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How to Draw The 3/4 View Of The Male Head

How to Draw The Three Quarter View Of The Male Head


Learning how to draw superhero heads from the front and side is perfect practice for the general proportions and placement of the facial features.

By now you’re probably pretty darn good at drawing those picture perfect portraits and profiles too. Yet, maybe you’re also feeling a little confined and confused when it comes to the other, more complicated points of view beyond the two dimensional realm.

Let’s be honest, drawing heads at an angled perspective ain’t the easiest feat in the world to elegantly accomplish. But the truth is, in reality the human head is rarely observed straight on from the front or side.

Even when someone turns to look directly at you, foreshortening and perspective will skew your view of them to an extent. That is unless you're a mugshot camera man of course!

Imagine reading a whole comic book where the heads of those characters were shot from the front or side all the way through. Sure it might be an alright read for the first page or two. But before long, you’d find the resulting flatness somewhat boring and non-compelling.

In fact if you really you think about it, it’s the comics that don the most dynamic compositions that are sure to encapsulate an audience within unbreakable immersion.

So my comic book creating compadre', as amazing as you are at drawing those picture perfect portraits and profiles, that alone just will not do. Harnessing the power of dynamic comic book artistry is all about the freedom to draw anything from any angle imaginable.

And in those pinnacle moments of drama, action and emotion the last thing you want is to be confined to a two dimensional playing field.

Allow me now to take you on a ride into the third dimension as we maneuver the lens of our camera around the human head to the all encompassing three quarter view.

Step 1: Draw a Sphere

Start by drawing a simple sphere - it'll serve as the cranium of our three quarter view head, and also as the base from which we'll build out the rest of the face.

Draw a Sphere

Step 2: Define The Front Of The Head

To ensure our superhero ends up with a properly proportioned head, we’re going to use an assortment of guidelines to help draw everything snugly into place.

The first guideline will define the front of the head by creating a central division that encircles the Sphere on a vertical axis. Since the head is being drawn at an angle here, you’ll notice how the center line conforms to the curve of our cranial ball.

Next create another horizontal guideline for the brow that divides the Sphere into two equal halves around the equator.

Visually the brow guideline appears to run straight across, from one side to the other. But if you were to view it any higher or lower it too would be drawn on a slight curve as it trailed around the surface of the Sphere.

Divide the Sphere up Into Quarters

Step 3: Define The Side of The Head

So far the front of the Sphere has been established, but unlike the portrait and profile views of the head, at this angled perspective, both the front and side will be visible.

To define the side of the head, lay down a third vertical division, set at a 90 degree rotation from the front. This line will also have a curve to it to help portray the spherical form, like a red marker drawn around the surface of a queue ball.

You should now have a Sphere with three separate guidelines dividing it up into quarters. Unlike the side and front views, these guidelines clearly describe the three dimensional surface of the sphere on three different axis.

Define The Side of The Head

Step 4: Flatten The Sides of The Head

The human head is more or less a dome with a block tagged on the front for the face. So a Spherical form fits perfectly as the foundation of your characters skull.

But it’s not completely circular.

In fact a more accurate, simplified representation of the cranium would be to take that Sphere and slice off the sides; effectively creating the temporal areas of the skull.

So go ahead and lop of the sides of that cranial ball by cutting an oval shape into the side of it.

Keep in mind that the amount to which you bring in the sides of the Sphere will determine how narrow or wide your character's head appears to be.

Slice of The Sides of The Sphere

Step 5: Draw In The Eyeline

The next addition to our set of proportional guidelines is the Eye Line.

It’ll run horizontally across the front of the Sphere, parallel to the Brow Line just above. Of course it’ll be used to place the eyes of your character, but it will also set the midway point of the heads overall length.

Draw The Eye Line

Step 6: Draw In The Chin

Next we’ll define the overall length of the character’s head and then proceed on to laying in the rest of the feature Guide Lines.

Starting from the brow line, take the central division of the head and extend it all the way down to the bottom of the chin.

This is where the Eye Line comes in handy for more than just placing the eyes of your superhero. Because it falls almost exactly around the middle of the head, you can use it to help measure how far down the chin needs to come.

Draw Out The Full Length of The Face

Step 7: Draw In The Facial Feature Guidelines

With the overall length of the head set and ready to roll, it’s now just a matter of placing in the proportional foot notes to hang the rest of our features on.

Let’s take care of the Nose and Mouth Guide Lines next. To properly place them, simply break up the bottom half of the face’s central divide into equal thirds, between the Eye Line and Chin Line.

This will give you two new Lines, the top locating the placement of the nose and the bottom establishing placement of the mouth.

Mark Out The Facial Features

Step 8: Draw In The Ear

Placing the ear onto your character’s noggin is a walk in the park in the ¾ view, its co-ordinates landing smack bang on the side line division of the skull. And of course, as with any other angle, the ear lobe sits comfortably on top of the Nose Guide Line, with the Brow Line levelling it off at the top.

As far as the shape of the ear at this angle goes, well it’s similar to the side view, except slightly more skewed along the horizontal axis thanks to the warped perspective.

Place The Ear

Step 9: Draw In The Jawline

Now it’s time to draw in the jaw line for our comic book compadre.

We all know that the shape of the jaw is akin to that of a horse shoe, wrapping around the skull, swinging from two hinges at either side of the head.

The tricky part about drawing it from this perspective warping angle is that the far corner of the jaw becomes invisible to the eye as it curves away from our line of sight.

So here’s how we’re going to tackle it. The nearest side of the jaw is drawn just as it would be from the front or side view, beginning from the bottom of the ear, and coming down to form the base of the chin.

The key point to remember here is that the jaw line angles out on a sharp kink around about where you’ll find the Mouth Guideline.

On the other side of the head however, half of the jaw is hidden, so instead the opposing contour line will define the muzzle muscle and cheeks of our character. Basically, that line will run straight down from the eyeline to the chin on a slight curve, without any major kinks along the way.

To ramp up your male superhero characters to maximum masculinity, remember to keep their jaws angular, and chins broad. For the ladies and youngins, you’ll want to ease up on the testosterone by rounding out and softening up those chiseled features.

Draw The Jawline

Step 10: Draw In The Back Of The Head

We’ve already chopped off the sides of the Sphere, but to create a really fine-tuned cranial shape for your character, the back of the skull needs to be brought in slightly.

Keep in mind that the top of the head remains unchanged here, it’s only the back that needs to be adjusted. So as the back is brought inward, the curve of the sphere will become tighter where it meets the top.

Shape the Back of The Skull

Step 11: Draw In The Neck

Let’s move onto the Neck. With all those muscles and tendons crisscrossing over one another this conjoining piece of anatomy can be a little confusing to work with.

But just as with every other part of the human body, it too can be simplified down into some very simple key forms that make drawing it a cinch. Think of the neck as nothing more than a cylinder that keeps your characters head attached to his shoulders. The top of that cylinder has a kind of ball joint that allows the head to swivel and move around in countless directions. On top of that there’s a bunch of muscles that wrap around that main cylindrical form that help to hold up and support the heads mass.

The key suspects you’ll want to take note of here are the two thick bands of muscle that run down from underneath the ears to the center of the collar bone, forming a V-Shape as they angle in toward one another. Then there’s the back neck muscles that extend down from the rear of the skull and wrap around the neck, ultimately joining onto shoulders. This creates a kind of concave formation between the collar bone, neck and shoulders. Now when it comes to different genders, masculine characters are going to have a thicker neck with more defined muscle anatomy. Feminine characters on the other hand will usually have a thinner, longer, less defined neck to accentuate their elegance.

Draw The Neck

Step 12: Draw In The Cheek Guidelines

Finally, to separate the front and side planes of the face, draw in a new set of Guide Lines extending down from the brow and cheek bone to the chin. This will create a surrounding boundary containing all the facial features of our character within it.

Drawing in these guidelines also illustrates how little of the jaw can actually be seen as it bends around to the far side of the face. Again, it’s really only the cheek, muzzle and chin that defines the lower head’s silhouette from this angle.

Define The Face Planes

Well, that just about wraps up our little blue print here. Now I know it looks simple and to be honest kinda bland. But the purpose of drawing out this foundational mannequin model is to provide a sound base for the rest of the head. With a solid underlying substructure there’s no further guess work to be made because everything is measured out and marked down.

Now it’s just a matter of pinning on the facial features and refining what’s already there. Let’s face it, who wants to spend hours on a piece of art work that only ends up being a dud due to a foundation that was flawed from the beginning? When you take this pre-planned approach to drawing, little room is left for error.

That said, before moving on be sure to double and triple check the proportions of your head and the accuracy of the forms.

Ideally you’ll want to practice this simple set of steps as much as possible in the beginning not only to ensure your heads are correctly drawn each and every time, but so that the process becomes so second nature that it gets to a point where you won’t even have to think about it. If you are consistent with that practice you’ll find that drawing heads becomes a breeze, and you’ll have the confidence of knowing that the heads of your superheroes are going end up looking ‘right’.

Sure, these stepping stones can take a little getting used to, but repetition my friend, is the master of all skill. With the overall shape and form of the head nailed down, this next section will focus on placing in the features, they’re basic construction and how they’re drawn onto the head in relation to one another.

Step 13: Drawing The Eyes Onto The Face

Thanks to these trusty Guide Lines, drawing in the facial features of our superhero is going to be easy-peasy. So let’s get straight into it, starting with the eyes.

Eyes are one of those areas of the face that seem to encapsulate the attention of the viewer before anything else.

That’s because, in the real world, when we converse with another person their eyes and mouth, being the most expressive of all the facial features, are what we’re focused in on.

And so the audience, being the socially savvy creatures they are, will naturally attempt to connect with your character by focusing in on their eyes first and foremost.

Try it out for yourself, the next time you see someone for real observe where your eyes click into focus.

In saying that, ensure that the eyes of your character are correctly spaced, shaped and sized. You don’t want to leave a bad first impression on your audience now do you?

On the ¾ view angle both eyes are drawn slightly differently due the distortion of their shape in perspective. But in terms of size and proportion they’re very much consistent with the front and side views.

The distance between each eye is one eye width apart as is their distance from either side of the head.

Seems easy enough but be warned. Fudging up on these distances might leave you super hero looking more like a super space cadet.

Draw In The Eyes

Another common mistake to make when drawing eyes is to make them too big. This tends to make your character appear cute or cartoony, which is okay for younger characters but for our big shot super hero here, it’d be bad news.

If you’re running into this boggley eyed obstacle, address it by drawing the eyes on smaller then you think they’d normally be. When it comes to accurately drawing the shape of the eye, remember that the eye ball itself sits inside the sockets of the skull. What we’re actually drawing is the opening created by the surrounding eye lids.

Close Up of The Eyes

Step 14: Drawing The Nose

From the front and side views of the head, drawing on the nose is a walk in the park. Turned on a ¾ angle and it becomes a little trickier.

Because depending on the perspective, the ridge of the nose could cover part of the far eye and its angled form can make it difficult to tell where the top should start and the tip should end. It’s not that the nose itself is hard to draw; it’s just getting it to sit right at an angled perspective.

Luckily for us, there’s an easy solution here. If you can think of the nose as a simplified, primitive form, drawing it from any angle becomes less of a struggle.

So let’s break it down to nothing more than a tapered block, stuck onto the front of the face.

Basic Break Down of The Nose

At the top of this block the ridge of the nose joins onto the ridge of the brow, tapering outward as it extends down to the Nose Line. The size of the nose will determine the sloped trajectory of the ridge.

Once you’ve worked out how the basic nose shape is going to fit onto your characters face, simply define the contour lines by drawing in the ridge of the nose and angling it back around the base at the bottom. The nostrils can be laid in with a few stokes.

It’s as simple as that. Getting the perspective right for the nose is really the hardest part.

Draw The Nose

Step 15: Drawing The Mouth Onto The Face

Now let’s move onto the mouth of our character. The mouth is made up of three different parts, the opening of the mouth, the top lip and the bottom lip. If you think of the opening as being shaped like a trapezoid, the top lip makes up the roof and side walls, and the bottom lip takes care of the base.

Simple Break Down of The Mouth

Begin with the opening of the mouth by defining it as a single contour line running horizontally between the mid-way point of each eye. You’ll notice that this line isn’t drawn in completely straight across, but more like a bow, with a small dip in the center. This is due to the anatomy of the top lip, appropriately labelled the Cupid’s Bow. Keep in mind though that depending on your character that dip’s deepness can vary, some having a completely straight ridge to the roof of their top lip.

The rest of the mouth consists of the outer edge of the lips, which for men are merely suggested with a few swift strokes. The top lip has an adjacent dip to the roof of the opening below, and is partly outlined from corner to corner.

The bottom lip will also be defined as a subtle stroke that casts a heavier shadow below it.

Draw The Mouth

Step 16: Draw In The Eyebrows

Next let’s give this guy some eye brows. Start out by laying in the overall shape of the eye brow first. It too can also be thought of as an elongated trapezoid. Once that’s done, add in some rendering to indicate the individual strands of the brows. Keep it rough here, and don’t be too precious.

Lastly, take your eraser and erase into some of the strands that were created through the rendering. It doesn’t have to be any in particular, so keep it random.

When it comes to drawing eye brows for men, make them a little thicker, and a little lower than you would for a female character.

Draw The Eye Brows

With that our dashingly handsome ¾ male head is now prepared for a final sprinkling of detail and refinement. But before we lather on the icing, let’s do a quick recap. This head began as nothing more than a simple sphere, and from it a blueprint was constructed that took care of all the proportions and placement of the heads key features. It’s already been established that this step is indeed the most important one.

If those proportions aren’t drafted up properly, the rest of the drawing is going to dearly suffer for it. In the above section the facial features were placed onto the head using the foundational cheat sheet previously laid down. From there it was smooth sailing, all that really needed to be considered was the positioning of the features in relation to one another. Now the rest is just icing on the cake. Yes, I’m talking about the fancy sparkles, the crème brule’ – The Details! There’s nothing more rewarding then when you’re detailing out your drawing because this is where you really begin to see it all come together.

As you progress through the tedious rendering and lighting, your drawing will more and more closely resemble that of a finally polished piece of pro comic book artistry. At this point you can relax more too. With the foundations taken care of, you’re really just drawing over and refining what’s already there, so you don’t need to think as much.

As long as you’re keeping the shadows and detail balanced you can wind your brain down with some music, an inspiring movie, even chat to a friend or co-worker as you put the final polish into your art work. I will say this though – detailing takes time. Yes it’s easier, yeah it’s fun, but adding in all the line weights, shadows and rendering is a rather tedious task that at times can take a lot of patience, and a majority of the man hours spent on the drawing over all.

Do you see now why it’s so important to make sure that initial draft is sound and solid? Believe it or not that oh-so important, initial foundational phase is actually quite fast, and the thing is if you do make a mistake along the way, it’s no big deal. It can be easily fixed up and mended in a jiffy. The details are all piled on top of that and they’re what take the time. So if the foundational drawing is all out of whack and you’re unlucky enough not to notice until the end… It’ll be kinda too late to save your beloved creation. To fix a foundational mistake after the final detailing and refinement stage would mean going back and erasing hours of work. Because most of the time, a foundational mistake is a BIG mistake, likely to do with the proportions, pose or general composition of your drawing. So what I’m really getting at here is make sure that foundation is as sound and solid as can be. Otherwise you might end up finding yourself in a world of hurt and tears. The thing is working so closely with your drawing for an extended period of time can make it hard to spot out mistakes in the beginning. So a really great way to ensure everything is laid out correctly and to check for those hidden, less obvious hiccups is to flip your image using a mirror. This gives you a fresh view of the art work, bringing forth errors that might not have previously stood out to you. Or alternatively, you can ask a friend or family member to give you some critique.

Another pair of eyes will do the same thing, seeing your image from a perspective other than your own.

It's All In The Details

Let’s bring this drawing home with some fine-tuned detailing and refinement. So far our brains have had a good work out, dealing with all that techy, proportional and perspective stuff. Now we can take it

a little easier, because from here on you’ll just be building upon what’s already been established. So here are the nuts and bolts you’ll need in your detailing tool bag.

How To Render Comic Book Style

Details consist of 3 elements:

  • Line weights – “Refinement of lines using varying weights to indicate stroke direction and overlapping.”

  • Shadows – “Used to indicate light sources. Shadow work can also greatly enhance mood and drama.”

  • Rendering – “Blends solid shadows into highlights. Also aid’s in the depicting of form.”

Now your personal preference and style is going to come into play a little bit here. For example if you like to keep your art work simple, clean and sleek, applying line weights to the contours of your drawing is really all you’ll need to do to get the job done. On the other hand you might have a more dramatic, gloomy feel to your art style, filled to the brim with foreboding shadows and dimly lit lighting set ups. In that case you’ll likely want to douse your drawings down with a generous serving of shadow work. Of course if you’ve got a hunger for grungy detail and intricate rendering, your comic book art work may summon the power of all three to bring it to its final evolution.

Different Styles of Rendering

Whatever the case may be, use your best judgement. There’s no cold hard rules for detailing, just try your hand at the detailing elements and experiment as much as you need to until you find something that works.

If you’ve got a favorite comic book artist with an already established style that inspires you, start off there.

Use their rendering techniques, observe their use of shadow and the slickness of their lines, but understand why they do the things they do and the effects it has on their comic book creations. And over time your art work will take on an identity of its own too.

Step 17: Refine The Drawing With Line Weights

Here’s something most budding comic artisans aren’t aware of. Lines consistent in thickness not only look unnatural, but they flatten out the depth and perspective within your drawing leaving it levelled, lifeless and amateurish.

What you want is for your drawing to be distinctly defined, dynamic and visually appealing. The way you’ll achieve that is through stylizing the contour lines themselves using a special technique called Line Weighting.

Line Weighting is the art of Varying the thickness or heaviness within the contour lines of your drawing to help accentuate form, depth and lighting direction.

In short, Line Weights are the varnish used to make the drawings you create pop with the pizazz of a seasoned pro.

Add Line Weights

Step 18: What Line Weights Can Do For Your Drawing

So what’s so special about Line Weights anyway? Well turns out they’ve got a couple perks to offer your pictures.

  • To begin with, Line Weights have a knack for being able to indicate light direction even in the absence of shadows and rendering. Pulling off this optical effect is easily achieved by keeping the Lines of your drawing thinly defined on the light side of the form but bolder on the shadowy side.

  • Another way Line Weights enrich your work is by enhancing depth and distance within the scene. The way this works is by thickening up the contour lines of the forms as they extend into the foreground, then thinning them out as they recede backward. What’s happening here is that the bolder, more dramatically defined contours capture the viewer’s attention first, and then lead them into the rest of the image.

  • Lastly, Line Weights also come in handy for outlining the key forms of interest within your art work. This is achieved by thickening up the outline of the form’s silhouette, while leaving the interior details subtly thinner.

Now there are a few other nifty Line Weight trinkets you can use to make your art work flourish, but for now, these three should do the trick. I don’t want to understate the significance of Line Weights because they are an incredibly important topic.

As such, they’ve got an entire chapter unto themselves, tucked away into the extensive library of tutorials available here on the site.

Line Weight Effects

How To Apply Line Weights To Your Drawing

For now, here’s what you should keep in mind when applying Line Weights to your drawing

  • Typically, forms or shapes closest to the foreground will receive the dominant lines. As you work, keep in mind where those forms overlap so that you get a good sense of which contours need to be thickened up where to create that hierarchy of depth.

  • When applying Line Weights, the edges of a line are usually thinner than the middle body. In other words, that Line might begin thin; thicken up in the middle and then taper out again at the end.

  • There are exceptions to this rule of course, especially where two lines meet or intersect. The Line that merges into the adjacent Line will typically thicken up at the end, right where they make contact. This comes into play more so when drawing hair or clothes.

  • Line Weights are also applied where one form overlaps another. This helps to distinguish and separate the two, but also brings the top form forward to increase depth and dimension.

So go ahead and solidify your sketch with a Line Weight run over. What you should end up with is a clean looking, spit shiny version of your original sketch.

Rendering Your Drawing

With the Line Weights setting the mold of our finally sculpted drawing, let’s work in some of the more intricate details. In a genre consisting of black and white line art alone; comic artists don’t have the luxury to simply shade in the gradients needed to describe form and dark to light value blending. But thanks to the etching masters of yore, we’ve managed to find a way around it. Here’s a quick overview of how this black and white form of Rendering, also known as ‘Feathering’ or ‘Cross Hatching’ works.

Basic Overview Of Rendering

Fig 1. Rendering is achieved through a series of render lines that wrap around the form, also known as ‘feathering’. A single render line is a simple line with Line Weight applied, being thicker at the base, and gradually thinning out at the tip, almost like a needle.

Fig 2. Rendering lines can be cross hatched over one another to increase contrast between the light and dark values inside the gradient.

Fig 3. Through this gradient, render lines work together to indicate a light source, while also helping to describe the form and shape of an object.

Fig 4. By applying the same rendering techniques to hair, the layering is made more obvious, and in turn gives it more depth.

Crosshatching Techniques

There are two key roles that Rendering plays in comic book art, the first being to help describe form and secondly to help blend pure black shadow into pure white light. The effect of Rendering itself is achieved through a series of Lines that are strategically spaced and cross hatched over one another to create a light to dark gradient of varying contrasts.

Step 19: Rendering The Three Quarter View Head

So how does all of this talk of Rendering apply to our ¾ angle male portrait? Again, it comes down to a preference of style, but if there is one big mistake comic artists make when it comes to faces it’s that they reach into the Rendering cookie jar way too many times. Don’t be over indulgent with the Rendering, less is often more especially on the ol’ noggin. But just to gauge how much you should be throwing in here, take into consideration the scene’s lighting conditions.

If the character is situated inside a dimly lit environment where shadows will inevitably be cast, you’ll need a healthy serving of rendering to help blend in those shadows and define the subtle concavities of the heads structure. On the other hand, if that lighting set up is reasonably bright, you won’t need as much rendering to get the job done. In fact, if you go too overboard, your pristinely drawn character is only going to wind up messy and inconsistent in tone.

Keep the Rendering proportionately balanced where necessary in relation to your style.

Muddying the key forms of your character in an engulfment of unneeded detail is the last thing you want. As you can see with this guy, the only Rendering going on here at this point is the light suggestion of form and muscle structure around his eye sockets, cheek bones and lower lip. Nothing too fancy, but just enough to indicate those subtle forms.

Render The Face

Step 20: Drawing In Shadows Around The Head

Next, to take the three dimensionality of your drawing into maximum overload, we’ll add some shadows into the mix to enhance the depth of those forms. It’s important to note that there’s actually two main types of shadow you’ll commonly make use of when drawing. Let’s start off with soft shadows. Soft shadows, like normal shadows, show up around the form as it turns away from the main light source.

Except these shadows don’t just stop and end, they slowly blend from pure black into highlight. That soft, dark to light transition is of course achieved through Rendering. Then there are hard shadows, also known as cast shadows. Instead of softly blending into the lit areas of the form, these shadows are cast by the object itself, resulting in a hard edged projection onto whatever underlying form it hits. Just like a shadow puppet.

Turning our attention to the example head here, you can see both types at play. The head and nose, being the two predominant forms are casting hard shadows onto the neck and face, according to the lights direction.

You’ll notice that these shadows in particular have no render blending taking place whatsoever. Observe also that the sizes of the hard shadows are proportional to the forms casting them.

Downward toward the neck we discover more thick shadows, the difference here however is that Rendering Lines are used to graduate them out into the light.

Beyond that, there is relatively little in the way if dramatic shadow work on this guy’s head. Some light rendering around the face is all that’s really needed to wrap things up here.

So how will you know where and how much shadow should be added to your characters head? Well it’s quite simple. First you want to de-complicate the entire process by breaking your head down and thinking of it in terms of simplified mass.

Once you’ve done that there’s only one key question you always want to be asking yourself, “Where is my character in relation to the main light source?”

If you know the direction from which your primary light is coming from you’ll get a pretty good idea straight away as to where those shadows need to be cast or laid in.

Draw In The Shadows

Step 21: Draw The Iris Inside The Eye

This guy has looked like the walking dead for long enough; it’s high time we add some pupils into those empty eyes.

The rest of the eye is made up of two parts, the iris, and the pupil. When I’m drawing in the eye I like to start with the Pupil first, and then draw the iris around it.

Unless the eyes are wide open in surprise or shock, it’s likely that almost the entire top half of the iris, and partly the bottom will be hidden behind the eye lids.

To top it off, you might want to add a cast shadow across the top of the eye and a glinting reflection.

Draw The Iris and Pupil

Step 22: Draw In The Hairline

At this point our character’s head is just about done and dusted. But that uncanny resemblance to Lex Luther needs to be addressed with a luscious, full head of hair.

From a distance, hair can look a little intimidating to tackle. But if we dismantle it and backwards engineer it into a simple step by step method it’s actually a fairly straight forward process.

The first thing I establish before anything else is the hair line. It outlines the area of the head from which the hair of your character will sprout from.

Draw The Hair Line

Step 23: Block In The Hairstyle

With the hair line drawn in, the next step is to draw out the hair itself.

When it comes to drawing hair I like to start out real simple by lying in a base out line that defines the general shape of my character’s hair style. This makes sense because naturally, individual strands of hair actually do clump together.

But another reason the general shape of the hair is nailed down first is so that it can serve as a directional guide for flow and overall formation as the finer details are worked in.

This ensures that the style remains contained and consistent. Think of it as applying the gel that'll keep everything in place.

Block In The General Hair Style

Step 24: Render The Hair To Add Depth

After your characters hairdo is all blocked in, detailing is just a matter of breaking up the large hair ribbons, into smaller ribbons.

To maintain that suave style, as the ribbons are splintered off into smaller portions have them conform to the general flow and direction of the parent ribbon. Remember to make good use of Line Weights as the hair is refined. Give it some lift and volume too by emphasizing the layers with some rendering.

To get that slick fullness, the underlying locks of hair need to gradate out from those above. So those Rendering Lines need to be pulled out across the lower ribbon, where two layers overlap. When it comes to drawing hair, you’ll need some patience. With all the styling, defining and rendering that goes into it, it’s going to take some time.

On top of that, it can also be a real struggle to get the hang of, so if you’re looking for a definitive edition Hair tutorial, dedicated to thoroughly taking you through the entire process you’ll find it right here.

Draw The Hair

And that my friend is the end of this mammoth sized tutorial. If you’ve ploughed through and read each of these steps you should have a drawing in front of you that resembles a dashingly handsome, ¾ angle Male Head.

Three Quarter View of The Male Head

There’s something special about graduating from drawing the front and side of the human head to the ¾ view.

No longer are we looking straight on at a flat portrait or profile, it’s now presented in a three dimensional realm, where there’s a real feel for the forms and geometry that make up the head and its individual features. But this is really only the tip of the ice berg. At some point, you’ll gain the power to draw the head from any angle you can think of and that’ll be when it truly manifests as an object that can be turned and manipulated in a 3 dimensional space.

This is the point where you’ll not only have the ability to draw what your mind is envisioning, but you’ll be able understand it as a structured form. Just starting out, drawing the head on an angle can be a little mind boggling, especially if you’ve never attempted it before. Even if you’re no newbie to drawing, let’s be honest, at times it can take a little tweaking to get right.

That’s because when you begin to turn the head in space how it appears to the eye becomes different at every view point. This is why understanding the primitive building blocks that make it up are so important.

If you can really get your head around them, you’ll have the key to drawing what you want dynamically, without holding back on those difficult shots or camera angles. Listen, I want you to see real results. If you put the time into reading and going through each step in this tutorial I want you to come out of it with a return in value. But I’m not here to sprinkle fairy dust onto the hard grind you’ll inevitably have to go throw.

Mastering your abilities is probably the hardest, most testing, and self-doubting quest you’ll ever undertake in your life.

So you need to be a true warrior to break through from whatever level of skill you’re at now in order to ascend to the epitome of your drawing abilities. Beyond my teachings, the best possible advice I can give to you is to practice, and never stop practicing. Information alone is worthless if it’s not put into action.

When it comes to learning how to draw, that’s something you’ll have to do over and over again to ensure the knowledge you gain becomes engrained through experience and application.

You’ll invest more time then you can imagine into your passion to become proficient at your craft. But in the end you’ll get an even greater pay off in return. So once you’ve gone through this tutorial, roll back to the beginning and set out on the road to mastery again. Meticulously recap on each and every step, building and rebuilding your drawings with the techniques you’ve learned until it gets to a point where these teachings have become branded into your mind. The gift you’ll be left with is a process so automatic you no longer even have to think about it. And instead of focusing all your energy onto how you’ll draw, it’ll go into what you want to draw instead. Isn’t that what’s most important? The technical ability to draw is really only the tool harnessed to create your ideas, and those ideas are really where your ambitions should ultimately lie. That’s the reason I’m sharing this knowledge with you. Because I believe deep down that if I can share my tools of creation with you, you’ll share your ideas with the world, and in turn, the world will nurture creatively and self-expression. Good luck, and as always, keep the dream alive.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve enjoyed this Free how to draw comics tutorial. Until next time, keep drawing!


Tutorial by Clayton Barton

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