Today in Concept Art we looked at heads and how to draw them, or specifically how the construction of muscle against the skull influences the form of the face. There’s a word for this, I didn’t know this, and its called Ecorche.

We’ve been asked today to look for a photograph of a face, any face, and using images of ecorche we need to define where the muscles are located in that face. The idea behind this is to get us thinking about drawing in 3D. As most drawings are made when not actively thinking about it, we tend to draw in a 2D plane where faces can appear flat and features can easily become out of place.

Thinking about muscle structure when we draw, (where its placed and how it acts when faces move), forces us to draw with more thought about the placement of those features. In turn, this gives better end results and more realistic and proportioned drawings since we’re constantly thinking about them during their creation.


With this in mind, we chose our photo and began filling in where the muscles are to start our thinking. I wanted to look for a picture that had a lot of muscle definition to it – that could easily be identified, and this is the picture I chose.


h1Not really knowing where to start to define these muscles, I began by marking one half of the face and breaking that up into smaller sections; the eye, jaw and cheek before laying grey scale lines where the muscles seemed stretched and pulled out with darker, thinner lines where the muscles were more compact and constrained.

I should mention at this point I used the above images as references for muscle placement.



While I was initially happy with how this was progressing, it didn’t look quite right, however, once I changed the background colours to a more standardised diagram colour, instantly the markings I made seemed to have a lot more meaning. The darker orange colour indicates where muscle mass is more heavily concentrated in tandem with the darker lines whereas the lighter orange and greys show lighter, more uncondensed areas.

Not totally great I’ll admit but it does show how the muscles define the face and how they need to be thought of and incorporated into drawings.

After this we were given an assignment of using Google and finding ten heads which we’re going to sketch. The catch is, you’ve guessed it, we need to draw them with an observational approach where we will recognise the muscles in the faces and where they are which will influence how we produce these drawings.

The final aim is to produce a page of heads in different positions within an art style where multiple elements are used such as skulls, the ecorche design and observed heads.

Best get me some colouring pencils then…















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