Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Head construction: problem solved!

If you studied head construction by Andrew Loomis you'll understand the issue I'm talking about in this post.

On page 21 of Drawing the Heads and the Hands Loomis describes his method of constructing a head using analogy with a ball and a nail. It looks very simple and easy to understand...until you actually start constructing a head yourself.

My problem was with the "ear" line. I could not figure it out.I gave up and moved on.

A few days ago, I was reading a ConceptArt forum and came across the post called "How to correctly establish ellipses using Loomis head construction?" Needless to say how happy I was to discover that someone had asked my question. But the real treasure was ahead. There was that JohnB who shared his method of establishing ellipses. It was answer to my prayers! Thank you, JohnB!!!

Here is a link to the entire post: click here

JohnB has his own blog, interesting and very informative.

And this is John's tutorial I recreated:


1. Draw a cicle and mark the center (A)
2. Think about position of the face: is it looking up or down? turned to the left or right? Add a point (B) to where a "brow" cross will be
3. Connect A and B
4. Draw a brow line as per step 2
5. Add a line running through the center that is parallel to brow line
6. Add tick marks perpendicular to the line in step 5
7. Draw ellipse that starts and ends at tick marks you did in step 6 and passes brow point (B)
8. Draw a middle line (face line) that is tangent to the ellipse you just drew. This line determines the tilt of the face plane. This line and line you drew in step 4 are what Loomis calls "the all-important cross on the ball".
9. Draw a line that is parallel to the middle line from step 8. This is what Loomis refers to as a nail in the ball
10. Add tick marks that are perpendicular to the "nail" line
11. Draw ellipse that connects tick marks and goes through the brow point. This is a brow line.
12. Add tick marks that are perpendicular to AB line
13. Draw ellipse that connects the tick marks. This is "ear" line.

4 comments:

Johnnyburn said...

I like your addition of Loomis's "nail" in the top of the head.

I wanted to point out that the last ellipse goes through a point at the bottom and at the ear. It goes through a point at the ear, where the line DA intersects the "brow line" (the second ellipse you've drawn).

It also goes through a point at the bottom of the head, where the line AE intersects the "middle line" (the first ellipse you've drawn).

The heads-with-features that you've drawn look great!

Inna O. said...

thank you, John! You're absolutely right - now i can see mistakes myself. Corrected and reposted the image. Still so much to learn :-)

Michaela said...

This may be an old article, but I THANK YOU SO MUCH. I kind of went nuts as I was trying to understand what Andrew has ment. But I always got stuck with the earline... I was looking for an explanation on conceptart, but unfortunately the forums is down since yesterday so I was kinda alone with this question! But now I know!!! Thank youuu! :*

Inna O. said...

Thank you, Michaela. I'm glad it helped :-)