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Case study #2: Hugh Hefner, Part I
Case Study number one of Keith Richards got pretty long. And we got into some pretty advanced stuff there - it's a good primer as long as it didn't overwhelm you. It was written with this intention: that you could go back and read and re-read it three, four, five times or more for future reference.
In case study two, Hugh Hefner, I'll try to focus on more and more of the general steps - gleaned to a manageable depth - the exact same steps I go through when I'm evaluating a drawing I'm about to caricature and run through about a million times unconsciously while I'm drawing it..
We're going to follow the same basic plan you saw in the Keith Richards in-depth study #1. We started by trying to meet the subject - getting a perception of who he/she is without judging, just listening for our gut response by looking at clues in the face and body language for what kind of person we're meeting;.
Let me just point out again that the bottom of the nose line is at the "2/5ths" line. That is it's "two fifth's the distance between the span from the middle of the eye line to the bottom of the chin line. Two fifths the way down from the eyes. In the original Mr. Average face lesson I said the bottom of the nose line was half that distance. That was supposed to make things easier to remember. So adjust this line up a tad towards the eyes. The overall effect: it shrinks the height of the nose and narrows the space - the rectangular area between those two lines. Does that make sense?
Compare these two lines: the one with the asterisk (the new), and the line just below it - the old bottom of the nose line. Measure their placement in relation to the chin and eye lines. How far is each from from middle of the eye line? Can you visualize the rectangular shapes of each section? Or estimate where the curved lines of Mr. Average's face fall within the rectangles formed by the different horizontal guidelines? Give it a shot.
Try to get Mr. Average Face stuck in your head! For understanding the the face's geometry he's the simplest two dimensional starting point for drawing portraits and caricatures. So just for fun, and for your review, here's a quick schematic of the five major horizontal landmarks / guidelines:
Overlaying Mr. Average on Mr. Hefner:
Overlaying with Mr. Average Face
This picture takes some sorting out but if you look close, you can make sense of it. But not to worry, we'll take it apart with a fine tooth comb and then you can see all the proportions. (Note: Mr. Hefner's outlines have been darkened and Mr. Average has been colored a bright red.) I've emphasized Mr. Average face so you can pick out the horizontal landmarks. Go ahead, take your finger and point out the middle of the eye line, the bottom of the nose line, the middle of the mouth line and the bottom of the chin line. Make sure you've consciously identified them.
In this next picture, the red of Mr. Average has been lightened a few degrees so you can make Hef out a little better (hope "Hef" isn't overly familiar :-):
Mr. Average and Hef have been aligned by the middle of the eye line. A few reasons for this:
You could just as easily line up any of the horizontal guideline lines - all configurations will yield some new and novel relationships. You could line up faces at the bottom of the chin line or the bottom of the nose line - all will jog you or mind a little bit differently. Relationships in size, shape, line and contour, symmetry etc, all of these - their relationships - are at the core of drawing. My advice though, line up pictures with the eyes at the center. Doing it the same way each time helps concretize a systematic approach. You can always experiment, but building a method organizes your thinking, streamlines the process.
So what did superimposing the two faces do for us? What did it yield? Let's go right down the line, er guidelines (sorry, bad joke). We'll look at the top and bottom halves of the heads first, then get more specific after that.
Starting above the eyes: the top half of the head. Ask yourself: "how well does Mr. Hefner fit within the globe (or half globe) of the top of Mr. Average's head? On inspection you can see the red of Mr. Average more than engulfs the entirety of Hef. Remember though - and this is a detail - the hair obscures the actual margin of the widest point of Hef's head. Still, if Hef was bald, the outline of his head would remain well inside Mr. Average.
Now look at the lower half of the head - the area below the middle of the eye line. Hef more than contains Mr. Average - i.e. Hef has a lot more mass and volume than does Mr. Average - below the cheeks.
Hef is now contained within the borders of Mr. Average above the level of the cheeks. Interestingly the height, i.e. the vertical span of the cheekbones in both is very similar. I include in "vertical span" both the round, almost spherical part of the cheeks extending all the way up to the cheekbones where they (the cheekbones), begin to form a frame around the eyes at the middle of the eye line. The cheekbones actually rise to the level of the base of the temple on their way back towards the ear.
Look close - you can see "middle of the
eye line" in red crossing from left to right running straight through the
identify the overall shape of the head,
If the whole of the Mr. Average Face is closer to an upside down pyramid in shape, then Hef is closer to a right side up one, and even closer to the shape of a pear if you look long enough. Splitting the face up into upper and lower halves clouded that fact until you think about it for a second - well it made me forget about it for a second :-) . Look at the outline picture below - it's not entirely accurate but if you use your imagination, you can see the general emerging shape of Mr. Average on the left, Hef on the right:
Mr. Average left and Mr. Hefner on the right
Now we'll superimpose these two. The Hef outline has been shrunk a little and colored red. This is a rough approximate - ok, it's a little more exaggerated than just a rough approximate - but you can get an idea of how the two criss-cross in the area of the cheek bones and at the top of the jaw. You can see how the red outline (the Hef outline), comes in smaller in the top half of the head - i.e. above the middle of the eye line.
I only did this - flipped Mr. Average - because in this particular instance out subject's facial dimensions just happened to bear a resemblance to a flipped Mr. Average. The only rule to be remembered here: get good at comparing your subject's face with Mr. Average and identify as many relationships as you can. ( Need to take a second look at the anatomy of the face? Click here to see that.)
On to Horizontal Guidelines
Ok. We got a "bead" on the general shape of the head. In terms of horizontal landmarks and guidelines, lets start from the top of the illustration and work our way down going through the major horizontal lines of the front view of the face - one at a time.
To review, there are five we'll concern ourselves with right now:
It seems kind of redundant to mention them, but
if they're not demonstrated or referred to, there's always an implied top of the head and bottom of the chin
lines. But I'm not going to take anything for granted. (Look in some
medical anatomy books if you get a chance - the amount of differentiating between
lines and shapes and "sulcii" and fossas and protuberances and
bony prominences and hills and valleys is amazing.)
Onward - the middle of the eye line
The middle of the eye line - as mentioned above - this is our default line, the line where we start.
However, Mr. Average is clearly dominating the top half - the crown. The top of his head is still a measure taller. And since we're drawing Hef, not Mr. Average, this means when we draw Hef, we draw the top half smaller in proportion than the the lower half of the face. It's a reverse thing, ya see? That make sense?
And as I've mentioned before, psychologically, the part of our brain that recognizes faces doesn't require the forehead to be visualized to recognize the face. Right away, with that bit of info, you could almost draw any face, lop off the forehead and everybody in the world could still recognize the face. Instant caricature.
It's slightly obscure, but again, the two line up amazingly! Hef's nose is wider and bulkier than Mr. Average's. But that's for the next section on the vertical rules of the face.
But what part of the nose lines up?
And of course, if you look really close, you can say the bottom of the nose line lines up in both, but you have to ask the further question of what lines up, i.e. what part of the nose lines up at the bottom of the nose line? In Hef's case, its the little pointy extension of the tip of the nose that touches the line - and not the nostrils nor the main bulk of middle protrusion of his nose.
Look at the rough of Mr. Average and see how the nostrils more or less line up with the lower margin (edge) of the tip of the nose? Hef has a much longer "septal tail" - that fleshy piece of tissue that's between the two nostrils and molds right into the nasal philtrum (the philtrum is that little groove just above your upper lip).
That's an interesting distinction - the low pointy tip of the nose. We're getting pretty sophisticated here, but yes in time you will start making some "micro" distinctions like that all by yourself - this will come with your growing intimacy and expanding knowledge of anatomy and spatial relations. Now make a conscious effort to compare the shape of both noses. Check it in on your "to be exaggerated list".
The nose is 2/5th's the way down the distance between the middle of the eyes and the bottom of the chin. That leaves us with 3/5ths of the same real estate to somehow fit in the mouth, lips and chin. Here's where remembering the old way of thinking about the placement of the bottom of the nose might become useful (remember - when we placed it it half way down? link to Mr. Average). Well sort of. It's useful in this regard: the middle of the mouth line falls on a line that's one third the way down the remaining half of the face. I know, I'm getting all confusing here. Lets do the math.
The frontal view of the face/head is split in half at the eyes. The lower half of the face can be split in half again. In Lesson 14 we placed the bottom of the nose line at this half way point.
Now, if you split the area under the nose (which
is the bottom one fourth of the face), into
thirds again, the bottom line of the first third would mark the level of the middle of the
mouth line. Now that seemed a lot easier that way didn't it? Maybe
not. (See The Lesson, 14
Part II on the front view for review. Look
towards the bottom of this page link). If
this seems overly complicated, take a break, come back and take smaller
chunks and re-read or draw out these comparisons and templates (like the
The pointer at "1" in the illustration just above shows the approximate middle of the mouth line in comparison to Mr. Average's middle of the mouth line (at "2"). In this comparison view, you can see Hef's mouth is landing above Mr. Average's. Aha! Another thing to add to your "to be exaggerated" list: placing the middle of the lip line up tighter against the bottom of the nose line.
Since the bottom of the chin line fortunately already lands square on that of Mr. Average, we're spared over-explaining it. It brings up the question of "what goes in this space then - the space between middle of the mouth line and the bottom of the chin line?". In Mr. Hefners's case, he has a lot of chin. Big checkmark - lot's of chin goes right there on the "exaggerate list". For others' (like Charlie Watts) this space is filled by lower lip. In other faces this space is just a wide stretch of "frontal plane" - which basically means white space - you don't have to draw anything - just respect it as a clear stretch of plain old white space.
In review: (illustration of matching up the horizontal landmarks) Let's quickly take stock of our findings thus far:
Looking for the subtle overall differences in horizontal guidelines
Let's summarize space-by-space. Aha - surprised you huh? Well probably not. Before this point, we looked at just where the horizontal guidelines fell - we were evaluating line-by-line. Just like in Lesson 6 on negative space I want you to concentrate on not the lines for a moment but on the spaces between them. This is good right-brain practice.
This accomplishes two things: it switches your perspective
and forces you to look at the picture in terms of spaces, not lines. Now
ask yourself just how big are those spaces (1 through 4), and ask which
features fit within those spaces. This constant comparing and contrasting
of relationships is at the core of all drawing.
Mr. Average and Hugh are roughly the same size in the above illustration so the proportionate differences in these spaces will pretty revealing.
1) Space one - between the top of the head line, and the middle of the eye line. How do they compare? You can see Hef's space is smaller (the lines are converging); this is consistent with what we found above when we overlapped Mr. Average and Hef above. Ok, not a whole lot of new information - but again, it's a slightly different perspective.
2) Space two - the space between the middle of the eye line and the bottom of the nose line (2), it's subtle but it looks like space widens as we go towards Hef - the lines diverge. We saw above these two lines were pretty parallel. Part of the discrepancy is that I didn't quite line up these lines perfectly in Photoshop. Bit it's also true Hef has got that pointy lower part of the nose (the fleshy septum). And heck, his nose looks bigger than Mr. Averages! It's certainly wider - but we'll look more of the width issue below.
3) Space three - it's narrowed - the lines converge towards each other as we move left to right.. If you have a long nose and a big chin and a limited space to fit all this into, something's got to give. This space between the bottom of the nose line and the middle of the mouth line is a narrowed space - we'll need to cram the features closer together there.
4) Space 4 - this space widens. The lines diverge as you go from Mr. Average to Hef.. That's consistent with what we found above.
Super Summary of the horizontal guidelines and what they suggest we do to exaggerate Mr. Hefners's portrait:
Does looking at the spaces between horizontal guidelines tell us anything new? Yes and no. It just shows us that even though we found differences, they're subtle. It's also plain why there's more to getting proportion cues than by just contrasting the horizontal guidelines. But it is a start. And you can still work from those subtle differences. They really do get you started. Carve into them, play with them. Experiment. You WILL get the feel for exaggeration if you just keep at it! :-) Just reviewing all the case studies initiates the process - hopefully it fills your head with the visual and verbal vocabulary of drawing and caricature.
Test what you've just learned
Before we go on to vertical guidelines - take a break and "sight" the lines, spaces, and proportions you just heroically worked your way through in this first section of several sections - part one of the Hugh Hefner In Depth Caricature Analysis. (A little commercial there.) Concern yourself ONLY with the horizontal guidelines for this next mini assignment. Your mini assignment: visualize the 5 horizontal guidelines lines we talked about above. Visualize them running through their respective places on this face:
Next section: the vertical guidelines. In this section you'll review vertical relationships of the face and features and compare / contrast with Mr. Average. Click the link for
There's still lots of places to turn though. Below you'll find a handful of links that have a good picture so you can
Kasbohm & Company's
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