How to Draw Heads Chapter 3:  Picture Perfect Portraits - Women

Let’s just say, drawing women was never my forte… As much as I wanted them to look beautiful, sexy and attractive, their ruggishly handsome man face always seemed to kill the vibe. Hey, it wasn’t my intention! It was just so damn hard to figure out what exactly the slight differences were that defined the masculinity and femininity of a characters face.

 

As I later discovered…

 

When it comes to drawing female heads, believe it or not they’re not actually all that different from drawing male heads. The entire process is all the same. You’ll begin with a base ‘blue print’ head, adding to that the facial features, then of course the final refinement, lighting and details. But this time there’s a little more to it.

 

Time for a quick biology lesson!

 

There’s no denying that there are definite differences between a feminine face and a masculine face. But, what is it that actually makes a face look feminine or masculine? The answer to that question is HORMONES.

 

The male hormone, testosterone is the culprit for producing an angular, more defined face, facial hair, and thickened skin.

 

On the flip side we’ve got Oestrogen, the female hormone which is responsible for pretty much the opposite; softer skin, smaller, rounded features, and the absence of facial hair. 

 

Although men and women possess a combination of both hormones, men predominantly have a higher amount of testosterone, while women are up the other end of the scale with a higher quantity of oestrogen. This isn’t always the case of course, which is why some men can also look quite feminine, and some women can come across as visually masculine. 

These hormones not only affect the way our face looks, but they are what separate the physical appearances of the genders. When drawing the head, these differences are few and far between and very subtle. But they make all the difference in the world.


And so, although the process for constructing the male and female head is almost identical, the way they’re drawn is certainly not. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to draw the head of a classical female character and the exact key physical differences that create her feminine appearance. 

 

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