How to Draw a Basic Face – The Infrastructure – Part Three

Drawing the Human Face Tutorial 3 - Step 1As a wrap up to this series on drawing the Basic Human Face (part 1 | part 2) I wanted to add a little nuance to the face we’ve built out.

Creating the Map

Using the center line and matching points on the interior of the ears, I created some angles to show the curvature of the cheeks. You can see how the intersection points create a map of sorts for added details in the following image.

I find that using lines and vertices like this help immensely when drawing likenesses, which I’ll get into in more detail in a later post. Suffice to say that it’s a good habit to get into, and it makes it clear why folks have always told me that ‘artists are good at geometry’. This, for the record, is not always the case – just ask my high school geometry teacher.

Adding the Deets

Drawing the Human Face Tutorial 3 - Step 2Here you can see the added details I used the guidelines for. Simple delineation of the cheek bones and smile lines fall easily along the intersection points of my guides.

Protip: While it’s not exactly this simple, a good thing to keep in mind is this: the more detail you add to a face, the older the person looks. This easy trick makes it a simple matter to make a character look old or young – just by adding or removing additional information from our illustrations. Notice how much older this character looks just from the image above?

I also altered the poor guy’s haircut, because the simple ‘dome cut’ from above was making me nuts.

What other details could we add to this face? How would we map them out beforehand to know where to place those features?

Drawing the Human Face Tutorial 3 - Final

This post is a part of the work I’m doing as my entry in both NaNoWriMo and NaNoDrawMo 2011. I would love to get your thoughts on this post or any of the others in the series. Feel free to comment following this post or email me.
Edited to Add: See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.