Drawing the Head

Original Post: 4/18/2010




How do we put all these features - the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair, cheeks, chin, eyebrows, each so uniquely different - into a harmonious and unified "HEAD"?




Thank goodness the head can be reduced into general proportions to help us guide the placement of the features. I've attached a simplistic diagram to outline these guidelines.


Drawing the head at various angles adds interest to our composition. It also adds complexity as well. Understanding how to apply perspective can help you immensely in getting the head to look correctly.

Giovanni Civardi's "The Art of Drawing Portraits" has some very good exercises to try. I have attached my first attempts at drawing the head in various angles using his illustrations.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to actually put your pencil to paper and try these exercises! It is one thing to read and visually understand the concepts. By taking the time to practice brings a whole new level of understanding and solidifies these principles.

I've been wanting to get to this portion of our studies for a long time as the head/body have illuded me long enough! I have a very personal goal in mind and these are only the first of many tries and studies that I want to explore. My goal is to learn how to effectively draw the figure so I can start including them in my drawings and add urban landscapes to my collections.

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