15 November 2010

Recent Head Drawings and the Egg Effect

I'm back taking head drawing this term with Meadow Gist.  Meadow can draw heads, and she's a good teacher, too.  One of my professional goals is commissioned portraiture, so learning to draw (and ultimately to paint) a convincing head with a good likeness is important to me.

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:
All drawings took approximately 2 hours, from life, using a Conte Pierre Noir 1710 B charcoal pencil on 24 x 18 smooth newsprint.