Term I, Week 3, Head Drawing I

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 ended up doing a head fundamentals class this week instead of moving on to phase 2 of head drawing. In hindsight, I wish I did phase 2 because the fundamentals class was very similar but I like the instructor for phase 2 better. Starting next week, I will spend about 20% of my time drawing from imagination, since that is the skill that I ultimately want to develop. I will do that for 45 minutes in the mornings before work.


28.5 hours this week, all drawing. I didn’t do any studying because I drew along with the videos instead of watching them first then doing the drawing. I also spent about 10 hours getting familiar with Clip Studio Paint and a Wacom Intuos Pro drawing tablet, but I didn’t include that here.

Drawings and Critiques

Monday, Dec. 21


3/4 Asaro head.

This was the last assignment from Head Drawing Phase I. I was really starting to enjoy drawing the Asaro head.

Simple skulls.

The skulls from the Head Fundamentals class are much simpler than the ones I drew a couple weeks ago. I don’t like them near as much. I got a skull model for Christmas, so I will probably spend some time drawing that next week.

Tuesday, Dec. 22


Simple profile skull.

Reilly abstractions

These are also more simplified versions of the Reilly abstractions from Head Drawing Phase I. I really don’t like how this teacher does eye sockets. I could never get them to look right, and I didn’t find those outlines to be helpful.

Wednesday, Dec. 23

Warmups and Reilly heads.

The noses and eye sockets all look strange, but I like the shape of the lips. I am starting to be able to wrap them around the tooth cylinder, which I had a lot of trouble doing in the past.

Eye and ear studies.

I don’t have very much practice doing full rendering yet, so the shaded versions were fun, but also frustrating. It’s hard to get a smooth, even tone.

Thursday, Dec. 24

Loomis heads.

I need to practice the extreme angles more.

Eye and nose studies.

I like the fully shaded eyes, even though they are looking in different directions. I don’t think I’ve ever drawn a pair of eyes that are looking in the same direction.

Mouth study.

I think my lips have improved the most from this course.

Friday, Dec. 25

Warmup and value study.

Two-value head drawing.

This is just mapping the shadows with the correct edges (hard or soft) and filling in a flat shadow value. Really the right side of the head should be filled in but the instructor skipped that step. It’s pretty cool when the individual features start to come alive as you add the shadow. I think the neck is too thick here.

Saturday, Dec. 26

Warmup and value study in gouache.

This was my first time ever using gouache. I really enjoyed it. It’s very strange how it can go from soupy to tacky so fast. It’s kind of in between watercolor and acrylic. The value scale is supposed to go from 0 (black) to 10 (white), but I think the values I have here are more in the 0–6 range. For the lighter greys I need to start with white and gradually add black. I was working the other way around to everything stayed pretty dark.

Two value portraits.

These are still considered 2-value, even though there are some darker shadows in the hair. You can think of the face as one 2-value drawing, and the hair as another 2-value drawing. The top of the head seems a little long and flat on the left one, but I like all the facial features. I take the one on the right to a full value range tomorrow.

Sunday, Dec. 27

Full value portrait.

I like how this turned out. I think this is only the second “finished” drawing I’ve done since I’ve started the blog. That being the case, I have very little experience in rendering. That’s fine though. I should be focusing on getting drawings to the 2-value stage right now. That’s difficult enough, and no amount of rendering will fix a drawing that has issues at that step.

2-value portrait.

I think the back of the head needs to be rounded off a bit. I though the beard would be hard, but it wasn’t bad. Adding a bunch of random shadows is easier to do than something that takes a lot of subtlety or precision. Taking it to full value might be a different story though. All drawings this week were done from instructor drawings. Next week I’ll do similar exercises but draw from photos instead of from other drawings.



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