How to Draw Faces

Learn how to draw faces that look proportional and realistic. Draw a self portrait or create a face from your imagination.

There are several things you'll want to consider before you begin:

1. View -
If you are a beginner, stick to a simple straight ahead view. If your drawing skills are more advanced, try out a 3/4 view.

Portrait Drawing Menu:
Portrait Drawing in Charcoal:
Basic Structure and Video

How to Draw Eyes

2. Subject -
Will you be drawing a self portrait? Or will someone be posing for you? I recommend drawing from life either way. If looking in a mirror, make sure to consider how the light source falls on the face.

3. Lighting -
Test out different types of lighting before you get started. Use a hand held mirror and move around to different indoor and outdoor areas. Do you want dramatic lighting or soft lighting? Would you like to portray a flattering portrait? Or would you prefer to create a spooky portrait? Everyone will have access to different types of lighting and the only way to know what will work is to try different things out. You can use a table lamp or overhead lighting. Fluorescent lighting tends to wash out any shadows and is therefore not recommended. Natural light also works well, but be aware that highlights and shadows might change as the sun moves in the sky!

4. Medium -
This is completely your choice. For beginners, I recommend charcoal. Believe me, you are increasing your chances for success if you start out with charcoal! It's much easier to work with and far more forgiving than pencil. We will be using charcoal to create the portrait for this lesson. For tips on how to get started with charcoal, please review the

Charcoal Drawing Lesson.

Go to Page 2 - Basic Structure of the Human Face (Video)

Go to Page 3 - How to Draw Eyes

Frequently Asked Portrait Drawing Questions:

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Nice Drawings of a Friend's Face 
this drawing done in canvas board by using glass marker pencil.

Click here for more information about Drawing Facial Expressions.

Ask your own Portrait Drawing Question!

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