Drawing a face

I’d thought I’d share how I tend to sketch character faces. When I’m on my commute to and from work on public transit, I tend to sketch in my sketchbook. I sometimes work on ideas for the comic and sometimes I just sketch random faces of characters I think up in my head. They sometimes lead to character designs I use for later and sometimes they don’t.

I tend to follow the same method each time:

Step 1

I draw the shape of the head. It can be any shape really: round, square, peanut, pear, etc. The shape of the head tends to be the most important thing for me since it usually leads me to what the rest of the face will look like.

Step 2

I draw a line down the head to bisect the face. I tend to draw a three quarters view so I leave one side bigger than the other.

Step 3

I draw three horizontal lines across the head. These give me the reference for the eyes, nose, and mouth. These lines determine the character’s overall look so I try to space the lines out differently depending on what final look I want.

Step 4

I draw the ear connecting the top and middle lines as an anchor for the face.

Step 5

I draw in the nose. I connect the top and middle lines. I play with the shape to get the look of the character.

Step 6

I draw the mouth near the bottom line. My mouth changes depending on the emotion the character is showing and the overall head shape.

Step 7

I draw the eyes and eyebrows near the top line. Most of the time, I draw the same kind of eyes for my characters (little ovals) unless they have a special characteristic that calls for non standard eyes.

Step 8

I draw the jaw and head. I usually follow the initial shape I drew unless the nose and mouth point to something more fitting.

Step 9

I draw the hair. The other parts tend to point me towards what kind of hair the face should have.

It is a pretty easy process. And my sketch book is filled with many pages of just character heads. When I draw a face I think has potential for something more, I sometimes play with moving pieces around to see if I can get a different look. Below is the face I drew in the steps above. Next to it is the same piece but with the eyes, nose and mouth moved around. As you can see, you can get a different look by just arranging things differently.

^ 4 Comments...

  1. How to Draw a Face » Comics Worth Reading

    […] to draw a cartoony face, in 3/4 perspective, too. By Brandon Hanvey. Similar Posts: Sheena’s Debut § Brandon […]

  2. JMCampbell

    Holy Crap, that’s the first time I’ve seen one of these “How to draw a face” things that actually made sense.

  3. Dee

    thanks really helpful :)

  4. Joe Greenland

    omg im only 12 n i did tht nd added a body it looks minted

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