A Beginner’s Guide to Drawing Facial Features
Lee Hammond shares tips and techniques for drawing realistic faces with graphite pencil in this step-by-step tutorial, which is an excerpt from her book, Lee Hammond’s All New Big Book of Drawing.
Learning to Draw Facial Features
Take a look at the anatomy of the human face now, and master this art form one feature at a time.
Drawing Noses Two Ways
The nose is the simplest feature of the human face and the one that most closely resembles the sphere. It’s important to learn to draw facial features in various poses, and these straight-on and profile views of the nose will provide plenty of practice.
1. Create a Line Drawing
How do you make a line drawing of a nose in a straight-on view using the grid method and a mechanical pencil?
2. Develop the Lights and Darks
Create light and dark patterns with a pencil first, then add reflected light along the edges of the nose and the rim of the nostril, as well as a shadow edge under the tip to make it look rounded.
Only the highlights should be as white as the paper, and blend out from the dark areas into the lighter face area, just like in the sphere exercise.
1. Create a Line Drawing
Create a line drawing of a nose from a side view using the grid method and a mechanical pencil. When you’re satisfied with your accuracy, carefully remove the grid lines with a kneaded eraser. Develop the light and dark patterns with a pencil, making sure to refer to the sphere.
How do you blend the animal’s tones while making the edges stand out?
Drawing Male and Female Mouths / Lips
The edges of male lips are more subtle and are described by the shadows around them. Drawing a mouth can be difficult, but it can be broken down into simple steps. There are differences between male and female lips. Female mouths are much more defined and appear fuller and shinier.
2. Apply the Dark Patterns
Make the upper lip darker than the lower, so that the top lip angles in and the bottom lip angles out. Use a pencil or eraser to evenly space the dark patterns on the lips, then apply them again with a different color.
2. Add Dark Tones
With a pencil, add the darkest tones first, then carefully line up the lines with an eraser; once you’re satisfied with the accuracy, carefully remove the grid lines with a kneaded eraser to ensure they’re in the right place on the canvas for poster-making.
3. Blend and Lift
To remove the white of the paper, blend the drawing with a stump or tortillion.
When teeth are visible, mouths become more difficult to draw because teeth are dimensional, and leaving them white would make them appear flat. As the teeth recede into the mouth, the shadows become darker, and the bottom teeth are always a little darker because they do not protrude as much.
1. Create a Line Drawing
To create a good likeness, use the grid method and a mechanical pencil to draw a perfect likeness of your mouth. For accuracy, draw the shapes of the gum line and the edges of the teeth. Do not draw hard lines between each tooth.
2. Apply Dark Tones
When you’re satisfied with the accuracy, carefully remove the grid lines with a kneaded eraser and apply the darkest tones with a pencil, making sure the upper lip is darker than the bottom lip and that there are no bright highlights.
3. Blend, Add Shading and Lift
Lift the highlights of the bottom lip to make it look full and shiny, and shade each tooth to make it look dimensional. Soften the lines between the teeth with a kneaded eraser, and keep the lines between the teeth consistently smooth.
The pupil is the darkest part of the eye and should be as dark and smooth as possible. Lower lid thickness below the iris is very important for giving the eye dimension, and the upper lid lashes come together to form a dark edge called the lash line.
How do you draw a realistic face?
Basic line and shading techniques are all that is required to draw a realistic face.
- Step 1: Outline the Face.
- Step 2: Add the Ears and Hairline.
- Step 3: Mark Guidelines and Begin Drawing the Eyes.
- Step 4: Finish the Nose.
- Step 5: Finish the Skin Shading.
- Step 7: Add Hair to Your Face Drawing.
How can I draw better faces?
What is the best way to draw a face?
- Start with two circles to form the base of the head.
- Add construction lines to position the features.
- Experiment with different proportions.
- Line up the features.
- Start with the eyes.
- Add in the nose.
- Try different lip shapes.
- Think about the differences between male and female faces.
How do you draw realistic lips?
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to draw lips in the frontal view.
- Refine the outline and show the volume in the lower lip with two ovals.
- Add a shadow for the upper and lower lips with the HB pencil.
- Add some shading and tone to the whole drawing.
- Add the lines on the lips.
What are smiling eyes?
Smiling with your eyes, also known as the “Duchenne smile” or “smizing,” gives the impression that you’re truly happy. It’s difficult to fake, and it helps you channel positive thoughts, making you appear more genuine. If you get really good at it, you can even smile with just your eyes!
How do you draw smiling lips?
How to Make a Smiling Face
- Step 1: Draw the Upper Lip. Draw the top line of the upper lip in the shape of a Cupid’s bow, remembering to curve out at both ends for the mouth corners.
- Step 2: Draw the Center Line.
- Step 3: Add the Bottom Lip Line.