Minimum head size

Do you have a rule of thumb about how small a head can be before getting a likeness becomes very difficult? Does this change for different media?

I'm working on a drawing of some friends at work. I cropped and toned the image to my liking but I've discovered the heads are just on the edge of being too small to get a decent likeness. They are 6cm or 2 1/4 inches from bottom of the chin to top of the head.


Abstraction

Comments

  • You are working too 'tight' and dark. Drawing is a building process. Improving and correcting with each iteration. 
    The is no size limitation other than skill level. Practice, practice, practice...
    CBG
  • dencaldencal -
    edited June 4
    heartofengland

    Yes. Very much dependent on surface texture, figure size relative to canvas size, point of view, canvas size and style of execution.

    On a smooth A2 panel the head is around 60mm in diameter.
    An important dimension as this is what determines the proportions of the body. This ensures that the feet are off the page  :D

    For a standing figure I break the vertical dimension into ten parts. This comprised an eight heads proportionate figure with a one unit space top and bottom. So it is easy to calculate head size.



    Denis

    edit: fixed an arithmetic error on line 10.
    heartofenglandArtGalallforChrist
  • I think it's looking great.
    dencal
  • I think it's looking fine. It doesn't look tight to me and the heads look rightly proportioned. 
  • Evening all.

    My question was more of a general one, wanting to pick your brains to sidestep future trouble for myself and any other Newbies out there.

    From this drawing I now have a composition rule of thumb saying 'for pencil, 6cm is getting a bit small for a head at the moment'.

    For those who have painted portraits, how would you complete this sentence 'for a DMP style painting, ???cm or ??? inches is getting a bit small for a head'.

    @dencal thank you for your input and table. Very informative. Are feet tricky then? It surprised me how quickly a portrait or figure can eat up a canvas!

    @KingstonFineArt I have kept your words in my head as I worked today. I've played with a few things and they seem promising. I do enjoy the dark side of graphite though😉

    @oilpainter1950 and @tassieguy thanks for your encouragement.
  • heartofengland

    @dencal thank you for your input and table. Very informative. Are feet tricky then? It surprised me how quickly a portrait or figure can eat up a canvas
    No! Feet are easy. Human proportions are tricky and the best laid plans can lead to the feet being off the page. My attempt at ironic humour.

    Denis

    heartofengland
  • heartofengland, The head sizes are great but your pencil lead is way, way too dull. 

    I hope that pink thing isn’t your pencil sharpener. 

    True story - my electricity went out for a few days due to a storm and the only thing I missed was my Xacto School Pro electric pencil sharpener. I actually bought a power station and solar panel so that would never happen again. 

    I could go on but I’m really low energy due to a health accident so if you want more tips just ask and I’ll be more than happy to help.
  • Fantastic looking drawing.  You're doing great.  You certainly still have likenesses in the face size you have.  When the face I'm drawing is about as large as a fingernail, I can't get likeness at all.  




  •                                                                                   :)
    allforChristtassieguyArtGal
  • @Suez thanks for the offer. I will post the finished masterpiece 🤭 in the drawing forum and invite feedback. Hopefully later this week.

    @allforChrist fingernail... FINGERNAIL! That's seriously impressive and backs up what @KingstonFineArt said. I certainly need more practice and guidance.

    @MichaelD one more 'joke' like that and you can join @dencal in detention!
    MichaelD
  • Folks

    Please do not waste time, pencils and mental health on manual or electric sharpeners.
    Have a look at my thread on Easy Long Points.

    https://forum.drawmixpaint.com/discussion/6566/pencils-easy-long-points

    Denis

    heartofenglandA_Time_To_Paint
  • We need surprisingly little information to recognise faces. As long as the proportion of the features are maintained:

    tassieguy
  • edited June 10
    Quite so, @Richard_P. That's why we know who those few little tiles of value/colour represent. As long they're in the right place, you can make a recognizable face from anything - Lego blocks, matchsticks, scraps of paper,  dabs of paint. And they don't all need to be blended together seamlessly. In fact, the effect is sometimes more interesting if they are not. 


  • @MichaelD one more 'joke' like that and you can join @dencal in detention!
    Sorry I was getting ahead of myself there  :)
  • As @Forgiveness said in The Gallery of Failure thread...
    "Two of my greatest enemies in painting in realism are, boredom and apathy. "

    I have reached my BandA limit on this artwork and I've posted the 'finished' piece in the Drawing thread.
  • Richard_P said:
    We need surprisingly little information to recognise faces. As long as the proportion of the features are maintained:

    @Richard_P sort of... I can see this is a person, but not which individual and certainly not enough to accept it as a likeness for a portrait that I'd be happy to give to someone I liked. I'm not Picasso.
  • I'm surprised you don't recognise the President of France? :D
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