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How to draw a profile portrait

Updated on July 13, 2013

Profile drawing step by step

Hello everyone and welcome to my lens.

This lens will explain what is a profile portrait how you can produce your own profile drawings using the correct proportions, shapes tone and texture.

A profile drawing is an outline or contour of the human face, 

especially the face viewed from one side.

I used to hate drawing faces.

If i could avoid it then I did, but when i found out that would have to teach it in my classes, I then realized that I had to bite the bullet and learn.

After learning the basic steps and regular practice I erased my fear of profile drawings and actually now enjoy drawing profile pictures.

All this time I had been worrying for nothing.

Now I thought it would nice to share it with you all.

So here goes ...

Step by step
Step by step

The beginnings

Step 1: Lightly draw an oval and a circle.

Step 2: Draw the neck, coming out at an angle from either the left or right . for some reason i always draw a profile with the face pointing the right side. (I think its to do with whether you are left or right handed and what you are more comfortable with).

Step3: Lightly mark out where the features would. This would be sketched with a line across the middle of

the head for the eyes, then halfway down from the eyes and chin draw a line for the nose.

Now draw a line about halfway down again for the mouth (between the nose and the chin line).

Step 4: To mark out the ear, you will need to lightly draw a line along from the eye line to the middle of the profile and another line from the bottom of the nose to the middle of the profile to create the length of the ear.

Step 5: Start to refine and add detail to the profile. Sketch in a shadow area to indicate where the eye socket is (on the eye line). Remember there is only one eye in view

Draw the nostril on the nose, the lips, and add light shading to show the cheekbones.

Step 6: Use a rubber to remove some of the extra sketching lines. Draw in the hair. The hair should start half way from halfway between the eye and the top of the circle (not on top of the circle as that can create a very receded hairline).

Step 7: Add details to the eye. Remember to draw in the lashes lightly over and under the eye.

Step 8:Add the eyebrows ensuring you draw the individual hairs. Keep shading and adding more detail.

Step 9: Rub out any extra sketching lines and refine the features.

Step 10 : Leave the drawing alone for a while.

I always feel you can see any errors that you have made once you have step away from the drawing for a while.

Remember to never give up. I am really happy that I did not

Please check out the materials below to help you with you drawings.

Thanks for viewing

Some famous Artist's that have studied profile portraits

Mary Cassatt

Paul Cezanne

Vincent Van Gogh

Tamara De Lempicka

Henri Matisse

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