Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Express yourself!

~Click for full view!~
50 different male faces! An interesting challenge, particularly due to my dislike of drawing males. (No sexism here, but it's a well known theory that women are better at drawing women and same for men drawing men, I suppose due to prolonged exposure...but I digress)
While one of my main struggles with the male form is the lack of curves (pronounced curves, at least) and continuous dis-proportioning of the rib-cage to the hips, to the length of the legs, another aspect of my dislike of this subject is I find it hard to see variety in the head area. With women, there's hair! Accessories! Piercings, make-up, all these things I couldn't give less of a damn about in real life come into their own when creating a character, but males?
Before this exercise, if I created a male character, they'd  just look like a female character but with short hair and no eyelashes....
From sitting down, doing this exercise and thinking, REALLY thinking about the aspects of a male face, I thought of a few things to play around with!

Jawline! Typically squarer than the female equivalent, and sometimes covered in....
Hair! Facial hair gives the artist a LOT of freedom in creating a character, from goatees to sideburns, and that's not including the actual hair. I usually go for a short, brown, unkempt look, though I tried to do everything BUT that here, leading to afros, short-back-and-sides, anti-mo-hawk, balding, bald, crew cut and many more, some I don't think really exist...
Eyes! While many stay with my safe-zone, a simple manga-esque style, I tried some eye types here I usually stay away from. Small, round eyes, closed eyes, over-expressive eyes and, in some cases, sunglasses. ><
Adams Apple! An obvious sign of a male character, and while it has no real-life significance, overemphasizing the Adams apple on a character can make them seem more masculine, a nice little addition when aiming for a man's-man type.
Age! Now, here's a weird one for me. I usually base all my characters in the magical-Marvel age of 'I-don't-know,-somewhere-between-18-and-40-maybe?'. A timeless, unwrinkled look which generally translates as mid-twenties but with the stomach you had at 16 and thought would never leave. Adding wrinkles is obviously an easy way to turn a ageless character to permanently in the 60+ pool, how-ever other things need to be taken into account. Are the pores more open now then when they were young? Are they well-kept? Do they have young-whippersnappers on their lawn right now?
Proportions! The giant chin or huge cheeked characters may seem most prominent when first viewing this piece, and that's probably a good thing. Going back to an earlier blog post, images which take longer than a quick glance to 'figure out' and gather all the information from are a great ideal to aim for.
Expression! The Boy has recently commented that a lot of my work lacks expression, which I agree with. A lot of my work before this blog pertained me working with bodies, proportions and perspective, leaving me little care for how the character actually felt. This, unfortunatly, usually left the whole image feeling flat. For example:
An unfortunate piece, as I thoroughly enjoy Dragon Age and hope to do a better tribute at some point.
That's all for today!
Join me tomorrow for more explosive fun!                                                                                   

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