The Eye Socket

The next step in our understanding of the structure of the head is adding the corners of the eye socket. They also play an important part in our initial indication of the position of the head.

Head Drawing 6
Head Drawing 6

The head drawing above shows a simplified view of how the corner of the eye socket comes jutting out from the simple shape that we have started with. An important point that many miss is that the line across the brow is not a straight line but is a curved arch. The center of the forehead is generally raised though the line created across the cheek bones and is straight. Also note that the cheek is angled back.

In looking at the front plane of the head, a critical point is the meeting of the nose and the eye plane. As you have noticed, the upper part of the bone of the eye socket is not a straight horizontal line but slants upward toward the center. In the center connecting the two sides of eye socket and the nose is the Glabella. The head drawing below clearly show how the Glabella works as a transitional plane between the eye socket and the nose.

Head Drawing 7
Head Drawing 7

While studying this plane, it is important to notice that it goes all of the way down to the bottom or inside corner of the eye socket (plane “A”). The Glabella is generally more pronounced in the male than the female. The actual features will be discussed separately.

By Glenn Vilppu

This article was taken from the Head Drawing and Anatomy, Volume One Manual. This book parallels very closely the head drawing classes that I teach, and a majority of the illustrations were created as lecture demonstrations in class. Consequently, this is in reality a head drawing and anatomy manual to be used by students in my classes as a textbook. The use of this manual should be of equal value to those working on their own who are unable to attend my classes in person. The material is the same as in my classes with the advantage of portability and no time constraints.

I have consistently found myself drawn to the fundamentals in teaching drawing. A solid grounding in the basics, approached as tools of expression, rather than rules that must be followed, free the artist allowing him or her to follow their individual direction.

The basis of my approach is founded on very simple grounds. First, you must know how to describe form. Second, you must understand the form you are drawing. These first two give you the freedom of expression.

As you go through the chapters, you will become aware of another basic element of my approach: to do anything you must have a clear cut procedure, the knowledge to put it to use and, of course, the spirit to carry it to completion. None of this is new, and in fact, everything I teach has a very long history. I think of myself as a student just as much as a teacher; each drawing I do is in reality an analysis of what I am drawing. I am constantly telling my students that we never copy the model, but that we are trying to understand it through visual thinking.

Approach this manual as you would any textbook, as a guide to learning.

Glenn Vilppu teaches life drawing at the American Animation Institute, the Masters program of the UCLA Animation Dept., Walt Disney Feature Animation, Warner Bros. Feature Animation, Dreamworks and Rhythm & Hues Studios. Vilppu has also worked in the Animation industry for 18 years as a layout, storyboard and presentation artist, most of this time was spent working at Disney. His drawing manual and video tapes are being used worldwide as course materials for animation students. Glenn Vilppu has, in effect, either through teaching them directly or teaching their teachers, trained an entire generation of professional animators.