How to Draw a Female Human Head

In many of my tutorials I discuss various methods to color or paint my line art. Today I’m going to show you my creative process in making my drawings, which may be the first in a series of drawing tutorials.

The first thing I do is start with an egg shape, heavy side up. Imagine the egg in the direction it is looking. In this case it is a three-quarter turn. Oddly enough I drew more of these then straight on views growing up. I found them more interesting somehow.

What you’re going to do with this egg is draw a line down the middle where the center of the face would be. A perfectly straight on view would call for a perfectly straight line down the middle. This angled view calls for a curved line.

Now draw a line for the horizontal of the face pretty much halfway down the first line. This is the guide that will nestle the eyes.

Now go about halfway down from the eye line and the chin. Draw a tick for where the nose will go. And halfway between that tick and the chin will be for the mouth area. Already can you see in your mind’s eye an image of a person’s face.

The nose, for the most part, fits in between a person’s eyes. Start by drawing loose parallelograms on either side of the nose.

If these block shapes look like they are in the right place than you can move onto drawing finer details. No sense in drawing the perfect eye and have it being in the wrong place. What I like to do in these little parallelograms is draw 3 small curves in the corners. 1. That slopes downward at the tear duct. 2. Another that slopes upward at the bottom that travels upwards to the end point of the eye slit. 3. One that starts at the midpoint of the top of the block and slopes down to touch the end of the last curve.

Now the nose. This bugger is an extremely complex shape that can be simplified to even 2 flicks of the pencil. Sometimes you’ll see in animation a single line used for a nose. Can you imagine having to draw a detailed nose on every frame? For this exercise we’re going to meet somewhere in the middle.

Imagine the line that goes down from the eyes and starts at the bridge of the nose. That’s a good way to guide your pencil for the first flick. Intersect this flick with another that will lead back down to the center line of the initial egg. The extended lines imply my follow-throughs of the lines to get a better grasp of the angles I used. This third flick of the pencil will be a light small one for the nostril. You can also see that I added some smaller lines for detail such as the one that connects the nose to the center indention of the mouth and the small tucking lines of the nostril that forms a sideways “C” or “6” shape as well as the one that forms the outer nostril.

Motion Guide:

When drawing lips it’s easiest to envision 4 cushions. Bear with me here.

Imagine the bottom lip being comprised of 2 oval cushions flat on the floor as shown in the following image. There are 2 more angled toward the nose. After you have those 4 oval shapes the rest actually connects itself. Imagine skinning over the ovals with a loose material and notice how the curves dip in between each set. Reference actual lips while doing this and it will become more intuitive.

Now that the main facial features are planted you can begin sculpting around the chin and cheeks. Areas of volume to take of note are around the chin, cheeks, and brow. Once I fill out the chin I can see where the jawline should round out on the simple egg shape.

When I place the oval for the ear, I tend to put the bottom near the top of the jaw curve, and line the top with the eyes, using that cross section when we first cut the egg into 4 sections. If a pair of glasses can properly rest on the eyes and extend to the ear, the oval should be lined up correctly. You can then drop in 2 simple circles where the eyes are.

Now add some details. I use little “C” shapes in the pupils instead of filled black circles. This gives the illusion of light reflecting on the eyeball, which gives it a bit of life. The complexities of the ear can be generalized with 4 simple curves. The 2 that round out the outer ear, a small curve for the inner and one that connects the jaw to the ear to make that little flap thing.

At this point you can finish up by dropping down 2 lines for the neck, add some eyebrows, and a hairstyle of your choice.

By Mark Rivera

Mark is an animator and ad designer for WebProNews. He has a passion for illustration and 3D art.

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