I want to improve portraits
I'm finding it difficult to draw the face in facets other then frontal,but I'm not sure how to improve. I put some very rough sketches that don't look right mainly because I haven't been using a reference from which I don't want to be so reliant in using. I wanna be able to draw from the mind's eye.  
Quote:I haven't been using a reference from which I don't want to be so reliant in using. I wanna be able to draw from the mind's eye. 
That is the attitude every beginner has. It's wrong. 
Use reference, analyze faces, practice. Once you get proficient at that, you'll be able to draw from your "mind's eye"
Don't put the cart before the horse! You cannot build a house from the second floor. You need to start from the ground, the base.

Things that might be helpful are getting a few drawing books like Andrew Loomis' Fun With A Pencil, Figure Drawing for All It's Worth, watching Proko etc.

You seem to lack knowledge of forms in 3D space. Your eyes are all "facing forward" when they should align with the forms for the face, classic beginner stuff. 

For now, though
You can check out www.drawabox.com and take it slow. It's not a race, it's a marathon :D 
Drawing boxes in different perspectives and rotations will help you wrap you head around (pun intended) forms and get you antiquated with 3D space.
Draw through the boxes, too. It'll help reinforce that.

After you're comfortable, you can either - 
Learn about the human skull, construct it, study it 


Just collect a LOT of face reference and start studying them. Analyze, observe, draw, repeat.

(Loomis' "ideal" proportions are very helpful, too)

Just my opinion :D Good luck man! Looking forward to seeing some progress. USE REFERENCES, IT'S NOT A CRIME. It'll only help you.
You'll be drawing faces in no time!
Thank you so much! I can draw faces and other objects just fine from photos, but it's constructing it myself that's hard. I've been practicing on the pixelovely website, which I think just from copying/observing isn't sufficient enough for improvement in understanding of practicing anatomy and construction. I've heard of the drawabox website and have been meaning to start yet, but this good advice that I'll look forward to trying. :)
Ok then. Prove it. Post something you did from reference. Let's have a look at what "just fine" is for you.

I agree with everything Jun said especially draw a box because those are the fundamentals to basic drawing.

The study process for almost anything goes, :

Observe what you want to study > Analyse and understand > Recreate > Judge / Test your study > Adjust and apply to your next work.
It's a feedback loop.

Construction techniques must be learned for sure, but reference is an integral part of this process.To state that it isn't and to try and do everything without reference is a dead end you don't want to go down. You don't get better at drawing without reference, by not using reference to help build those skills and understanding of the forms you are trying to depict.

 YouTube free learnin! | DeviantArt | Old Folio | Insta
[quote='Amit Dutta' pid='106058' dateline='1472899506']
Ok then. Prove it. Post something you did from reference. Let's have a look at what "just fine" is for you.

i think you took what I said the wrong way. I understand the importance of references but was scared I was using it as a crutch without learning the basic fundamentals to better myself. I've already learned from the advice given from Jung in that my attitude was wrong.
What they said^ also you will need to learn portraits in many aspects.

1. Do self portraits from a mirror with pencil and paper. Its important I mention as well to always approach drawing anything through different "lenses". This free guide explains what I mean...


^This as well as draw a box will improve your drawing skills in general.

2. Study the skulls structure by analyzing and copying it from all different angels. Getting an accurate 3d model would help or buying a skull replica to study from life would be best if you can afford it. This is the cheapest replica I could find thats accurate enough to be useful for an artist...


^anything cheaper than this one on amazon looked really bad and not good to study. Feel on your own face or a friends at the boney and fleshy bits to better understand them as well.

3. Learn the muscles of the face. The structure of the skull is more important at this phase for you. Dont get TOO wrapped up in learning muscles like I see many people do with anatomy. The bone structure is much more telling of the over all form and is the area I see most lacking in your drawing examples. Muscles are important later on when you have a good footing on structure and want to learn to invent facial expressions accurately.

4. Study photos with single light sources with a strong distinction between the dark and the light side of the face. Heres an example...

[Image: f2e0b98e01ca0b44599987605f333d41.jpg]

Learn the plains of the face by accurately lighting the form.

5. Study casts that have nice lighting as the above photo. Its good to break down your cast studies by tackling one facial feature at a time. Study eyes, nose, mouth and ears individually from different angles. Casts are good since the focus is to learn how light interacts with the different forms of the face up close.

6. Study how the masters did it. I should take my own advice here. Im no expert on master painters but Rembrandt and Sargent are good.

I think that covers most of the points I want to make. I would start with applying what you will learn from Drawabox and the Doran Iten guide I linked above. This is meant to be a long term approach to how to improve so dont be discouraged if it seems like too much to handle. Take one step at a time and keep practicing one aspect until it becomes second nature. Identify bad habits you have for incorrect proportions and wonky form and make a conscious effort to correct for them while you draw. Of course if you showed examples of your studies we could give more direct advice for your specific problems.

about the skulls models, you can get the mini ones for less than 10 €/$

I have them both, the real thing, bought on a medical shop near the medicine university of my city. 35€ if I remember correctly, pretty good.
And the small one from china. Of course is not as detailed but Its still pretty good if you are on a budget. Care they come from china and can take up to a month for delivery.

For the real question, I cant help.

Sketchbook: p1 p2 p3 p4 p5 p6 p7
Thank you Adam and AlfonsoX
Reilly Abstraction all the way for me to be honest. You could give it a go and see if it works for you :)

Never heard of it, I'll look it up.
The Reilly abstraction is only useful after you've learned how to draw head structure correctly. They teach the Reilly abstraction at the Watts Atelier but only after the student has got a firm grasp of structure and proportions. The abstraction helps you tie it all together and think about the abstract relationships in the head forms. Its very useful but for ssiddiqi the best thing to study right now is structure.

Sure structure is useful, I'd say get to know the asaro head then, start by the simplified one and move your way up to the more advanced one. It seems like ssiddiqi has some sort of understanding of placement if you check the thirds. Studying asaro or reilly gives you an easier measurement system. In my opinion, reilly is not only for tieing things together, it's more like an roadmap which tells you where to place your features and how big, as I said, it's a kind of measurement system.

Here is a rough sketchover based on the first drawing. I fixed the ''proportions" a bit using this method.

Sure you can do self portrait studies and master studies, but for me it helped to have a general head as a basis to start of. So yeah Asaro + reilly still :p 

Check out http://deadoftheday.blogspot.nl/p/downloads.html the head section to get you going for improving head drawings.


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