How to Draw Faces for Beginners – SIMPLE

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Here’s a quick and easy method for beginners to draw male and female faces. In this tutorial, I’ll draw 2 basic faces and then I’ll demonstrate how some easy modifications can affect the overall look of the face.

This tutorial is available in blog format and video format:

 

This tutorial was requested by Wendy Nelson. Thanks Wendy! If you want to vote on the next video tutorial, check out my Patreon page to learn how :)

Tools:

Try to sketch very lightly so you can easily erase mistakes as you go along. This will also be helpful for the last part of the tutorial where we’ll swap out facial features to play with the way our characters appear. I used a 2B for this tutorial so you can clearly see what I’m doing, however I recommend using an HB or harder pencil grade.

How to Draw a Male Face Easy

 

Step 1: Draw a Circle

Draw a circle and then make a line through the center vertically and horizontally. Try to keep your construction lines as light as possible. If you can’t draw a good circle, don’t worry! Trace a round object such as a cup or a roll of duct tape.

 

Step 2: Draw a Line for the Chin

To find out where to draw the chin, use your ruler or pencil and finger to measure half of the circle’s diameter (from the bottom of the circle to the horizontal line), then transfer your measurement to the bottom of the circle and draw a line for the chin.

 

Step 3: Draw the Cheeks and Jawline

Draw the cheeks and jawline by connecting chin to the circle. Don’t forget to keep your lines light. We’re going to give the face more definition later. The lighter your lines are, the easier it will be to erase and make changes.

Important: Before we move onto the next step, erase the horizontal line inside of the circle.

Step 4: Draw Facial Construction Lines

Through the center of the head, draw a vertical and horizontal line.

Split the bottom section of the face in half and then in half again.

Do the same thing for the top section of the face.

These lines are for the eyes, nose, lips and hair.

 

Step 5: Draw the Eyes and Eyebrows

On the line labelled eyes, split the face into 5 equal sections. Make sure you take the entire width of the head into account.

Note: Thanks to Pranab Mahajan for reminding me to add this little detail – If you find it difficult to split the face into 5 equal sections, measure the width of the head using a ruler and divide your number by 5.

Example: If the widest part of the head is 6cm, divide it by 5 to get 1.2cm. Then split the head into sections of 1.2cm each.

Draw your eyes in the appropriate spaces. Click here for a detailed tutorial on drawing eyes.

 

Step 6: Draw the Nose

Before we draw the nose, we’ll need some boundary lines. Draw a line coming down from the corner of each eye and stopping at the line labelled “nose”.

Let’s draw the nose within these boundaries. For a medium length nose, draw it above the nose line.

Learn how to draw a nose: blog version, video version

 

Step 7: Draw the Lips

We’ll need some boundary lines for the lips as well. Draw a boundary line coming down from the center of each eye and stopping at the line labelled “lips”.

Draw a triangle directly under (touching) the nose and ending on the “lip” line.

Learn how to draw lips using my triangle method: blog version, video version

 

Step 8: Draw the Hair

Draw the hairline by creating a very angular shape that is well defined.

 

I like to draw the top hairline between these 2 lines.

Once that’s complete, draw the rest of the hair. To give his hair more volume, draw your outlines further away from the head, but make sure the distance is somewhat consistent or else the head shape may look unrealistic.

Step 9: Draw the Ears

Roughly between the eyes and nose, draw the ears.

 

Step 10: Complete His Face

Give the cheeks, jawline and chin some more definition. I gave him a sharp jawline with a dimpled chin. To make someone look skinnier, you can draw some subtle lines to shape the cheeks.

Finally, give him a thick neck and add the shoulders as well.

I erased the construction lines to show you his face without obtructions. You can keep these construction lines to aid you at the end of this tutorial when we swap out facial features to transform our characters!

How to Draw a Female Face Easy

 

Step 1: Draw a Circle

Same thing here – draw a circle with a line going through the center vertically and horizontally.

 

Step 2: Find Out Where to Draw the Chin

Measure half the circle’s diameter and add it to the bottom to get the chin, except THIS time, draw the chin slightly shorter.

 

Step 3: Draw the Cheeks, Jaw and Chin

For females, I like to draw a narrow face with a narrow jaw. For the chin, taper your lines in so the chin is more narrow compared to the male.

 

Step 4: Draw Facial Construction Lines

Erase the horizontal line inside of the circle and then draw a line going through the center of the head vertically and horizontally.

Split the bottom section of the face in half and then in half again.

 

Do the same thing for the top section of the head.

 

Step 5: Draw the Eyes

One the line labelled eyes, split the head into 5 equal sections while taking the full width of the head into account.

Draw your eyes in the 2nd and 4th space.

How to draw a pair of realistic eyes

 

Step 6: Draw the Nose

Again, draw a set of boundary lines coming down from the inner corner of each eye. Draw your nose a little higher than the ‘nose line’ for a medium length nose.

For a more feminine face, draw a narrow nose using soft lines that are not too angular/sharp. For the nose-bridge, draw a smooth curve that’s not too dark.

 

Step 7: Draw the Mouth

Create your boundary lines coming down from the center of each eye.

Draw your triangle directly below the nose and resting on the line labelled “lips”.

For a medium length mouth, draw it well within the boundary lines. Rest the bottom lip on the line labelled “lips”.

 

Step 8: Draw the Ears

Draw the ears roughly in between the eye and nose line.

 

Step 9: Draw the Hair

Females tend to have softer, more rounded hairlines compared to males. Draw a smooth line around the forehead without making many sharp angles. Make sure to keep your lines fairly light as well.

Once you finished the hairline, draw the rest of the hair. For a super detailed tutorial on drawing hair, visit this tutorial.

 

Step 10: Complete Her Face

Draw the cheeks, jawline and chin using smooth lines. A square chin can make your drawing look a lot more masculine (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).

To finish it off, give her a narrow neck compared to his. A thick neck may indicate a muscular individual.

 

Easily Make Changes to Your Character

This is the most fun part of creating this tutorial! Once you’ve created a face, you can easily change the features to test out different looks: hairstyles, lips, nose lengths, eye shapes, etc… The possibilities are endless and it’s also a great way to learn how each facial feature impacts a character’s emotions.

You can keep your construction lines to aid in the process or erase them and use the faint lines from your erased features to draw a slightly different one.

Move your features around, make them bigger, smaller, longer, shorter or place them further apart. The possibilities are endless!

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Don’t be afraid to experiment with drawing dis-proportioned faces. Stretch your imagination and just have fun with it!

Draw Various Male Faces

I noticed that when drawing males with thick outlines around the mouth, they turn out looking more feminine. You can lighten the outlines to make a pair of lips look more masculine.

  • Drawing narrow eyes can make a face look more chill and relaxed. The more visible the iris is, the more alert, intense, surprised, innocent or even angry the face will look.
  • Sharper, broader angles can make him look stronger, more masculine
  • Try different eye shapes too. I tried to make him look southeast asian by turning his eyes up at the ends, making the tip of the nose less pointy and giving him a pair of well defined lips.
  • Try to turn your character from a man into a boy by simply making his jawline narrower and smoother so his bones look less developed.
  • See if you can age him by adding different types of facial hair too!

 

 

Draw Various Female Faces

  • The original face looked sad. When I made her eyes wider, her sadness disappeared instantly! I didn’t even need to change the eyebrows.
  • And then I changed her lips and lowered her nose.

 

Here are Some More Examples!

I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial as much as I enjoyed making it :)

Happy 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.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Nguyễn …??! I love you and your video! But… I also want to know the name of video’s background music, I like it. Tell me please! 🤗

  2. Thanks so much Darlene. After practicing and doing other online and book study for drawing on & off for about 5 years and still struggling this was exactly what I needed. Your tutorial was so simple & easy to understand and it gave me immediate improved results. I am forgetting all the other tutorials out there and sticking with you. This was the first tutorial I did of yours and loved it. I will be doing your other tutorials on the eyes, nose, mouth then signing up for the shading tutorials. Thanks again and keep up the great work!!!

    • Thanks Bob! I appreciate your support and love your enthusiasm for drawing! Welcome to RFA and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

  3. Thank you. Yes I considered making my own stamps as I am a bit of a geek and can’t find stamps of images I have in mind. So if I can’t find it then why not make them? ( oh right, drawing them is still an issue ;) ) Also why I searched for tutorials. The patronage is not much but can’t spare more at the moment. It’s a start. And again, without these quality free tutorials I would be getting nowhere.

  4. Thankyou for being very clear in your insructions. Keeping the measurements in mind is the biggest problem, especially when starting.

    • The measurement part is the most tedious and important. It’s always a good idea to double check your measurements after each step.

  5. Thank you Darlene. My name is Terry and I’ve never drawn in my life but, after watching YOUR tutorial YOU really make it look easy for a beginner like myself. I TRULY believe that this tutorial WITH plenty of practice will get me into the school of my dreams to become a fashion designer. Have you made any tutorials on sketching fashion figures or how to create the perfect portfolio and mood board? Thanks again. GOD BLESS YOU.

    • I haven’t made any fashion figure tutorials and such because I’m not very familiar with that stuff but I’m fully open to it (perhaps a tutorial for 2018). If you need any extra help, have any questions or would like some constructive feedback on your work, let me know! I’m more than happy to help :)

  6. Thank you for such wonderful, well thought out, in-depth tutorials. I have learned so much from them for both traditional and digital art. This one was especially useful. Simply amazing and thank you just doesn’t seem like enough.

  7. Thank you, this looks great! My hobby is cardmaking, and as I can’t draw I use stamps (also it’s a lot faster – I love playing with ink). I have a rather large stamp of a young man, it’s a great stamp. And then my interest for drawing myself surfaced again… I wanted to make him look older. Like a real experienced traveller. (It’s the Sheena Douglass Time Traveller Steampunk Man in case you’re wondering). He looked to neat to be a traveller. I came a way with colouring but not good enough. And then I tried drawing myself. Figured I’d start with the eyes, and they were not that hard to draw (or rather, with limited practice the result looks ok when I follow your tutorial! So with more practice…). Still need to continue… This tutorial gives me motivation again to keep going.
    If you’re out of ideas for tutorials (and if you don’t have it yet, didn’t check again but don’t remember having seen it on the site), then maybe a “roughening” tutorial? – aging, some bruises or dirt, paint, scars maybe…(Probably a more advanced drawing tutorial?). Love that you share this so openly.
    You definitely deserve support.

    • That’s so cool Debbie! Have you considered making your own stamps? That would be a super fun project.
      Oh I love your idea on the roughening tutorial! I’m adding it to my to-do list :D
      By the way, thank you so much for your patronage!! You’re so sweet!

      • Thank you! I’m a bit of a geek and can’t find certain stamps I would like, so yes, I’ve
        considered making my own stamps ;). But to get the ideas out of my head onto
        paper / a computer I need to be able to draw them. And the patronage isn’t much but every little bit counts! (And a little bit won’t hurt my wallet a lot!) Now to find the energy to draw in the evenings when the kids are finally asleep…

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