Learn to Draw Caricatures - Drawing Shadows on the Face




Eyebrows & Shadows

I know you guys are itching to draw in her eyebrows. She does look pretty bare without them, doesn't she? I don't draw the eyebrows in until I've defined the contours of the face and forehead. This is because the... well uh, It's because... Heck, I don't know why I do it that way, I just do.

Here she is...

...and we're this far

Eyebrows added

Drawing Eyebrows

Get your lap desk out and clip your unfinished caricature of the woman on it and get comfortable in front of your computer. Sharpen your 5B pencil and have your eraser handy. If you'd like to print out the photo we'll be working with, go ahead.

Being a redhead, she doesn't seem to have much in the way of eyebrows, so this should be easy. Looking at the photo you'll see that her right eyebrow starts just a bit ahead of her tear duct. Just eyeballing the distance, (without measuring) it looks like her eyebrow is about half an eye above her eye. So just lay down some graphite that start just in front of the tear duct and is about half an eye above. Just lightly draw that eyebrow shape. You notice, don't you, that her eyebrow looks to be only about half there, so draw it that way. Her left eyebrow is similar in that it's only about half there as well. That one starts just about right above the left tear duct.

This woman has somewhat different eyebrows because they're very light and almost look segmented in the middle. Drawing eyebrows isn't difficult, but with anything in caricature, you may draw them so they look "wrong". If the person has pretty dark eyebrows I usually just create them using a shading motion and start with the thick part of the eyebrow above the nose and work my way back. If they have really thick, almost square, eyebrows I'd draw a contour of it then fill it in. If the eyebrow is shaggy, then I'd draw a contour very lightly and shade only the bottom of the shape. This will give the illusion of an eyebrow that "sticks out". The effect works because if you leave the top of the eyebrow blank, you have a highlight and the bottom of it becomes the shadow. This then looks like light is able to penetrate the top of the eyebrow, but the hair is so thick that light won't get through to the bottom of the brow.

OK, while we're adding details, lets go ahead and add shadows to the eyes and the bridge of the nose. Do you notice that dark shadow at the corners of her eyes that arches up and connects with the eyebrow? I see that shadow all the time and draw it a lot. On her, it's pretty prominent. So draw a shadow there that is darker at the eyelashes and lightens up as it goes to the eyebrow.

Add shadow detail around the eyes.

You've already got some initial shadows at the bridge of the nose. Now that the eyebrows are in place, finish those shadows off. They'll connect the eyes with the nose.

Add the little tiny wrinkles under the eyes. They could just be single lines, and just hint at them. Notice that the left one is darker than the right one, draw that line a bit darker, then.

Lastly, add the shadow on the left side of the nose that melts into the cheek.
As you can see, adding shadow detail really helps to connect the features to one another. Now the features aren't looking like they're just floating in space.

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