There is a difference between head drawing and portrait drawing. Head drawing focuses on shapes, plane changes, anatomy, form, and perspective. Portrait drawing is an artistic representation of a person’s spirit—their expression, likeness, personality, and mood.

The “form” of the head refers only to the external appearance of the face, expression, and position. “Spirit” refers to the character, personality, and energy. Working from live models is important, not only to develop drawing skills but also to gain a better understanding of the subject’s character and personality. When there is interaction, the artist and subject develop some level of connection and share a humanistic moment, and the quality ...

Get Drawing the Head for Artists now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.