How to Draw a Face from the Side


Hey Guys! I’m back with a new tutorial as a followup to the last one: how to draw a face from the front. This tutorial is very similar to the last one because it uses the same ruler ‘a,b,c, center line, 1,2,3’. If you followed my last tutorial, this one should be easy for you to pick up.

This tutorial requires a bit of measuring, so bear with me!

Sorry in advance if the image quality is not up to par. I just moved back to Canada from a one year trip in Japan and couldn’t bring my scanner with me. So I scanned these images with my phone. I did my best to make everything clear, so I hope you guys enjoy the tutorial!


Step 1: How to Draw a Profile

RFA draw a face side view step 1

Draw an oval and place a horizontal line below it about one oval down and draw a vertical line down the middle.

Step 2: Ruler

RFA draw faces from side view step 2On the side, draw a ruler the same length as your drawing and divide the ruler into eight equal spaces starting in the center. Make sure the spaces are as equal as possible! Use a straight edge to extend these markings over your drawing without pressing too hard.

You can also create these lines without the ruler on the side, but I recommend using it at least the first 2 or 3 times you practice drawing a face from the side.

Step 3: Ear

RFA draw face from the side view step 3 earDraw an ear on the left side of the head between line C and line 2. Click here for a detailed tutorial on how to draw ears.

Step 4

draw side face step 4 face and jawDraw a straight line down the front of the face (let’s call this the face line). Stop at line 2 and slant inwards the rest of the way down. Connect the ear to the chin to complete the jaw.

Step 5: Second Ruler

side face step 5

Make a horizontal line at the bottom of your drawing spanning from the middle of the head to the front of the face. Divide the line into 6 sections.

You can forget about this ruler for now. We’ll come back to it later.

Step 6: Brow Bone

RFA drawing faces from side Step 6 brow boneDraw a shallow ‘c’ shape where the Center Line and Face Line intersect. Shape the brow bone, working your way up to the forehead and merge the line back into the oval.

Step 7: Nose

RFA draw face from the side Step 7 noseDraw two small circles: one on the face line between lines 1 and 2 and another circle to the right of that.

Click here for a detailed tutorial on drawing noses from the side.

Step 8: Lips and Chin

RFA draw face from the side step 8 lipsLine your straight edge or ruler up to the marking labelled ‘H’ and draw a straight line through the face.

Draw the top lip under line 2. Now that we have one lip drawn, it’s time to draw the mouth’s corner. Place a small tick on line H.

RFA draw face frm the side step 10 jaw

Draw the bottom lip above line 3. Underbite or overbite?? Your choice!

Followup with the jaw and chin. Keep in mind that they do not need to follow along the underlayer created in step 4.

Step 9: Eye and Eyebrow


11-RFA-how-to-draw-a-face-from-the-side-step-11-eyeUpdate: Draw two lines from the top of the head through the markings labelled ‘F’ and ‘G’.

To draw an eye, draw a circle between lines F and G on the Center Line, or draw a triangle between lines G and H on the Center Line.

Click here for a detailed tutorial on how to draw an eye from the side!

RFA how to draw a face from the side step 12 eyebrow

Draw the eyebrow below line C.

Step 10: Final Step

RFA how to draw a face from the side part 13 hair 2

Draw the top and back of the head by following along the oval and taking a plunge all the way down, creating the back of the neck. When you draw the front part of the neck, try not to go too far left past the middle of the head.

Draw a regular hairline on the forehead between lines A and B or a receding hairline above line A.

RFA how to draw a face from the side step 14 hair

RFA side face drawing profile final 3

Add some finishing touches.. and you’re all set! Practice this a few more times and when you’re comfortable, try drawing without the two rulers on the side and bottom of your drawing!


Darlene created RFA In 2013 with the goal of sharing simple yet detailed drawing tutorials with other artists on the world wide web. She is a self taught pencil portrait artist and Youtuber.


    • Hi Riccardo, I will start that one soon. Thanks for the reminder!
      I’m just taking a small break from gigantic tutorials :)

  1. I love the way that you show people how to draw in very specific steps, but is this tutorial only for men! because I’m pretty sure that a woman’s face has slightly different proportions. I’d love to hear an answer soon.

  2. Thank you so much for your helpful tutorials…
    How would I make difference between male,female ,child and olds?
    And how to bring up emotion on face?
    Will these ability come automatically with practice or there’s any tricks?

    • Hi Mukit, I would have to study more faces to answer you on that. As for emotion, I think it helps to study your face in the mirror. Start with relaxing your muscles and then switching between various emotions and make note of the way your muscles pull each individual section of the face. Does the distance between your lips and nose decrease when you smile? How much do your lips curve down when you frown? How many centimeters does your face lift up when you’re surprised?

      • Thank you Darlene..
        I will study more on those points you mentioned…hopefully I will be good at observation on muscles of face..for now its seems to be critical to me…