How to draw a face

by Belindafierce

I will show you step by step how to draw a semi-realistic human face. All that is required is a pencil, paper and a little bit of time.

Learning how to draw people is entirely essential if you want to become a good artist. There is so much more to art besides learning how to draw stick figures or cartoon characters. As an artist progresses during their creative journey, there will come many times where that artist will want to improve their skills and learn how to draw things that are more appealing to the eye. This tutorial will give you a little insight on how to draw a basic human facial structure.

Shape and angle

The first thing you should do before you decide to draw your face is determine the shape, size and angle of the face you want to create. You should draw some rough sketches of faces to get a better  idea of how a human face is shaped. Unlike the characters faces you see in most cartoons these days, a human skull is not not perfectly circular in shape. 

The hardest part about drawing a face is aligning the facial features properly. If you take a look at a human skull, you'll be able to see the proper alignment of the eyes, nose and mouth pretty well. Also, just by looking at still photos of individuals might give you a pretty good idea on how the features should look as well

The second thing that needs to be determined is the sex. Male and female facial structures are very different from one another for the most part.

Face Drawing Tutorial

Below is a simple tutorial for drawing a female facing forward. The intent of this is to focus on the facial structure and features such as the eyes, nose, lips, cheeks, chin etc so please excuse the baldness of the character. This isn't exactly the best example for realism, as the eyes are humongous. This is something that would be ideal for those who want to draw something not quite realistic, yet not all the way cartoony. 

Be sure you have all of your tools ready before beginning. This should include at least a pencil, paper, a good eraser and a flat, hard surface. :)

Step 1

Start out by drawing the shape of the head. You can go back and erase the lines later.

Step 2

Clean up the drawing a bit if you'd like. 

Step 3

I think it's easier to start from the top and work your way down to the bottom. Draw the shape of your eyes on the face. The eyes I have drawn here are large and somewhat oval shaped.

Step 4

Draw the outlines of your pupils next. I'm not going to fill in the eyes with detail just yet. I'll be saving that step for later. 

Step 5

Next, we draw in the nose. This can sometimes be considered the hardest part of drawing a face. One usually has to worry about drawing the nose too large, too small, too short, too long or just too big for the face. I kept the nose simple and average sized.

Step 6

Next, draw a mouth for your face. Notice that I drew an upper and lower lip on the mouth. 

Step 7

Now, I have drawn two different lines up above the eyes to represent the eye brows. Also, I have drawn in the eyelid as well.

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Step 8

Go back to where the eyes are. We are now going to fill in the eyes with some detail. I drew in the pupils at the center of the eyes.

Step 9

This completely optional, but if you want to go the extra mile, you can draw a neck and ears on the head as well. And that's that! I hope you like the results. Remember that the more your practice, the better your art will turn out. :)

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Updated: 09/25/2012, Belindafierce
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Rose on 12/04/2015

Great tutorial. I think where I've always gone wrong is starting with the eyes and trying to build the shape around it

katiem2 on 09/27/2012

Cool, my daughters are going to love this. I'm a fan looking forward to more. Thanks :)K

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