The Anatomyst

Art and Illustration

Drawing Heads


I’ve been having a lot of back pain at the moment and it’s been leaving me feeling tired and more than a little grumpy so I got up early in the morning to try some pilates. It actually helped a bit. Early days but I think I’m going to need to do some regularly to keep my back in working order. The upside from all this was that I was able to have some breakfast and do some drawing.

Practising drawing heads. v1. Pencil, pen and ink.

Practising drawing heads. v2. Pencil, pen and ink.

Somewhat buoyed by thinking my first attempts were looking good, I had a go at adding features but this didn’t look right. It kind of looks like I’ve just tried to add the features onto the surface of a balloon rather than there being any underlying framework. Back to the drawing board…

Practising drawing heads. v3. Pencil, pen and ink.

I think some of these look better. I’ve always seen people start out by putting down the central vertical line and the horizontal to mark out the level of the eyes but never really gotten into it. I sometimes do my balloon outline and add these guides as an afterthought which is probably not how I should be going about it.

Practising drawing heads. v4. Pencil, pen and ink.

This was the final sheet from that morning’s session. I’ve actually switched to the technique of using a circle for the cranium and then adding the lines and curves of the mandible. I think knowing that anatomically there are two main parts here really helps. I’m also liking adding guides for the prominences of the brow. A way to think about this that works for me is to remember how Iron Man’s mask looks. On this sheet I’ve added some arrows to take you around the page to see how I developed this technique.

In other news, slightly annoyingly I’ve lost my favourite Tachikawa Manga fountain pen that I’d used for the vast majority of my work. I’m trying out a dip pen instead to see if that gives me good results and I’ve pulled out an old fountain pen (my Kaweco Sport) to start using that when I’m out and about. I’m such a pen geek. I have far too many!

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