Not sure why you’re asking me since I rarely draw wrinkled people… but it’s a good thing you do, because it just motivated me to do it! I’m really trying but I end up making them too smooth anyway. This reminded me that it’s a lot of fun to do it! But, even although I don’t do it a lot, I do know a few things about the subject and I’ll happily share it with you!
- 1. I’ll use this stock photo as a reference. Here we have two average-looking men, one middle aged and the other is elder. Take note that the aging process doesn’t really have much difference between male and female. There are some differences, such as hair loss, but none too extreme. It’s also a total myth that women will “keep looking young” for a long time, unlike men. It’s a beauty thing; and make-up/photoshop does a lot to help. Anyway, what’s the signs of a middle aged person? Other that some hair-loss, it’s of course, the wrinkles that starts to become more and more permanent. However, the skin has not begun to sag, it’s just making your expressions “stay”. For example, if you smile a lot, laugh lines may start to appear, or frown lines if you frown a lot, etc. Crow’s Feet are not uncommon either. Signs of emotion will start to show on your face. If you’ve been through a lot of shit, well, it’s most likely going to show. It can also be a genetic thing. However, if a person is depressed (for example) they may appear looking older. It’s not uncommon for people to think a depressed person is older because your symptoms can sometimes be seen on the outside, in this case, on the skin. It will appear heavy/drooping that might create lines (think “down”) and the color of their skin can look a little more gray, and around the eyes one might appear dark. A lot of health issues, not just depression, can often be seen on the outside. With that said, it’s not bad or unrealistic to make a character appear older, especially if they’re experiencing a lot of trouble or health issues. Just do your research and you’ll be fine. The middle-aged man in the stock-photo is a healthy looking man with “average” lines for his age.
I’ll show you a before/after pic of me when I was severely depressed and after a short period of improvement, if you want, just send me an ask about it.
2. Here is the line-art of the two men. Just very simple lines with no illusion of depth, which will make it look a bit weird, especially our middle-aged man. But I’ll show you how to fix that later, for now, let’s focus on the shape of the lines. Young vs Old lines, what makes them different?
3. There’s one easy trick to understanding Old/New wrinkles, and it’s to simply think “up” or “down”. They say that the face is weighted down from the years (or some shit like that I’m not English orz). Since the New lines come from the expressions it means that it’s the face muscles that makes the lines. And when muscles are used they usually pull the skin together in a upward direction. The bottom picture you can see what I noted down and it should be obvious what I’m trying to say. If not, again, just send me an ask. I also just want to note that there’s actually no real RULE how lines should look. We’re all different, which means our skin, obviously, is different too. I, for example, have heavy, droopy eyes. Whatever your reason is, whether it be because of health issues, exposure to the sun, genetic reasons, etc; your skin is never “safe” from having the “Old” symptoms.
4. Here’s refined line-art of the middle-aged man. He doesn’t look very middle aged without the lines, does he? Actually, what can we REALLY tell about him? Lines on the face tell so much about us, so the only thing I’m getting from this guy is that he’s some odd botoxed teenage ken-doll that grew up way too fast. No one is that lineless, especially not when smiling like he is. So how do we draw the lines, without making them look odd?
5. The lines look a lot more neutral than they did before, right? We can still see them, but they’re not like… painted on, almost. The trick is not to draw them so evenly thick, really. Thicken the lines you want to show more for effect or whatever reason. The thicker the line, the deeper the wrinkle will look, hence give a stronger effect, so to speak. Draw really, really thick frown lines? That guy has been frowning a lot, and he still is. Drawing really droopy eyes? Either that guy is not sleeping enough, or he has seen some heavy stuff. Or maybe he’s just born that way.
6. OKAY IGNORE THE FACT THAT I REALLY DIDN’T WANT TO DRAW THE MOUTH HAHA. What I wanted to show with this picture is that you should just go with what feels right, and what fits the character the best, or his current expression. Look up references, but let yourself have some artistic freedom. Don’t think so strictly about the wrinkles. Some might not even be a wrinkle, but like a guide for a shadow, if that makes sense. Does it look good? Is it crazy? Is it ugly? ADD IT.
7. One thing to keep in mind is that drawing all the lines might be unneeded when you color. Some wrinkles just look better to shade. So whenever you draw, don’t think that you have to add all the “needed” lines. Let yourself play around with that once you color. It will probably end up looking more fluent. Unless you really want to, and that’s fine too. Just a tip!
7. So, last part. I think once you got all those things down, drawing lines on the face will be quite easy, especially the minimum ones. Even the youngest, prettiest face isn’t lineless, just tellin’.
Thanks for asking me this! You made me realize quite a few things and now motivated me to draw wrinkled faces again! Yay!
If you’re looking for more tutorials, click [here] or if you have a tutorial request, send me an ask. c: