ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Portrait Drawing for the Ultimate Beginner: The Face

Updated on April 23, 2014

Drawing the Human Face

There are many different shapes of the human face. The standard shape is an oval or ellipse. I often use this shape in examples to simplify drawing the face, but there are many other shapes to consider. Not everyone's face is shaped like an oval. Just as everyone has different body types, we also have different facial shapes. Below are some examples:

Oval-Shape Features are equally rounded from the top of the head to the chin; No distinctive features (i.e., cheekbones & jaw line); Face is slightly longer & wide.

Circular-Shape This facial shape is longer & wider than the other shapes; No prominent jawline; Round hairline.

Triangular-Shape The jawline is wider; Face tapers from jawline to forehead.

Square-Shape The sides of the face are straighter (forehead, cheekbones, & jaws are aligned); Face is long as it is wide.

Rectangular-Shape Face is slightly oblong; Jawline & hairline are square

Inverted Triangle-Shape Face is slightly longer than it is wide; Forehead is wider; Chin is pointed; Jaws are narrow.

Heart-Shape Facial shape is the same as the inverted triangle, but the hairline has a widow's peak.


When drawing the face, you first want to determine which facial shape you want to draw. Below is an evaluation on how to draw the baby, adolescent, and adult faces:

(l-r) Front View; Side View; 3 Quarter View
(l-r) Front View; Side View; 3 Quarter View

Baby & Childhood. The shape of a baby’s & child's face is drastically different than the adult face. It is rounder & less angular. When we're younger, we have “baby fat”. As we grow older, we lose this fat. The shape of the head is less of an oval/ellipse and more of a rounded-square shape. Because the baby’s face is smaller his or her features are more compressed & are divided into smaller parts starting at the eyebrows, which are depicted in the following image.


(l-r) Front View; Side View; 3 Quarter View
(l-r) Front View; Side View; 3 Quarter View

Adolescent. An adolescent is between the ages of 13-17. The face has become more firm and less “chubby” like a baby's. The shape is similar to that of an adult’s, just a smaller frame and no prominent shapes (e.g., square, heart, etc.) are formed yet. Starting at the hairline, the facial features are divided into three parts.

(l-r) Front View; Side View; 3 Quarter View
(l-r) Front View; Side View; 3 Quarter View

Adult. The adult face comes in many shapes as shown above. The face is fully developed so it will take on a prominent shape depending on weight, genes, or other factors. The overall shape is slightly larger.

In this portion of the lesson the differences between a man’s face and a woman’s face will examine .

(l) Man;  (r) Woman
(l) Man; (r) Woman
  • The man’s face is more angular & the jaw line is more squared. This is not to say that a woman’s face cannot have the same features, but these are more common in men. The brow line or the brow bone can also be heavier in men.
  • The woman’s face is more rounded, less angular, and the features are more subtle.

Lightness & darkness are important when drawing the face. If you want to emphasize light, you have to decide which direction you want the light to come from before you draw your figure. Lighting can create a certain mood (ex: natural sunlight on the beach or a spotlight on a dark stage).

You have just learned the different facial shapes, types, and lighting. It is now up to you to decide how you want to draw the face!



Key Points to Remember

-The first step to drawing a face is deciding which facial shape you want to draw.

-Although there are many different shapes of the human face, start with the standard oval.

-The baby, adolescent, & adult faces all have unique characteristics.

-The shape of the baby’s head is more of a square shape divided into 4 parts starting at the eyebrows.

-The adolescent & adult heads are divided into 3 parts starting from the hairline.

-The man’s face is more angular & the woman’s face is more subtle.

-Have patience!!

-Don’t be hard on yourself & have fun!!

-Keep practicing!









Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kalilah L profile imageAUTHOR

      Kalilah L 

      20 months ago from Michigan

      Thanks greg. I'm glad to know that I can help people with these art lessons. It's never too late to take art seriously.

    • profile image

      greg 

      20 months ago

      I really enjoy your articles. Have loved art all my life. Find articles very helpful. Wish would have taken it more seriously when young.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)