I've received lots of emails asking me to explain drawing faces. Similar to "poses" the face is easiest to tackle from the front, head on. (No pun intended!) Three quarter and profiles are a little more difficult, so I'm only going to explain the front view for you now.
- You start by drawing an egg shape with lines up and down and side to side, both through the center.
- Halfway between the bottom and the center line you mark a dash for the nose, and halfway between the nose marking and bottom you mark a dash for the mouth. The eyes are drawn right across the center line. They're almond shape, and the space between them is equal to the width of one eye.
- Draw the hairline, the contour of the mouth and the eyebrows. This is also the time to contour the face. You can curve in at the eye line, the cheekbones, and shape the jaw line.
- Add the eye iris, the colored part of the eyeball. It should be a circle that is "cut off" by the eyelid and the the bottom lash. Having the iris "cutoff" is one of those details that makes the illustration more authentic and real looking as opposed to a floating dot of color surrounded by white.
- Color. First lightly erase all your lines. Then start by adding one coat of the chosen skin tone, then with the same marker draw the shadows on the upper eyelids, side(s) of the nose, top of chin, cheekbones and neck. Also apply color for hair (for previous tip on hair click here), eyes, and mouth. And polish off the sketch with colored pencils.
This is a very basic face. Of corse you can create a more unique face by angling or enlarging the eyes, or narrowing the mouth, or pulling it to one side to create a smirk. You can also play with the face contour and jaw to make a long and narrow face, or very angular face. The possibilities are endless. Like I suggested with poses, it also helps to have photos to reference.
If you have any questions on faces, please ask me in the comments section so that your question, and my answer, can be shared with everyone.