To: (Recipient list suppressed)
Subject: Your May 31st, 2003 YouCanDraw.com Communique
May 31st, 2003
Your May 31st, 2003
If George Lucas was a lumberjack with a goiter, well, then that's
who I've drawn today :-).
Howdy folks. Been a while since you've drawn? Well anybody can
jump back on the horse
anytime. Seriously! It's been 6 weeks, possibly more like 8 weeks since
I've drawn. (I've
been working feverishly at finishing the Flash Interactive lessons.)
When it goes that long
I get all worried about stuff like "I won't be at the level I was 2
months ago and it's going to show and then all my members and customers
will go 'boy, he's really slipping...only as good as
his last drawing...boy, that's bad!'" I get a little stuck.
Ever feel that way yourself?
Get back on the horse!
But you know what? There's an instant antidote. What is it? Just
start drawing. Draw BAD -
I mean try to draw bad and you'll probably loosen up and do one of your
best drawings. Works
every time. I didn't do this today, I just steamed rolled into it today.
Once I just start fooling around with the paper, it really does come
right back. You hear
people say "use it or lose it"? In drawing, it's true too,
except that once you've learned the
basic skills all it takes is literally like 5-10 minutes of
"working it" and you're right back in that
room! Same will be true for you. Just knock off that 15-30 minutes three
to five days a week.
That's easier than exercise! (You'll probably feel so energized you'll
need a good physical
workout to burn off all that enthusiasm after a good drawing session :-)
You'll feel refreshed.
And "freed up" too.
Ok, on with George Lucas
In choosing today's subject I just said, "I'll choose the first
decent photo I come across
of the first person I see on T.V. And some show about the making of Star
Wars and George
Lucas was on. So I went to Google and looked up George Lucas In
"Images" and here's the
picture I chose:
(It's actually at a site written all in Spanish.)
What makes George drawable?
The things that grab me the most, are 1) the beard 2) the hair, 3)
the nose and dark eyes.
Those are the three "firsts" that seemed caricaturable. And I
know, most of the time you
can't just draw a recognizable person out of three features. (Though
The hair grabs me since Mr. Lucas has got to have some of the
thickest wiriest hair in
Hollywood's best known director's circle, heck in the solar system
for that matter. The beard
is a fixture (ever seen this guy without it? I haven't). And not only is
the hair thick, he can
hardly contain it!
That's why in today's drawing, he's almost got a pompadour / bouffant
hair doo :-) I started
drawing all these crazy waves and plain started running out of space.
(It's great wrist and
smooth-and-graceful-line-drawing practice drawing hundreds of these
kinds of lines.) And you
can't forget about the trademark "arrow" of hair that's always
dangling in front of Mr. Lucas'
[Tip - when drawing long lines you can make them longer and smoother if
you "follow through".
That is, keep drawing off into space after your pencil has left the
paper. That way, the literal
end of the drawn line will end up out in space with no creaky lines left
on the paper.]
The nose is relatively short (compare the proportions between his
and Mr. Average's "middle of the eye" and "bottom of the
nose" lines and this will be clearer...See lessons 14 and 15 for
that.) What's deceiving about the nose here is it's bulbous and slightly
turned up tip. The bulbous
tip makes you want to draw the entire tip bigger and rounder than it is.
(That's the way I went). The "turned up" part - the tip that
is - makes for very visible nostrils.
Also study close the shadows and highlights that ring the tip of the
nose - very subtle and
always slightly complicated contours - these add so much to your
drawings if you can capture
them. Study enough noses and you'll see these common patterns.
Mr. George has dark eyes, thick eyebrows and a fair amount of
shadows around his eyes.
The shadowing gives him that slightly tired look he always seems to have
(at least that's
how I see it) in an otherwise very youthful looking face.
So what else?
The overall shape of the face is roundish - a boyish roundishness
and I think that contributes
to his overall youthful look. In the first drawing on the left, Mr.
Lucas has a more square beard
and jaw - but I erased this in the second picture (on the right) and
shortened up the beard as
well. The drawing loses some of the lumberjack look in doing this, but
it's starting to look
more like a caricature and less like some campy realistic thing. And
ironically, it's starting
to look more like George Lucas.
In drawing one on the left, he's basically got a goiter - a big
round protruding gullet of
a neck. It's not real accurate (I was working fast :-) but it kept the
idea of "goiter" out
front. In drawing two it just becomes more pronounced and the chin and
becoming more of one and the same - which is closer to the effect I was
I want you to scan the picture for perspective and proportion. What
are the most
obvious clues that exhibit depth? For me, the way the eyes portray
perspective - going
from the larger eye closer to you to the smaller,
slightly-hid-behind-the-nose other eye -
contribute the most.
The cheekbones in the picture on the right work better in this
regard. Compare both
pictures for this (Note how little cheek and cheekbone show on the right
side of the
picture on the right). The beard and jaw line demonstrate more
perspective than does
the picture on the slightly more caricatured picture on the right. It's
subtle - but look for
it and you'll see it.
I'm not quite sure how much more I'll play with this picture - it's
pretty "stiff" and could
use some "Jan Op de Beeck" inspired loosening up (check out
his site - it's really
amazing :-). Seeing the drawing with the nose crammed up more towards
the eyes - and
still more bulbous, a still thicker neck, an even more crunched down
forehead, a still more
peaked arrow of hair dangling down in front of the eyes...these are a
few of the areas
ripe for exaggeration. My opinion anyway. What do you think?
Jan Op De Beeck's site:
Today's drawing was drawn on inexpensive drug store bought drawing
paper (70 pound
Canson Dessin Drawing paper). I used a 6b soft lead mechanical pencil.
The overall size
was about 17 inches tall by 11 or so inches wide. (In fact, those lines
you see in the picture
on the right are an 8 and 1/2 by 11 inch paper outline - drawing these
on the paper make
piecing it back together after scanning it in parts much easier. The
scanning glass is only
8 and 1/2 by 11 inches in size.)
1) Recommit to drawing a certain minimum amount of time per week.
Write it down. Put your
schedule, or drawing paper, or some reminder where you can see it and
won't avoid it. Find
some inspiring books or sites or pictures - keep them within easy reach
so you can get re-excited about drawing by seeing the kinds of things
you'd like to someday paint / create / draw / emulate.
2) Look for the subtle signs of perspective in 3 pictures or
photos a day you see in magazines or
the newspaper. Guaranteed you do three, you'll do a whole bunch more.
3) Concentrate on the nose the next 3 weeks. Focus in on the
subtle lighting at the tip. Note how the apron of the upper lip throws
light up on the underside of the nose. Where you expect it
to be dark and shadowed, you'll understand why it has all that complex
stuff going on. Look for
all the subtle contours and surface shapes there. It's amazing! Note how
even the roundest, most
bulbous nose has the most amazing contours right there on the tip.
So dive on in and don't be afraid! :-) Until next time...keep on
Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
Kasbohm & Company Strategic Multimedia
home of http://www.YouCanDraw.com
1351 Hampshire Ave. So., #127
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
"Once and for all getting you drawing faces and