In this blog post and in the accompanying video I share with you what I learned in a traditional art school, Watts Atelier, about Skull, Rhythms and Planes.
Drawing faces begins with the 3 unified interacting systems that are naturally designed into the structure of our faces.
- Rhythms in the face
- Planes of the face
- Skull knowledge
The infrastructure is a fusion of rhythm lines, planes of the head and the structure of the skull. These three tools will give your drawings life and a 3D look and feel to them.
It isn’t quantum mechanics (thank you Albert E.) and if I learned it so can you.
It just takes using these tools in daily drawing practice and you will get a hang of it in no time at all.
You will also draw much faster using the knowledge from these three tools of drawing the face.
The best part about these tools is that they are learned through repetition and embedded into your mind and muscle memory over time.
This gives you a free hand and eye for drawing beautiful faces and you will be drawing faster and with greater confidence.
The Reilly Head Abstraction is a grid like system of the many rhythm lines found in the face and head.
It was created by Frank J. Reilly who was an American painter and illustrator. He taught for several decades at the Art Students League of New York.
The Reilly Head Abstraction is used by many great painters and is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal.
The planes of the head as I use them come from the great Andrew Loomis and the use of a manikin head called the Asaro Head, created by John Asaro.
In addition to the Asaro Head, drawing from a skull model is such a great learning exercise and I highly recommend finding one for yourself. You could also draw from online photo references as well.
After you watch the video and get an idea of how the face infrastructure looks go to the links and start studying these three systems.
Start with the Reilly Head Abstraction. Draw from the reference and then try to draw it from memory. Draw it throughout the day and every day.
In a short time you will have it memorized and you will begin to see these rhythms in people’s faces. When I first learned it I suddenly started to see the rhythms in faces everywhere. It is amazing.
Next work on the skull and also draw it often along with the planes of the head. Its a must in the understanding how light falls on the face and head. If you can I recommend the Asaro Head or just use online photo references as well.
These three things are easy to put to memory and the growth you will see in your drawing will blow you away. The face is truly an amazing landscape to draw.
Great videos on Reilly Method and other methods