Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tanna's Mouth

The photo of this image was taken at an odd angle, so the proportions do not look like what they do on the actual drawing. But that is ok. What I want to talk to you about here has nothing to do with the proportions of the drawing.


When creating lips and teeth it is very important to pay close attention to details of the original photograph. Many people find drawing teeth very difficult because they try to draw each tooth with harsh lines. The result is a very toothy portrait that simply looks wrong. Once again, remember that you are not drawing objects. You are simply drawing shades of gray. So, forget that you are drawing teeth. Forget that you are drawing lips. Instead, focus on a small section of the original photograph and reproduce the shades that you see there.

If you look closely at your original you will see that the areas between the teeth are nothing more than shadows. They are not clearly delineated lines. By focusing on the shadows instead of the teeth, you will be able to recreate the image with a lot more accuracy than you would have thought possible.

Most of the work that you will be doing here will be done with the tortillion. As before, use the pencil very lightly to lay down the graphite that you will need to work with. Then use the tortillion to blend it all together.

Tip: If you are having difficulty concentrating on the shades of gray because you keep seeing lips and teeth, try turning the your paper and your original upside down. By working upside down your brain will not be trying to force you to draw things a certain way. Many people actually work an entire image upside down for this very reason.

The last lesson we worked on the eyes. Once you have the mouth finished you should has something that resembles a demented Cheshire Cat. :D If so, you can feel good, because you are likely doing it right. But don't worry. In the next lesson we will start to add dimension to the area around the lips, we will create the nose and we will begin to start on the area around the eyes. Then you will begin to see the actual face starting to take shape.

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