Tips On Pencil Portrait Drawing – The Tilted Skull Pose

To create interesting fluid portraits that breathe life you must appreciate the effect of the spine on the head and shoulders.br /
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To produce a relaxed feeling in your portraits quite often you will need to render the head slanted. Most people when they are at ease will pose with their head slightly tilted. In this article we will point out what to look for and how to tackle the slanted skull.br /
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In the tilted skull view the subject will show a clear change of direction from the action of the torso to the slant of the skull. Also take note of where the shoulders are. The models shoulders will almost be aligned with the bottom of the nose.br /
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With this information in mind, the first step is to gauge the angle of the heads slant (from the base of the chin to the top of the head) before drawing the construct. To do this hold your pencil (or a knitting needle) at arms length, closing one eye, and adjust the angle of the held pencil so that it corresponds to the angle of the slant. Keeping your arm straight and locked you can now transpose this angle onto the drawing. br /
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Now that the angle of the tilt is established you can draw the construct and validate the height/width proportion.br /
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The axis of the features is perpendicular to the tilted facial angle. A common trend while sketching is to straighten out the features so that they are horizontal to the paper. Be aware of this and ever on-guard because this trend is subtle and is constantly trying to sneak into the drawing.br /
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It is not a recommended practice to locate all of the features at this stage. It is actually more proper to first fix the brow line and the bottom of the nose and work from there.br /
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When the head is slanted you should also be conscious of the effect that gravity has on the face. The flesh, in particular on the underside of the jaw, will be somewhat pulled down. This effect is quite delicate but for those of you who are advanced portraitists you should capture this in your original construct. If you are a beginner just put this information away for future reference.br /
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Take note, too, of the neck. The significant visible neck muscle is extended. Its companion is shortened. This opposite muscle action is referred to as abduction/adduction. This action of the neck always renders a striking effect.br /
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Once the arabesque is positioned and you are satisfied with its accuracy relative to proportion and shape you can render the features and block-in the main big darks and lights. Keep the tone simple. The more complicated the lighting arrangement, the more this applies.br /
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The value arrangements are worked further, but are still somewhat crude and unresolved. The primary concern is the overall light effect. br /
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There are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to finish the sketch:br /
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1. Ask yourself how far you want to carry the sketch. You can get a real nice effect if you give the shoulders and upper torso an unresolved quality. Remember, sketches are not meant to resemble photos.br /
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2. As you gain a better understanding of the facial structure the tendency exists to sketch what you know rather than what is actually there. So make sure you always pause to observe the life model or the subject in the photograph.br /
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In closing, the slanted skull pose is special in that the features will be centered on a tilted axis and that the stress in the shoulders will be different from one side to the other. Also the transition from the torso and shoulders to the skull should be carefully observed. br /
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Do you want to learn the secrets of pencil portrait sketching? Download my brand new free pencil portrait drawing course here: a href=http://www.remipencilportraits.com/pencil_portrait_tutorial.html target=_blankportrait drawing tutorial/a.br /
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Remi Engels is a pencil portrait artist and oil painter and practiced sketching teacher. See his work at a href=http://www.remipencilportraits.com/pencil_portrait_tutorial.html target=_blankpencil portraits/a.br /
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