Print a photograph of someone’s face (your own, a friend’s, a family member’s or famous person’s). Cut the photo in half and tape this part to a large piece of drawing paper. Look at the unused half until it sinks into your imagination. Turn the unused half over and save it for Part 2.
We’re going to see how people complete this “Drawing Puzzle” in different ways. The important thing is to learn how faces are shaped, whether your drawing looks like a photo or like a cartoon.
Use a black pencil with soft graphite that can make thick dark lines and also soft gray shading when it is pressed lightly on the paper. You can also use soft colored pencils. See some of these pencil types below:
Have an eraser nearby, one that won’t smudge. Kneaded erasers from an art store are useful and fun. You can get a clean surface for erasing, just by twisting and kneading the eraser till it’s clean enough to use.
Symmetry of Faces
Everyone knows one half of a face is different than its other side. But pretend that they are the same, just to practice drawing the physical parts of the face: hair, brow, eyebrows, eyelids, eyelashes, eyes, iris, pupils, nose bridge, nostrils, ears, mouth, smile lines, dimples, cheeks, chin and neck. Start with the outlines shown below, except your project will be half photo and half oval with lines.
Draw some basic lines or scaffolding out of the photo onto the white page. You can hang parts of the face on these lines. Pay attention to the rule of thirds–a grid that make the face have nice proportions. (To make exaggerated faces or comic characters, you can S.T.R.E.T.C.H. those proportions!)
Once the “parts” of the face are sketched (or put in place) on the lightly-drawn straight lines, press the pencil firmly to give the face a strong outline. Use the same pressure on your pencil to give the eyes, nose, eyebrows and other features clarity*. (This kind of “clarity” isn’t right for all drawings, but will help you learn to draw and shade the parts of the face–making your drawing look like the half-photo.)
Finally, you want to add depth and shading. To shade your drawing, tilt your pencil to side and make lighter strokes. (It’s important to put shadows on the side of the nose, under the lips, beneath the chin, and above and beneath the eyes.) This rounds out the face.
You’ll be surprised to see the whole face start to look life-like! Let’s look at the half-photo/half-drawings from the top of the page to see how kids see their faces and put the “parts” in the right place! The one on the right looks more like a photo and the two on the left are bright masks.
Now turn over the hidden half of the photograph and place it above your drawing. What did you get “right?” What looks a little off?
Part 2. Take the other half of the cut photo and repeat the process you did in Part 1.
OR try Part 3! Just for fun, make a mythical creature or cartoon mask on the white space joining the second half of the photograph.
Keep Drawing for a week or month. Use this exercise and start to make the drawings “Asymmetrical.” This will make your faces or portraits look more like real people. When manga or cartoon characters have emotions like anger, sadness or laughter, you can see that both halves of their faces are not exactly alike. The two halves of the face will not look the same, even though the physical parts may have similar shapes.
When the school year starts, Be Creative! Not just on Thursdays!!
Filed under: Miscellaneous | Leave a comment »