Savannah Tate Cuff

Rendering the Neck

Savannah Tate Cuff
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Duration:   21  mins

Moving on to the neck area in her portrait drawing from a live model, artist Savannah Tate Cuff begins with a look at the anatomy of the neck. The most important muscle in the neck is the sternocleidomastoid, a large muscle originating at the clavicle and ending behind the lobe of the ear. You’ll also want to consider the contour of the trapezius muscle on the back of the neck.

Turning to the drawing, Savannah erases some of the hair mass so she can redraw the neck and then use the opportunity to add asymmetry to the hair. It’s important to have a correct proportional neck, so check the length, the transition to the shoulder, and placement of any garments the model is wearing. The neck is a cylinder, and Savannah notes that she’ll be thinking of that three-dimensional cylindrical form as she begins rendering. The cast shadow from the underside of the chin that she’s previously blocked in will help describe this form. Both women and men have Adam’s apples, but women’s are more subtle; Savannah suggests that form within the cast shadow in this drawing. The pit of the neck is also important; Savannah ensures that it’s correct in relation to the head. She darkens the area that turns away from the light, sometimes softening areas with a brush, and turning to her 2H pencil for subtle gradations as she models out of the terminator, or boundary between light and shadow, into the light. As always, the shadow stays relatively flat and the form is modeled in the light.

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