Tailsteak's Evil Art Lesson #1
How to Draw an Ear
That's right, for this first lesson, I shall be teaching you the evil way to draw a human ear. Let us start with our model:
Now, then. Grab a spare sheet of whatever paper is available, steal someone's pen, and begin.
Imagine your pen is your finger, and you're gently stroking it along the edge of every contour of flesh you see there. Run it up over the top, in around all the little nooks inside.... heck, you can even do the hair if you feel so inclined. Try to keep things in proportion to each other. Note that all the curves aren't perfect curves, but are actually slightly flat in places.
No shading or colour, now, those come later.
Those of you who got really thin paper and just traced the ear off your monitor may move to the head of the class. Very evil.
Everyone done? Good. Hold it up so I can see it.
Look at that ear. That's a terrible ear. That is a warped Lovecraftian pit of wrinkled flesh.
Wanna see mine?
Some of you are saying "Hey, your ear doesn't look any better than mine!".
And you're right.
My ear, likewise, looks terrible. And yet, it is accurate. It is a faithful rendering of the essential contours of the human ear. We did it right, and yet our drawings still look hideous. Thus, we come to the first precept of evil art:
Human ears look wrong.
In fact, many things in nature look wrong. Hands look wrong. Feet look wrong. Eyes look wrong. A truly faithful reproduction of these things will only make your audience see the ugliness that is Man, will show them the horrors of biology, will expose the hideous nature of mammalian anatomy, rather than the essence of the characters you seek to express.
So, what do you do when you want to draw an ear?
Don't misunderstand me. I don't mean that all your characters should wear balaclavas, or long hair, or be constantly standing near convenient hatracks. Rather, when you want to draw the side of a person's head, instead of putting an ear there, draw a letter C.
If you're drawing a character close up, with a little more detail, you can put a warped letter T thing inside the letter C.
Sometimes, you can do one of these:
Or one of these.
That's a Simpsons ear, right there.
Now, those things up there are not ears. They resemble ears, sure, in the same way the capital letter A resembles an inverted ox head. But they are symbols, cyphers, glyphs, abstractions of a physical reality. They are not faithful representations of the human auditory organ. The human eye and mind are constantly and enthusiastically anthropomorphizing what they see. Keeping your drawing simple makes that anthropomorphization all the easier.
Keeping it simple makes it easier for the mind to assume that even the grossly distorted is alright. The more biological accuracy you put into your ear, the more the viewer will see it as a lump of flesh, and will find fault with that flesh.
Observe the following heads:
Those aren't ears, up there. Your mind interprets them as ears because of the context, but those are just simple, one- or two-line curves.
Indeed, look at the eyes, the mouths, the noses. Do you see lips? Do you see tear ducts? If I had included tear ducts, wouldn't that have been gross?
Before you begin any picture, know what level of detail you are going to present. Know the degree of realism you intend to utilize.
You may learn many things, as an artist, but none so valuable as this lesson:
Regardless of what you want to draw, it is often as important, if not more important, to know what not to draw.