DRAW FACE PROPORTIONS

7 Facial Drawing Proportions To Know

Here are 7 facial drawing proportions to know if you want to draw faces:

  1. Eye Line
  2. Nose Line
  3. Mouth Line
  4. Eye Width
  5. Ear Length
  6. Ear to Eye
  7. Throat

How To Draw Face Proportions

I'm sharing everything as I deconstruct how I learned to draw. There are a few different methods for drawing believable proportions of a human face.

The best method is to draw what you see. Double-check yourself as you go.

The following guidelines can be used to place facial features when beginning a drawing. These guidelines can also serve as feedback when making corrections.

Here are some general guidelines for placing basic facial proportions when drawing.

Proportions Of The Face

Want to know how to draw facial proportions? In the drawing, facial proportions must be believable in order to capture the likeness of the person being drawn.

What are facial proportions?

In drawing and painting, proportions refers to the size of an object in relation to another. Drawing proper proportions means drawing things the right size.

Facial proportions refer to parts of the face and how they relate in size to other parts of the face or body. A nose that is the correct size on a face will be more believable. Beginners often draw eyes that are proportionally too big for the head.

When drawing a face, consider each facial feature or part. Comparing the parts or facial features to one another helps the artist size the features correctly. Eyes that are too large or too high will look illustrated or cartoonish. The likeness of a person is often lost when the overall face shape doesn't match that of the person being drawn.

Facial proportions need to be believably accurate in order to create a realistic portrait.

Photo of the eye line dividing the height of the head on the beginning of a charcoal drawing.

Drawing Facial Proportions

Drawing The Human Head In Thirds

When beginning a portrait or drawing a face, the head can be broken into 3 overall sections. The first line to establish is the eye line.

Drawing Eyes

Where To Place The Eye Line:

The eye line marks the placement of the eyes on the head. Find the center of the head measuring from the top of the skull to the bottom of the chin. This center marks the position of the eyes.

Photo of the eye line dividing the height of the head on the beginning of a charcoal drawing.

Draw a horizontal line across the face halfway between the top of the head and the bottom of the chin. This horizontal line is the eye line. The eyes will be drawn or positioned at this line. The eye line does not always sit level on the face. A slight tip of the head will skew the line. Draw what you see.

Beginners often place the eyes too high. Ignore the hair for this section of the drawing. Focus on the area between the top of the skull and the person's chin.

Eye Width - Proportions Of The Face

The distance between the eyes is usually equal or very similar to the width of the eye itself.

Measure the width of both eyes. If the person is looking straight ahead, the eyes will be approximate to each other in width. Measure the space between the eyes. If the person is looking straight at the viewer, the distance between the eyes is approximately equal to the width of the eye itself.

This rule or guideline can be used successfully only if the person is looking straight ahead. Any turn of the head will skew this measurement.

Eyebrow Line

Estimate the distance of the eyebrows from the eye line. The next mark to make is the eyebrow line.

Photo of the eyebrow line dividing the height of the head on the beginning of a charcoal drawing.

Look at your model and estimate the height of the eyebrows in relation to the eyes. Make a horizontal line across the face to mark the eyebrow placement. This line is the eyebrow line. The eyebrow line may not be level. One eyebrow may sit slightly higher than the other. Make your mark according to what you observe on the model.

The eyebrow line will be used to find the placement for the nose and mouth.

Drawing A Nose

When drawing the nose, focus on the area between the eyebrows and the bottom of the chin. The bottom of the nose generally falls halfway between the eyebrow line and the chin. Find the center between the eyebrow line and the chin. Draw a horizontal line across the face marking the bottom of the nose.

Photo of the nose line dividing the height of the head on the beginning of a charcoal drawing.

Draw the nose between these two lines.

The placement of the nose will help determine where to draw the mouth.

Drawing A Mouth

When drawing a mouth, focus on the area between the bottom of the nose and the chin. Find the center between the bottom of the nose and the chin. Draw a horizontal line across the face to mark the placement of the mouth.

Photo of the mouth line dividing the height of the head on the beginning of a charcoal drawing.

When drawing the mouth, the lip line or opening of the mouth falls approximately halfway between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin. Again, these guidelines are most useful when the model is looking straight ahead. Any turn of the head may skew these measurements.

Photo of the eye line dividing the height of the head on the beginning of a charcoal drawing.

Drawing Ears

How To Draw Ears:

The height of the ear is similar to the distance between the eyebrow and the bottom of the nose. When looking straight ahead, facing the viewer, a person's eyebrow line should line up with the top of the ear. Similarly, when looking straight ahead at the viewer, the bottom of the ear should line up with the bottom of the nose.

If a person raises or lowers their head, this will no longer be true. Learn to draw what you see versus what your brain believes to be true. Every human has slightly different features and proportions. These are general guidelines to follow when beginning to draw facial proportions.

Breaking The Proportions Of The Face Into Thirds

Measuring Proportions Of Face Drawing In Thumbs

The human face is similar in length to the human hand. Simply test this by placing your hand over your face. With the bottom of the palm even with the chin, the tips of the fingers should come close to touching the natural hairline.

The human thumb is approximately equal to one-third the length of the human face from the hairline to the bottom of the chin. The length of the hand from the wrist joint to the tip of the middle finger is about three thumbs in length.

Facial Proportions In Art Measured In Thumbs

The human face from the hairline to the bottom of the chin can be broken into three equal sections. Each section is proportional to one thumb length.

The forehead in proportion to the face measures approximately one-third of the face length measured from the hairline to the bottom of the chin. This measurement will be similar in length to the length of the model's thumb. Measure your own thumb in comparison to the proportions of your face. Thumb length is approximately the same size as the distance from the bottom of the chin to the bottom of the nose. Thumb length is approximate to the length of the nose. Thumb length is approximate to the height of the forehead.

Conclusion:

Knowing these basic facial proportions is helpful when drawing a face. The eye line is located at the halfway point between the top of the skull and the bottom of the chin. The eyebrow line is placed relative to the eye line. The eyebrow line can then be used to further divide the face into three sections. The bottom of the nose is placed halfway between the eyebrow line and the bottom of the chin. The mouth line is placed halfway between the bottom of the nose and the chin. The ears are placed between the eyebrow line and the bottom of the nose. These guidelines can be helpful when learning to draw a human face. Drawing what you see will help you capture a likeness. These foundational principles are not exact rules or measurements. They are to be used as references when drawing facial proportions for artists. These basic rules or principles can hint at the proper placement and size of facial features in relation to the head as a whole. These hints can help you begin drawing proportions of the face. The proportions of a face vary slightly from person to person. Features vary in shape and size for every human. Let these basics serve as a guide while learning to draw what you see.

Author: Sonia Reeder-Jones