We return once more to the world of art instruction for the second and final installment of this series cataloging Steve Huston's constructive head drawing course over at New Masters Academy. If you missed part one, you can mosey on over here and check it out.

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Another creepy collage of lecture learning,
this time for advanced head drawing.

Lucky for you, I didn’t take tons of notes for this portion of the course. But don't worry, I’ll parse together the bits scrawled across my lecture doodles and where necessary I’ll just make it up! Let’s begin...

Lesson 1 - The Hair

Much here is the same as when digitally sculpting hair in ZBrush:

  • Treat hair like drapery, supported by the head but subject to gravity
  • Flyaways show movement
  • Break hair into groups to simplify the structure
  • Hair changes direction on “axis of change” which correlates to the form underneath (plane changes of skull, etc.)
  • The “Nuchal Line” is the notch at the base of the back of the skull where the traps attach

A new term again right off the bat, excellent!

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Hair homework
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Hair homework - part 2

Lesson 2 - Visual Differences Between Sexes

This one I didn’t take too many notes on, but the main differences I recall are:

  • Men are more squared, larger chin, ears, noses, but smaller eyes and lips
  • Women are softer, narrower chin, smaller features but larger eyes and lips
  • Also, oddly, the nuchal line is higher on women

At this point in the coursework I got tired of using the Cintiq so I switched to good old paper, pencil and pen.

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Sexes homework
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Sexes homework - part 2

Lesson 3 - The Effects of Aging

In this lesson Mr. Huston falls back on some of the hair lessons but this time in regard to skin and wrinkling:

  • Skin act like drapery, it is supported by the head but subject to gravity
  • As skin loses elasticity it drapes and describes the form underneath (skull, spine, etc.)
  • He mentions the standard X, Y, Z folds of drapery which are very common when drawing clothing
  • As we age we have: longer nose and ears, smaller chin, less digastric plane
  • If an elderly person has no teeth, the typically protruding “muzzle” of the mouth is flat or even indents in somewhat
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Aging homework
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Aging homework - part 2

Lesson 4 - Expressions

For expressions I got into more of an anatomy class style of notes, this involved coloring the muscle groups and indicating the direction they pull. If you look hard the collage at the top of this post you can see all these groups mapped out. This doesn’t really translate well into a bulleted list, so here are some expressions without notes!

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Expressions homework

Hopping back to digital here, the lack of a real world "undo" must have gotten to me?

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Expressions homework - part 2

Lesson 5 - Shape Design

For some reason this lesson was the one I took a metric poop-ton of notes on. I’ll try my best to decipher what the heck I captured as it is kind of all over the place as the instructor did a bit of a rehash of the whole course in this lecture:

  • The visual components of a drawing are all marks, gesture or structure along with composition
  • Visual components styles
    • Curve & straight
    • Complex & simple
    • Organic & architectural
    • Big & small
    • Depth & flat
  • Gradation is the continuum of each visual component style
  • Structure can be defined through and edge/corner or through gradation

On the homework below, I went with the curve & straight concept and worked to integrate corners, especially over bony landmarks, and curves on the softer areas. Although reviewing these now, I don’t see much above and beyond my standard drawing style. Maybe that is my shape design?

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Shape design homework

Lesson 6 and beyond?

There was an additional section or two that I did not complete because I moved onto other pursuits, but the five sections here should have been more than enough to bore most would-be art students.

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I know... I'm a slacker, just like that McFly!

Done!

Allow me to offer a hearty congratulations, you’ve completed Steve Huston’s constructive head drawing course or at least my Cliffs Notes version thereof! Now go forth and construct heads with reckless abandon!