Friday, May 16, 2008

Drawing Faces from The Lord of the Rings

I've been plowing ahead with several different projects at once, as well as my day-job, but I wanted to get these drawings up. I was watching The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers (in Japanese) and decided to make a drawing activity out of it. With a twitchy finger on the pause button, I waited for a beautiful/ugly/interesting face to appear and then drew it. It was a lot of fun.

Here's the first round:
Lord of the Rings Faces Drawings

I had so much fun I did a second round using Lord of the Rings: Return of the King:
Lord of the Rings Faces Drawings

I hope some of them are recognizable from the movies ... those are the ones I'm proud of. The ones I'm less proud include the following:

Drawing #21

I think that was supposed to be Frodo ... but, a few things definitely went wrong there.

Drawing #29

That's supposed to be Aragorn. Not "Walker, Texas Ranger" (as denoted by the "WTR?")

Drawing #34

Why do I get so lazy with eyes? She was this close to being a super hot drawing, and then, well, I'm afraid the ziggidy-zaggedy eyes just take it down a few notches.

Drawing #39

His left eye is literally melting off his face.

Seriously though, this was a great exercise. I highly recommend trying it, especially if drawing faces is intimidating. Plus, it's Lord of the Rings. Enough said.

One thing that really hit home doing this exercise was to pay attention to those eyebrow muscles (see drawing #46). I think I have a tendency to draw faces as if the eyebrows are just floating masses on the face. They're not. The muscle mass that the eyebrows sit on push and pull on the upper part of the eye, affecting the expression. Thus, you can have a great, spooky, half-moon eyes look without pulling the eyebrows all the way over them. Let them sit higher, and imply the muscle by making the eyes half-moons anyway (as in drawing #46).

I also picked up on the fact that I like drawing eyes BIG. For drawing #44, I started out drawing Arwyn's eyes too big. Once I shrunk them down about 50%, the face looked much more natural and delicate.

In general, there are so many fun shapes and shadows and such going on in these faces that they make great reference for cartoonists like me. It's hard to describe all the lessons I've learned ... even if I could pinpoint them, I couldn't explain them. It's better if you just trying doing this yourself. I'm absolutely sure you'll learn a lot.

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