One of Meadow's recent class tips was the importance of the "egg" effect when modeling the head. That is the gradation of tone moving away from the light, both laterally and top to bottom. I know the concept, heard it many times, but didn't fully grasp it's importance until now. Just wasn't ready. I always modeled laterally, but not so consistently from the top down, which flattened my results. My chins were as light as my foreheads. Below are portraits drawn in the last 3 weeks. Compare the bottom head (without top-down "egg" modeling) to the 2 upper heads (after getting the "egg" tip). The tonal differences are subtle but the improvement is clear. It's a simple tip, but the good ones usually are.
If you are interested in looking at the work of other artists who really know their head drawing, check out:
- the blogs of H. Edward Brooks or Nathan Fowkes. Very clear "eggs" there. Both artists also teach drawing. Look through older posts for some beautifully drawn heads.
- the book Drawing the Head by William Maughan. A good instructional book, I refer to it often.
- this gallery showing the works of Watts instructors and students. The school has a strong drawing curriculum and all the instructors are excellent draftsmen.