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How I Draw Basic Faces.

Updated: Apr 6

I used to be terrified of drawing faces. They always looked... well... a bit weird. A lot weird. Kind of wrong. And, I couldn't figure out why, so I just avoided them. Until... I did a bit of research, a bit of practise and just decided that faces were going to be my thing. I signed up for a 100 day challenge with some friends of mine and drew a face per day, for 100 days straight. You can see them popping up all over this website, and I even sell a growing number of them as prints in my shop!

So, how do you DO it? Well, it's actually way easier than you think — and once you have the basics, you can build on those and end up with something you'd never have thought would be possible — like a collection 100 faces for example!

Let me demonstrate the beginnings:

Visual instructions on how to draw a basic face.

Very Beginning Faces in Five Simple Steps.

Step 1.

Draw the head as an oval shape.

Step 2.

Halfway down the head, draw some eyes. As a general rule, eyes are usually an eye-width apart and if you wanted to measure, you could probably fit 5 eyes across the middle of the head.

Step 3.

Halfway between the eyes and the bottom of the face, draw your nose. Then, add some eyebrows. As you can see, I have drawn a basic nose line from the inside of the right eyebrow, down to the nose. This is optional. I like it because it gives the face a sense of depth.

Step 4

Halfway between the nose and the chin, add a mouth. It can be as simple as a line.

Step 5.

Hair and ears! Yay! This is my favourite part — it really adds personality — you can have the same face with different hair and ear combinations and it is so much fun to play with. Ears are often larger than you think. If you look at your face in the mirror, you'll notice that they begin at around the middle of your eye level, and finish somewhere down near the mouth. Play with ears — they can be hilarious fun.

Other things to do

Accessorise! Add hats, earrings, glasses, scarves, freckles, anything! Remember, everyone is different – some people can't see, some people have scars, some people are missing bits of ears or noses, have piercings, different coloured hair, skin and eyes.

Simple huh? So, now that you've tried the basics, have a play and see what happens if you move eyes up or down, make them bigger or smaller, change the shape of the head, bigger or smaller noses, add teeth! The options are endless.

The most important thing is to keep playing.


Would you like to put your face on a wall? I'd love you to contribute one of your creations for the ART FOR YOUR LIFE Gallery — click here to see the details.

Black and white line drawings of faces and eyes, grouped haphazardly together.

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