You might have noticed a lack of new posts from The Pop Culture Studio over the past few weeks – as those of you who follow The Studio on Facebook or Twitter will already know, this is thanks to some rather pesky gremlins causing havoc with the IT systems.
Fortunately, whilst said gremlins are only just now being rounded up and the damage from their rampage repaired, in the interim, I’ve at least been able to make good on my promise to hit the drawing board and have spent the last month or so sketching away the hours normally spent posting on the site (or working on pitches and the like).
And so it it’s with a real sense of pleasure that I post this latest Easel Update, which – save for a few sketches up front – represents a rare look me kicking it old school with traditional pen and ink drawings (in the absence of my beloved digital tablet!).
One thing you’ll notice fairly early on is that all of these sketches are of the head; that’s because I’ve decided to really go back to basics, so I won’t be getting on to the really exciting stuff for at least the next few weeks (as always, Instagram followers will have a front row seat where this is concerned).
This first guy represents your typical male noggin, as viewed from the fairly standard straight-on position. As drawings go, it’s solid – the symmetry is a little off (the left eye is too big, for starters) and the final inks aren’t as smooth as desired, but still, it’s a decent first hit-out.
The lovely lady above is a much better effort! The symmetry is far closer to what it should be and the finished lines – whilst still uneven – are smoother and more confident, although as with the previous sketch, the colouring work is crude.
My next drawing was to be a side view of the male head, but unfortunately I don’t have a copy of that saved externally. So instead, here’s another look at the female head, this time from the side, and the first of our pen and ink sketches.
Overall, I’m happy with this one: the proportions look right, the features are nicely rendered (although the hair is only so-so) and the line work is good, if not a little “same-same”.
On to the next doodle, it’s the male head from a 3/4 view, and to be honest, it’s not quite on point. The nose seems a little off, and the eyes and mouth placements are a bit stilted, but hey – at least it still looks like a face!
Fortunately, I got things right with the female head. Sure, the right eye placement is a little wonky (if I’d been working digitally, I’d have dragged it down a little!), but the features are otherwise well-realised, and the line work is nice and varied in a way that lends a credible sense of depth.
Moving along, and it’s back to the front on view, but experimenting with different facial features. First up, I drew a man with features common to a dark-skinned person, and the I followed this up with a bald gent with wider nose and squinty eyes.
Both sketches turned out quite nicely, and again, the symmetry and line work are the aspects I’m proudest of.
Lastly, I wanted to experiment with different face shapes, so here we have a fella with a triangular-shaped face (as opposed to the more typical oval) seen from the 3/4 view. It doesn’t entirely work – the right eye and eyebrow aren’t drawn very well, to be frank – but the line variation is strong and the unconventional facial shape doesn’t look unnatural.
I’ll continue to to draw more faces/heads over the next few weeks – I want to take a stab at some…rounder characters, not to mention older people – and these will show up on The Studio’s Instagram feed.
For the next Easel Update, I’ll be tackling the figure, so check in next time for what should hopefully prove to be a more exciting post than this month’s portrait gallery!