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How to Draw a Human Face in 5 Easy Steps

Updated on August 31, 2013

It's SO Easy to Learn How to Draw a Human Face

YES - even you, who may think you have little or no talent whatsoever, can learn how to draw a human face in just 5 easy steps.

As a professional artist and teacher, I have been drawing for more than 50 years. Over that time, I have to say that there have been some very "tough" things to learn to draw. Feet, hands, and heads are among some of the most difficult.

I remember when I first started to attempt drawing human faces. I would start with one eye or on an ear - I would focus on that one place and forget about the "context" of all the other elements of a human face. I learned that all of these needed to be considered and drawn together at the same time, not as separate elements.

This was key to me in my learning process as an artist. I began to make foundational diagrams of the entire head - the most basic elements like the roundish head shape and the position of various individual elements in relation to all the other elements. If you have never drawn much, that probably won't make much sense to you. More simply put, I needed to start with the big picture and add the details later.

I taught myself to draw over many years and I can say that human heads and faces were among some of the toughest things I ever learned to draw. BUT - they're not all that hard if you just follow a fews, easy step-by-step instructions. That is exactly what I'm going to teach you to do in this drawing tutorial.

I promise you, that if you follow these 5 simple steps, you will be drawing human faces in no time at all. Think of all those friends and family that you can impress with your newfound artistic talent. Pretty cool.

So, if you're up for it, grab a piece of paper and a pencil and let's get started.


Step 1: Draw the Basic Head Shape and Guide Lines

As with all my drawing tutorials, we begin with the most basic shapes and build on these.

For the human face, the single basic shape is an oval.

After you draw the oval, simply divide the oval up into four equal sections.

Draw one horizontal line across the middle and one vertical line.

And you thought this was going to be hard, right?


Step 2: Draw the Eyes

OK, so along that single horizontal eyes are where the eyes are positioned.

On the human face, the eyes are positioned in the exact middle of the head, equidistant from the top and bottom of the head. I know it doesn't look like that but that's because the other elements of the face create a sort of optical illusion.

This was one of the hardest things for me to learn when I was learning to draw faces. I finally figured out that the eyes are in the middle.

SO, simply draw two semi-circle shapes on top of the horizontal line.

Inside those semi-circles, draw two more smaller circles - the iris.

Inside each of those circles, draw a small dot - this represents the pupil of the eye.

Foe a final touch, draw two small caterpillars, one over each eye - these are the eyebrows.


Step 3: Add the Nose

I was always intimidated by the human nose. It always seemed like such a complex thing to draw.

Well, guess what - if you draw it as just a few simple, well-placed lines - it's very easy to draw.

So, to begin, draw a small circle just below the eyes in the center of the oval.

Next, draw two slightly curving lines extending in either direction from the bottom of that small circle. These are the nostrils.

As a final step, add a line starting from the right edge of that circle, extending straight up and slightly inward. End this line by curving it off to the right, ending just over the right eye.

If it seems a bit difficult, just look at the drawing and draw what you see there.


Step 4: Add the Mouth and Ears

OK, if you've come this far, you've made it through the hardest part of the drawing. From here on out, it's very easy.

To draw the mouth, make a single line just under the nose. You can make this a frown or a smile - or anything you like.

Next, place a shorter horizontal line just under the mouth line. This represents the shadow of the lower lip and gives your drawing dimension and depth.

Add line on either side of the face for dimples.

Finally, add the ears. These are simply small oval shapes that line up with the eyes - positioned on a horizontal line right in the middle of the head.

OK, we're almost there.


Step 5: Give This Guy Some Hair

For our final step. we're going to give him a full head of hair.

If you prefer a bald guy, you can skip this step.

If you want hair on your guy, this is how you do it.

Start with the side burns by making a line that starts about the middle of each ear extending upward.

On the top, add a line that curves slightly down onto the face.

Once you have the basic shape of the hair, you just shade it in - dark or light i color.

You may want to have some fun with this step and try all sorts of hair styles.

OK, that's it. Add some basic shading and you're done.


SO, how did your drawing turn out? Are you pleased with the way it looks?

If you're not completely satisfied, that's exactly where you should be. I have been a professional artist all my life and I still see my last drawing as imperfect and in need of improvement. That's what makes a person want to continue to be an artists - to get betetr with each drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, take a look at some of my other popular drawing tutorials on HubPages...

Take the "Draw a Human Face" Poll

What did you think is the hardest part about drawing a human face?

See results

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This drawing kit is an exceptional tool - especially of you're just starting out with your drawing or you know a child who aspires to be an artist. This kit has everything an aspiring artist needs - I have bought several of these as gifts to my students over the years. Great price!

© 2013 MKayo


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    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Texas

      Thanks, erorantes! Glad you liked it.

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 

      5 years ago from Miami Florida

      I like the steps on how to draw a face. It is wonderful. A few people know how to draw a face. Thank you for teaching us how to do it. You are generous for sharing your gift. You have an amazing talent. I am happy for everyone that it is going to read your article. You are correct. The feeth are difficult to draw.

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for stopping by, Georgina.

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina Crawford 

      5 years ago from Dartmoor

      Really like your tutorial. Faces are so difficult to capture. Rating and following

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Texas

      Nazmunsati - thanks for stopping by and for leaving such a complimentary comment.

    • nazmunsati profile image

      Nazmun Nahar Sati 

      6 years ago from Bangladesh

      Oh! This good. I never thought that drawing can be easy like this. I always think that it's too hard. I tried before but I leave it.

      Your drawing tips are so good and it's easy to follow the instructions.

      Thanks for sharing. Like to see more hubs abut drawing.

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Hope you found the info helpful. M

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from the beautiful south

      Very interesting; thank you for the lesson.

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Texas


    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago

      Did you like my hubs? I am sorry if I have forgotten if you have followed me or not.

      If you have, great. If not, the invitation is always open.

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago

      Thank you, MKayo. I am also looking forward to you following me. I love artists.


    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for the nice words, Kenneth! I'll go and check out your Hubs.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, MKayo,

      I loved this hub. A great read. I sincerely appreciate your sharing your wonderful writing talent with HubPages and the world. That is the mark of a classy writer.

      I once loved drawing. Fact is, I spent more time drawing on my school bus and in my grade-level schooling than I did being attentive to my teachers. Guess that explains why I am the way I am today, but it was PURE FUN.

      I used to try and draw the face and upper-body of Spider-Man, and I came close, but never matched MARVEL's artists.

      Voted up and all the choices. Wishing you My Best on Hubs and in life.

      I left you some fan mail and now following you.

      I would appreciate you reading one or two of my hubs, and become one of my followers.

      That would make my day.


      Kenneth/ from northwest Alabama

    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Texas

      Robie - Wow! Thanks so much, you are so kind to vote up, useful and for making a pin - greatly appreciated. Best, M

    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 

      7 years ago from Ohio

      Wonderful article, you give clear directions, and most of all you make drawing a fave sounding so easy! Great job encouraging anyone to try. Voted up and useful! And pinned it!


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