Loomis Head Method Drawing Tutorial Part 2
A few weeks ago I got called out on the r/drawings subreddit. It was because I tried to share some helpful information on drawing heads and faces. During the discussion, I mentioned to the original poster to visit the Drawing Heads Using the Loomis Method tutorial I posted a month ago. A separate user read the comment and decided to check out the tutorial too. He/She came back and then decided to share their opinion on my tutorials with me. They didn’t seem to have a problem with the contents of it, but they had a problem with the fact that I used Illustrator to “Illustrate” my drawings for each tutorial. It seems as they put it, “I was teaching people how to create clip art”.
Ok, so I normally let this type of stuff slide. When dealing with artists and opposing methods and styles, you will get the odd person that thinks they know it all. I am not one of those people. I am still learning. Even through creating these tutorials, I learn. Which is why I enjoy doing them. I did respond to the user, which has since deleted their comment. But I mentioned how Adobe Illustrator is my weapon of choice. It gives me a ton of flexibility when creating tutorials.
Creating Clip Art?
The part that really stung was the creating clip art remark. That put a bit of a fire under my ass to create something a little more involved using illustrator. So I gave it some thought. Let’s redesign the ToyBeast mascot in the form of a Comic Book Character. That’s what I am going to do. We are going to use what we have learned in the Loomis Head Tutorial and apply it here.
The Redesign Rules
Let’s set up a few rules to follow for our character. So as we mentioned above, we want him to be done in the Comic Book Style. Let’s have him looking forward, imposing, and strong but not overly bulky, and let’s put some horns on him to mimic the logo. I want the finished image to be our character coming out of a dark alleyway. Yes I know, classic comic tropes. But that is kind of the point, isn’t it?
Let’s get away from the clip art feel by adding a ton of detail. From there we will finish the scene in Photoshop. You have probably already seen the finished drawing as I am sure that is what I used for the thumbnail.
Using our Loomis Head Guide from our previous post, let us turn the head to look straightforward. This is done by taking the Cranial Mass and slicing each side. This gives us our basic head shape. We bring over the chin and jaw lines and we have our head fully shaped out. You will notice that the chin is a little larger coming forward as it looks on the 3/4 view. That is due to perspective. We need to keep things like perspective in mind when creating any drawing in our make-shift 3d space.
We can now start adding features. Let’s add the ears. Now the nose and mouth. The nose can be a little difficult to draw. The reason for this is our minds are accustomed to recognizing certain shapes as iconic representations of these features. As an example, a nose can be represented with an L-shaped line. Much like our cartoon Mascot. A mouth can be represented with a straight horizontal line. When this gets to be problematic is when you are trying to draw something with depth. You see this a lot when people first start life drawing. The eyes don’t look like the model’s eyes. That’s because they used the icon representation instead. This is not something that is done on purpose. It is just how our minds work. With practice, we get our minds to move away from the iconic representations and start to draw what we see!
Drawing the mouth we have our main slit. It is not straight. Much like our own mouth, it has a form to it. There is an upper lip and lower lip. By adding these lines you can already start to see the form coming together. Adding the nose is much the same. The nose comes forward, with areas for our nostrils receding underneath the form. Hopefully, you can see what I mean in the drawings provided. There is still some styling happening here but I am trying to keep it fairly basic for now.
Adding the eyes. A good tip for drawing eyes is to understand the anatomy of the eye socket and the muscles surrounding it. Your eyeball fits within this socket and your eye slits only represent a small section of the eye.
Having drawn these features, we have formed our basic androgynous character. From here, you can shift things around to make the face a little more feminine or more masculine. Round out the chin some more or move the eyes a little higher or lower. You get the idea.
Our next step is to add facial details. We add brow lines, hairline, eyebrows, and facial hair. Want to add a scar? Go ahead, it is totally up to you at this point.
This right here is one of the true advantages of using Illustrator. Adding color is very simple. I choose the shape I want to add color to and fill it in. You can change colors with a click of a button as well.
Now, there are a couple of things I do here. First I determine which lines are staying and which ones are not. As an example, I don’t need to outline the facial hair. That can be represented with the fill color quite well. But because this is in the “Comic Book Style”, we do want some deliberate dark outlines and feature lines too. Have a look at the lips as this illustrates what we are talking about really well.
I start to add basic shadows during this step as well. Remember the eye socket? Well, let’s add some shading there. The jawline can be shaded too. On the side of the nose, the ears…more shading. The form is really starting to show now.
Our final step is to add the horns and face paint. Ya, I decided to add face paint ala Punisher. So far, I think he is looking pretty cool. Comparing him to the mascot, there is an undeniable resemblance. Going forward, I’ll finish up this drawing by doing the body and background. But I’ll save that part for a future post. Let’s keep this post focused on the head.
Using the steps we have outlined above, you can draw any style of head you can think of. It really comes down to your own imagination and how far you are willing to exaggerate proportions. I added a few simple examples using the same artwork. All that has changed is the placement of the features and shape of the head. Nothing else, excluding the addition of hair on each. Now imagine adding different noses, eyes, ears, and mouths and you have an infinite amount of characters you can create!
Art of any form is personal to the artist. They work many hours to apply what they have learned over many years of study and practice. But no matter how good you are, someone will criticize you. Don’t let it bring you down. Take that criticism and respond to it with the art you create. Hopefully, I did that here with this follow-up tutorial. There will be more coming in the future. So stay tuned.
I would love to see what you are all working on. Please send it to ToyBeast@ToyBeast.ca and I will post my favorites to the site. Thanks again, now get drawing!