Chopping Off the Skull

I have been reading a book given to me called ‘Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain‘, by Betty Edwards. It has been very useful in teaching me ways of removing the idea of the symbol from my drawing and instead drawing the shapes and shades present.

It has also highlighted a problem I have been having, the source of which I have been struggling to pinpoint. The issue is that I can often render a face with good proportions, but then struggle to frame it upon a well proportioned head. The book has shown me where I am going wrong, I am cutting off the skull.


I am failing to add the correct amount of volume to the head, often not allowing for the head to go far back enough, which in turn squashes the top of the head to match. It is the hair that often tips me off balance with this, as it either has a lack of of distinction or an over-abundance of it, and thus I get lost within its form.

So how can I can combat this? Well as with all other issues there is no magic solution, I just have to practice practice practice. How I will be practicing can be defined however. As I said the hair often throws me off a bit, so I will be removing it, all of it. I am going to go down to the core and practice drawing skulls until I fully understand their proportions.

skulls with ref

Unlike my other studies which focus on the face this one will actually be more symbol oriented. I’m am not interested in the lighting and tones present, I’m looking at the proportions and shape. I will be continuing my life/live drawing studies alongside this and trying to learn as I go.


Posted on February 17, 2015, in Techniques & Research. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Chopping Off the Skull.

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