We have finally arrived at portrait drawing! I'm excited to get started. We'll begin with taking a look at the basic structure of the head and how to construct it.
I also have a video accompanying this post which I recommend you to watch, but I'll be able to keep this post more updated with new resources and better descriptions, so I recommend both watching and reading for everything to fully sink in!
The basic structure of the head is, putting it simply, the basic 3D shape of the head. The head is a very complex form with intricate details, but to make it easier for us to draw it, we can simplify the head into basic volumes or forms. This is similar to what we saw in Figure Drawing - Form, but now for the head rather than the figure. Using the basic structure will allow us to better draw from imagination, reference, or in perspective. So, it's an important step that we mustn't skip.
It's likely that you've heard of the Loomis method to draw the head which was made popular by Proko. It is a method to help you construct the head using a sphere and a trapezoid. It's the most used method but it isn't the only one. You can use ovals, and you can also use a box. I recommend trying out all these forms to see which one works best for you. In the beginning, the Loomis method was not something I could do, I could use boxes though. However, now I can't use boxes and the Loomis method does work. So, one method might be easier as a beginner and others as you advance.
The concepts I'll be talking about here aren't everything there is to know about portrait drawing, they're an overview of the key concepts. I recommend that you later study more in-depth using the resources that I'll mention. Remember to study smart by reading or watching multiple times as you're studying portrait to really take away as much as possible from these resources.
Proportions: We also need to see how the features are distributed along the face so that our drawings don't look wonky. I already talked about the Loomis method, but there's also the Reilly method, or the Box method for extreme angles. However, the idea is usually the same: the face is divided into thirds. The hairline, eyebrow, nose, and chin are all evenly spaced.
For the features, we'll learn more about them in detail in the next videos, but for now: The wings of the nose go as far as the inner corner of the eyes, and the mouth goes as far as the middle of the eye. And the top and bottom of the ears correspond to the top and bottom of side plane.