James Horner
James Horner

Sick of headshots, I had to draw something more than just a face. Needless to say, I was very happy to see IMDb had more than just a headshot of James Horner. The ability to draw a face is great, but it’s somewhat difficult to render and learn apart from the rest of body because then you run into serious proportion/alignment problems. Everything is relative, and this image is a testament to that.

While the render demonstrates a greater attention to detail—check out the faint signs of facial hair—it’s obvious that I focused in on just the details by themselves, and not so much their relationship to each other. Notice how one eye is slightly higher than the other. How the angle of the nose conflicts with the angle of his face. How his head is misaligned on the neck. Rule of thumb: never render parts of the image individually—always render as a single cohesive whole. This drawing shows why.

I found it amusing that his jacket took longer to render than the rest of him; it was probably the element about which I cared least, and it turned out the best. Go figure. Anyway, I am proud of this drawing despite its flaws. Many of the characters in my illustrations look generic; to a lesser degree, many of my real life drawings also carry that generic look. Here, I managed a fair resemblance to Mr. Horner via exploring the markings, the subtle lines and shadings of the facial features, that separate us one from another.

Unfortunately, I bore quickly. Pictures of Stan Winston and James Horner from IMDb come from snapshots taken at awards ceremonies, banquets, premiers (etc) and all of these people are usually shown standing there, smiling, looking pretty for the camera. At this point I really wanted to start illustrating again—drawing images from my own mind (or at least drawing more dynamic poses with a greater range of facial expressions.) I really need to learn patience if I’m going to take this stuff seriously ...