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How to Draw Faces

Yes, I know, "how to draw faces" could have fitted within the "how to draw people" section of this site.

But there is so much information on this topic, that I found it necessary to start a section on its own.

This page, for instance, includes Victor Perard's tips on the principles used in copying heads or drawing them from nature.

But that's only part of the art of drawing faces.

Check out the links at the bottom of this page on how to draw eyes, noses, mouths and ears. There's also a section on how to draw expression and emotion.

How to Draw Faces: The Head

In drawing heads always decide on the size of the skull in rleation to the face.

how to draw faces fig 1

You should strive to the likeness of the shape of the head before placing the features on the face.

To cultivate and master these principles is more important than elaborate finish, which is useless without correct proportions.

Use the oval to start the general outline of a head.

It helps to indicate the size and position desired.

Draw the facial line down the front of the face, then the line of the eyes about midway between the chin and top of the head.

how to draw faces: how to draw heads Fig 2

Draw a line for the base of the nose, divide the space betwen the nose and chin into three parts, and place the mout one third from the nose.
how to draw faces: the head fig 3

Drawing blocked heads or simplified forms of skulls on which to build features is a good drawing practice.

They call attention to the third dimension or depth of form, which gives solidity to the head, also leads to analyzing light and shade.
how to draw faces fig 4

In trying for a likeness, study the angle between the eyes and the mouth.

The distance between the eyebrows affects the appearance of the length of the nose.

Use stright lines in blocking; they force attention to where lines change direction.
how to draw faces fig 5

To place a head the right size on a figure, keep it in simple form like these examples without features until sure of the right proportion.

For portraiture, it is important to decide which group the face belongs to: the convex, straight, or concave.

Sketch in these essential charachteristics first.
how to draw faces fig 6

Form the habit of always blocking in the head.

This leads the eye to seek planes that can be modified as the work progresses.
how to draw heads fig 8

how to draw faces fig 9

How to Draw Faces: Related Links

Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez


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