How to Draw the Head, Face, Features, and Hair
Drawing for Beginners
I REMEMBER, years ago, poring over an old-fashioned drawing-book which contained--among many other things --diagrams that reduced head, face, and features to the
very simplest of problems.
The author began by comparing the head to an oval or egg-shaped substance.
Full face presented a simple oval.
Sideways (or profile) presented a deeper oval, with the forepart flatter than the back, which thickened a little at the base.
On this egg-shaped form were traced curving lines, following, of course, the curves of the surface, one central line, and three transverse lines. The central line marked the centre of the brow, the angle and tip of the nose, and ran through the upper and lower lips to the point of the chin.
The cross, or transverse, lines marked the angle of the brow above the eyes, then the angle of the nostrils, and lastly the angle of the mouth.
When the head tilted and sank forward the lines of the face curved downward.
When the head was thrown up and backward the lines of the features curved in a like manner.
Seen in profile (or sideways) the line of the brow, carried to the back of the head with the line of the nostril, gave the position of the ear.
This is a valuable little key to the quick placing of the features. In a word, it helps with the perspective of features.
The unpractised artist is very prone to devote too much space to the face and too little to the head.
Fig. 24. THE READ AND FACE
We all know that babies have abnormally large heads ; that children's heads are large in comparison with their bodies ; that only the adult's head and body balance in nice proportion--that is, the head is neither too large nor too small for the body.
But the face never occupies the entire space of the head, as young artists often seem to imagine that it does.
Look at the size of the crown of the head, at the back and the sides thereof, and do not spread the forehead right up to the crest of the head.
Note also the beautiful balance of the head on the neck, the neck on the shoulders.
The indenting curve at the base of the skull is not level with the jaw--but see !--it is a little below the level of the ear and on a line with the nostril.
The neck is full of interesting drawing. There is the full curve of the throat, and the shorter and stronger curve from the base of the back of the skull to the nape of the neck and the spine. The large bones of the vertebrae, which we can feel with the tips of our fingers, resemble, as the French word chainon has it, the links of a chain.
Two large muscles (mastoid) often attract our attention when the head is twisted aside. Extending from behind the ear to the forepart of the collar-bone, they are always more strongly developed in a boy than in a girl, and in a man than in a woman. These you can feel at the root of the neck and the forepart of the throat by twisting your head right and left ; and they form a cup-like depression when your head is straight.
The neck, you will notice, is so strengthened with muscle and bone that it rises like a small pillar from a very solid base.
A girl's neck is slender, a boy's equally thin, but more muscular. A woman's neck is full of entrancing curves ; a man's neck very strong, very muscular, and consequently rather thick.
As with all other parts of the human body, necks exist in every variety--short necks, long necks, thick, thin, muscular, strong, feeble, and fat ; but, and the fact is worth noting, the base of the neck where it joins the body is always its thickest part.
With this slight introduction to the general proportion and shape of the head, we can next turn our attention to the face and the features.
One hears many curious remarks from young artists ; for instance : " I simply love drawing people, but I can never draw a face." This is by no means an uncommon experience. Another equally frank statement is often heard : " Faces ! Rather ! They arc simply topping ! But I can't draw hands and things ! "
And there we are !
A curious world it would be if young artists were confronted with embodiments of their own drawings ! Imagine the shock of meeting a gentleman in plus fours with no face but a turnip- like smudge, or a lovely languishing lady with exquisite shingled bead and nothing more substantial than a few slight lines indicating a body--and those quite wrong !
Believe me, it does not do to run away with such ideas. We may say things so often that in time they seem to weave a spell.
A young and most promising artist-friend of mine drew faces admirably, and refused to draw anything else. She would not draw a hand or a foot. And in time it really seemed as if she could not--which of course was absurd. Anyhow, to this day she draws exquisite faces, and the rest of her drawings would shame the veriest beginner. She is an artist--spoilt.
If we take our subjects one by one, and make our progress
step by step, we may be slow, but in due time we shall ' arrive.'
And as an excellent aid to our own home studies let us provide ourselves with a hand-glass or small mirror. This is an invaluable help, indeed, a necessity, for the studying and drawing of our own features.
And at the outset I would utter a word of warning about the drawing of a face.
It is surprising that young artists often draw the eyes and mouth as if they were mere patterns stuck on the face, a method that is evidently copied from fashion and poster artists, who are very fond of this effective but mask-like effect. The eyes in their pictures are heavily outlined, the lips are thickly painted with purple crimson tints. It is a wrong point of view, and a very harmful one, as you will soon discover.
Look at the eye, your eye, anyone's eye. What a luminous, expressive feature it is, composed of most subtle and exquisite parts !
Look at the iris, the ring of colour, the velvety depths of the pupil, the shining white surface of the sclerotic tissue ' surrounding the eyeball, and the soft pink inner corners. Remember the ball of the eye is a large object covered by lids which reveal only part of the whole. Look at the curve of the lid and its graceful fringe.
But lashes, though dark and sweeping, are not as important as pupil and lid. Do not draw the lower lid in a thick hard outline. You will produce at once a mask, not a face. If, for theatrical purposes, you rub a stick of darkening stuff beneath your eyes, you then see your eye forced into a slit- like shape, but only then. The eye is the most expressive feature. Laugh, and your eye must laugh. I have seen people smile with their lips when the eyes were not smiling, and what a futile smile it was !
To picture the lips as two thick slabs of colour is just as great a crime.
Your mouth may be full and dimpled, it may be small and thin, it may be wide and of no very definite shape. But it is not, it can never be, a moulded pattern stuck like a postage- stamp on your face.
Draw down your mouth, pout, smile, laugh--and note the teeth revealed. " Roses filled with snow," sang the Elizabethan poet of his lady's pretty lips.
Let us take up the hand-glass in our left hand and a pencil in our right, and examine our features.
An eye is an oblong shape set in an oval cavity. We see it in primitive drawings as a round black dot to which is added a pointed lozenge-shaped frame.
The iris, being the coloured part of the eye, will probably first attract our attention. That, we notice, is a circular shape, covered above and below by the upper lid and the lower lid. Draw the circular shape boldly. We will assume that the upper lid is firmly and clearly seen, not hidden by the brow. Having observed it closely and recorded our impressions we pass to the lower lid, which should be drawn lightly, for it is a tender delicate form.
Next we examine the inner corner of the eye (nearest the nose), where are the soft pink tear-ducts, which we touch in lightly with the pencil.
The outer corner of the eye forms a sharper angle, with the upper lid curving downward to meet the flesh of the lower lid and its corresponding upward curve.
Having sketched the shape of the eye as a whole, we might next return for a closer observation of the iris.
Is there anything in nature more lovely than the iris of the human eye ? The liquid tint of blue, grey, or brown is like the luminous colouring of a strange flower. And it is colour. Therefore, it is a shade deeper, many shades deeper, than the opaque whiteness of the eyeball. Then shade it with your pencil.
Within the iris we have yet another shape, the little black pupil of the eye through which the light passes. This is of velvety richness, but before shading carefully note the shape of the bright light on the pupil, and ' leave' this light, working the shadow round it.
Suppose we ignore this light, and shade it in with the pupil ; at once the eye looks lifeless.
Having done all this, we might add a few of the long lashes --not all. We should no more draw every leaf on a tree than draw every lash of the eye. We choose the most important.
Finally, we take a general survey, deepen shadows, add a few details, and then notice that the eyebrows have been neglected.
We should compare the eyebrows with the shape of the eye.
The hairs of the eyebrow are usually thicker at the base --that is, nearest the nose--than at the outer edge. They begin full and thick and incline from the nose outward, framing the eye in a wide curve.
Eyebrows there are of every variety. You may see every day eyebrows thick, thin, bushy, soft, fine, and coarse ; eyebrows dark, and eyebrows so fair that they can hardly be detected except in a very bright light ; eyebrows traced as delicately as if they were made of a single hair, and shaggy, overhanging eyebrows from under which the eyes gleam like little pools. Note the eyebrows and draw them carefully.
It would seem foolish, having made a close study of one eye, not to draw both eyes with equal care.
We might this time choose to draw our eyes from another angle. And as we are drawing a pair of eyes, we have twice as much to bear in mind. First, we should roughly trace the position of the two eyes. Sketch the position of the brow, and the angle of the two eyes, and the size of the eye and eyelids.
It is useful to remember as a general rule that the space between two eyes is the length of an eye. Then, having sketched the position, general angle, shape of eye and eye- socket, it would be wise to note the position of the iris and pupil.
These we know must agree. Unless we are very careful to sketch the iris of both eyes looking in the same direction, we shall certainly give our drawing a most horrible squint.
If the iris lies in the outer corner of the near eye, it must lie in the inner corner of the far eye. (If you wish to sketch a cross-eyed person, then you place both irises near the nose.)
Lightly trace the iris and the pupil, and the shape and position of the light on the pupil.
Next we note the shape of the upper lid of the near eye (and its long curve), the deepest and the narrowest part ; the shape of the inner and blunt end of the eye, the sharper curved angle of the outer part of the eye. We look at the far eye, and this curves slightly away from us on the curve of the cheek. The eyeball nears the blunt end, and exposes a large space of white.
Lid, pupil, iris, eyelash, eyebrow, all follow in their turn ; add such shadows as you wish, and you must certainly not forget the shadow of the nose and the forehead. The eye lies in a socket. In old people this is very noticeable. The shadow of the brow falls on the socket and gives a very sharp and bold outline for drawing.
Drawing eyes from the mirror has certain limitations, so let us ask some one to ' sit' for us with an eye in profile.
Bear in mind an important point. The eyeball is covered by the lid. Then obviously the lid must project beyond the eyeball. Young artists often draw the eyelid and the eyeball as if they are exactly on the same level. But anything that covers must be larger than the object covered.
You would not, for instance, draw a tea-cosy smaller, or even the same size as a teapot, for you know very well it would not cover the pot. You would not draw a hat exactly the same size as the bare skull. It must be larger. Then why draw an eyelid (that covers the eyeball) the same size as the eye ?
Also you must allow for the thickness of the lid. If you turn your head upward, and look down at your reflection in the glass, the thickness of the lid will be very apparent. You will notice the inner edge resting against the eyeball, and the outer edge fringed with the lashes. This can be seen even more plainly if you open your eyes wide, as if in astonishment or surprise.
The open lid is not so frequently seen as the small lid and sunken eye, which fact worries the unpractised artist not a little. The eyelid of course is there, but the brow swells forward and conceals part of the lid.
When you draw eyes of this description sketch the ball of the eye, and the lid, and then sketch the brow.
Eyes, of course, there are in infinite variety. Some are heavily lidded, some are large and round, some are lashed with long silken hair. There are the small piggy ' or half- closed eyes, the eyes that pierce with sharp keen glances. There are the dreamy eyes, the laughing, twinkling eyes, and the sharp, suspicious eyes.
There is nothing easy about the drawing of an eye. It will always demand the closest care and attention.
Even when we are drawing the eye of a sleeping person, when the lids cover the eyeball, there is the exquisite meeting of the lids, the mingling of the lashes, and the shadows cast by the lashes on the cheek. We must not forget, by the way, to indicate the roundness of the eyeball beneath the lids.
A nose presents more difficulties to the young student than any other feature ; more especially the drawing of a nose in full view--when we see as much of the left nostril as the right. And the reason of this difficulty is one of perspective. We are confronted with something which fills our mind with perplexity, something of which we shall often hear, namely, ' foreshortening.'
Yet a nose is not such a very alarming shape. Certainly not as difficult to draw as a hand pointing straight out of the picture. It is merely two small cavities placed at an equal distance from each other, winged in flesh and protected by a round tip and bridged to the face by bone and gristle.
When you draw the nose full face draw the shadow of the bridge, and the shadow under the tip of the nose, and the shadow beneath the nose, boldly. Think, if you will, of the keel of a ship, of the corner of a box. Don't be fearful of making the nose ugly. Rather a big, well-shaped nose than one--as we see so often in our drawings--timid, feeble, and of little account.
Your nose will in all probability be smaller than the first example selected. It is a bold nose. It has a firm bridge, a rounded and full tip, curved nostrils.
Examine your own nose in a glass, and try to sketch it as I have indicated in the first example. Begin by drawing an upright line, then trace down each side of this line the bridge of the nose, with the shadows--I hope you are sitting with the light coming from one side--cast by it. Notice the round tip, and on each side the two little curved nostrils, and round each nostril the wing of flesh. These will probably be only slightly defined, for these lines deepen with age. Beneath the tip of the nose a shadow will fall, and also on the very tip will be a fainter but decided little shadow. The shape of this shadow on the tip of your nose is very important.
If your nose is slightly tip-tilted, then this shadow will be sharp and incline in a three-cornered shape upward.
If your nose is Roman, then this shadow will dip down in a firm half-moon shape.
Now incline your head away at a slight angle, and observe your nose.
Again you will notice the long straight line of the bridge, and the firm tip, and from the tip you get the decided triangular shape of the under part of the nose, with the two nostrils inclining toward the centre. The near nostril is more clearly seen than the far nostril. It is round and full and narrows toward the tip, and the wing of it curves in a very decided line.
If you close your mouth and draw in a deep breath through your nose you will notice that your nostrils will quiver and expand, and if you draw your upper lip down over your teeth, your nostrils will elongate. These observations help us to understand the muscles and movement of the nose.
The nostril of the far side is slightly hidden by the point of the nose, and presents a three-cornered form, the nostril inclining toward the tip, the wing of the nostril correspondingly shaped.
Again we notice the shadows on the tip of the nose, the shadow on the bridge, the shadow of the indented lip where it falls in a dimple above the upper lip.
The line that extends from the nostril to the corner of the lip may also attract your notice ; this is the curve which deepens when we are moved to expressions of mirth or grief.
Throw up your head.
Your nose rises boldly like a small peak on your face, the nostrils wide at the base, narrow to a point ; the wing of each enclosed nostril is also long and narrow.
Persuade your sister to bend her head downward.
The nose rises from the broad brow pointing downward and outward, hiding the upper lip and possibly part of the mouth and chin. In this position we get the tip of the nose very well defined. If our model be a child, the width of the delicate nostrils is very apparent.
The nose seen in profile, with the head flung aside, is sharply defined ; the bridge slender, end slightly tilted, nostril curved, and the wing of the nostril well marked.
Now, we know that a nose has two sides, two nostrils ; we know also that there is another eye, another eyebrow on the far side of the face. We must never draw a profile as if it were a flat surface (as we are sometimes inclined to do), but suggest by the curve of the eyebrow, the eye, nose, and mouth, the side of the face that we are not drawing.
For the head itself is a ball-shaped object, as we must never in any circumstances forget.
We should take every opportunity of studying noses in reproductions of pictures. The Old Masters never stamped difficult problems of drawing ; and you may also gain a certain amount of knowledge by examining the photographs in the daily papers. Once embarked on this fascinating study of features, you will glean helpful ideas from all sorts of unexpected sources.
Always try to simplify your objects ; and accept a wrinkle from the Old Masters, who usually posed their models in half-lights--namely, with the light coming from one side only.
A nose seen between two lights is more difficult to draw than a nose seen in one light--and that from above.
And there is such an infinite variety of noses. You can amuse yourself by noticing the different characteristics : snub, aquiline, peaky, pointed, inquisitive. Artists declare that a pretty nose is seldom seen, but a pretty mouth, I think, is almost as rare.
Only once do I remember to have seen the ideal mouth, the Cupid's bow, with the pouting, rather full under lip, and the upper lip rising into two small dimpled curves. But how many times do we see long lips--the mouth that shuts with a thin, ugly, straight line, the loosely drawn under lip, the pursed-up, discontented mouth ?
Hold up your glass and study your own mouth.
The mouth is sometimes depicted as a mere slit in the face ; curved upward it represents mirth, curved downward grief or distress.
Try first sketching your lips closed. Draw a single line across your paper as a guide, and finding the thickest part of the lips in the middle, sketch the flattened pyramid shape of the upper lip and the lower lip with one long curve.
Next you will notice that the upper lip is composed of two slightly indented curves. The under lip probably curves slightly in the centre.
Next we look for the shadows. The upper lip, protruding slightly, casts a shadow, as does the lower lip in a lesser degree. Observe wrinkles or folds, the shape of the corners, and the soft indication above the upper lip and beneath the nose.
Then, for a second example, we might smile at our own reflection and draw the parted lips, revealing the teeth within. Here we have the curved line. Draw the upper lip and lower lip first, and then the arc of teeth within, remembering that the lips hide the greater part, and, therefore, not making these few teeth too many, too big, or too prominent.
The corners of the lips will, no doubt, throw a deep shadow,
and the lips curving round the teeth will also be thrown into
shadow ; shadows there will be on, and under, the lip. The curve of the cheek will help to accentuate the smile, and the groove running downward from the nose to the mouth expands over the teeth.
When drawing the mouth in profile we must of necessity ask some kind person to pose.
Try first drawing the mouth closed, then open.
Closed, the mouth is a curious little triangle. We at once notice that the upper lip extends slightly beyond the under lip ; we notice, too, the depth of the upper lip and the more sharply decided line as compared with the rounded under lip. We must look for shadows, and mark the opening of the mouth, and anything that will help to explain the corners of the mouth, for these are exceedingly expressive, and change with baffling quickness.
Now look in your glass once more.
Throw up your head, and your mouth follows the curve of your face, forming a semicircle. You see under the under lip, do you not ? And the upper lip rises in a very distinct and acute curve.
Now ask your friend to bend the head downward.
Do we not get the position reversed ? The curve of the lips is now thrown down, the centre points downward, the corners curl upward.
And this we offer as a really sound piece of advice. When you wish to study faces do not draw a stolidly staring, bored countenance, but ask the friend who is ' sitting' to scowl, or smile, to look pleased, or disgusted. It is infinitely easier to study features in motion than when set firm as if moulded in wax.
Our little friends Mr Sad and Mr Glad, whom we are so fond of tracing on the margin of our books, have a good deal to commend their honest countenances. They have the lines of laughing and crying faces crudely expressed. With chin upraised and eyes twinkling, cheeks pushed up in dimpling curves, and nostrils and lips curled upward--behold Mr Glad
And, when we cry, do not our lips curve down in unutterable woe, dragging our cheeks in straight lines from our nostrils, puckering our eyes into sad half-moons--like Mr Sad in very truth ?
'While you are studying the features, choose some interesting subject to enliven model and artist alike. Though you may not complete your original intention, make a beginning on, say, the subject of a small child sniffing up a slightly disagreeable scent from a small bottle. Such a conception may provoke such hilarious amusement that your drawing will bubble with laughter.
Art students often begin their studies by painting the head of an old man or old woman. And the reason is that it is far easier to draw age than youth, for the features become more marked with age and therefore more distinct. Compare, for instance, the nose of the old man and the nose of the infant ; the tiny button of a baby's nose, as against the big bold bridge, the heavily marked nostril. As the saying goes, one can hardly ' miss' the drawing of an old man's nose.
Compare the mouth of a young girl, full and pouting, parted over the white teeth, and the old man's, grim, straight, and lined ; and the wide clear gaze of the boy with the heavily lidded eye of age. Even the ear of the old is loose in shape and wrinkled about the lobe.
Which brings us to those very important organs--the ears. There is something peculiarly interesting in the drawing of an ear. There is the soft texture, the delicacy of its curves, and the contrasting shapes of the large upper part and the slender lobe. It is a feature of which the amateur too often falls foul. For some inexplicable reason the ear in a weak drawing is often its worst feature. Invariably it is given a queer little waist at the central part.
Where several young artists are gathered together they can easily draw each other's ears in turn. For, with all the goodwill in the world, we cannot study this feature alone and with a hand-glass.
The ear is an oblong, the upper part of which is wide, while the lower part contracts toward the lobe. It bears a slight resemblance to a huge interrogation mark. The ear is composed of so many exquisite curves that it presents a somewhat baffling subject to the pencil of timid young artists.
Look at the ear as one mass and do not at first trouble yourselves with its manifold hollows and curves. Sketch very lightly the oblong shape. By slicing the corners of the upper part, and carving a considerable portion from the lower part, you have the angles of the ear.
Then look at the large and beautiful curve of the outer rim and the flattened upper space which creeps from behind the fold nearest the cheek and swells into a smooth surface dipping down toward the lobe ; the orifice itself is a dark and mysterious little cavern tucked beneath the coral-pink projections nearest the cheek.
Having marked and sketched the biggest shapes, we should turn our attention to the folds. The ears of young people are usually of a simple pattern. In the example given, there is only one large fold curving round the upper rim. There is also the deep curve or dimple of the inner part, and this we can shade, following the shape with our pencil and exaggerating rather than losing the indentations ; within the outer rim we have a deeper shadow, while the orifice gives us our darkest tone. We might also suggest the shadows behind and under the ear.
The ear that you are trying to sketch may not resemble the car in this example, but of course it is ' up to you ' to draw yours as faithfully as possible. The ear you are sketching may be wider, it may have a more flattened appearance, the lobe may not be pointed.
It is difficult to suggest any rules to help in the drawing of an ear. The main thing to bear in mind is the use of the ear.
Fig. 30 EARS
As an organ of hearing it rarely lies as fiat against the head as some young artists depict it.
Seen from the front, it lies apparently very close to the scalp, but from the back the ear presents a very different appearance. When it is the ear of a small boy with his hair cropped smooth, it will often project in a very singular fashion.
The car rises from the head, a flat trumpet-shaped opening to catch sounds. The projecting cup extends and rolls over in a large fold or curve, hiding the upper part from view, and revealing only a tiny portion of the lobe. The position of the ear, the way in which it is moulded on the rounded receding curve of the skull and the cheek, and just above the juncture of the jaw, can be plainly seen. Open and shut the mouth and feel the motion with your finger-tip under the lobe of the ear.
Seen from the front, and almost full view, we have an elongated shape. The upper part, though flattened and receding with the receding side of the head, still presents the fullest curve, and the lobe is as a drooping or pendent shape.
Mark the large folds first, and then the inner curves, and the shadows beneath and within the ear. One fold tucks behind the other fold, resembling, so it often seems, the petals of a pink rose.
Present these folds simply ; mark the shadows crisply-- that is, with quick, bright touches of the pencil. In the foreshortened position a man's cheek swelling forward will hide a portion of the ear with whiskers and with beard.
If you should happen to be one of a group of young artists who have taken the opportunity of alternately sketching and sitting, you will find that it is helpful, interesting, and perhaps surprising, to lay your sketches side by side at the end of a sitting and compare the various shapes of the various ears.
Some ears lie flat on the head, others stick out. Some cars have long lobes ; in others the lobe is small and pointed ; others again have no lobe at all. There is little chance of being bored with a too-uniform pattern.
Hair is a fascinating theme for the artist, whether it be the bobbed and shingled hair of the modern girl, the floating locks of the mermaid, the small boy's cropped poll, or the silvery ringlets of old age.
Hair is a strangely deceptive substance. It expresses, though it veils, the form from which it springs. It may lie thick as a cloak, or as lightly as the fluff of a feather ; it can be coiled as massively as gleaming metal, or crimped with strange outstanding puffs and bushes ; it may be clipped short as a beard or trained in wisps of whiskers. There is no end to the tricks played by (and upon) the hairs of our head.
Small wonder that we find hair a difficult, baffling subject ! Says Mary plaintively :
" My hair "--she is of course speaking of a drawing--" looks like a wig."
" And mine like a doormat," adds Madge, even more plaintively.
The reason why the hair in our drawings resembles wigs and doormats is that when drawing the substance of the hair itself we forget the shape beneath the hair. Also, that hair has very peculiar qualities of its own. Every coil, every cluster of curls, every curl, has its own shape, its own light and shade. It has a beginning and an ending. Hair doesn't rise stiff and stark from the face and head like a new brush, but in soft down, in short, silky hairs merging into long locks. False hair and false beards look false because they do not grow gradually as hair grows from the skin.
Note the way in which the hair springs from the scalp, the thickness of the roots, the silky tendrils of the temples, the soft down at the nape of the neck. When we arc young our hair springs thick and long. When we approach old age the hairs thin, not suddenly, but gradually. And the reason that shingled hair has an artificial appearance when seen from the back lies in the fact that the barbers shave the smooth fine hairs on the nape of the neck.
Look at Rosemary's little curls. The hair clasps the little head with the daintiest web of silk. Note the curve of each curl, the wave, the kink, and the final upward fluffy thrust. Diana's bobbed hair, though stiff and prim, has strong light and shadows. If we shade it as one mass, it will naturally look mat-like. But Diana's dark hair covers the shape of the crown, and the light strikes on the curve of the head and reveals its shape.
Take a single lock of hair, and mark its shape as if it were a single object, instead of a mass of fine hairs falling together. Draw first the general shape. Trailing as it does, without touching or clinging to the shoulder, we observe its curious snake-like appearance. Then lightly draw that shape.
Next we notice a twist in the lock. Draw the twist ; within the twist a shadow is cast by the thick over-hanging mass ; draw that shadow. Another shadow we observe beneath the lower curve ; indicate that also, likewise the several broad shadows which will probably appear above the thickest mass. That being done, we sit back and look at our drawing critically. Too solid, we say, and not sufficiently hairy.
Hair, unless very wet or thickly saturated with oil, has a wayward disposition.
Within the lock you will probably note a parting of several hairs, extending from the upper part to the lower kink or curl. Then note some of these separate hairs, and indicate with the lightest possible touch.
Diana's bobbed hair, stiff and prim, has valuable lights and shadows.
First sketch the shape of Diana's head, next look for the parting from which the dark masses of hair arise and fall about the ears, brow, and neck. Draw the line of the parting, the dividing-line of the hair.
On one side you will notice a very sharp little shadow defining the crown of the head ; sketch this lightly. From the crown the hair springs and catches the light. Cropped firm and square, the shadows beneath the lower edges must of necessity be also firm and angular. Across the light spaces you will probably detect hairs. Draw some of these hairs. They will ' break ' the light and give a hairy appearance to what might otherwise appear rather like metal or woven silk.
Hair that is frizzy, and grows golliwog-fashion from the scalp, must be drawn with the lightest touch. Hair smooth and silken, and parted and worn close to the head, can be drawn with more firmness. But there is no general rule to be followed with safety. Hair is so diverse in tint and texture that only by constant practice can we ' make good' with our pencils.
When drawing hair we should keep a light but not a feeble touch. Draw with delicacy and look for stray hairs to break the firm masses.
Babette's thick plait offers another variation. Ask her to turn her head aside and sketch the back of the head and hair, the parting, the smooth hair covering the crown and then dividing and twisting into a silky plait. If the drawing of the plait gives you trouble, practise with some twisted skeins of coloured wool, or silk ; only recollect that in this case the material will be of equal thickness, whereas the plait of hair graduates from thick strong roots to wispy tail.
The movements of the body, the action of wind and weather, all affect the hair of the head.
Indeed, the little details of floating hair and flying beard are invaluable when we sketch figures in motion.
Young artists will draw people dashing through space, flying down or upstairs, chasing balls, bowling hoops, with , their hair as neat and smooth as if they were calm and motionless, whereas ruffled hair will give the effect of movement. In this age of tight and narrow garments, when flowing robes and cloaks and long veils are seldom seen, hair is an asset we dare not neglect.
Fig. 32. BABY'S HEAD