Getting a head (from the front)

Drawing a head tutorial

Getting a head (from the front) 1


In this article, we’ll begin to examine the construction of the head and its details.

The head has an overall oval shape. There are variations (the squareness of the jaw, the shape of the eyes, the shape of the nose, etc…) But it all begins in the same way.

We’ll draw first a circle.


Getting a head (from the front) 2

Then, we’ll divide it in two along the vertical center, and again along the horizontal center, as to have two guidelines. The vertical line will be our center of symmetry, and the horizontal one will be our guide for construction.

Getting a head (from the front) 3

Now we will take one half of the horizontal line and divide into three parts. Trace a vertical line as shown at the beginning of the outer most section, and erase the part of the circle that is out.

Repeat on the other side and you will end up with something like this:


Getting a head (from the front) 4

Now, from the horizontal line downward, draw a square. As we did with the circle, divide the square into four parts. The Vertical line is easy, is the continuation of the one from the circle 😉

Now divide the lower part of the square in half. You have now two smaller rectangles on the bottom part. Takes those and divide them again, this time diagonally, as shown. This will give us the jaw.

Getting a head (from the front) 5

This is the basic construction of the head, without any details, just the outline. So you may be asking yourself, why are we doing so many lines? Do you really need to do them every time you are doing a face? The answers are no. And yes. These lines are guidelines, and will always be part of the construction of the head, but as you gain proficiency, you will see them instinctively, and will not need to draw them every time. They will be useful when reviewing your drawings to see why your features are skewed or out of place. They are like training wheels on a bike. Once you master it, you won’t need them 🙂

Back to the head. Now that we have the outline, let starts doing some details:

The nose is basically a triangle that goes from slightly upwards the bottom part of the circle to the horizontal center, and it’s positioned on the center of the head. The ears are two small ovals about the same size as the nose but located on the outside of the head shape, and slightly tilted.

Getting a head (from the front) 6 Getting a head (from the front) 7

For the eyes, we’ll find the position first and then draw them. First, take the horizontal line in the middle of the circle and find the middle point. That’s the basic position of the pupils (the black dot in the middle of the eye). Draw a vertical line in each of these points for later. Now, a little below that point draw a small circle, as shown here and then a small horizontal oval around it.

Getting a head (from the front) 8

One thing to take into account, it is considered that the average distance between one eye and the other, is another eye.

For our final details of the day, we’ll do the mouth. In it’s simplest form, the mouth is just a horizontal line that goes from pupil to another. Use the lines from the pupils along the line we made earlier when we did the jaw and you’re done!

Getting a head (from the front) 9


Getting a head (from the front) 10

Now, as an exercise, take a selfie or grab a photo of yourself and see how your face compares to these guidelines. I’ll give you a hint: more often than not, they will not match perfectly. And that’s ok. If we did all faces with the same structure every time, everyone would look the same! There are different eye shapes, different noses, different mouths, and different ears. The combination of that gives as different faces, but as I’ve said before, you need to learn how to walk before you can run 😉

Until next time!

Getting a head (from the front) 11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *