Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wisdom Wednesday

Heya folks!!

Above is my post for the word "Flying" for Illustration Friday!! It's just a sketch right now and I am working on tightening it up to submit to something later on. We'll see!! I'll post the final image when I'm done!!

Many times I have drawn a character and had someone say to me, "Oohh she looks Cuban." or "Oooh is he supposed to be Irish?" And often I don't have an answer for them. Most times I'm drawing characters as I see them in my head and I'm not really thinking about their nationality. But if I got an assignment and needed to draw an Irish person or a Polynesian person, how could I easily go about doing that accurately?

Being African American I am very familiar with the generic qualities and traits that make a person look like they are African American. But what about Chinese versus Japanese, vs. Tibetan vs. Vietnamese vs. Korean vs. Malaysian!!!! All are similar but different and have there own distinctive facial features and body types. Is there a book on this that I can snag? How do I get something that's fairly thorough? I searched and found books that would list general races and they barely skimmed the surface of the spectrum of ethnicities that encompass the globe. African, Asian, Caucasian and Latin seemed to be as deep as anybody went. But then one day I got very lucky!!

I am a member of a website called DeviantArt. An online community for every kind of artist there is. Very often people will post tutorials and show other their process through images or video. At the time I was looking for a tutorial on adult vs. children proportions. (You know, how many heads tall is a five year old versus a twelve year old and so on.) Well I found it, but I also found that this particular artist also had created a number of amazingly informative and thorough tutorials on varied ethnicities across the globe!


Her screen name is Cedarseed and her actual name is Joumamna Medlej. She is a Lebanese graphic artist and Art Director and she has put together a number of wonderful tutorials on a variety of subject matter specific to drawing. But in this post I'll focus on the ones that center on human types.

There is a set of three titled the, "Guide to Human Types." She begins each with an explanation of why this study is so valuable to artists then breaks down into the varying ethnicities. She starts with a general model, (Asian for example) and gives the general body types, height comparison male to female, eye, skull, nose and facial shape. Then gets into the varied Asian ethnicities and the traits that separate them from the general model. Such as eye color, skin color and hair color. All wonderfully illustrated and meticulously presented!

Guide to Human Types-Part 1
Guide to Human Types-Part 2
Guide to Human Types-Part 3
Guide to Human Types-Addendum

If you print these tutorials out you will find that they are quite large and would work well hung above your desk for quick visual reference if you wanted. If not, she has compiled a number of her tutorials and offers them for sale through her website. (I will be ordering one myself soon!!)

She has a number of other great tutorials as well! And I have every intention of highlighting those in the future. But if you want to get a jump and start investigating yourself, just check out her page that has links to all the tutorials she has created up to this point and enjoy!!