Drawing and Illustration: A Complete Guide

Drawing and Illustration: A Complete Guide

by John Moranz


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486466064
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 09/25/2008
Series: Dover Art Instruction Series
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2008 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-13262-4





Head and facial characteristics are of prime importance to the artist. Of the five senses, four center in the head. Your thoughts, your every act and feeling affect your facial expression. To become proficient in drawing the head and face, however, is not inordinately difficult. Almost everyone has, at some time, drawn an oval, placed the eyes, nose and mouth inside, added the ears and the hair line—and then wondered what had been left out!

In order to draw the head you must be able to capture the expression, you must be able to give sharp definition to each of the features of the face, but primarily you must know where these features fit into the face! We shall have a look at the eyes, the nose, the mouth and the ears separately, but let's not get ahead of the story.

We know that through our facial expressions we show our inner feelings. The face is in a continual process of changing expressions, but nearly every individual has some particular facial expression by which he can be identified. There are very few principles to guide the artist in putting expression into the faces he draws. We can, however, divide the head into three terminal expression zones: first, the area of the mouth and jaw; second, the nose and cheeks; third, the eyes and brow.

The artist can best study expression by examining his own face and observing the faces of his friends. Stand before a mirror and express various emotions. Notice when smiling how the mouth opens and the lips curve up at the corners. The face is broadened as the cheeks move up and form a deeper pouch beneath the eyes. The eyes are generally narrowed. A frown, on the contrary, will bring the eyebrows closer together and wrinkle the brow. The mouth is usually more compressed and the lips will appear thinner. The outline of the nostrils is more sharply defined.

Whenever the face expresses emotion some change occurs in each of the expression zones. Handling expressions delicately will lend subtlety to your drawing. Overemphasis on any particular part of the face may destroy the effect. Any change in one expression zone will have a direct bearing on another.

From infancy to old age the face develops lines of character. Note particularly the wrinkles about the eyes, furrows of the brow and the lines extending from the nostrils downward. Developing these lines of character adds individuality to a face.

Drawing the hair is often a stumbling block. A common mistake is to spend too much time and put too much detail into the drawing of the hair. It should be drawn in its simplest masses. By adding a few lines following the direction in which the hair grows, you will establish the whole effect.

There are no two faces exactly alike. Approach every face you draw as a new adventure, but remember that all faces have this in common: no face can be right without proper construction. The two sides of the face must balance, and proper relationship must be maintained between the features and the shape of the head on which they are placed. Watch particularly the space between the eyes, the placement of the ears and nose, the location of the mouth and the hairline framing the face.

There are several methods or devices which you will need to use while you are training your eye and hand. These methods are no more than props on which you can lean while you are learning to draw, but you have every right and every reason to use these props or devices. One of these devices will help you greatly in handling the primary problem of proportion. So let's begin our study of heads by quickly and simply tackling this problem. The block method is the most universal approach to proportion.


When viewed from the front or back, the average adult human head measures approximately six inches wide and eight inches from the chin to the top of the head. A block, six inches wide and eight inches high, will give you the framework. Within this framework guide lines will be drawn to give you the correct proportions of the face. The four illustrations on the following page will show you how to proceed.

In the first figure, four guide lines have been drawn. Down the center is a vertical line. Three horizontal lines are drawn across the block. The first is about midway between the top and the bottom of the block. The second horizontal line divides the lower part of the block in half. The third horizontal line is drawn three-fourths the distance down from the center horizontal line or one-eighth of the total block from top to bottom.

Now what is the purpose of these guide lines? The vertical line will keep the balance between the two sides of the face you are going to draw. The center horizontal line is the eye line on which you construct the eye. On the second horizontal line you mark the base of the nose. And on the third horizontal line you have the location of the mouth. Remember, these are merely guide lines. You will need to, and be able to, change them to meet particular facial characteristics. But for this explanation you should follow them closely.

Now you are ready to start working on the face. In the second figure you will see how this is done. With straight lines draw the boundaries of the forehead, top and sides. Rough in the upper border of the eye sockets on the center horizontal line, making sure that they are balanced on either side of the center vertical line. At the intersection of the second horizontal line and the vertical line draw a small triangle to denote the base of the nose. And at the intersection of the third horizontal and the vertical line, draw a small line to indicate the location of the mouth. Rough in the ears on the sides of the head between the center horizontal line and the horizontal line just below it.

You are now ready to fill in the features at the locations marked. The third figure shows how this is done. With heavy strokes fill in the features that you want to appear in the final drawing. At this point you will have reached the fourth figure. Erase the guide lines and see what you have been able to do under the block method. Even on your first attempt, if you have followed the instructions step by step, you should have a head and face which show sound construction and proportion.

The artist, like the architect, has a definite construction problem. Let the block represent the scaffolding while you are learning to draw. It will provide a good framework as well as an accurate means of measurement. With practice your hand will follow your eye and you will be able to take the preliminary steps automatically, without the use of props.


Up to this point we have considered the head and face from a front view only. This is very convenient as a beginning in drawing, but it is only the beginning. Let us consider now the side or profile. By using the block method again this will be very simple. You'll remember that in the front view you used a block six by eight inches as an average adult human head. The average head, when viewed from the side, is eight inches wide and eight inches from top to bottom.

When you are ready to start drawing profiles, just draw a block eight by eight. Use your guide lines exactly as you did for the front view. Rough in the features on the indicated guide lines, using the same four steps that you used in drawing the head from the front view. When you are drawing the face in profile, the ear is placed just behind the center vertical line, between the center horizontal line and the horizontal line which is just below it.


By using the block and guide lines, you have been able to construct a well proportioned head and face in front and profile views, but you have drawn the head only as a flat surface. From the front view you saw the head in two dimensions, length and width. From the side you saw two dimensions again, length and depth. In order to draw the head in any of its varied positions, you must use all three dimensions, length, width and depth. The basic principles of the block method still serve, but by adding a few lines you can turn the block into a cube. Now you can view the head in any position—turned up or down or sidewise. The illustrations on this and the next four pages will show you how this is done. Study and practice them carefully.


In building a structure the engineer must have a firm framework over which he can mold his outside covering. So it is with the human body, and the skull is the framework over which the face is molded. In general appearance the skull is the same in all human beings. However, it varies in shape in different races of men and in different parts of the world. So we may say that race, geographical origin, sex and age are all influencing factors in the shaping of the skull.

As we study each of the features you will see how the parts of the skull are utilized.

1. The parietal bone makes up the upper and side regions of the skull.

2. The frontal bone forms the roofs of the eyes and nose. It forms the upper part of the eye-socket which acts as a protection to the eye.

3. The nasal bones, one on each side, join in the center to form the bridge of the nose.

4. The temporal bones are located at the sides and base of the skull and house the hearing organs.

5. The malar is located at the outer and upper part of the face. This is known as the cheekbone, one purpose of which is to form the lower part of the eye-socket.

6. The upper jaw bones form the upper jaw and the roof of the mouth. They also form the sockets for the upper teeth.

7. The mandible or lower jaw bone is the largest and strongest bone in the face. It forms the sockets for the lower teeth.

8. The occipital bone is located at the back and lower part of the skull. It has a large opening through which the lower division of the brain connects with the spinal cord.


From the artist's standpoint, a complete study of the muscles of the head is not necessary. The important consideration is the general form of the head; hence we shall limit this discussion to those muscles most prominent in the general form. The muscles which control the closing of the jaw, the masseter and the temporalis, fill most of the side planes of the head. The action of the masseter controls chewing while the temporalis effects the closing of the mouth and the retraction of the jaw.

The buccinator muscle compresses the cheek. The nasalis contracts the nostrils. The triangularis, which originates in the lower jaw, acts to pull down the sides of the mouth.

The function of the frontalis is to raise the eyebrows and wrinkle the forehead. These muscles are often referred to as the muscles of expression.

The illustrations on this page will show the location of the various muscles. Emotions help to affect the action of the muscles and give the face its expression.


Excess weight can change the appearance of the face. In these drawings we have overemphasized the weight to show just how radically the appearance of face can be changed. Note how the puffiness of the cheeks makes the eyes narrower. The creases leading from the corner of the mouth downward are deepened.


You are now ready to isolate the features of the face for closer study. You have drawn the eyes and you know their position in relation to the other features. If you have studied carefully the proportions of the face you have solved at least half the problem of constructing a realistic face.

The eye is housed in the skull in a somewhat rectangular socket. Like the head itself, the eye has a definite system of planes. The plane of the socket in which the eye sits is retreating. The brow sits on the upper part of the socket, and meets the plane of the forehead. The front and side planes of the lids are slight; they follow the contour of the eyeball.

When you begin to construct the eyes, construct them together, not separately.

There is an eye's width between the eyes. In the study of the block method, you learned that the center horizontal, or eye line, is used as a guide in placing the eyes in their proper position. Let's use this line again as a guide in drawing the eyes themselves. You will remember that this is merely a guide line and may be changed to meet particular facial characteristics. You can now adjust this line to the individual face you are drawing. Note whether the eyes are level or whether the outer corner is higher or lower than the inner corner.

The upper lid may assume varying shapes: on top it may be either triangular, square, or arched. Watch the angle of the lid and locate the point or points at which the angle changes.

The eyebrow is an essential characteristic of the individual. If you treat it just as a mere rounded line, as the Egyptians once did, you will have a conventional eyebrow which will never fit an individual's character or personality. Notice that the hairs of the eyebrow follow three separate directions. Starting from the nose, the slant increases as it goes outward in three separate steps. If you follow their direction and notice the individual way the eyebrow is constructed you will be capturing one of the essential characteristics of your subject.

Note that the upper lid throws a shadow over the eye. This shadow should be defined so as not to give the effect that the eyes are cut out of the face. The entire eye socket is caught within an overall shadow, light or dark as the case may be. Indicate this overall shadow and use a very slight tone over the whites of the eyes. As the eyes are almost always seen in shadow, the artist can take advantage of this and lend subtlety to his drawing.

There is no limit to the number of positions and expressions the eye can assume. On these pages there are a few examples that should be carefully studied. Draw them as many times as you think necessary; that is, until you believe that you can attain a good likeness. Then turn to your sketches made under the block method. Compare the eyes that you are now drawing with those that you drew previously.

The iris, when viewed from the front, forms a perfect circle. Using the center of the iris for a guide, locate its proper position beneath the upper lid. The iris will vary in size according to the individual. The pupil will also vary in size, as you have probably noticed in your own eyes. The lower lid, which remains stable, shows only its edge.

The eyelashes on the upper lid are heavier than those on the lower, and get thicker toward the outer edge. Every eye has a crease in the upper lid.


In our previous discussion of the bones that make up the human skull you had a look at the nasal bones. These bones, one on each side, form the bridge of the nose by joining in the center. They extend a little less than half the length of the nose. Cartilages take over where the bones end to form a stiff, though flexible framework for the surface of the nose. The nose is divided into four planes; bridge, tip, wings of nostrils, and side slopes. That part of the nose which is bone forms a clear wedge. Below the bone, the nose narrows and the ridge sinks slightly.

In drawing the nose, do not establish a hard definite line on the light side, nor indicate the nostrils too heavily. In fact, as a general rule, treat the nose delicately, except where you are trying to establish a definite character. Whenever you draw a girl's face, keep the lines of the nose a little on the straighter side. Never treat the feminine nose too heavily; it should always be done delicately.


In drawing the mouth, we consider not only the upper and lower lips, but the whole area between the nose and the chin as well. The shape of the jaw has a direct bearing on the shape of the mouth and lips. The mouth has a general backward slant with the lower lip slightly over-hanging. The upper lip has one high mound in the center with a forward projection. The lower lip has two mounds with a slight crease between them into which the forward point of the upper lip fits. The lips follow the contour of the teeth: the more curved the placement of the teeth, the more curved the lips.

The mouth is one of the important factors of facial expression. Notice particularly the effect of the muscles at the end of the mouth.


Probably the most overlooked feature of the face is the ear. This seems natural because of its location on the head, but if you are to reproduce a face accurately you cannot slight any of the features.

The ear is divided into three parts: the bowl, the rim and the lobe. The rim and the lobe stand out from the head. Like the other features, the ears vary in size and types.


Excerpted from DRAWING & ILLUSTRATION by JOHN MORANZ. Copyright © 2008 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Silent Instructor,
PART ONE — Heads and Portraits,
PART TWO — Hands and Feet,
PART THREE — Figure Drawing,
PART FOUR — The Draped Figure,
PART FIVE — Perspective,
PART SIX — Composition,
PART SEVEN — Advertising Layout,
PART EIGHT — Creating Illustrations,
PART NINE — Animals,
PART TEN — Cashing In,

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