Monday, March 3, 2008

Backs of Heads

I sketch a lot when I’m sitting in an audience. As a result, I end up sketching the backs of a lot of heads. It’s not the angle you would usually pick for a portrait.

But that’s OK with me because I’m fascinated with the challenge of trying to capture a personality from that angle.

Tomorrow: Perspective Ink Drawing


Erik Bongers said...

For comic book artist such angles are equally important as the frontal ones.
Not to mention up and down ones.
Unfortunately you won't find them often in drawing-human-head books and in live model groups the room is often too small to have the model sit in the center. But a large mirror resolves this problem.

I have (brag, brag) a life-size plaster of Michelangelo's Giuliani De Medici's head.
Though slightly styled and idealized, it's a dummy as good as it gets !

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

When I fly, I spend a lot of time in airports waiting for flights. I finally decided to make use of that time and sketch. Airports have become one of my favorite sketching places. People are usually on the move, so I have maybe 20 seconds (that's long) to capture someone dashing to catch a flight.

Sometimes I sit by snack areas and sketch people seated. Howver, I've found that this tends to arouse suspicion. Not something one wants to do in an airport these days! I try to avoid sketching, say, TSA personnel.

Anonymous said...

I was looking at a lot of backs yesterday as I attended a concert, and was kicking myself for remembering to bring a pen but no paper to sketch with!
Your rendering of the gentleman here has a lot of character without showing much of his face.

Shane White said...

I'm with you on that. I've gone as far as to bring my sketchbook to several high-end plays here in Seattle. And sometimes, while sitting a couple rows back from the stage, I've been called out by the characters in the play asking me what I was doing...all in good fun of course, but it's one of the best environments if you can swing it without being too obstructing.

Having acted for a few years myself, I'd rather have someone drawing and getting what they need than leaving.

BTW your sketch reminded me of David Apatoff's bit he did here on the curve of the cheek:


Shawn Escott said...

Nicely done!

Anonymous said...

I love doing this while I'm in class. It's hard to draw much other than the backs of heads, because a bunch of equally bored and self-conscious college students will certainly notice you staring at them. Haha, the best subjects are the kids who have fallen asleep!

Unknown said...

I think my sketchbooks are 85% backs-of-heads.

Anonymous said...

hey so not fair, when I draw the back of heads they do not look that good! Now Ill have to work harder on it. Love the blogg.

Allyson Lassiter said...

Hmm... I think it's almost a more interesting drawing because I can't see the front of his face. With only this much showing, the imagination gets to figure out what the mans face looks like from the front.

I should take a page from your book and accept the challenge of drawing the backs of heads instead of thinking "oh, there's nothing interesting to draw here."

Nice sketch!

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful!