How to Draw Shadows on Faces

if you imagine looking at a mountain and the light source is here the light is going to illuminate this side and that’s kind of the highest point the light can’t basically Bend unless there’s a black hole here but there’s no black hole and let’s just say for the purposes of argument there’s no black hole inside the person’s head so this light basically has to travel in a straight line and so the furthest it can go is to the top of this point here and so this side is in shadow so if you look at the nose and say all right if this you know if this is these nostrils and we’re looking up on that nose this light it basically hits this line here and that line represents this point okay and so everything from this point could be in shadow if you want it to or you could say it hits that line but the the real shadow doesn’t start till this side so it’s possible to do that as well and this being the high okay so I’m gonna show you some very quick you can do a traditional face the light would be up here the shadows the eyebrow the brow casts a shadow underneath the eye sockets the nose basically cast a shadow the upper lip has a shadow the lower lip Chris a shadow above that chin the cheekbones if you’re blessed with high cheekbones will create shadows underneath there the ear will cast a shadow and then the head itself casts a shadow on the neck below it okay so that’s lighting scheme number one number two you have the same lighting scheme okay but in this instance the light is even more intense so that the shadows are darker and then the shadows basically fall within the the if you look at a skull right this is probably the worst school ever but I had these sockets here the shadows gonna basically kind of fall into the shapes of the sockets there this nose the shadow gets even deeper this lower lip creates even more wysz of shadow and then these shapes on the skull become even more pronounced okay so it’s like version one but even more and then you can even go further with that and say well this brow this nose it’s almost like the nose pops out of the shadow there and the face is almost entirely and shout out like that okay that makes sense the face the shadows do depend on the facial structures for sure I’m just using a very generic kind of face with actually very Caucasian features I guess but the ear itself actually even cast a shadow onto itself so that’s why a lot of times when you see me draw something I’ll draw the ear completely in black and then this head cast even a darker shadow in a bigger shadow across now you can do side lighting schemes right where at the nose that’s kind of illustrating with that pyramid or mountaintop this nose itself creates a shadow the eye socket creates a shadow so the shadows are to the to that side this spot here on the upper lip casts it a little divot shadow upper lip and then the side of this cheek this chin side side of that chin sorry side of that cheek side of that temple you have that okay because we’re on video actually I can just show it on the same illustration and you can do it time lapse and see it so as that shadow get as this light source gets more intense this nose shadow will get cast deeper the same way like your shadow and the course of a day gets longer as the Sun sets on the Suns right above you the shadows right underneath and then as it kind of moves away from you at an angle your shadow on the ground lengthens and and distorts and so now the shadow Sarkin deeper and darker on the side of this head here okay and then it can go even darker still so that top part of the upper lip this gully like right there this if you look at the upper lip lower lip the chin you can see how this chin kind of protrudes out so imagine this uh let’s imagine so the Sun kind of rotating around this head and then even more so it actually starts all that starts looking like it’s in shadow and it starts coming across the forehead right all right and then if it keeps going entirely it becomes all black itself okay oh I’ll do one last head net forgot then there is the complete up lighting Adam’s apple there this is one like they’re holding a candle underneath their face essentially so if you really get into it that’s probably like 20 different ways you can kind of light a face actually infinite probably but 20 really distinctly different ones and if you want to teach yourself you can maybe flip through different comic books and see how different people approach and put the classifications together there’s one where there’s like a strong front light source and then a weak back light source and so you get strong shadows but then you have reflected light on the other side of the head okay thing with metal is the same way we’re talking about that light hitting the top of that mountain this Ridgeline this Ridgeline here I’m looking for the highest point of I say this cheekbone here and this line the same way I’ve done it on the nose it’s going to be on that cheek but rather than doing a straight line like that what you can do the thing with metal is that it can take reflections and that’s precisely what this is is a reflection of some element over here reflecting on that shiny silver metal but it can distort it especially if the if the metal itself is curved and so you add a little life that line and you put it basically where all the high points the ridge lines I mean the easiest way to think about doing chrome effects is if you have an object like this a cylinder just run the highlights along the edges near the edges like this and you can make one kind of thicker the other chalice that I’d say that’s a bullet okay and then to help kind of sell it although that bullet has a tip that’s really kind of it’s important to have that kind of outer edge that rim lighting is to basically run a high light along the edge keep it consistently on the same side like that okay another thing about metals like the more reflections you can put in the better and when I say the more I’m not saying like go crazy will about it a lot of times you’ll see especially in the old Bob Layton John Romita Jr Iron Man will draw for example you know the draw Iron Man and then they’ll light it in a way where all sudden there’s like big circle medium-sized circle small circle and they’ll kind of do that everywhere you go like wow that looks really metallic and the reason why is that again it tricks the it’s a cipher it’s something that tricks the brain into thinking it’s seeing something the same way as if I draw lines going back if I draw a tree here another tree like that and the smaller tree like that and perspective lines you can’t help but feel like you’re looking into space that you’re looking towards a horizon point and these objects even though I’ve drawn three different sized trees that you in your mind think that they’re all the same height but just smaller because of perspective and with those white dots that I just drew on the side of Iron Man is their reflections of Lights overhead even if Iron Man is out in the middle of the desert they’ll do the same rendering trick which i think is funny because at that point has become such a cipher that the mind immediately thinks of reflections and shiny metal that it’s not really reading exactly what it is and basically if there’s lights overhead okay and they’re going off in a distance like this overhead lights I say in an office space these are windows it’s these lights that are being reflected on top of all shell head alright so just by putting those three old school Iron Man right there right oh my god okay so that light it’s here this light is here that light is here and you could do the same thing with these windows one two three right so you can basically one two three okay one two three if you kind of do them one two three one two three one two three it starts making a little more metallic.

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