Reading this article is possible because someone is working hard for you at the moment, without you even noticing. Your head muscles not only support your head but also allow you to turn around or even eat your delicious sandwich. It comes as no surprise we have numerous facial muscles to help us with all these facial expressions, however the head muscles are equally important for anatomic reasons as well from an artistic perspective. Today we will have a quick look at these hard working parts of our body and see how they affect our portraits and figures.
Looking natural is fundamental for any portrait that wants to be called “realistic”. To be able to achieve this, showing the skin creases or stretches is necessary. The best way to learn how to draw them accurately is by having at least a broad understanding of the structure of facial muscles. Since we are not aiming for “medical level” studies we will only quickly go through groups of facial muscles and follow a very simplistic method to draw and memorise them.
Artist’s Bio and other Featured Artists at the end of the page.
THE ARTIST SAYS:
“Gemma Hare is a fine artist residing in Aberdeen.
After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2005 with a BA (hons) in Drawing and Painting, Gemma became a primary teacher, which has led her to work with children in different school settings as well as facilitating art workshops.
Her work is inspired by everyday objects and experiences, such as plants, people, places and text. She enjoys experimenting with different media and processes.
Gemma also incorporates printmaking and stencilling techniques to build multi – layered pieces.
Gemma’s current series has a new focus. Her work looks at bee preservation, through the use of her layering and colour composition, with a painted bee as a focal point. These pieces also incorporate some text, relating to the issue of bee decline and its consequences.
Gemma has been creating work again since November 2018 and is beginning to experiment with creating print editions, as well as one off originals. She has taken part in recent exhibitions in Aberdeenshire and Edinburgh so far. Gemma is happy to accept commissions and discuss her work with others.“
Loved Gemma’s art? Follow her work on social media:
Excited and honoured to be an Associate at 44AD, Bath
44AD Artspace, Bath
I am very happy to be an associate artist at 44AD Artspace in Bath since last week. I already had the chance to meet some of the artists of the community during an “artsocial event” where two of the artists presented their work to other members of 44AD.
Shortly after, I attended a very interesting print exhibition. Apart from admiring the art work being displayed, artists were present offering a great opportunity for fruitful discussions about a field for which I admittedly my knowledge is limited.
I am really looking forward to meeting the rest of the artists working in the artspace studios and attending more exhibitions. If you are around in Bath please do visit 44AD as there are loads going on.
*Photos included in this article are all screenshots from 44AD website. Please visit the community’s website by clicking here.
“Juif Gaetan is seriously interested in painting in the age of 25. He is self-taught painter working mainly on the paint substance, experimenting by adding unconventional materials like coffee and acid. His first achievements dealt only with the work of the susbtance of paint itself in an instinctive way. Only hand-made and slowly he goes to a more representational style for to be able to communicate also other messages; that only that of the instinct.
He is also an author, songwriter and performer, having realized 7 albums to date.”
Loved Juif’s art? Follow his work on social media:
An Ancient Greek philosopher which is a dominant figure in my home city. Aristotle is one of the most important and famous personalities of Ancient Greece and streets, universities and squares have been named after him in modern Greek cities. Aristotle was born in Stagira (norther Greece) and was a student of Plato in Athens. After his teacher’s death, Aristotle was invited to teach Alexander the Great (previous bust drawing – BUST -2). His teachings are foundation of the modern Western Philosophy and cover many areas as physics, biology, arts, politics and psychology.
The inspiration to draw this bust is now obvious. It was a good exercise for me, getting the proportions of the face and the shape of head right. I quickly put a small grid on my paper and tried to measure the proportions of the width and length of his face. First step was to locate the zone of his eyes. That gave me a good reference point to build the rest of his face. I achieved this by defining the forehead’s proportion to the rest of the face.
Once the eyes were roughly in place it was easier to define the position of other features. I started top to to bottom. Firstly, I tried to deal with the nose by making it proportionally right to the forehead. The width of the nose was measured proportionally to its length.
With the nose roughly sketched I looked at the width and position of the mouth and chin. The width of the lips roughly lines up with the middle of the eyes. The chin literally occurred by sketching the outline of the lips. This areas is easier to draw by adding tone rather than trying to precisely sketch outlines.
A new element for me was the hair. It was a challenging task to decide how to better sketch the hair. I am not sure this is the best way to do it yet but it seemed a bit easier roughly shaping it and then defining it better by adding tone. The same applies to hair on the head and facial hair.
After having on my paper and being satisfied that I don’t want to add any more details (mainly because at this point I am quite tired already) I add some highlights by rubbing out the charcoal or strengthen the tone in some places. This way I increase the contrast and make the drawing a bit more impressive. Still working on this though!
I hope you enjoyed! You can see my previous bust drawing here:
THE ARTIST SAYS…
“Busts is a collection of charcoal drawings which represents my first steps in the world of life drawing and drawing of human figures and faces in general. In these first drawings I am just trying to put in practice the theory that I read in sketching books or the instructions that our tutor gives during our life drawing classes. Hopefully, as I progress and practice more, the quality of my drawings will improve and more confident lines and powerful tone contrasts will appear.”
Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves. Meet the man behind the scenes. Visit THE ARTIST…
“My name is Alice Frankovich. I am a self taught abstract/fluid artist based in San Diego, California. Growing up, both of my parents were very artistic. My dad had an extraordinary imagination and my mom could draw or paint just about anything. Their influence definitely contributed to the love and need for art to be a part of my life. For years, my medium was just a #2 pencil. I spent countless hours as a teenager sketching animals, nature, and even portraits of my friends. Over time I dabbled in pottery, fimo clay, water colours, and candle making. About 10 years ago, I started to paint acrylic abstracts and absolutely loved it. About a year ago, I stumbled upon fluid painting. I still paint with brushes and dabble in other mediums, but fluid painting has become my favourite medium. With this medium, there is little control, and I am loving that challenge. Learning different ways to manipulate the paint into a design or something that is beautiful, has been extraordinarily fun and rewarding.”
Loved Alice’s art? Follow her work on social media:
Today the session was different to the previous ones. First of all we had a male model which I had never drawn before. But the main difference was the content of the session itself. Our tutor organised for us two exercises.
The class started setting up the model…behind a screen! We couldn’t see him at all. We were only allowed to quickly go behind the screen and take a brief look and then run back to our easels and sketch. We were allowed to go back and forth as many times as we wanted however we couldn’t take our sketch pads with us.
Aim of this exercise was to improve our observational skills and our memory. A good understanding of the human body structure was very helpful as by picking up some information then you could build up and complete your drawing. Most of the students struggled (including myself). I managed to make the following drawing which did not please me at all. I acknowledge that this was a very useful exercise; very frustrating though!
Following this first challenge our tutor had prepared another task for us (and the model…). The students were sat in a circle leaving a small “corridor” empty in the middle of the class. The model had to walk slowly up and down the class making a small stop in the middle taking a pose for a few seconds. We had to capture the movement in our drawings. Purpose of this exercise was to create quick lines with flow instead of completed sketches.
A second wave of frustration hit me as I managed to quickly draw different poses along the way however I completely missed the element of movement. Again I understand the value and use of this exercise but I think it needs loads of practice to actually capture the flow and the movement!
Finally, the tutor set up a long pose which lasted for about an hour. The model, who was a tall muscular middle aged man, was holding a spear with both hands. This led his muscles to stretch and his torso to take a very sculptural form. The pose was not particularly easy as from my position the neck was hidden – i couldn’t understand how the head sits on the shoulders. I had to scrap my first drawing before I actually managed to form the correct figure.
The Artist says:
“Since I joined the life drawing classes, I have really developed a completely different way of looking at the objects around me. I try to spot the details and I try to understand how different elements of an object affect the proportions, the shape and the tone. Studying the human body is quite challenging but really rewarding!”
Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…
“Hi! I’m Dina from Dee’s Fine Art. I live in Seattle, and am originally from Egypt. I used to be a product manager in the tech industry but a few years ago I quit to pursue my artistic ambitions. I wrote a fantasy novel that will be published soon, and have taken up full time painting. I use both oil and acrylic paints, but I really love the oils. I love painting fluid art, abstract art, landscapes, and am currently fascinated with painting the human figure.”
Loved Dina’s art? Follow her work on social media:
“My name is Fiona Mc Govern and I come from a small town in Ireland. I have, since childhood always loved drawing, painting and creating. I have dabbled with oils but never really took to them as a medium. I found acrylic about 10 years ago and have not looked back. I am self taught and learning everyday. I paint anything but especially love urban landscapes. I love abstract/impressionist styles which give freedom of colour and structure. Art should not only grab your attention but it should hold it and always encourage you to colour outside the lines.”
Loved Fiona’s art? Follow her work on social media: