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January 30, 2012 / rosedcartoons

Lesson 2: Drawing a Head

Welcome to Lesson 2: Drawing a Head. In this lesson, obviously as the title describes, I will teach you how to draw a cartoon character head. In no means will this be a professional-state-of-the-art best head you have ever seen, but it will be at a level you should be able to keep up with! πŸ˜‰

We will start with the basic shape of a head, a circle, as well as some other sizes of heads, and then get into adding simple facial expressions in different places, to give the characters head something more than the standard “staring back at you” look.

Step 1: Shape of the Head

Creating the shape of a head is simple (as long as you follow my instructions)! As mentioned before, let’s start with a basic circle. Unless you’re pretty confident in drawing a circle, you might want to try tracing a CD disc, or something of similar circumference. It will give you more space to work with..

Drawing a circle should look like this..

Step 1

I hope by the time you finished drawing a circle, it should remotely look similar to a real circle (hence why I asked you to draw a circle..)

Step 2: Lines of Reason

This step is crucial, but you’ll learn to by-pass it depending on how fast you can adapt to this technique. Remember back in the good old school days (or maybe you’re still in them), you learned about “Longitude and Latitude lines” on a globe? If not, think lines that will wrap around the circle, meeting at an intersection. We will be applying the same idea. Otherwise, do not draw straight lines, curved lines will work better. You’ll see why later. But the reason for these lines is to determine the location of the facial features. Mainly for the ears, eyes, nose. You could add mouth to that list, but in a cartoon, the mouth can shift from side to side, or be as open wide as you want.

Drawing your Longitude and Latitude lines should look like this, as well as the lines meeting up in other spots.

Step 2 - Lines of Reason

When your done, it should kind of remind you of a sports like ball? Or a blank face with two lines on it. Remember, you don’t have to follow my example of a circle.

Step 3: Facial Features

Here we are, the final step in making a cartoon head. Taking all that we learned above, don’t feel like you have to draw your heads the same size and shape. Experiment! In this step, we will learn about making facial features. More importantly, lining them up with the “Lines of Reason” from the previous step! Don’t worry, it’s simple when you get the hang of it. Make sure you have an eraser handy too! Lining up your facial features is important if you want there to be realism. Not some kind of Picasso drawing, unless that’s what you want..

First off, let’s think about the nose. You can make it however shape you want, but as for myself, I sometimes like to just work with the standard chubby bottom nose. You’ll want to have the bottom of the nose overlap a bit where the cross point of your lines are. Like this..

Step 2 - Nose

Next, let’s consider the eyes. They should come relatively close to the top of the nose, like this. Use whatever style for the eyes you want. Everyone has their own style, remember? πŸ™‚

Step 2 - Eyes

See now how we have part of the face done already? If you want to add eye brows you can, but don’t go overboard! Just stick to the steps for now.

As for the ears, which ever direction your characters head is facing, that ear should be more visible than the other. As well as the ear should follow along the center of horizontal line. If the character is facing the viewer, both ears should be visible. Like this..

Step 2 - Ears

We’re almost there! Now let’s add the mouth. Let us do something simple, and just make a curved line, a smile. Unless you want to be all miserable and make it frown. 😦

Step 2 - Mouth

If you had made your cross point of lines meet up in a different spot, see how it gives the characters head an angle, as if it actually looked in that direction? It helps a lot when creating a subject in the cartoon, whether it’s an event, facial expression, etc!

Step 4: Finishing up and Extras

Huzzah! You completed the main attraction of the head, the facial features! But we are not quite done yet. You will probably want to use your eraser to erase those lines. Unless you want it to look like a Crash Head Dummy. After you are done erasing, what else do you think we need? If you thought about hair, that is one answer! Another one could be eye lashes, eye brows (if you did not do it before), and curves for the inside of the ear! It all depends on the look you are going for. Did you see though how the “Lines of Reason” helped? Just think of it more as a tool, rather than anything else when drawing character heads. That is it for this lesson, thanks for reading and drawing along, if you did! πŸ™‚ In my next lesson, I will go through creating facial expressions!

As a plus, I will make a list of extra’s for you to try in this lesson..

  • From Step 1, try creating a head based off the shape of an egg, big bubbly lettered “T”. Or for a challenge of small drawings, use a soda bottle cap!
  • From Step 2, make the cross points of the face in a different visible location.
  • From Step 3, use a different type of eyes, or mouth, ears, nose, etc!

-Rose out!


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