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Drawing the Human Head

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In 300 extraordinary drawings, Hogarth shows how to draw the head from every angle, age the face from infancy to old age, and delineate every feature and wrinkle.

154 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1965

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About the author

Burne Hogarth

67 books81 followers
Burne Hogarth started young. Born in 1911, he was enrolled in the Chicago Art Institute at the age of 12 and an assistant cartoonist at Associated Editors' Syndicate at 15. At the age of 26, he was chosen from a pool of a dozen applicants as Hal Foster's successor on the United Features Syndicate strip, "Tarzan". His first strip, very much in Foster's style, appeared May 9, 1937. It wasn't long before he abandoned the attempt to maintain the original look of the strip and brought his own dynamic style to the Sunday comics page.

In 1947, Hogarth co-founded (with Silas Rhodes) the School of Visual Arts which became his new direction in life. He was able to pass his unique methods on illustration to his students in the classroom and, in 1958, to the readers of his first book, Dynamic Anatomy.

Hogarth retired from the SVA in 1970 but continued to teach at The Parsons School of Design and, after a move to Los Angeles, The Otis School and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. During his years teaching, Hogarth authored a number of anatomy and drawing books that have become standard references for artists of every sort, including computer animators. Dynamic Anatomy (1958) and Drawing the Human Head (1965) were followed by further investigations of the human form. Dynamic Figure Drawing (1970) and Drawing Dynamic Hands (1977) completed the figure cycle. Dynamic Light and Shade (1981) and Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery (1995) explored other aspects relative to rendering the figure.

After more than 20 years away from strip work and being hailed in Europe as "the Michelangelo of the comic strip," Hogarth returned to sequential art in 1972 with his groundbreaking Tarzan of the Apes, a large format hardbound book published by Watson Guptill in 11 languages. It marks the beginning of the sober volume of integrated pictorial fiction, what is currently understood to be a graphic novel.

Burne Hogarth passed away in 1996 at the age of 84.

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5 stars
680 (50%)
4 stars
356 (26%)
3 stars
233 (17%)
2 stars
51 (3%)
1 star
20 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews
Profile Image for Kevin de Ataíde.
572 reviews11 followers
January 11, 2018
Very technical and with excellent illustration, this is worth a look for portrait artists and character designers.
33 reviews
December 19, 2009
Wonderful book. I learned so much. It's got amazingly clear pictures and wonderful descriptions of everything you need to know about the human head. I had no questions by the end of the book. It tells you exactly how to draw the head, its features, and everything from different points of view. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Theresa.
332 reviews1 follower
April 27, 2018
I have learned so much about drawing the human head! I recommend this to anyone interested in this area.
Profile Image for Parul.
44 reviews4 followers
July 11, 2019
Excellent techniques discussed on taking proportions. MUST read for everyone who makes portraits.
15 reviews1 follower
December 30, 2015
I bought this book based on a recommendation from the brilliant and extremely talented artist Kate Thompson. I not only had her as a guest teacher in a year long online class, and am currently enrolled in several of her e-courses, but have had the privilege of taking an informal class with her on drawing faces.
I'm not proficient at all in drawing faces, but am an ongoing learner.
I've never set out to be a portrait artist nor do I want to be. I'm happy to settle for mixed media influence in my face drawings.
This book is well above my skill level, and it is definitely geared towards the more advanced artist, but it is also a a great reference tool to have in my library arsenal of books on faces and I recommend this to any artist who wishes to or is already drawing faces in their art.
Profile Image for Kim Chisum.
1 review1 follower
September 20, 2016
This is one of my "go to reference" books on drawing the head. The head can be complicated to draw but the guidelines and detailed drawings really break down everything into smaller pieces. I draw from this book when I practice drawing the different angles of a turned or tilted head.

If you are striving to improve your portraits or just trying to learn something new, I believe this book would be a great resource to add to your collection. I must admit, I have noticed an improvement in my drawings. A must have for anyone aspiring to learn to draw the head.
June 23, 2010
Genial para corregir errores y para tomar decisiones certeras a la hora de dibujar una estructura para dibujar , pintar e incluso hacer escultura , - wonderful to correct mistakes and to make solid decisions to make drawings, paintings and also sculpture.
Profile Image for Serge Pierro.
Author 1 book35 followers
August 13, 2012
A great book for learning how to draw the head in various positions and perspectives. Great instruction and formulas. I have actually seen a video of Hogarth doing these head drawings and he follows the instruction in here to a "tee".
Profile Image for Jim.
389 reviews283 followers
December 26, 2014
A good introduction to drawing the human head. Any student who has at least one year of drawing lessons should be able to benefit from the lessons in this book. The images will seem a bit retro at first glance, but the information is solid and useful to anyone who wants to learn to draw the head.
1 review1 follower
Currently reading
April 20, 2009
A great book. I feel that learning to draw the perfect head first makes it much easier to draw all other imperfect heads. (but I am yet to learn to draw ordinary heads)
Profile Image for Isabel.
11 reviews
January 28, 2013
Muy buen libro, me fue de mucha ayuda, te explica paso a paso y con ejercicios faciles. Muy recomendable para quienes desean mejorar su técnica.
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews

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