Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Drawing The Head From Imagination

One of the things I love to do is to doodle as many different faces as I can imagine. It's a habit I've had since high school when my first lessons came from the pages of comic books. My favorite artist was John Buscema and I learned a lot from looking at his art.
I remember buying a piece of original comic art by Buscema and on the back page it had a few doodles that he had done for his own amusement. I learned that he had a habit of making these drawings on the back of his comic pages, some were even better than what he had on the front.

There have been a couple of books put out on these sketches and a bunch of articles in magazines like Rough Stuff and Alter Ego I have them all as well as some originals. I poured over these to learn what I can and from this I developed a little exercise that I use to doodle. In Buscema's drawing you can trace the skull underneath. I found the following Buscema drawings on the internet and am using them here as an example.

On the right I traced the shape of the skull over the drawing to show the structure of the drawing. The more I looked as his drawings the more I kept seeing the skull underneath.

Bellow are two more examples of John Buscema's sketches.


These are some sketches I came up with based on the outline of the skull underneath.

Sometimes I would trace over a drawing I made of these outline's to see how many different face's I can come up with, other times I would just lightly indicate the skull and add the features on top of that.

I might ink them or color them or apply washes of gray.


  1. Very good analysis. I'm looking for a nice structure of the face drawing. I'll give a try your outlines.

    Cheers from Brazil,

    Ivan Santos

  2. Thank you Ivan. I hope it works for you.

    Greetings from New York