Planar Head Portrait Drawing w/ Gary Geraths (Otis College)

Planar Head Portrait Drawing w/ Gary Geraths (Otis College)


Howdy there folks! This tutorial will focus
on using the structure, the proportions, and the planar head to draw a complete, holistic
portrait. Now having said that, please remember that this is a step by step tutorial of a
drawing in progress. Look, learn and apply it into your practice. This is an angular,
planar head drawing that shows a certain methodology. You start out this exercise as we have with
the others, as a basic sphere and axis line construction. >>I use a laser pointer to show
basic areas that I am focusing on. The larger planes and the measuring points of the head.
The blue lines show the angles I am using for the first pass. The orange lines are adjustments
I will make in the jawline later in the video. After establishing the vertical axis I counter
that with the horizontal lines to block in the position and proportions of the features. It is important to get everything working in tandem but also keep it light, loose and
changeable. Here are the horizontal axis lines through the eyes and under the chin. I have
already seen proportional mistakes in the length of the face and I’ve already made changes
in the chin by moving the horizontal axis line up slightly. The darker area shows the side plane away from the light. The green plane turns more toward the front but is still in a light shadow. Now we speed up and block in the neck and shoulders and get the whole drawing to work together. At this point we get the three-dimensional forms and angle
sights to work in tandem, constantly holding up the pencil between my point-of-view and
the portrait to check out my measurements. Check the very shorter angles and variety
of line weights in the jawline and the cheek. Here is the line up for the axis lines I translate
from the model’s face and the planar head to the drawing: top of the brow, eye axis,
bottom of the nose, mouth or crease between lips. Using the angular light contrast in
the cheekbone, I use the comparison between the overall distance across the face to the
shorter side of the head. This way I see if the head is too narrow or too wide. Also I use the box on the four outer points of the head to get the head’s proportion right. Back
to the planes of the cheek to look at how light affects the line and anatomical information in the head. Making the universal marks work together to complete the concept. >>Now we move into some of the smaller planar changes and measurements. Even a smaller distance between
the cheek edge and the mouth can decide if the mouth is too wide or too narrow. Compare the size of the head and the vertical to horizontal forms. Remember every light change is a line
weight change – dark too light. Now we speed up the process and angle sight the top planes of the head and block in the ears lightly. Using the forehead measurements I block in
the planes of the hair. It is important to use the light instead of texture of the hair.
Focusing on the hair strands can make a drawing look flat and cliched. Don’t overly pay attention
to the model’s hair color. Block it out in accordance to the light that is generally
falling on the upper planes of the head. Like all other parts of the process also angle
sight it and compare the abstract measurements of how the volume of the hair covers the head.
Now the shape and the dimensions of the head are correctly coming together. I check the
angles of the cheek and chin to get the edges right then move on to the features
and measurements. Check the inside corner of the eyes to upper outside corner of the
nose, down to the plane changes of the mouth and chin. Then the middle of the eye, to the
outside corner of the mouth. These points generally line up. Then the outside corner
of the nose to the outside corner of the eye, this angle varies so check it to get the proportions
right. Then straight across horizontally, from the top and bottom of the ear into the
front plane of the face and line it up to the features. At this point I edit out some
of the lines and angles and check the brow line. I also make sure I pay attention to
how the depth of the eyes are placed into the skull socket. This will affect the light logic
and level of line weight and shadow in the drawing. To get these smaller angles I hold
the pencil up in front of the model’s face. Make note of the degrees and measurements
and place those decisions into your drawing. As I get a better idea of the bigger correct
picture, I quickly move around the portrait, constantly questioning the whole image. >>Blocking in the front plane of the nose helps establish the three dimensional quality of the face. After getting the general forms of the nose right, I move into expanding the modeling
by blocking out the nose tip and sight cartilage. I also make sure the underside of the nose
is drawn at the right angle. Angle sight the upper wing of the mouth from the center of the upper lip. Then check the proportions of the mouth and lightly angle sight them in. Don’t outline them. It makes it look cartoonish. Remember the lips and mouth are surrounded
by important forms from the nose to the chin. At this point I examine the planes and anatomy
of the cheeks. These areas are important in that they catch reflective light changes. Now that all the pieces are working in tandem, I use the planes and measurements to settle
the eyes into place with the brow, nose and cheeks. Using the planar head for comparison
I check the shape, form, and proportion of the brow, lids, and eyes. These work together
to support the rest of the process. Here you can see how the features fit into the landmarks
of the planar head and the model’s face. Again, notice how I bounce around the head and portraiture
to check various proportions and line weight. Remember this demonstration drawing is angular
and structural to focus on the larger concepts of the planes and measurements of the head. Even as the portrait structure is solidifying, I’m still seeing the more delicate lines and
reinforcing the differences between the front and side planes. Here is the comparisons between
the drawing, the planar head, and our model Parker.

38 thoughts on “Planar Head Portrait Drawing w/ Gary Geraths (Otis College)

  1. this kinda thing is more about understanding what youre looking at and how to interpret it in a way that makes for more accurate drawings.

  2. It's a good technical study for when one wants to apply the knowledge to "real" drawings (like the ones shown briefly in the closing seconds of the video).

  3. Achingly ignorant. The myriad pseudo-intellectual ramblings should stay solely in your mind. Spare the poor readers of your comments your ignorance of art education and wannabe intellectualism.

    TL;DR: Read a book and get a fucking clue.

  4. i dont think i could be in a class like his, he is amazing, this video alone shows that much

    but i like drawing.. for expression, and creativity

    this is crazy accurate and scientific, itd ruin art for me

  5. Excellent analytical approach to drawing. Extremely handy, even for newbies like myself. It would be great if there was a demonstration on how to draw other body parts in similar fashion. I'm struggling with anatomy right now, because the muscles I draw look kind of flat, but it becomes so much easier when you break things into planes.

  6. This is more a Scholastic aproach, or studio approach to doing structural drawing… This is just for practice. I agreee about the Howard Sanden comment though. With a few strokes you can make a wonderful rendering!

  7. I recognize the knowledge that you're utilizing in your procedure and it is good knowledge but I think that your emphasis on precision is hurting your overall design. Your drawings lack rhythm and even though this is a video on structure, I must say that I feel your work lacks structure too, there is too much of an emphasis on the outside contour and not enough on the way the masses are fitting into one another (or wedging together as Bridgman might put it). Just my opinion.

  8. I hope he is not the chief representative for your school's life drawing program. I visited his webpage and viewed his work. What I saw seemed to be that of a beginner, then I read his biography and realized that he is the head of life drawing at your school. It seems to be a shame that someone with his ego and lack of understanding for art could hold such an important position.

  9. @tizzlekorea It just seems to me he focuses too much on trying to copy things exactly rather than interpreting and being able to actually draw.

  10. I can appreciate the opinions of the people below but you all should know that I have taken 2 semesters with this man and his level of knowledge is simply unrivaled. The point of this video is not to draw a laborious photo real portrait (which he can do, believe me) it is to understand the planar shifts in the face so one can convincingly draw this stuff from imagination. This is important for prospective professionals who want to go on and do things like comic books and character design.

  11. i there you migth be interestedin this competition:

    "Best Eyes Drawing Competition" – Prizes – WACOM Bambom and portfolio sites

    see more at: nunobarao com

    Best regards.

  12. @hasaniguy I disagree, learning the science behind anything can really help you expand as an artist. I've always been a "freehand" artist, but recently taking the time to learn the mechanics behind the human body and generally the things around me have really helped. This method looks intimidating and time-consuming, but damn, it's worth it if in the long run you want to express something beautiful.

  13. @EraserKneaded I think this is more of an instructional method for people who haven't yet learned to break the face down into shapes, which is a necessary skill when drawing from life. His end result isn't very organic because he's drawing third party from the reference, but the video illustrates how the human face can be broken into planes. This is for a foundation class, after all.

  14. Very useful, thankyou! I've always been envious of those cross hatched portraits because I have trouble discerning distinct planes myself. That planar head is a great reference.

  15. @Poypull
    Im not sure but I have seen him use verathin pencils and various charcoal or pastel pencils. There are a lot of different kinds.

  16. This demo is NOT about attaining a "finished" project.I know that after the first pass of filming the portrait process the video didnt catch a lot of the lighter marks that needed to be seen with the post-production diagrams.The model was drawn in real time with the planar head & we used a heavier hand with the pastel pencils so the information would work with the angles & edges.Its all about the construction information and process NOT the aesthetic appearance or polish. We leave that to artist

  17. Stick measurements are not useful with proportions that small on a face. You wouldn't use stick measurements for anything that small. For this, you would take measurements exactly how he's suggesting. This is called art with TECHNIQUE, and it's amazing. His other videos are great too. I've taken classes with masters, and every technique he demos in his videos are spot on.

  18. Just out of curiosity, I visited his website. You have NO idea what you're talking about. My jaw dropped when I saw his figure work. The way he captures the movement and anatomy is astounding. I'm a figure student, and I'd kill to get into this guy's class.

  19. This cast was done by artist John Asaro. You may find it at certain art supply store or contact him. You may google his website.

  20. Actually you can get the original "old school" cast through many art stores. Check out the differences – one verison has a screw in tripod mount in plaster white and neutral grey and are made of lightweight fiberglass. This on was custom made by Tom Hester who added a few more details. Hes a great entertainment industry sculptor who did all the sculpts for the Shrek movies

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