Lesson 17 - Beginning to Draw Faces

Its time we talked about how to draw faces before you think it is too difficult, because it's not. You have already learned  the drawing techniques you will need to draw a face. The first step to draw a generic face is to go round and round with your pencil on paper and draw an egg shape with the fat top of the egg at the top.  Here is one I drew in my sketchbook.

Then divide the egg in half in both directions and draw one line going down the middle of the egg vertically and one line going across the middle of the egg horizontally.  

You then draw almond shapes the approximate size of eyes and put them on the horizontal line. As a general rule there is one eye shape length in between the two actual eyes.  Check out my drawing.  You'll see in the drawing that the bottom half of the face is divided in half and there is a line. On that line is where generally your faces nose ends.  If you look again at my face drawing you'll see the remaining space below the nose is divided in half and a line is drawn.  That line is where the mouth is drawn as a general rule. 

I have been wanting to sketch Churchill in my travel journal since I visited his house in England last month. In learning about England's history and Churchill's part in bringing peace about to end WWII I got kind of fond of Winston C.  I started my drawing of him by drawing an egg shape and dividing it like I just explained.  Then I studied his face a little closer and saw his nose was a little longer than half of the bottom of the face so I had to make his nose go a bit longer then that bottom middle line. I adjust a few other features because they were different from the generic face divisions but having those generic face guidelines gave me a way to start my drawing and took some of the guesswork out of where to place the features. 

When you get to the stage in drawing a face when you want to draw the features you also have to use two skills I've already told you about. First find the basic shapes underneath the shape you want to draw and then you may also need to use your contour drawing skills to really look at the shape of the eye or the nose or the lips and draw what you see. This is just drawing practice so it doesn't have to be perfect. Also in my photo of Churchill it was difficult to see his ears so I sort of had to fake it. My finished drawing of him isn't perfect, but its a start. Remember to look at your drawing from a distance and you can judge how it looks more clearly. If something looks too big or too small, just adjust it.  That's what erasers are for. 

Your Assignment for Week 17 is to practice drawing faces, generic and try looking at a photo and if you feel courageous enough try drawing by looking at a real person.  You can draw your faces on one page in your sketchbook or carry around a pack of sticky notes this week and draw when you have a chance on the sticky note then past it in your sketchbook. Let me know if you have questions or need help. 

Since drawing faces can be a little challenging, I decided to add these two pictures to show you how all the shapes might fit together and that your face drawings don't have to be perfect. Look at my drawing below, I sketched it this morning from a photo I found of a "kind face" on the net.

The chart below shows the shapes that make up the features and how to put them together so they add up to eyes, nose and a mouth.