Sketching Heads


This collection of faces are here to illustrate one sole point: There are lines in everything.

Each of these faces are defined by the lines of which their faces are formed, so this is naturally something that sketch artist have been trying to replicate.




I particularly like this image because of how minimal it is. All faces are formed by the skull beneath, so making the skull noticeable implies tactility and versatility.


Chopped down tree face here would be a perfect representative if I were to sculpt a face. All lines are indeed loops, signifying angle, height and proportions. Keeping proportions similar on a face is particularly important as this makes your face look real.(Unless you don’t want your face to look realistic, in this circumstance, avoid proportions like the plague.)


Woman with an antenna here brings up quite an interesting point. If you use lines to dictate the form of a face, where do those lines end up? You can see here that the top lip line is connected to the bottom lip line, which is connected to the cheek line, which is connected to the chin line, which are all combined in the shading on the neck. All streams lead to the sea and all lines lead to darkness.


Believe me when I say that colour defines emotion. Vibrant and saturated yellow is not a common colour, this clearly makes it synonymous with emotions that aren’t often experienced – This can state so much in an image. As yellow is a rare colour, we can connect that the context of which the colour is used is rare – The man featured in this image is smiling, possibly laughing. With the use of the yellow, we can therefore assume that happiness is a rare emotion for this person. Colour gives an image so much more emotion than just flat black and white.


In the real world, how many times do you see just one thing? If you were to look up at night, you would see some stars; in front of which is the atmosphere, clouds and maybe some air pollution. In this sketch, you see a face; in front of which is a hand. Putting things in front of other things in a sketch gives an image layers. Layers give an image depth. Depth gives an image meaning.


Contrast is one of the most essential techniques used in all forms of art. Contrast allows a story to end up completely different from what it originally was. Consider the way in which the face is styled in this sketch when compared to the shadows – The shadows have absolutely no styling to them while the face, hand and cigarette is consumed by styling. This technique could’ve been utilised if the face was hardly stylised with very few lines and not much detail. However, the stylising does imply something more. As the facial styling is done in the colour black, we as the viewer can interpret that the person is still connected to whatever is defined by the black.

If we seek back to what I said about colour and emotion, we can delve into this image even more. Black is synonymous with death, so it is naturally sided with negativity and sadness. If we use this in this image, we can conquer that the shadow represents negativity and sadness, which is seeping into his face and hand. This man is being consumed by negativity and sadness, which is probably why he is smoking.

Speaking of that cigarette, it becomes apparent that this man is either taking a puff, or has just taken a puff. His hand holds the cigarette just in front of his face, this is staging at it’s very finest. The hand overlapping his mouth and moustache implies that the hand is situated in front of his face. The situation of the cigarette signifies that he is holding the cigarette between his fingers. The angle of the cigarette and his index finger show depth in a 3D environment. Lastly, the angle of which the hand is tilted implies that this man is holding his cigarette with his right hand. Not only does this image imply existence within 3D space, but it also manages to imply emotion and substance within these strokes.


Out of all of the sketches discussed, I would say that the last one is the closest in terms of visual style of which I want to replicate. Art is all about creating fantasy and the impossible, so why not use reality to make said fantasy. Why not make a man seem conflicted by using colour, or a lack of it? Why not give a subject layers, both physical and metaphorical? Why not give an image so much heart, so much emotion and so much personality that it can live up to that sacred adage about a thousand words?


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