Figure Drawing: Facial Features

Figure Drawing

 

Drawing the human body can seem intimidating to the beginner. All those shapes and crevices that create a person’s likeness. I can all appear like so much to tackle.

If you break it down into individual parts and learn to look carefully at what you REALLY see, it can suddenly seem manageable.

Most people start out by drawing from photos. They are readily available, and private. There is no audience.  The problem is that photos can limit what you see and thus in turn create. We all know that “enhancing” photos for publications is the norm. The lighting, the colors, the proportions may not be correct.

Each person is unique and one of a kind. Just as each human hand has four fingers and a thumb, there are fundamental “rules” that typically apply to the facial features

Eyes

The eye itself is a sphere sitting inside of the eye socket. The curve of the sphere is apparent when viewed from the side.  Figure Drawing

The upper and lower lids lay over the orb and cast a shadow onto the sphere. The lids create a horizontal fold so they can open and close.

Figure Drawing

Figure Drawing

The bone structure, and cartilage under the skin form the bridge and nasal areas.

Figure Drawing

Figure Drawing

Mouth

The flesh of the mouth extends out from the surface into a pillowy shape. The upper lip usually appears slightly darker and cast a shadow over the lower.

Figure Drawing

Figure Drawing

Typically when we age the lips become thinner.

Figure Drawing

Ears

Ears are a fascination of folds, curves, and creases. Due to gravity, our ears tend to become longer as we age.

Figure Drawing

Figure Drawing

Figure Drawing

Project

Find a photo of a loved one that is clear and as close to life size that you can find, or look at yourself in a mirror. A hand mirror tends to work best because of its portability. Look closely at each feature and its attributes. What are you looking at the tells you it is an eye or ear?  What defines the identity of each area of the face? Is it concave? Is its shape more oval or angular? What happens to the shadows and shapes when the light source is coming from different directions?

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