Saturday, May 28, 2022

How To Draw A Human Head

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How To Draw A Human Face Takeaways

How to Draw Human Head 3/4 View

In the beginning, remember to keep things simple and focus mostly on getting your proportions right.

As you get those down, you can begin experimenting with your characters features and adding finer details, shaping their personality with texture and color.

Good luck, future comic book artist! We cant wait to see your unique character come to life!

Have you ever tried to draw a human face? Which comic book character is your favorite to draw? Tell us in the comments!

Facial Features Placement In Loomis Construction

The hairline is established about a half way up from the brow line to the top of the head. The space between the eyebrow line and the hairline is attributed to the forehead.

The distance from the tip of the nose to the brow is, on average, equal to the height of the forehead.

Distance from the bottom of the chin to the base of the nose equals the space from the bottom of the nose to the brow.

These landmarks are easy to find in Loomis construction. Of course remember that each person is different, and you will have to somewhat vary the construction based on the model you are working from and the likeness you are drawing to achieve.

The fact that the distance between each marker is the same makes it easy, after getting this basic template down, we can adjust as we see fit.

Construction of the face and head depends upon establishing the points of measurement. Any other way is bound by guesswork, which is a gamble any way you take it. For the one time you guess right, there are many inevitable mistakes. Andrew Loomis

In summary the facial feature construction guide Loomis recommends follows the following distance sequence:

These three distances are qual to each other:

The brow to the hairline = The brow to the tip of nose = The tip of nose to the chin

The placement of the facial features is more important than the drawing of the features themselves. Andrew Loomis

Always Start With The Eyes

Now that youve got your basic layout, its time to start filling in the features of your comic book character.

Lets start from the top of the head down, to make things easier.

The proper proportion for a persons eyes, in most cases, is an eyes distance away from each other.

Begin by drawing your eye as a sideways oval, midway between the side of the head and the vertical line you drew earlier.

As you draw the second eye, make sure the distance between them is roughly the same width as the eyes themselves. This gives you an ideal space for adding your characters nose.

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Skull Outline Jawline And Structure

If you look at what you have drawn now, it might look to someone without an artistic eye more like a kindergarten students attempt at drawing a snowman. This is not the end of the world, as this is what this next step will improve upon. By adding contour lines, you will start to see the image of the skull and not just the oval shape.

  • It is now time to forgo the lighter lines you used earlier for the symmetry shapes. Using a darker pencil and firmer hand, draw the outline of the skulls shape. This is also known as the outer shape of the skulls silhouette.
  • Using the top of where the teeth circles end as the middle of your cheeks, draw the lines that will form the cheeks symmetrically.
  • Now, to get the jawline, turn the bottom of the oval into a more squared shape. Be sure to add some bumps over the line so that it looks more realistic, just like a human jaw and skull.

Adding all these circles may seem a tedious task and your impatience might want to have you diving right into the jawline with all its bumps and grooves. Unless you have an extreme eye for symmetry, this is the advisable route to start drawing skulls do not skip these steps because you might end up with a skull drawing that looks like it was made out of wax and melted ever so slightly!

Symmetry is a key factor when it comes to skull drawing.

Pencils & Paper For Portrait Drawing


Drawing with professional-grade pencils will elevate your line quality as well as give you pencils that are made to last. Professional drawing pencils come in soft and hard leads that let you control the width and density of your lines. Arteza offers a convenient set of Professional Drawing Pencils in a Pack of 12, which includes pencils that range in hardness from 6B to 4H. These pre-sharpened pencils have high-density graphite cores, making their points extremely resistant to breaking. Besides drawing the head, these pencils are great for figure drawing, craft drawing, and drawing cartoons.

FYI: The letter B signifies the lead is soft, with the higher the number, the softer the lead. Soft pencils give you a loose, dark line that is ideal for putting in shadows and blending. The letter H signifies the lead is hard. The higher the number, the harder the lead. Hard pencils give you a lighter line and are for sketching, cross hatching, and other light shading.

Another consideration with drawing is the type of paper you use. What you should look for is premium acid-free paper because it will help keep your drawing from fading over time. The Arteza 9×12″ Drawing Pad, 80 Sheets – Pack of 2 is an excellent choice. Its a portable size and features a spiral binding, which allows you to flip back the cover and work on your drawing on a flat surface. Each page is micro-perforated to be easily removed once youve finished for displaying or framing.

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What Do You Think Post A Comment

  • BeverlyPosted May 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Great idea to show skull & line drawing comparisonI found this useful in understanding the underlying form & volumes.

  • BeverlyPosted June 1, 2009 at 3:13 am

    OK, this is extremely clear and direct. I read the tutorial and then I sketched and took notes from the tutorial in my sketch book, this helped a great deal as it confirmed areas I did or did not understand.Next I invented angles to confirm the knowledge. Stan, you did great, the tutorial brought me furthest along than any other reading of this subject to date. Your skill and clarity in communicating this is exceptional.

  • Posted August 5, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Wow bev, thanks for the warm compliments.

    I like how you took notes and then actually applied the information. Very important to retain what youve learned.

  • RochellePosted September 12, 2009 at 3:23 am

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I have many drawing books, including those by Loomis, but none of them explained a clear method for drawing the head at various angles. Without this tutorial I would still be struggling so thanks again for the explanation.

  • tharindu sampathPosted September 20, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    nice work

  • Posted October 13, 2009 at 9:29 am

    I agree with Rochelle ideas,although reading many books which has no assistance to me.

    Your explaination is very concise and easy to learn.

    Good jobs.

  • Posted October 13, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Thanks guys! Keep studying those Loomis books though. Theyre filled with great information.

  • Determine The Angle Of The Ball

    The angle of the head is established at the very beginning of the drawing with the ball. All three axes must be addressed:

    X Axis -;The up and down tilt is established by the angles of the horizontal and vertical lines in the oval. Also, on extreme up tilts and down tilts, the thirds will be foreshortened because of perspective.

    Y Axis -;The direction the head is turning is established by the width of the oval. As the head turns towards you, you can see more of the front of the face and less of the side, so the oval representing the side will get narrower. Similarly, when the head turns away from you, more of the side plane is revealed and the oval will appear wider.

    Z Axis -;The twist is established by the angle of the center line, the angle of the oval and the;placement of the oval on the ball.

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    Learn How To Draw A Face In 8 Easy Steps: Beginners

    Many RFA readers have requested me to write a tutorial on how to draw;faces, so here it is!

    To make it easy to digest, I;split the tutorial up into 3 parts: How to draw a face from the front, side and 3/4 view. This is part 1 of 3.;I came up with the original methods in these 3 tutorials by measuring over a dozen adult faces, so each tutorial carries over the same measuring techniques. Drawing faces should be easy as pie;after you get the proportions down.

    This beginners step by step tutorial is for a basic;male face.;The proportions are different for females.

    NEW: SIMPLE version with video!

    Note: Remember to use a blunt HB pencil for these steps. I used a 4B so you can clearly see what Im doing. Remember, the darker you go and the harder you press, the;more difficult;it will be to erase your under-layers/guidelines.


    *PDF Download*

    Click the following link and hit the download button beside the printer icon to download the PDF: RapidFireArt Tutorials How to Draw a Face in 8 Steps

    Draw An Angry Face With Emotion

    How to draw a Human Skull

    When drawing any kind of expression, the eyebrows can do most of the work. Exaggerating a the curves of your eyebrows can change a lot on the expression of your character. Remember, when sketching up and drawing, to try and;exaggerate the expressions;and your lines, it gives more personality and a different motion to your drawings.

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    A Sphere As The Cranium

    The sides of the head are flat, so we can slice off a piece from both sides of the ball. From profile, this plane will be a perfect circle, but when drawing it from any other angle, it will appear to be an oval because of perspective.;Divide this oval into quadrants. The vertical line represents the beginning of the jaw. The horizontal line represents the brow line. The top and bottom of the oval help you find the hair line and the bottom of the nose.

    Summing Up The Andrew Loomis Approach To Drawing A Face

    Andrew Loomis is revered for his step by step approach to drawing heads. As we covered above, his approach divides the head into manageable geometric shapes. Each feature on the face has a specific location relative to the geometric configuration set up in the early stages of the drawing process. Because this method is so accurate, it’s great to use for drawing a head from imagination.

    But this approach is not limited to drawing faces from imagination. It also works when drawing a face from observation. We just have to keep in mind that every person is different and variations of these specific proportions will be noticed.

    Here’s a look at a face and head drawn from imagination using the Loomis approach combined with a simpler approach which we discuss a little further down this page. All of the relationships and proportions are identified with the guidelines discussed.

    For more on the Loomis method for drawing heads, check out Module 4 from the “Portrait Drawing The Smart Way” course or you can check out his book here.

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    Reasons For Skull Drawing

    For many reasons, human skull drawings and skull sketches have been the muse for many artists. It might seem strange to you, but the skull holds much symbolism and attracts those that least expect it. It can teach you a lot about shading, where you can create contours and contrast without drawing actual lines. By the time you have completed your work, you will deeply appreciate the subject matter for the amount of time your eyes have looked over its surface for any missing details.

    The Flattening Of The Ball

    How To Draw The Head From Any Angles – Drawing The Human Head In 3/4 View

    Loomis determined that although the cranium is the best represented by the abstracted and simple form of the ball, the ball does not represent the head perfectly. A more relevant representation is one of a flattened ball. That is to say, of a ball that is a bit flat on each side.

    To accomplish this flattening of the ball form, Loomis suggests to imagine a knife slicing off small sections of the ball on each side, resulting in a flattened ball.

    Which sections of the ball are we flattening? The sides of the head, or more precisely the sections where the ears attach. How do we know which are the sides? We determine the sides by determining the direction of the ball, which we can do by defining the cross on the front of the face.

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    Getting The Right Proportions

    In order for you to put the eyes in the correct place without it seeming off-balance, you need to divide the oval up.

    • Do this by drawing a circle within the top half of the oval. The bottom half must be left with the space for the jaw, chin, and teeth.
    • Next, as we have mentioned above, draw a line going vertically right through the middle of the oval shape. This will help us keep the nose in the center.
    • Next, as you might have guessed, is to draw a line going horizontally through the middle of the circle shape, not the oval. This is magical assistance when it comes to symmetrical eye placement.
    • Following that, a second horizontal line is needed, but this time through the oval you first drew. This creates the four sections we mentioned earlier that help exponentially with proportioning someones face and adding symmetry to their cheekbones. This can be helpful when drawing elf-like faces.
    • Yet another horizontal line must be drawn at the bottom section of the oval. This is for drawing accurate mouths that are sitting in the right place. The top lip will be placed above the bottom horizontal line and the bottom lip below it.

    Detailing Your Skull Sketch

    Whip out yet another and even darker pencil for this next step. This is where things become exciting and a little more tricky. Some say that beauty is in the details, and in this case, it is true.

    • In order to turn the circles or ovals into teeth that look like teeth, take your pencil and draw over each of the circles to give them some detail.
    • The eye sockets will have jagged, bent, or curved lines instead of perfectly rounded shapes. This is an important step if you are trying to draw a realistic skull.
    • In order to draw the eyes, nose, and cheeks in more detail, you can add in some shading with darker colors. This makes them more distinct against the outline of the skull.
    • If the skull is an old skull, it might have a few indents, cracks, or scratches over the surface of it. This is a great detail to add for realism.

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    Establish The Landmarks Of A Human Face

    ;When you observe a human face, you can see that its divided roughly into thirds from the hairline to the brow, the brow to the bottom of the nose , and the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the jaw. You can measure these distances on your own face and you will find them to be surprisingly similar. Dividing the face into these thirds is a great place to begin portrait drawing.

    Remember, the hairline is not the top of the head. The very top of the cranium sits a little higher than the hairline. Also notice that, from the profile or side view, the ear begins at about the halfway point between the front of the forehead and the back of the head. A common mistake is to draw ears too far forward on the head. If you view them looking at the side of the head, youll see ears start halfway back and continue moving backward from there.

    How To Draw A Face From The Front

    How To Draw Simple Heads – Drawing for Beginners

    We’ll first discuss Loomis’ approach, which is more complex, but more accurate. If you find that this approach is a bit difficult for you, you can skip to the simpler approach further down the page. Remember, either way, the goal is to create a convincing drawing of a face so either approach you take is fine.

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    Improvement In Your Drawing Skills

    The human skull is hidden underneath our muscle tissue and our skin. This is what gives each persons head its shape and depth. By studying and rendering what you see from the bone, you will receive an inside look into the similarities and differences of each human head. You will notice how different our faces look when they are not covered in skin, and the act of drawing the skull can feel almost primal. Practicing how to draw the human skull will greatly increase your skills in art and drawing.

    Cheekbones are a complicated topic and the shading of someones gaunt face is not any easier. A skull outline might be the answer to your tribulations. Wasting your art resources is no longer going to be a problem because you will be more than satisfied with the skill you have learned by practicing skull drawing.

    How Difficult Is Drawing A Skull

    It is undeniable that learning how to draw a skull accurately, and with realistic detail, will take some time, patience, and a whole lot of love. It is, however, made much simpler if you follow the tutorial you have just read. All of those shapes are not a waste of time if you are wanting a life-like skull by the end of your sketch.

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