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Drawing the Face

Step 7. The Profile Contour

This section of the tutorial is where things begin to get interesting! You see, although the proportions of the head remain the same in every view, the facial features do not.

 

Since we're dealing with the side view of the head, rather than laying down the individual features separately, you're going to define the front of the face by drawing a single contour line from the brow to the chin.

 

This contour line basically outlines the silhouette of the brow, nose, mouth and chin.

 

The feature guidelines laid down in the previous steps will show you exactly where to place each feature. But just in case here’s a quick recap from the top.

 

1. First comes the brow line

2. Just beneath that sits the eye line.

3. Next comes the nose line

4. And below that the mouth line.

 

The features themselves will of course vary between the genders, age groups, races and simply through unique individuality.

 

So however far you pull out the nose and chin, whatever size you decide to make the brow and lips; it’s all completely up to you and the look you want for your character.

 

But there are a few differences between a masculine face and a feminine face that you might want to watch out for.

 

Women tend to have smaller, softer features while men’s are more broad and defined. The nose and chin are also slightly larger in comparison to that of a woman. This sharp, chiselled look comes across psychologically as strong, masculine and dominant.

 

You’ll notice that the facial features all adhere to the straight line we originally defined for the front of the face. So as you push and pull out the features, use it as a guide to ensure everything is aligned correctly.

Step 8. Drawing the Eye

It’s crazy just how completely different the eye appears when viewed from front to side. In the heads profile view, the eye looks almost like a slice of pie. Which makes drawing it super simple! Go ahead and draw it in on the eye line.

 

A common mistake made when drawing eyes side on is placing them too close to the front of the face. This can cause the entire face to just look… off. And because it’s such a subtle mistake it’s often hard to pin point.

 

So if your head isn’t looking quite right, try placing the eye further back, away from the front of the face and see if it makes a difference. After all, our eye ball does sit back inside the skull's eye socket.

Step 9. The Eye Brow

Next, draw in the eye brow using the brow line as a guide. Instead of using individual strands, group them together to create the general shape of the eye brow. A few lines can be thrown in later to indicate strands of eye brow hair, but not too many are needed.

 

The different ways eye brows can be drawn vary from gender to gender.

 

Generally speaking, the eye brows of a man are drawn lower and thicker, while females tend to have raised eye brows that are more thinned out and streamlined.

Step 10. Sculpting the Head

Up until this point the sphere has served as a worthy place holder for Mr Man’s head. But it’s time now to sculpt that cue ball into something more accurately skull-like.

 

There are only a few tweaks that need to be made, primarily around the top and back of the head.

 

Begin by quashing down the top of the sphere. Only flatten it out a little though, we don’t want this guy turning out like Frankenstein’s monster.

 

Next, push in the bottom quarter of the sphere, at the back of the head, so that it curves nicely into the neck. And lastly, just above the brow, take the forehead in slightly.

Step 11. Draw in the Nose

When drawing the head from the side, the nose is one of the easiest steps. This is because we already have the silhouette of the nose defined. So all that’s needed now is the nostrils!

 

Draw in the nostrils just below the ridge of the nose, and use a smaller single line to indicate the back of the nostril hood, where it meets the cheek.

 

To help deturmine how far back the nostral should be drawn, observe the angle of the nose’s silhouette. Now visualise a line with that same angle, running from the tear duct of the eye, down to the nose guideline. This will indicate the contour line of the cheek, but more importantly it’ll tell you where to place the back of the nostril hood.

 

Keep in mind that at a very simplified, primitive level, the nose is simply a wedge, stuck to the front of the face.

Step 12. Place the Hair Line

The hair line falls about mid-way down, between the top of the head and the brow line.

 

This can always depend on the kind of hair style you might want for your character, or if they are balding the hair line might recede further back. It all comes down to your character and their individual preferences.

Step 13. Draw the Ear

Ears are a difficult thing to draw from almost every angle. In fact sometimes it can look like a completely different form from various points of view.

 

So I’m not going to lie to you. It’ll take some time and practice to get comfortable enough drawing the ear from the front, side and back.

 

The outer structure of the ear defines the overall curve, and inside that outer structure sits the interior which could be described almost like a fleshy cup full of bumps and grooves.

 

We’ll have a closer look at the detailed anatomy of the ear in another tutorial dedicated to it specifically, but for now simply copy the ear in the example or even better, find an ear reference to work from so that you can start memorizing its construct.

Step 14. Draw the Hair

When we sit down to draw hair it can really leave us scratching our heads. So here is a simple method you can use to give your characters literally any hair style you desire.

 

Rather than drawing the hair out as individual strands, what you want to do is clump an entire cluster of hair together into what is commonly known as a ‘hair bang’. By using bangs, it becomes a lot easier to layer hair and have it flow into whatever style you like.

 

If you have ever seen the eastern drawing styles of Anime and Manga there are great examples of how bangs can be used to draw hair everywhere. For example, Goku from Dragon Ball Z has a fairly.

 

crazy hair style! But if you look closely it isn’t drawn with individual strands, in fact it’s simplified down into clumped groups of hair. It’s almost like he went to town on his hair with a giant tub of gel!

 

Well you want to go about drawing the hair of your characters in the same way. You can always add extra details later on, but starting out like this will enable you to get the shape and style of the hair correct first.

 

When drawing the hair it is important to note that the bangs are layered upon one another. In the example below you can see how the front bangs are combed back and layered on top of the back hair bangs.

 

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