (from complex and simple side), and profile (from complex and simple side).

Wednesday, Dec. 16

Medieval sculpture.

I only had 15 minutes to work on this, so I carry it over into the next day.

Loomis heads.

I feel like the initial construction is solid, but once I start putting features on, everything falls apart.

Reilly abstraction.

This is the fixed version of the previous Reilly head where the eyes were too high.

Classic Asaro head, simple side, from drawing.

It takes a lot of adjustments to move the planes around to lock together just right.

Thursday, Dec. 17

Medieval sculpture.

Finished from the previous day. The nose and mouth are broken off on the sculpture, which makes them much easier to draw :). His crown looks like a little building.

Drawing from the Loomis book.

The top right is a redraw of the previous day’s. I think the second one came out better.

Classic Asaro, complex side.

Friday, Dec. 18

Medieval sculpture.

I like the features on this one, and the braids as well. I found a trick for keeping the braids symmetrical: draw a center line between the edges, then do a zig-zag all the way along it, then fill in the outside curves. I should have worked on this another day to get more detail in the rest of the clothes.

Loomis book.

Classic Asaro head, simple side, from drawing.

This turned out nice.

Saturday, Dec. 19

Classic Asaro, complex side, from drawing.

I’ve started to really enjoy taking my time with these. First I make really light lines to get all the planes in place. Once everything looks correct, I go over every line with a heavier hand to get dark lines.

Classic Asaro, simple side, from photo.

Continuing the tradition of the drawing from a photo being worse than copying the instructor’s drawing. The face is a scrunched into a small area while the cranium is too large.

Practicing basic head shapes.

Getting the center line right in the 3/4 view is very important.


These are interesting. They’re a bit strange for the first chapter of a head drawing book.

Sunday, Dec. 20


I had been neglecting warmups, and I found that practicing drawing the same curve over and over, especially difficult angles, is very helpful.

Classic Asaro, from photo.

I like this overall. The ears may be a bit small. I don’t darken the lines of the base as much as the head itself in order to keep the focus on the face.

Classic Asaro, simple side, from photo.

This is probably my favorite drawing of the week. Strangely, as I draw more of these I enjoy it more and more. Maybe because it’s getting easier?

Classic Asaro, complex side, from photo.

The nose has more planes the the instructor’s drawing. It was tough to see on the photo because a bright light hits there, but I think I like it better with fewer planes.



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