Painting Head Studies

Jaysen Batchelor
A free video tutorial from Jaysen Batchelor
Illustrator & Designer
4.5 instructor rating • 13 courses • 655,071 students

Lecture description

In this lecture you will be learning how to paint head studies.  Head studies allow you to study, paint, and understand the form of the human head. Head studies should also be kept simple and a little messy. The more of these you can do the better you will become at painting people.

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27:07:40 of on-demand video • Updated September 2020

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English [Auto] In this lecture we're gonna be learning how to do head studies. So in this section we're gonna be learning how to paint the human head and the human face. And one of the best ways we can really accomplish this is by doing head studies and what these are as are just really quick rough paintings that have to be super detailed or anything like that. So we have three heads here in this photoshop file that you can download and the resources. And what we're going to do is we're just gonna do these quick paintings. So I'm going to switch over to a more of a painterly brush. So I have one right here called textured paint brush but you can use a hard round brush or something with opacity pressure sensitivity and let's go ahead and start with this black and white one first. WE'RE GONNA DO THE BLACK AND WHITE One first just cause it'll be a little bit easier because it won't be color involved with it. And I want to paint her right where she is right now. So what I'll do is I'll move her actual image over like that and then make sure you add a new layer to paint on and then we can go ahead and start painting. So let's color pick a few colors off of. So sometimes when you're learning how to paint from images it's really useful a color. Sometimes you want to guess and other times you want to color paint because I would actually give you a good idea especially if you're not familiar with the values in color. So if we go ahead and we color pick like here for example you can see that that's about a mid tone gray this area right here that looks white isn't actually white. So my color picking a few colors you can see that we got a better idea of what the colors actually are. And that will help in the future going forward when you're painting your own paintings. So let's color pick three different values I'm gonna go ahead and color pick this latest value right here. Go ahead paint a little splotch of it like that and then let's go ahead and color pick in Midtown value so then select this value right there actually that's a little bit too dark so maybe I'll select something like this shadow right here maybe I'll actually go for different values and color pick this darker shadow right here then I'll go ahead and color pick the hair which is I think the Dark is value. All right. Perfect. So now we can go ahead and start painting with these three values and we'll just use them and blend together to get the look that we want. Let's go ahead and let's start with the dark as Val. You're not the heroine actually but the second darkness we're going to use this to start sketching out our image. So we're just going to try to copy the same size over. So bottom the trend should be somewhere right about there top a hairline should be something like that top the hair should be somewhere up here. Let's see the center of the face is just a straight line. Looking forward and it's angled to or head is cocked a little bit. So we want to make sure that we get that in there we're just gonna keep this drawing really rough the quicker you can do these paintings the better because then the more you can do. And it also really teaches you how to paint fast. So let's just try to go quick with this I'm just constantly looking over at my reference. You should be looking at your reference about 50 percent of the time or more the more you can look at your reference the better. If you're just looking at your drawing they're painting the whole time what it is that you think it looks like probably is not how it actually looks and that's the point of doing studies is you're trying to learn what it actually looks like at that neck in I'm paying attention to that relationships like how far over from the side of the face to the neck how far is that. So I want to make sure that we're capturing things like that drawn this shore shawl type thing. All right. I think we're ready to start really painting this in so I'm going to stick to the same color here that I have I'm just gonna bring my brushes up I'm going to grab actually a different paint brush something more painterly so some like a texture brush paint brush and I'm going to start just by painting and basically anywhere where I had this darker shadow so we get it right here inner cheekbones let's go ahead and just paint in her eye sockets we've come back and add and highlights later we just want to kind of fill that and basically and I'm gonna leave this part over here for less dark shadow paint painting the side of the head just keep a nice and messy at the beginning because as we go along we can keep reshaping our shapes or forms if you start getting too too detailed about it or you start getting too caught up in every tiny little piece of your painting. It's gonna hold you back. It's better to just kind of be free with it and really start out really loose and really rough. And then as you go along just keep refining and refining until you finally get to the end which is where you get to add all your details make everything look really nice and polished. But for now we just wanna keep it super super rough. Go and add something and the lips like that nose. So right now what I'm mostly paying attention to are the shapes and the relationship between the shapes and just making sure that everything is about the right size or proportion. If this doesn't look exactly like her that's OK. We're not necessarily trying to paint for likeness or trying to understand the human head and the face and the way it's lit. Just really everything we can understand about it. All right I'm gonna go ahead and select my less darker gray. I can use that to do the other eye socket because that one's a little bit lighter. I can even start painting in a little bit. Well highlight that I be down here as well some shadow down the side of the nose as well as the side shadow over here and some shadow over here a good way to really look at your reference image and see the values and the basic shapes and stuff like that is to squint your eyes if you squint your eyes it's going to really simplify your image make it much easier to paint. So I'm constantly squinting my eyes when I'm looking over at my page and just simple find all the values and simplifying their shapes and this is super similar to how you'd paint this in real life if your opinion on oil paintings. This is how I do I do it the same way I just start roughing in really basic values or if we're doing a color painting I'd use really basic colors and values. So like three to four of them and then I would go in there and I'd start blending those together but I try to stick to only painting with those three colors when I'm doing studies or four colors. All right let's go ahead and let's pick the lightest color and let's start painting in these highlighted areas so this all might look really extreme and you kind of want it to look extreme. You want the eyes to be these extreme sort of sunglasses and you want highlights to be really extreme almost like like a like art poster filter that you can put on in photoshop or something like that. You wanted to kind of look like that and then we'll go and we'll start blending and softening all these things down and you want to push with full opacity as well you can just paint transparently as well with this light color. Go ahead and take my racer and kind of clean up my drawing a little bit. I'm gonna go ahead and select this almost black color and go and paint in the hair area as well as her show. Don't forget that you're painting with a transparent or slightly transparent brush so you might have to push harder or you might have to go over it a few times really get that full opaque color. Now I'm really paying attention to her hair line making sure that I'm drawing that hairline and correctly also the profile of her face is really important as well bring her down a little bit more then I can go ahead and take this lighter gray and add a little bit of some highlighting into the hair that a little bit more definition and shape and direction to this hair so that we can actually kind of see her hairstyle a little bit better. You can see that I'm just painting with kind of a big brush. I'm not really going in there with really fine small detail I'm just really blocking this in nice and simple come back over here at this lighter grey and start to kind of tone down this highlight. All right great. So now let's go in there and let's start detailing this in a little bit more. I want to start using my color picker and kind of start blending and reshaping some of these shapes as well as focusing on my edge quality making sure that it's either hard or soft edge depending on what I want it to be. So let's go ahead and begin just color picking blending these values in all right. Great. That looks pretty good. So it's just a simple straightforward head study. It looks kind of like her but I know it doesn't look exactly like her but like I said that's not the point the point is to just try to understand the human head and capture it in painting form. So let's go ahead and let's try one more. So let's go ahead. Let's turn these off then let's go ahead and let's turn this guy on right here or move him over like that or in a painting right here. We're going to do the same thing we're in a start by selecting our colors so using my Eyedropper Tool and I'll add a new layer from my painting layer. I want to go ahead and select a few of these colors some of the main colors. So we want to do as you want to squint your eyes and look for the light colors the dark colors and the middle ground color. So when I squint my eyes up here is probably the darkest color so make that my dark color go ahead paint dark splotch like that and I want to go ahead and move that over all right then let's go ahead and select squinted our eyes. This is probably the next darkest color. It's on select out of that keeps going our eyes. Then the next lightest color I would say is probably right here and then let's get a color for the beard. So just kind of like an average color in there something like that. It'll be a beard color and let's also grab this light color out here for the highlight of the beard and let's go ahead and let's grab a color for the hat. So grab that color for the dark part of the hat. Let's go ahead and grab this color for the light part of the hat perfect. And now we have a few colors that we can pick from to draw with go ahead move these down. That and let's go ahead and let's paint are drawing with this dark brown color so going to stick to the same paint brush I'm using. And we just want to basically copy what we see over here on over so the bottom of the change should be somewhere right about there on the top of the hash. Be somewhere right about there it's just kind of a straight line down the front of his face leaves some room over here for the hat all right. Do a center line for the front of the face. We can barely see the other side of his face but there is a tiny bit there. So we want to do a center line like that with a little bit of space over there. The nose comes across and kind of starts so much right about there pretty close up to the top of the head it's kind of blocking that nose nice and simple search and all that an whose mouth beard try to capture the same kind of pocket that he has right there on his cheek when there's no hair all right. And then let's go ahead and move up to this area here. So you don't want it to be any higher. We want the top of the air to be in line with the eyebrows of the eye. Either one Sir drawing an eyebrow and eye keep the super rough we can start painting all the detail in later the back of the hand to his collar something nice and simple and then let's go and grab the lasso tool some of these colours out of here a little bit more sway a little bit more space. Let's go ahead and move his head down a little bit more as well. All right. So once again we're going to start really messy. We're gonna start with the darkest color so or the darkest color of the skin at least somebody go ahead and grab that Brown. Then using our brush let's just go ahead and start painting in the areas that we see that are the darkest the darkest areas that I'm seeing are kind of under the chin and some of that down there a little bit underneath this ear and a little bit inside the ear as well. And a little bit of this and here with the eye socket is we also get the shadow hanging down from a hat Waterbury here underneath the nose a little bit on that lip there's not actually too much of this darker color. All right next let's go ahead and let's switch over to this next color skin tone. And basically this is going to get filled in everywhere. We'll come back with some lighter highlights on top of it in a second. But first let's just go ahead and fill in basically anywhere where there's skin. All right great. Let's go ahead and let's select this great color right here for the beard. Let's just fill in all the shadow areas of the beard go ahead and we'll select this light color let's paint in the highlighted part of the beard just right along here in the front row come back and blend those into each other in later. Let's go ahead and slip this lighter color here or this color. Here you can get a little bit of that under the skin tone it's kind of right here on the front of the cheek and a little bit on the nose. It's not a huge difference between those but it'll just kind of help vary the color a little bit. Now let's go ahead let's do the hat. So you go ahead and select this color for the dark parts of the hat. Just quickly in roughly block those in into the light color bloc that in all right. Great. So now what we want to do is we want to do what we did before but we take this borked in colors and we start blending them together reshaping things adding more form to it. So I'm gonna go ahead and get started and I'll see you guys when I'm done. All right. There we go. So there's our second study. So remember that when you're doing these just start out really loose. Figure out your shapes your lines your form and everything. And then once you're done with that then you can go in and start really detailing things out and remember that you only want to pick a few colors from the image. Don't paint with too many colors you just want to keep it really simple. So your assignment is to just basically take this last image it'll turn these off to take this image and go ahead and paint your own head study just paint it right here in the same spot as move the image out of the way and that'll be good. Thanks for watching this election I'll see you guys in the next 1.