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Figure Fundamentals Volume 3

Drawing the Female Head with Van Arno

Five minute poses at various angles review


Head drawing is tricky for both beginning and experienced figurative artists. This is because we have preconceived notions about how features should look, and this undermines our ability to let observation of the model drive our composition. As in all figure drawing, striving to make things look how we think they should look interferes with our ability to draw what we see. This difficulty is multiplied when we draw the head due to our many misconceptions about its structure. In this lecture, Van Arno focuses on head proportions and the understanding that the cranium and jaw respond differently in perspective. This allows us to render accurately at progressively more ambitious angles. Van then expands this knowledge with short poses of facial expressions and longer poses that focus on tone and likeness. As usual, students are encouraged to draw along with the instructor to solidify the concepts discussed.

Duration: 3h 25m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Van Arno


Van Arno is a Los Angeles based figurative painter whose work has been displayed in the U.S. and internationally for almost 20 years. Van's background includes illustration, amusement park design, game art in 2D and 3D, animation, and character design. His paintings have frequently been featured in Juxtapoz magazine and included in a national survey of Lowbrow painters. His ongoing fascination with the imagery of propaganda and its use of the heroic figure has attracted many admirers with Van's focus ultimately remaining on the figure and it's power to engage the viewer.

  • "Van Arno's art demonstrates an astonishing talent in depicting the human figure in every possible position aiming to a great emotional and expressive impact on viewers. His contorted and interlocked postures show an impressive knowledge of the figurative repertoire ranging from Hellenistic art through the mannerist artists to the best examples of today's comic books and illustrations. Arno is one of the most impressive manipulator of the human body I've ever seen in the painting field."

    - Nicola Verlato
    Visual Artist