Drawing The Head and Features

Traditional Classes > Drawing > Drawing the Head and Features


    Teacher Information

    Oleg Dergachov is a fine artist, cartoonist, animator, art director and illustrator trained by the Ukrainian Academy. He has won over 85 international prizes and his work is displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tretyakov State Gallery in Moscow, the Cirque du Soleil collection as well as other prestigious art museums, public and private collections in more than 27 countries. He has taught for 16 years in prestigious universities, design schools and animation academies in 6 countries.

    Course Outline

    Week 1 - Learn the proportions of the human skull and how to draw it effectively with box and sphere-based construction techniques.

    Week 2 - Understand how to use cross-contour and relief modeling to feel and express the solidity and mass of the skull. Learn a powerful method, from Bammes, to break down the skull into basic planes.

    Week 3 - Gain proficiency drawing a head from a live model, delineating plane-breaks with reference to the anatomical landmarks of the skull learned earlier.

    Weeks 4 - 6 - Fully comprehend how to draw the skull from all angles by creating 16 sequential views of the skull rotating in perspective for an animated video sequence.

    Week  7 - Learn to draw facial expressions and express the dynamic relationship between the head, neck and shoulders through gesture drawing from a live model.

    Weeks 8 - 9 - Become proficient drawing the eyes, ears, nose and mouth using planar hatching, cross-contour and relief modeling to bring out the form and topography.

    Week 10 - Learn to analyze the shape and alignment of features on the skull and capture the uniqueness of each human face. In a series of final drawings from live model, put together all you’ve learned to achieve a convincing head drawing with a feeling of volume and planar structure.



    Saturday from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

    Date of first class: July 14th

    Duration: 10 weeks

    Language: English

    You can register at the bottom-left of this page.



    Do the heads that you draw ever lack a convincing three-dimensional feel, a believable expression or well-defined, accurately drawn features? It's so important to draw heads and facial features well because they establish the identity of the person and much of what they are communicating.

    We naturally direct our attention first towards the faces in any image and notice mistakes with proportions, anatomy and details that are so subtle, most people would miss a similar issue somewhere else on the body. If there’s something wrong with the head, then the whole body and the whole artwork won’t work and you’ll be banging your head against the wall in frustration…

    In the Heads and Features course at Syn Studio, you’ll study the anatomy of the skull, facial muscles and features. You will understand how to draw the head from any angle by completing a series of rotation studies under the guidance of the instructor. You will learn the key proportions, anatomical landmarks and planar structure of the head so you can draw believable heads from imagination. And you will gain a method for analyzing the shape and alignment of an individual’s particular facial features to capture someone’s likeness when drawing from life or photo-reference.

    By the end of this course, you will have the ability to create artwork with convincing heads that feel three-dimensional, express someone’s unique visual identity and show believable facial expressions that communicate what they’re doing, how they feel and who they are. You will have acquired some of the most essential skills for any character designer, modeler, fine artist, animator, comic book artist or illustrator. The skills and confidence you gain from becoming really good at drawing heads and faces will help boost your overall artistic progress and results enormously.


    This class is level 3, or advanced. Drawing the Human Form or equivalent experience (competence and confidence drawing live models) is required.

    Language requirements: You need at least intermediate level English to take this class (the teacher will use many visual examples and there will usually be students in the class who speak French and can help you if you don't understand something).



    Due to popular demand for a class like this we expect it to fill up very fast!. $470. $430.


    • Learn to draw believable heads with a convincing sense of form and three-dimensionality
    • Understand how to draw facial features accurately and to adjust for individual differences so you can capture someone's unique likeness
    • Gain proficiency drawing facial expressions that communicate emotion, intention and personality

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