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The Artist's Complete Guide to Drawing the Head Paperback – January 1, 2004
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About the Author
William Maughan has taught advanced head drawing, head painting, and landscape painting at both the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, and the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. He lives in Napa, CA.
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If you have struggled with likeness, perspective and proportion in live model portraiture, get this book, buy the exact paper and the Carbothello pastel pencils (plus a good exacto knife with plastic blade cover) that he recommends and use them.
This is a text that my portrait instructor recommended. I have seen others buy it, read it and make the leap from struggling-with-the-likeness to "Aw, MAN! I DID it!". I've secured my own capabilities using his methods as well. Although I generally work in oil pastels or acrylics, putting those aside to use the pastel pencils as directed was just the ticket for learning those lessons. I like to go back and refer to this book often. And had to order an extra copy when my last one got borrowed and not returned. It's THAT important of a book.
He has a poor sense of tonal value, as well. He uses the paper for the midtone, but many of his shadows are much too dark for the value of the paper. In particular, shadows under the nose are so dark as to be ugly and even partially distort the shape of the nose.
The cover portrait is his best work by far.
However, there's a lot to be learned in this book and it's definitely worth buying. I wish he'd spent more time on features and structure, because that's where he really shines.
Overall, it's one of the clearest and most useful drawing instruction books that I've seen. It's not really an ideal book for people just taking the first steps in learning to draw realistic portraits (for absolute beginners I would still recommend Betty Edwards' flawed but effective "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain"). It doesn't have much depth on some of the things that beginners need to learn, such as judging proportion. However, it's a good book to use early in your drawing career.
This reference definitely helped me to take my drawing to the next level. After reading, I was able to eliminate simple errors and take advantage of refinements I had overlooked. This book helps to enhance your ability to see, observe and interpret without the prejudice of preconceived knowledge.
The book also served as a valuable first step in moving from drawing to painting. Overall, it's an essential addition to any art library. Loved it.
Most recent customer reviews
I liked the way of expression of thw writer and the demonstrations in this...Read more