There isn’t much of a difference between drawing a portrait and drawing anything else. To draw something correctly, you have to pay close attention to it and really look at it.

Naturally, drawing portraits can be quite tricky because the goal is to make the drawing look just like the real person. But drawing does not need to be tricky, or intimidating, it needs to be fun! Let’s see some easy ways to make drawing fun.

Facial Proportions

Going over the general locations of facial features followed by the rules of facial symmetry:

  • The eyes are in the middle of the head.
  • Most of the time, the sides of the nose and the corners of the inside of the eyes line up.
  • About a third of the way below the “nose” line and the bottom of the chin is the “mouth” line. This line shows the point where the top and bottom lips meet.
  • Eyes’ inner parts, called the pupils or iris, usually line up with the corners of the mouth.
  • Most of the time, the ears are between the “eye” line and the “nose” line, but they can reach the brow line.

These rules will help you get the proportions of your faces right when you’re drawing them.

Drawing Of a Face from Profile

Whenever we paint or draw a picture of someone, we all feel like we have to make it look just like them. But that can be difficult if you do not understand facial proportions.

Sometimes, no matter how much you try, the drawing simply does not look right, but you can’t put your finger on what the problem is, let alone how to fix it.

Even though exact observation and marking up the paper are important for realistic portrait drawing, there is a simple step-by-step process we can use to get better results.

Here’s an easier way to draw a face:

Step By Step Instructions on How to Draw a Face

Let’s start with drawing a circle, to show where the upper part of the head goes. You also need the rest of the face, so draw a line to find how long the face is (Step 1). This line should be about twice as long as the original circle for most faces.

After that, lines are made from the bottom of the line to the circle’s sides. This makes the face’s shape (Step 2). From here, we can figure out where the face features are.

The ‘eye’ line is in the middle of the face. Don’t get pulled to draw them on the forehead – they are not there.

Between the “eye” line and the bottom of the chin is the “nose” line.  When looking at how the face fits together, this line (Step 3) is where most noses will end. There are, however, exceptions to every rule. 

Some people’s noses are very long, while others’ are very small. Remember, this drawing guide is a perfect symmetry and how a face should look like, you should customize it to your model!

About a third of the way down, between the nose line and the bottom of the chin, is the mouth line. Its position is marked with a rough line (Step 3).

We’ll now focus on the eyes. Drawing five ovals across the eye line will help you figure out how wide the eyes are all together.  People only have two eyes, but this method lets you see the width of the eyes compared to the width of the face (Step 4).

There’s an awesome eye-drawing guide to teach you more about the intricate details you need to pay close attention to.

Now that you know that the eyes are the right width, you can draw them in their proper position (Step 5).

The next step is to find the nose’s width. An average person’s nose width will line up with the inner corners of their eyes. To find out how wide the nose is, we can just draw two lines from the inside corners of the eyes to the nose line (Step 6). Now, we are ready to draw a nose (Step 7).

For most people, the inside of the iris or pupil lines up with the width of the mouth. To find the corners of the mouth, we’ll just draw a line straight down from here to the line of the mouth. Draw a line where the top and lower lips meet (Step 8). Draw upper and lower lips (Step 9).

The bottom of the ears should line up with the nose line (Step 10).

We can add the eyebrows after the ears are in place. Most people’s brow lines are straight with their ears (Step 11).

Let’s add a neck before hair. The neck extends from the ear base. In females, this line extends inward, reducing neck size. For men, this line still comes in a little, but less (Step 12).

The next step is to add the shape of the hair. The hair usually grows from the top of the head and may cover some parts of the face (Step 13).

The last step is to apply shade (Step 14).

In Conclusion

It’s important to know that there is no “one size fits all” way to draw a picture. Everybody will have somewhat different proportions from one another. We can better understand the proportions of the face by using the methods we’ve learned in this lesson.

But if we want our portraits to look like the real person, we have to rely on observation to pick up on all the little details.

You can draw anyone you want now that you know how to draw a face and where the parts of the face go. Remember that knowing things isn’t the only thing that matters. If you want your drawings to look their best, you need to practice.