how to draw a human head, draw human heads

How to Draw a Human Head, Draw Human Heads

Step 1.

If you want to start drawing the girl, please go to STEP 10. You can hang with us here to learn to draw the head in PERSPECTIVE! To get that pro perspective look, draw the box --front, sides, and back. Then draw the oval of the head and a center line across for the eyes and center line down to divide the face. You can practice from the models. Notice the eye levels at Bottom View, Front View, and Top View.

Step 2.

The next picture gives proportions at different views. TOP VIEW: the line across the head marks the ears & the line down the center marks the nose. PERSPECTIVE VIEW: The line across the center of the eyes goes to the top of the ears. FRONT & SIDE VIEW: 1/6 area is Top of Head to Hairline. First 1/3 is Hairline of Forehead to Eyebrows. Second 1/3 is Ears & Eyebrows to Bottom of Nose. Third 1/3 is Mouth halfway between Bottom of Nose to Bottom of Chin. Remember on Front View there is an eye width at bridge of nose, left & right side of face (on each side of the eyes). TIP: These proportions are average and can vary from person to person. These, if you want to call them, "exercises", help you to "see" around and through the forms, making you a more successful artist.

Step 3.

Here's some fun stuff to check out! A skull! Do you like my skull? It shows the main bones of the head. You can Google or Bing these names to find out more about them. Yeah, it's ANATOMY TIME!!!

Step 4.

X-Ray our girl, and you'll see how her bones look under her skin. Without bones, we would be a pile of flesh. You can see how her eyes fit into the round sockets of her skull. Her eyebrows are above the sockets. And her cheekbones appear on her face to give that hilly lift. This helps you to know where to shade (in the valleys of her face) and where to highlight (on her cheeks). Oh, the nose has no bones about it... it's cartilage and sits above the holes in the skull like a little mountain.

Step 5.

Check out those names for the muscles! I only recognize two of them by their roots: Front and Oris. Oris has something to do with the mouth. Okay, I'll stop rambling. But for an anatomy study of the head, here's the main head & neck muscles. This helps with know where to draw wrinkles. Check out the direction these muscles are drawn... that is how the face moves. It's a good thing to know for drawing facial expressions and shapes on the head & neck.

Step 6.

In this picture, you can see how her muscles interact with her face.

Step 7.

This picture represents the planes of the head or face. These planes are a combination of muscle and bone and is covered by a smooth flow of skin over flesh. It can become difficult to see the changes of the planes. As an artist you need to know where to look for these subtle changes on the planes from light to dark and visa verse. Without those subtle changes, your portrait becomes flat and uninteresting.

Step 8.

Speaking of subtle changes on the planes from light to dark, here is a look at three popular lighting effects. DRAMATIC is made by overhead light. This can be in midday sun or strong moonlight. MYSTERIOUS is made when the lighting comes upward or beneath the face like holding a candle or flashlight. You'll see this effect used a lot in graphic or noir novels. CONVENTIONAL is the most popular. It is made at a 45-degree angle light placed to the side, above the subject and slightly toward the foreground.

Step 9.

Here is how the planes interact with our girl. You can see the changes are very subtle. It is good to practice knowing where these planes are and how lighting makes a difference with your drawing.

Step 10.

Is your mind overflowing with knowledge? You can now relax and put on your artist hat. We're starting the drawing with an oval. Sketch it lightly with a No.2 pencil.

Step 11.

Dissect this oval with a line in the middle. This helps to give an even right and left application of her features.

Step 12.

Add the red curved lines to add mass where her ears will go. They look like ear muffs!

Step 13.

We have a new set of red lines. Sketch them in lightly. The top curved line represents her hairline. Straight line one is a little above her eyebrow arch. The second straight line is from tear duct to tear duct. Forth straight line directly under the bottom of her nose. And the last straight line is at the middle of her mouth.

Step 14.

Simply add the neck, lightly please, boys and girls.

Step 15.

This is how the guidelines will look. Your picture can be close. And if you want, you can continue to draw the shapes to the hair sections and shine. Watch the directions of the hair strokes/lines. There are lines also representing the shading on her face and neck.

Step 16.

By erasing the guidelines gently and blending then with your drawing, here's how our girl looks line style. Be satisfied with your picture if this is where you want to stop. You actually have a line styled type of picture. Please enjoy it because it was made by your creative hands.

Step 17.

This is a little bit from a tutorial I did in Drawing Techniques/Sketching/How To Sketch Faces. This will help when you stroke in her hair with dark lines, feathering them from the dark corner of the hair strand to the white area left for shine. Check it out.

Step 18.

If you're wondering how in the world can you make your drawing look more realistic. Shade in small circles with No.2 pencil in the darker areas on her face and neck. Try to match this picture. Do not draw in hard lines on her face. You want a smooth texture. Take a tissue or blending stump and gently stroke the darker shaded areas and carry them out to the lighter areas. Same goes with the nose, which does not have outlines. So any outlines you made with your pencil on the nose can be blended in for shading. NOTE: If you have outlines for your drawing, it will look cartoonish. That's why it's great to blend in with a stump, tissue, Q-tip or anything you can get your hands on. It's so sad to say goodbye for now. But let me know how you feel about this tut... if it has enough info, too much, or you want more. It's been my pleasure and I hope to see you in many more of my tuts! LOVE & PEACE OUT!!!

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Uploaded: March 10, 2011
Artist: Catlucker
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 18
Updated: March 10, 2011
P.O.V: Front
Favourited: 14 times
Artist comments

I've got some really cool stuff in this tutorial about drawing the human head. In the beginning we'll go over perspective & proportions of the head. Then you'll be able to chew into some good meat... that's BONES, MUSCLES, and PLANES of the Human Head. In the last steps you'll get to draw the girl featured here in the picture. Sounds like fun, right? Well, let's get to the meat and bones of this lesson! Let me know if you liked this. Vote. Comment. Fav it!