Saturday, March 26, 2011

How to draw a Fashion Face

Why would I start my fashion illustration "how-to" series with the hardest thing?
Well, I was wondering that myself, but it actually makes perfect sense. Not only is it the one thing I have to concentrate on myself, because it still gives me most trouble, but I believe you can "cheat" the body/pose pretty easily. You can actually download Fashion Croquis - and you have to check out these amazing Sketchbooks from Fashionary !
You can always copy down a pose from an actual magazine (but you shouldn't! We'll get to that part too, I promise!), but when it comes to the face, things get more difficult. Many designers make great sketches, but all too often without faces. I always find that sad. If you draw a good face, it will make a big difference in the mood, the expression of your fashion design.
The most important thing is getting the proportions right. So we have to do a tiny bit of geometry and numbers (click on the image to enlarge):

For the descriptions of each step, read on!

Now now, I know this will give you a head ache. I'm sorry about that. I really tried to make it as easy as possible. I marked the most important things red, which isn't all that much, see? Read this through once, maybe draw a face using these measurements once. I promise you, enough of it will stick in your memory to never ever have to do this so geometrically again. Deal?
Ok, here goes:
  1. The basic shape is a circle plus a third of the diameter added at the bottom for the jaw/chin (x + 1/3rd x)
  2. Draw in the hairline. This will be your very important point A. The chin is point D. Divide the line from A to D into three equal parts: A to B is the forehead, B to C is from eyebrows to bottom of nose.C to D is from the nose to the chin. Also, the line from the beginning circle is the top of the upper lip. If you divide the line from C to D into two equal parts, you get the bottom of the lower lip.
  3.  If you now divide the line from the very top (NOT from A) to the chin into two equal parts, you get the eye-line.
  4. Divide that eye-line into five equal parts. Part 2 and part 4 are your eye-positions. If you transfer part 3 to the C-line, you get the width of the nose.
  5. You basically have your face! Now come a lot of little details, for those of you who want to be a stickler. Maybe do this once, but then forget about it... The width of the nose + a third of the width of each eye = the width of the mouth. From the upper eyelid to the base of the nose = ear. If you draw a horizontal line along the bottom of the mouth, the intersection at the jaw is approximately where the neck starts. If you draw another section, the same length as A to B, B to C etc, at the bottom of chin, you get the length of the neck. In my drawing: D to G. I personally also quite like the little triangle lines from chin, to mouth, to eyebrows. The base of the neck = width of skull.
  6. Congratulations, you have a face! When you add hair, don't forget it has volume! Don't draw it along your circle from the beginning, but add a bit of height and width.
  7. Now: Have fun! What fun would rules be, if you were to stick to them! Try changing things. Here I basically only made the neck MUCH narrower, added some swing to my lines and got a completely different look. But I promise, the basic proportions are the same!
  8. Here I made a medium size neck, a VERY high nose, a narrow but big mouth, and played with the position of the iris.
  9. Totally reduced lines. It helps a lot to have the proportions right on something like that.
  10. Tiny everything except for the eyes.
  11. A very square jaw, cat eyes and a big mouth.
  12. Ok, here I tried to do everything "wrong". Eyes too wide apart, mouth and nose not at all in the correct position... Trouble is, she is kind of cute. So ... why did I write this post and spend hours for the sketch?
No, seriousely. If you know what you are doing, you can do anything. If you know the basic proportions of a face, you can distort them on purpose and you won't get frustrated if  your faces look all wacky one day, and the other day they are grand.
I hope this helps. Now go have fun. Find YOUR perfect, personal fashion face!

Comments, even complaints are greatly appreciated. I shall try to incorporate suggestions the next time.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Katja. Love this. I'm super glad I found your blog. I'm totally following now, I hope you will too. Check out my blog for multiple post a day on all things celebrity fashion from an LA stylist. Latest post features Lauren Conrad's unaired promo for the MTV show that didn't get picked up. xoxo