How to Draw a Face: 25 Tutorials
4 Comments | December 16, 2010
Drawing faces or portaits is, to me, a bit of a paradox. It is that part of our body which most distinguishes us from others (as an identifying physical trait), but that part of the body which we see the least during our lives. When we do, we do not see our face as others, but rather the mirror reflection, the opposite. It is the seat of the outward manifestation of our inner emotional lives, and yet also draws emotional responses from the outside. Faces can take on an almost infinite of shapes that express the many subtle variations of our inner being, and thus present a unique challenge in rendering on paper.
Thus, practice, as ever, is of the essence, especially when you want to draw faces. I have collected here some materials that should aid you in your quest of drawing the face just right. Hopefully they are of help, and as always, any comments or feedback is much appreciated.
How-To’s, Tutorials, and Step-By-Steps
As you’re learning to draw faces, the first thing to get a grasp of is facial proportions. Our faces are a beautiful harmony of various proportions, deviations from which our eyes easily detect even if only on a subconscious level. Here are a handful of resources to get you going on facial proportions.
Please be aware that any book on this site is linking to Amazon, of which I am an affiliate. That means that when you make a purchase on Amazon using one of my links, Amazon reimburses me a small percentage (at no cost to you!). This greatly helps me maintain this site and provide content. Your support is great appreciated!
This book is a bit more advanced and has received great reviews on Amazon, although it’s primarily focused on drawing the three-quarter portrait pose.
As the name implies, if you are interested in drawing lifelike portraits based on photographs, this is the way to go. Lee Hammond is a great instructor and you’ll learn all about pencil technique along the way.
You can’t really go wrong with starting with a book on how to draw faces. Beware, however, that this a book targeted at children.
Once you have a good, firm grasp on drawing proper facial proportions and such, it’s time to broaden your scope and tackle the thousands of expressions that we humans use to communicate with one another. Here are a few resources to get you going.
Sometimes to really dive into a topic you just need to get a book – a website isn’t gonna cut it. If you really wanted to get going on drawing faces and cannot wait to order a book, here are some online books that you can read.
Just for Fun
Finally for the doodler in all of us – how to draw faces the doodle way: