Drawing faces can be intimidating for beginners, but it doesn’t have to be. Understanding the basics of face shapes is the first step towards creating realistic and proportional portraits. In this step-by-step guide, we will be covering the different face shapes and providing clear instructions, tips, and techniques to help you improve your face drawing skills.
- Drawing pencils (HB, 2B, 4B, 6B)
- Blending stump or cotton swab (optional)
Step 1: Sketching Basic Shapes
Start by drawing a circle for the head. Then, draw a vertical line down the center of the circle and a horizontal line across the middle. This will help you place the facial features in the correct position.
Step 2: Determining Face Shape
Now, it’s time to determine the face shape. There are six main face shapes:
Rounded Face Shape
A rounded face has soft curves and is almost as wide as it is long. To draw a rounded face, start by drawing a circle for the head as mentioned earlier. Then, draw a straight line across the middle of the circle to represent the position of the eyes. Draw two more lines that curve down from the middle line to represent the cheeks. Finally, draw a curved line at the bottom of the circle for the jawline.
Oval Face Shape
An oval face is longer than it is wide with a gently rounded chin and forehead. To draw an oval face, start with a circle for the head. Then, draw a horizontal line across the middle of the circle for the eyes and a smaller vertical line in the middle for the nose. The chin should be drawn with a gentle curve and not be pointed.
Square Face Shape
A square face has a strong, angular jawline and a forehead that’s the same width as the cheekbones. To draw a square face, start with a circle for the head. Then, draw horizontal lines across the middle and bottom of the circle. Draw vertical lines on either side of the circle for the edges of the face. Add in details such as the jawline, forehead, and cheekbones.
Heart Face Shape
A heart-shaped face has a wider forehead and a narrow jawline. To draw a heart-shaped face, start with a circle for the head. Add a horizontal line across the middle for the eyes. Draw the jawline as a curve that tapers down into a point to represent the chin. Lastly, draw a curved line above the eyes to represent the forehead.
Diamond Face Shape
A diamond-shaped face has wide cheekbones and a narrow forehead and jawline. To draw a diamond-shaped face, start with a circle for the head. Draw lines starting at the middle of the circle that extend outwards to represent the cheekbones. Draw a horizontal line across the middle of the circle for the eyes. Draw the jawline with a gentle curve and not too pointed. Lastly, draw the forehead as a curved line.
Triangle Face Shape
A triangle-shaped face has a narrow forehead and widens at the cheeks and jawline. To draw a triangle-shaped face, start with a circle for the head. Draw a horizontal line across the middle of the circle for the eyes. Draw a straight line from the top of the circle to the middle line for the forehead. Draw lines from the outer edges of the middle line down to the chin, making sure to widen the lines around the cheeks.
Step 3: Adding Details
Once you’ve drawn the basic shape of the face, it’s time to add in the other features such as the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.
Draw the eyes on the horizontal line you drew earlier. Eyes should be spaced apart at about the width of one eye. Draw almond or oval shaped eyes and add in the iris and pupil. Fill in the eyelids and lashes.
Draw the nose on the vertical line you drew earlier. It should be about halfway between the eyes and chin. Draw a triangle shape for the nose with the base resting on the line. Add in the nostrils and bridge of the nose.
Draw the mouth below the nose. The corners of the mouth should be in line with the middle of the eyes. Draw the upper and lower lip, and add in some lines for detail such as the Cupid’s bow and creases at the corners of the mouth.
Draw the ears on either side of the head, level with the eyes and nose. Ears can be tricky, but it’s important to pay attention to their placement and shape as it can drastically affect the overall balance of the face.
Step 4: Shading and Texturing
Shading gives depth and dimension to your drawing. Using a blending stump or your finger, blend the shading lines to create a smooth transition between light and shadow. Use a 2B pencil to create light tones and darker 6B pencil for the shadows. Texture can be added to the hair, eyebrows, or beard to make your drawing more realistic.
Face shape drawing can seem daunting, but it’s all about breaking it down into manageable steps. Start with the basic shape of the face, add in the features and details, and finish it off by shading and texturing. Remember to practice and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The more you practice, the better you’ll become!
1. What if my drawing doesn’t look like the person I’m trying to draw?
It’s important to remember that not every drawing will look exactly like the person you’re trying to draw. Practice makes perfect and it takes time to develop your skills. Keep practicing and don’t be discouraged!
2. How can I improve my shading technique?
One way to improve your shading technique is to practice with different types of pencils and paper. Play around with shading using different techniques such as cross-hatching or stippling. Look up tutorials or videos to see how other artists shade.
3. Should I always start with the basic face shape?
Starting with the basic face shape is a good foundation to build on, but it’s not always necessary. If you’re comfortable with drawing the facial features, feel free to skip ahead to those steps.
4. How do I make my drawing more realistic?
Adding texture and shading can give your drawing a more realistic look. Pay attention to the details such as skin folds, hair texture, or shadow placement. Look for reference photos to see how light falls on different parts of the face and how it creates shadows and highlights.
5. How do I draw different face angles?
Start by drawing the basic face shape from the front, then gradually turn it to the side or at an angle. It’s important to pay attention to the proportions of the face in relation to the angle you’re drawing it at.
6. How do I draw a face from imagination?
Practice, practice, practice! Start by drawing from reference photos, then try to draw from memory or from your imagination. Pay attention to the basic face shapes and proportions and practice drawing different facial expressions.