Tutorial Drawing the Head Part 1 Animemanga Style
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Tutorial Drawing the Head Part 1 Animemanga Style

This is part 1 of my "Drawing the Head" series (Anime/Manga Style)


Introduction: Here’s a very important technique taught to art students when it comes to drawing the human head. What we have done during the previous tutorials applies the same way in drawing the head.

“A complex shape is always composed or built upon a combination of simple shapes.”

A lot of people trying to draw the human body are usually afraid of drawing two major parts, The “Hands“, and the “Head”.

This is due to the fact that when we see these two parts, we see a lot of details involved.

But these tutorials will help you realize that drawing these parts (currently the head) can be drawn starting from simplest of shapes.

Let’s Begin!

Figure 1.

1. Start with a circle - whether you’re drawing a head realistically or in the anime/manga style, drawing the circle will help guide you in drawing the head to face any angle.

> tip - practice drawing circles using only your hand, this will train you to draw heads better in the future.

2. Add reference lines (or guide lines) - these lines will determine where the head will be facing. The example above shows the head facing front since the guidelines are located at the center of the circle

3. Add the line for the chin - the point of the chin is located at the bottom of the vertical guide line - the shape op the chin depends upon your choice (pointed, rounded, etc.

> By changing the direction of the face lines, you can already see where the head will be facing

Figure 2.

I usually draw the face lines first before I add the chin. Though I see no problem if you start drawing the chin first before the face lines as long as you already know where your head will face

To visualize how to draw the face lines, you can draw reference lines on a ball's surface, one line is drawn all around the center and another intersecting it from top to bottom.

Figure 3.

Turn the ball in different directions different directions to see how the lines change like it is "facing" in another direction. This also applies while drawing the head.

Figure 4.

> I drew the face here to show the placement of the eyes on the horizontal face line, and the center of the face following the vertical line

Note: the eyes can be drawn looking somewhere else even if the head is facing another direction.

That's it for now, so practice drawing those circles and spheres. Do your best!

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Comments (4)

Dexter - I admire your talent and knowledge in this field. Many years ago, as a boy, I brought USA seeds into South Africa, and one of my prizes (instead of payment) was book on how to draw, along the lines of what you expertly do. Do you teach/lecture in this field?

Much appreciated Colin! Thanks! I do teach and offer lectures to students on this field. Sometimes schools and organizations requests if I can teach students to draw, ever since Japanese anime and Disney animation started gaining great interest in young people that started a few years ago. I hated the fact that there were a lot of capable artists in my country, but very few who wanted to impart their knowledge, So I took up teaching these as part of my occupation as a graphic artist.

Hi Dexter - where do you take it from here? The work of James Cameron & Avitar has caused huge excitement Worldwide - wish we had someone like you in South Africa!

Even I can do this now.. This is so exciting! Thank u ^_^. This has always fascinated me :) Voted up and tweetd!