How to draw an ear from the front


thumbnail-how-to-draw-an-ear-front-324x235Learn how to draw an ear from the front in 11 easy steps!

HB, 2B and 4B pencils
Canson Bristol Paper
– Ruler or Straight Edge (Optional)
Paper Stump
Kneaded Eraser


Step 1: Draw an Ear Shape

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-1-rfaUsing a blunt HB pencil, draw a narrow ear shape. If you want to draw ears that stick out of the head a lot more, draw your ear wider.

Then, measure the length of your drawing and create a ruler beside it. Draw 3 lines through the ruler, breaking it into 4 equal sections. I’m labeling the 3 lines A, B and C so I can refer to them easily.

Step 2: Draw a Large Hook Shape

Draw a hook shape that starts from line B and ends at line A.


Step 3: Add the Tragus

In one continuous stroke starting from line B, draw the tragus (the small flap in front of the ear canal) and end your stroke with a small hook that rests above line C.


Step 4: Create a Large Fold

Add a curve to the far right which starts at the top of the ear and ends below line C. Leave a fair amount of space for the earlobe.


Step 5: Add a Small Hook Shape

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-5-rfaBetween the 2 lines you just drew, draw a large hook shape that sits on line C. This is the anti-tragus.

Step 6:

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-6-rfaUse the shadow lining technique to draw a curve in the center of the ear. Try not to make it parallel to the curve drawn in step 4.


Step 7: Prepare to Shade

Okay, last one before we shade!

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-7Erase the ruler and horizontal lines.

To keep your edges sharp and clean when you shade, use a sharp 4B pencil to re-outline areas of the ear that cast the darkest shadows – Areas such as deep valleys, major folds and overhang.

Your outlines should not be too dark because you don’t want them to show through after you shade.

Step 8: Add the Darkest Shadows


If your pencil is still sharp, use a scrap piece of paper to make it blunt and then draw your shadows.


Step 9: Add a Light Layer of Graphite


Use a blunt HB pencil to shade an even layer of graphite across the entire ear. If you want bright white highlights, don’t shade over them.


Step 10: Add the Midtones


Use a 2B pencil to add your mid-tones. Shade areas such as the opening of the ear, shallow valleys and slight folds.

Step 11: Blend the Graphite

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-11Use a blending stump to smooth out your shading. If your highlights are too dark, roll your kneaded eraser to a fine tip and dab some graphite away. If your edges are blurred, use a sharp pencil to redefine your edges and blend them lightly if needed.


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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.


  1. Thanks for the tutorial.

    One quick question: what is the difference between using a blunt pencil to shade and a sharp one?.