Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Discovery: The notation of the orbit.

After the first sketch of the general shape of the head, the orbits (fig 1) and dark areas inside are the first thing I mark (fig 2).So I was scribbling around the other day and I happened to finish off the shading in the orbit with a little line down the side where the nose was going to be. And I liked it. That's pretty much the sum of the discovery. (fig 3) That if I make this little line to mark the side of the nose I have a lot easier time seeing where the eyes are supposed to go in the grand scheme of things. See, I have this problem, I repeatedly make my eyes too small, too far apart, and crazy crooked. I think keeping better track of the nose, and the relationship of the eye to it, will help.

Keeping proportions straight is just a matter of constantly checking on how each piece of face relates to another. I say 'just' like it's a simple thing. It's like rubbing your tummy, scratching your head and riding your bike with your pants down at your ankles (no, I'm not illustrating that). It's not just eye to nose, it's the pieces of face in between the parts we usually think about that really... connect everything. The spaces between the features are as much, or more important than the features themselves.

(Fig 4) This particular line reminds me of the relationship between the bridge of the nose (A), the eye/bridge valley where glasses rest (B), the connection of the upper-upper eyelid to the bridge of the nose (C), the nose edge of the third eyebag (D, you won't see this clearly on everybody), and the lump of the tear duct (E, something I often forget, I only just realized what I was looking at in this picture as I mapped it out again for this. Ridiculous. Thank god I figured that out, I was so confused what that lighter patch was doing).

It's all ratios and itty-bitty invisible lines with me. They say not to sweat the small stuff. But the big stuff terrifies me more anyway. I figure, if I get enough small stuff right, it'll add up to some good big stuff too. That's totally a fallacy, but it's only slightly worse than most sayings.

Today I've also been thinking about lips. (Fig 5, yes, that's the same picture.) Mostly I've been thinking that they're insane and I don't get why there would be a weird little ridge-y dip thing at the junction of the lip and face skin. What. The. Hell. I think I've almost got it, just let me sleep on it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On Bug Eyes (And Not Bug Eyes)

Photos are misleading if one isn't careful.


Fig. 1 Anton Yelchin (Chekov, for people like me who don't actually remember actor names). Borderline bug/almond eyes. Shape of eyeball is clearly shown, but an insufficient amount of white shows when his eyes are at rest. The eyes are obviously popping out of the head, but in the end, the opening of the lids is too small to warrent true bug eye status. We call this "heavy lidded". Toby Maguire (Spider-man, yeah?) is also a good example of this.

This picture is misleading because 1. he's focussed on something closer to him, so his eyes are crossed a little, which, from our angle, shows more whites and 2. you can tell he's opening his eyes more than usual because of the amount of white showing above the iris. See the pie slice of white above the iris? At rest, that's not really there.


Fig. 2 Summer Glau (that robot chick from Sarah Conner Chronicals and that creepy awesome chick from Firefly, for people like me who can't even be bothered to learn character names), kind of a similar deal. Borderline bug/squint eyes. I include all variations of the asian eye shape in with squint eyes. The shape of the eyeball still shows up fairly clearly, and there's a fair amount of white. I don't think either go far enough to warrent true bug eye status.

This picture is misleading because we assume she's looking straight at us, when she's actually looking up at us a little. This makes more white happen under the iris than usual. Also, the white is over emphasized by the dark make-up. That dirty trick goes back to the times of the Egyptians, when pharoahs would use kohl to fuck with the royal artists.


Fig 3. Chris Urbanowicz (Lead guitarist for "Editors" for peopl who aren't like me) being bug eyed and Osiris (Egyptian god, for people who are going to Egyptian hell) being a bastard, by looking up and wearing eye make-up to make his eyes look buggier. When they're obviously squinty.

To sum it all up

Bug eyes (bg s)
Round organs for the purpose of vision and light sensitivity that look like they might pop out of your head at any second.
See also: n. Buggy eyes, Bugginess adj. Bug-eyed, Buggy


1. EyeBALLS are round. Because they're BALLS. That' super important, remember that one. EyeBALLS make the skin and stuff in front of them round too. That would be the eyelids.


Eyeballs are amout the size of pingpong balls in humans. This model shows this better and quicker than I can right now. I'll get to that for serious later I think.

2. The shape of the eyes, which I define as the area within the "orbit" of the eye socket, is defined by the relationship between the eyeball, the orbit, and the surrounding fat. Fun term! Orbital fat pad.
The orbit can chance size and shape, there can be varying amounts of fat, distributed in various ways.

In a vague mathmatical sense, bug eyes show a large surface area of the underlying sphere, both on the eyelids (not necessarily both) and actual surface of the eyeball. I don't actually have an exact ratio. The trick is that it needs to show on both. If too much of the eyeball is covered, when you look at the person from far away, the upper eyelid will blend with the upper upper eyelid and the eye won't look stick-out enough. It'll look almondy. Or squinty. Or beady.

Which isn't bad. Pretty much no one has eyes that are in just one catagory.

So um... I really don't remember what my point was now.

The point is... eyes are hard because they move about like crazy. There's nothing stationary about the shapes I have to draw, so I have to learn to identify and visualize the underlying structure in order to extrapolate the shapes I want. Yeah?
It's like... it's like if you had a list of a million numbers and you were supposed to memorize them. Can't do it, right? But what if you know for sure that within that list of a million numbers there were strings of thousands of numbers that fell into some sort of order. So the first thousand is just counting by twos, and every third number is '5'. And then. The string of number changes every time you look at it.

So what you have to do, is learn all the underlying equations, and recognize them quickly. That's what this is.

Photos are a quick look at this long list of mysterious numbers and bug eyes are like... y=ax+b or something. I can't continue this metaphor any longer, it's eating my brain.