Figure Drawing - Hand - Feed - Head

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Figure Drawing - Hand - Feed - Head

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Some areas of the figure are complex enough to warrant special attention by the figure artist because they are more difficult to draw than the rest of the figure. These areas are the head, hands, and feet, and they merit special attention from the artist who really wants to master figure drawing. In this chapter we will take a closer look at each of these aspects of the figure. Hands The human hand is probably the most versatile tool ever created. It is capable of great strength, yet it can perform the most delicate operations. Its design allows people to lift, hold,...

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  1. C H A P T E R 4
  2. ✎ Hands, Feet, and Head S ome areas of the figure are complex enough to warrant special atten- tion by the figure artist because they are more difficult to draw than the rest of the figure. These areas are the head, hands, and feet, and they merit special attention from the artist who really wants to master figure draw- ing. In this chapter we will take a closer look at each of these aspects of the figure. Hands The human hand is probably the most versatile tool ever created. It is capable of great strength, yet it can perform the most delicate operations. Its design allows people to lift, hold, mold, rip, manipulate, caress, build, squeeze, sense, and rearrange objects of all types. It can be used as a weapon or to give comfort. We use our hands to greet others and even to communicate. The hand is the very def- inition of the all-around instrument. With all that our hands can do, is it any won- der that it is one of the more complex parts of the body to draw? There is no quick and easy formula for drawing hands. To draw the hands well, the artist must know the hands. He must take time to study and understand how the hand works so that his drawings become more believable. Often the beginning artist will be intimidated by the complexity of the hand and will avoid drawing it by hiding it in a pocket or placing it behind the figure. Many otherwise good fig- ure drawings will omit the hands, or they will just indicate the hands without any real attempt to draw them correctly. Part of the frustration that artists have in drawing the hand is that it is the most flexible part of the body. It can assume almost infinite positions. It is full of mov- ing parts. There are four fingers and a thumb, each jointed with no less than three 51
  3. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models joints. The fingers and thumb are extended pressure while remaining carpals and reach to the first each capable of independent move- flexible when needed. Figure 4.1 knuckles of the fingers and thumb. ment. Because of this extreme flexi- shows the bones of the hand. The metacarpal bones are evident bility, there is not one view of the on the back of the hand in adults hand that is adequate for learning The metacarpal bones run through and elderly people, but are covered to draw it. It has to be studied the palms of our hands. They are by a thin layer of fat in babies and from many angles and in many longer and narrower than the children. positions for the artist to truly understand its overall nature. Anatomy of the Hand Our hands are made up of 27 bones that can be split into three groups. The bones of the wrist are called the carpals. They are small bones that work together to give the wrist its flexibility. The wrist itself is composed of eight separate bones to allow for extreme move- ment of the hand. The wrist can move in almost any direction in a half circle around the end of the forearm. Unlike the shoulder and the hips, which use a single joint between two bones, the joints of the wrist and the foot use several bones. The bones of the wrist and ankle are different in that they need to be flexible yet sustain prolonged pressure. The ankle, for example, must remain locked in place for extended periods while a person is standing. The wrist must lock in place when a person is pushing with the hand. The many bones that make up the wrist and Figure 4.1 The carpal bones make the wrist flexible and strong. ankle are designed to withstand 52
  4. Hands, Feet, and Head If you flex and release your hand The back of the hand in an adult One of the best sources for draw- you will see that the metacarpals has much less padding than the ing hands is to draw your own have quite a range of movement, palm, so the ligaments, bones, and hand. You can also try drawing allowing for the hollow part of the blood vessels are more evident. your friends’ hands. Figure 4.2 hand to conform to almost any Whereas the palm is somewhat shows several hands drawn from object that you might want to pick standard in its look from hand to different angles. Try drawing lots of up. Unlike the other joints of the hand, the back of the hand can hands until you start to feel com- fingers that only bend in one direc- have a big range in how it looks fortable with the subject. Think of tion, they can move in multiple due in large part to the veins that the fingers and thumb as tubes directions. crisscross it. The veins of the back connected by hinges. This should of the hand are unique to the indi- help you to better visualize the The bones in the fingers and vidual in much the same way that hand in three dimensions. thumb are called phalanges. These individual fingerprints are unique. bones are on the back of the fin- gers. The joints of the phalanges only move in one direction, and their range of motion is limited to the palm side. The bones of the hand are con- trolled by a number of ligaments that run across the back of the hand for opening the hand and through the palm for closing the hand. Many of the muscles that control the movement of the hand are located in the forearms, not in the hands themselves. The power- ful muscles of the arm give the hand such incredible strength with- out the size associated with the muscles needed for that strength. Because of this, the hand itself can be very small, yet still have a strong grip that is capable of holding the entire weight of the body. The palm of the hand is hollow with an indentation between the joints of the fingers and the large muscle of the thumb. This design facilitates the operations of grasp- Figure 4.2 Draw hands from different angles. ing and holding objects. 53
  5. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models To better understand the hand, let’s muscle tissue, the largest of which at the underside of your wrist take a look at how it works. The is the muscle that controls the while making a fist, you can see hand has two sides—the palm, or movement of the thumb. The fin- the movement of these tendons. grasping side, and the back, or gers are attached at the end of the non-grasping side. Figure 4.3 palm, and the thumb is attached to The back of the hand is shown in shows the palm of the hand. the side. Tendons that extend Figure 4.4. This part of the hand is through the palm to the muscles of characterized by knuckles, ten- The palm is characterized by being the forearm control the movement dons, and veins, giving it a some- a concave surface surrounded by of the fingers. If you look carefully times rough appearance. Figure 4.3 The palm is the grasping side of the hand. Figure 4.4 You can see the tendons on the back of the hand. 54
  6. Hands, Feet, and Head The knuckles of the hand follow consecutive arcs that become more and more pronounced from the base of the hand outward, as shown in Figure 4.5. Notice that the second knuckle of the thumb is along the arc of the first knuckles of the fingers. When constructing the hand, it is often useful to draw in the arcs before you rough in the fingers. This will help to keep your hand unified and the proportions right. Figure 4.5 The knuckles of the hand follow arcs. 55
  7. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models The Foot of the foot are much larger and heavier than those of the hand. The metatarsal bones are similar to the hand’s metacarpal bones. They The foot is a marvel of engineering. The largest bone of the foot is the are flexible joints that connect the It is designed for holding the entire calcaneus that forms the heel. This tarsal bones with the phalange weight of the body in balance. bone acts counter to the other bones of the toes. Although it is relatively small com- bones and is attached to the body’s larges tendon, the Achilles tendon. The phalange bones of the foot pared to the rest of the body, the Just above the calcaneus bone is comprise the bones of the toes. foot is designed to support the the talus bone. The talus bone acts There are 14 phalange bones—two body in a wide range of movement. as a pivot joint between the mas- in the big toe and three in each of While most all other animals in the sive calcaneus bone and the front the other toes. animal kingdom walk on all fours, man is the only land creature that bones of the foot. Figure 4.6 shows The bottom of the foot is padded can balance walking on two legs the bones of the foot. with a layer of fat that acts as a without the support of forepaws or cushion for the foot. The plantar The mid foot contains the tarsal a tail. fascia ligament holds the bones of bones. These bones form the arch of the foot and act as weight dis- the arch together and lifts the arch. The foot contains 26 bones, similar tributors and shock absorbers. A series of tendons runs along the to the hand’s 27, but the bones top of the foot up through the ankle. These tendons are very evi- dent in the foot, particularly when the toes are lifted. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle with the calcaneus bone on the heel of the foot. The tendon forms the narrow ridge that runs up the back of the foot. The foot is basically wedge-shaped from the side and with a concave indentation of the arch on the inside bottom. It is narrower at the back than it is at the front. Like the hand, a series of blood vessels Figure 4.6 The foot contains 26 bones. 56
  8. Hands, Feet, and Head cross the upper foot, forming els in Figure Artist are great for once, he stopped talking and ridges. Figure 4.7 shows some con- learning proportion and construc- walked over to my friend’s paint- struction drawings of the foot. tion of the foot. ings. He picked up one of his paintings and asked if my friend Try to draw the foot as many times Try isolating and drawing the foot had painted it. My friend answered as you can. With the aid of a mir- by itself so that you feel confident. that he had. ror, you can get a good view of I remember talking with an artist your own foot to work from. In friend of mine who was trying to The gallery owner looked at my addition, you can pose and draw get accepted at a major art gallery. friend and said, “You know how to from the feet of your virtual mod- He said he brought his paintings paint feet! You don’t know how els in Figure Artist. Figure 4.8 into the gallery and placed them many artists I see who don’t know shows a close-up shot of a foot against the wall. The gallery owner how to paint feet.” from Figure Artist. Although not as was talking with a customer and detailed as an actual foot, the mod- didn’t pay much attention to him My friend was accepted into the for several minutes. Then, all at gallery. Figure 4.7 Draw the foot from many different angles. Figure 4.8 You can use the virtual feet in Figure Artist as foot references. 57
  9. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models Just because your feet are farthest from your head and at the bottom of the body does not mean that they are not important. Figure 4.9 shows a more finished drawing of a foot. Figure 4.9 Some drawings should look for the subtle detail in the shading of the foot. 58
  10. Hands, Feet, and Head The Head Anatomy of the The bones of the skull form a pro- tective layer for one of the body’s Although this is not a book about Head most important and delicate portraiture, it is still a book about The head gains much of its shape organs, the brain. If you feel along drawing the figure, and no figure- from the skull. Although the skull your forehead and back over your drawing book is complete without might appear to be a single bone, it head, you will notice that the taking a close look at drawing the is in fact made up of several bones bones of the skull are very close to head. There is probably no other that are completely or partially the surface of the skin. If you press part of human anatomy that is fused together. The areas where the your fingers against your forehead viewed more than our heads, and bones are fused together are called or scalp and move them around, there is probably no part of the sutures. Some of the bones are you will also notice that there is a head that is more sought out by fused at birth, but others fuse little give in the skin because it is others than the eyes. The head is together as a person grows to more loosely laid against the bone the central element of countless maturity. Figure 4.10 shows the than in other location on the body. works of art. Whole industries, human skull from a side view, As a person ages, the skin become such as beauty salons and cosmet- showing some of the sutures that looser and begins to sag. ics companies, are devoted to divide the bones of the skull. enhancing the beauty of the head. Figure 4.10 Drawing a great figure drawing of The bones of the body is wonderful, but if you the skull fuse can’t put a decent-looking head on together as a the figure, your drawing will person matures. almost immediately fail. People tend to search out the head and eyes of a person in a drawing before they look at anything else. It is kind of like the opening chapter in a book. If you can’t grab the viewer’s attention with a well- drawn head, you will most likely lose the viewer. To draw the head well, you need to learn how to construct the head and how to place each feature in its proper place. Like everything else, begin from the inside and work out. 59
  11. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models Figure 4.11 shows the skull from Figure 4.11 the front. The skull is near the sur- The skull can be broken down into face on the forehead and two parts—the cranium and the scalp. mandible. The cranium includes all bones of the skull except the jaw- bone, which is called the mandible. The jaws are powered by two mus- cles on either side of the jaw that are attached to the skull under the zygomatic arch. Other muscles of the head stabilize the bones and produce facial expressions. Proportions Proportion in figure drawing is a term used to describe accurately defining relative distances between physical features of the human body. This means that when draw- ing people, all aspects of the body are related to each other so that no part is drawn too small or too large. Proportions of the Head The proportions of the head are rather simple if you take the time to study them. Figure 4.12 below Figure 4.12 A head from the front and side. is a drawing of a head from the front and the side. 60
  12. Hands, Feet, and Head Although there are individual vari- ations, most heads fall within some general guidelines. ✎ The face can be divided vertically into four sec- tions. The hairline is in the top section. The top of the eyes and the eyebrows are in the next quarter section. The bottom of the eyes and the nose are in the next lower quarter, and Figure 4.13 The face can be the mouth and chin are divided vertically into four quarters. in the bottom quarter (see Figure 4.13). Figure 4.14 The eyes are about ✎ The distance between one eye-width apart. the eyes is about one eye-width, as shown in Figure 4.14. Notice that the nose is also about an eye-width wide. Noses vary in width quite a bit, so this is not always the case. ✎ The width of the mouth generally falls inside the distance between the pupils of the eyes, as shown in Figure 4.15. ✎ The ears usually are as high as the top of the eyes and extend to near the bottom of the Figure 4.15 The mouth is usually Figure 4.16 The ears are about the nose, as shown in inside the width between the length from the top of the eyes and pupils. the bottom of the nose. Figure 4.16. 61
  13. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models ✎ The ears usually fall in Figure 4.17 The the back half of the ears are more head, as seen from the than halfway back on the head. side (see Figure 4.17). ✎ When measuring from Figure 4.18 The the tip of the nose to front of the neck the back of the head, starts about halfway back on the base of the front of the head. the neck falls at about the midpoint, as shown in Figure 4.18. 62
  14. Hands, Feet, and Head Construction Guide for the time it will come just below the the face. The horizontal line is the Head cheekbones, as shown in Figure used as a guide for placing fea- 4.19. tures. With these principles in mind, you can now create a construction Notice that the circle extends out Once you have established the cir- guide for drawing heads. To help from the head on either side, past cle, draw in the jaw line. It will them accurately draw in 3D space, the ears. This is because the head is extend down below the circle, as artists use construction guides as a not a perfect circle. When drawing, shown in Figure 4.20. Extend the framework for placing features. you need to remember to bring the vertical line to the bottom of the Here is how it works. First, start sides of the head inside the circle. jaw. with a circle. The circle will act as a guide for most of the skull. Split the circle in half both verti- Divide the head construction with cally and horizontally. The head is horizontal lines for the eyes, nose, The bottom of the circle will gener- fundamentally symmetrical. The and mouth, as shown in Figure ally fall somewhere between the vertical line defines the center of 4.21. mouth and the nose, and most of Figure 4.19 Start the drawing with Figure 4.20 Draw in the jaw line. Figure 4.21 Draw lines for the a simple circle. eyes, nose, and mouth. 63
  15. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models This is the basic construction guide for drawing a head from the front. Figure 4.22 shows the construction for drawing a head from the side. Not every head you draw will be a front view or a side view. Often the head will be turned to one side or the other, or it will be looking up or down. Most of the time, you will need to create the construction guide as a 3D shape. Figure 4.23 shows the construction guide moved into a three-quarter turn with the circle, cross lines, and the jaw line drawn in. Notice that the cross lines are drawn as ovals, indi- cating the turn of the head to the left and the tilting of the head slightly down. Next, draw in the lines defining the eyes, nose, and mouth, as shown Figure 4.22 The construction lines work for a side view as well. in Figure 4.24. The lines going around the back of the head are lightened so you can better see how they work. Figure 4.23 Draw the construction Figure 4.24 Finish drawing the guide as a 3D shape. construction guide in 3D space. 64
  16. Hands, Feet, and Head The lines can now be used to the construction guide. Remember extend all the way to the edge of define the location of the features. that the construction guide defines the circle. Figure 4.25 shows the construction the base of the nose where it pro- guide over the face and the draw- trudes from the face. The eyes, on Try drawing a few faces on your ing once the guide is removed. the other hand, generally recess in own. Figure 4.26 shows a con- from the line. The top cross line is struction guide that you can copy It takes a little practice to get the just about the level of the eye- and use to practice. features in the right places using brows. The sides of the face do not Figure 4.25 Use the construction guide to draw the face. 65
  17. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models Figure 4.26 Use the construction guide to draw the head. 66
  18. Hands, Feet, and Head Facial Features by eyelids and protected by a ridge ✎ The highlights of the of bone that makes up the brow eye are direct reflec- Drawing the head is easier if the and cheekbones of the skull. tions of the light artist is familiar with all of the fea- Figure 4.27 shows the many parts source. They are tures of the face. Each feature is of the eye. always the brightest unique, and understanding them part of the eye, even can improve your ability to draw Here are some tips for drawing brighter than the high-quality heads for your charac- eyes: whites of the eye. ters. A good way to understand how to draw the head is to isolate ✎ Eyelids have thickness ✎ There is often a fold on the top and the bot- above the eye that each feature and learn how to draw tom. It is most evident becomes more evident it. Try filling sketchbooks with on the bottom lid. the more the person eyes, noses, mouths, and ears. opens his eyes. ✎ When drawing the Let’s take a look at the individual lashes, plant the tip of ✎ There is a cast shadow features of the face and see how the pencil at the base below the upper lid on each one is drawn. of each lash and the eyeball. release pressure on the ✎ Remember to draw the Eyes pencil stroke as you tear duct on the inner The human eye is a spherical draw in each lash. side of the eye. object recessed into the skull. We ✎ The pupil sits behind only see a part of it. It is covered the lens of the eye, not on the surface of the eyeball. ✎ The eye bulges from the skull at the center because of its ball shape (see Figure 4.28). Figure 4.27 There are many parts that make up an eye. Figure 4.28 The eye bulges in the middle. 67
  19. Figure Drawing with Virtual Models Nose bump often seen on the ridge of nose and around each nostril. The The nose is often one of the hard- adult male noses is the transition flap tucks in to the upper lip and est features for a beginning artist to between the skeletal bone of the often forms a slight outward bulge. draw. That is because the nose is a nose and the cartilage, as shown in Figure 4.30. There are three pieces The upper lip often reflects light to protrusion from the face and is of cartilage in a nose, one along the the lower part of the nose. The indicated mostly by delicate shad- bridge and then two at the tip of more ball-shaped the end of the ing along the bridge. Often the the nose. If you feel the tip of your nose is, the more this reflected beginning artist will try to draw nose with your finger, you should light is evident. the nose using lines from the eyes. It is better to think of the nose as a be able to sense the two plates and The highlight of the nose is usually protruding structure that blends in the small recess where they come above the tip of the nose. with the other structures of the together. With some noses this face, as shown in Figure 4.29. recess between the cartilage plates Noses are generally larger on older can be seen. people because the nose continues A nose is made up of bone, carti- to grow throughout our lives. lage, and soft tissue. The bony Both nostrils have a soft tissue flap that extends from the tip of the Figure 4.30 There are many parts that make up a Figure 4.29 The nose is a protruding structure that nose. blends in with the rest of the face. 68
  20. Hands, Feet, and Head Mouth When drawing the mouth, the When drawing the mouth open, The lips frame the mouth opening upper lip is usually in shadow draw the teeth as a single mass for the face, as shown in Figure from overhead lighting. The lower with shading. Come in later and 4.31. They are primarily fleshy tis- lip typically has more direct light define the individual teeth, as sue with underlying muscles that and a highlight. The upper lip will shown in Figure 4.33. Remember enable movement. They form the often cast a shadow on the lower that the teeth are generally in most dominant feature of the lip when the lips are together and shadow even though they are mouth and are divided into two on the teeth when the lips are white. parts—the upper and lower lips. apart. The upper lip is attached to the There is a ridge of transition skull, and the lower lip is attached between the skin of the face and to the jawbone. Because of the two the flesh of the lips. This area is separate bone attachments, the slightly lighter than the surround- mouth has the widest range of ing skin and is more noticeable on change of any facial feature. people with darker flesh tones and on men. The lips cover the inner mouth and derive much of their shape from There is often a shadow beneath the teeth. If seen from one side or the lower lip above the chin. The the other, there is a pronounced larger the lower lip, the more likely arch from the sides of the mouth to the shadow will be evident. Figure 4.32 The mouth curves the middle, as shown in Figure around the face. 4.32. Figure 4.31 The lips frame the mouth. Figure 4.33 The teeth are usually in shadow from the upper lip. 69
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