Drawing Tips | The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own stories

- Tip -

Where things actually go on a face

This tip is about how to draw a whole face.  It will take some patience.  Don’t forget to use your eraser, and don’t forget that you can start over!  If you practice this, every face you draw will be better.

When drawing a face, it obviously helps to know where to place things.  Eyes, nose and mouth need to go somewhere. Instead of guessing, you can use a set of guidelines to help you find your way.

Start with an oval.  Make it big, so that you have room to fill it in.

Where things actually go on a face | The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own storiesActually, no, we need a better oval, one that is symmetrical and somewhat wider at the top.

Where things actually go on a face | The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own stories

Good.  This is your head. Now, pressing lightly, draw a line down the center.  You now have the center line for the face.

Where things actually go on a face | The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own storiesNow we are going to add three more guidelines.  They are horizontal guidelines:  one at the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom.  The one in the middle is called the eye line.

Where things actually go on a face | The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own storiesNow it gets just a little trickier.  Not much, just a little.

In real life, a face is about 5 eyes wide. So, divide the face into pieces by drawing six more vertical guidelines.  Remember to draw them in lightly.  You can use a ruler if that helps keep them straight.  If you made your head too small, start again and draw it bigger.  But don’t give up here!  Every face will be better after practicing this tip!  The first two guidelines are easy.  They run up and down, along the outside of the head.  The other four guidelines are equally spaced in between the two on the outside.  Your centerline will help you space out the new vertical guidelines.

Where things actually go on a face | The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own storiesYou now have your head divided into five sections, and you can number them at the top, like I did.  Why five sections?  Because a face is five eyes wide!  Don’t forget that.

The eyes sit on the eye line, 1 eye in from the outside of the face and 1 eye apart from each other.  Are you still with me?  Excellent!

On to the nose.  We need a few more guidelines, but that should not worry you because you are getting good at them.

We need to divide the bottom half of the face into 3 parts.  This means adding in two more horizontal guidelines in between the eye line and the line at the bottom of the face.

Now you can give this character a nose, in between the eyes and just below them.

Where things actually go on a face | The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own stories

The mouth goes just below the nose.  It is wider, though.  And you can put a hint of chin right underneath the mouth.

Where things actually go on a face | The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own storiesNow you have the basics of a face!  Isn’t it surprising that most of it appears on the bottom half?

If you practice the tip on drawing more realistic eyes, noses and mouths (seeing-eyes-noses-and-mouths-all-over-again), your faces should look pretty good.

But something is missing…hmm…  Hair!  Ears!

I will fish that tip out of my hat and get back to you!

—By Scoble

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