How to draw a face from the side – 10 steps

how to draw a face from the side thumbnail 324x235Hey 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!

NEW: How to Draw Female Face (Side View)




Step 1: Start with an Oval

RFA draw a face side view step 1

Draw an oval and place a horizontal line below it that is a little bit less than one oval down. Then draw a vertical line down the middle.

Step 2: Draw a 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: Add the 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: Face Outline

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: Define 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: Draw the 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-eyeDraw a line from the marking labelled ‘G’ all the way up through the head.

To draw an eye, create 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! If you want to apply the method in the link, create another vertical line shooting up from the tick labelled F and draw your circle (eyeball) between F and H on the Center Line.

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

Draw the eyebrow below line C.

Step 10: Back of the Head, Neck and Hair

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!

To learn how to draw short hair and shade it realistically, click here!

Other face drawing tutorials:

How to Shade a Face

NEW: How to Draw Female Face (Side View)

NEW: Draw Female Faces from the Front


How to draw a Face Thumbnail 324x235 7

Part 1: Drawing Faces from the Front View

Part 3: Drawing Faces from the 3/4 View

If you love RapidFireArt tutorials and want to support what I do, check out my Patreon page!


    • Tnx… First time I would like draw the these type of pictures… Its show a professional skill… Tnqu very much… Awesome.. ❤️

  1. really amazing way to learn. very simple and I agree practice makes perfect.
    Thank you and looking forward to more tutorials

  2. thank you darlene this will really help to improve my knowledge you good in drawing i liked this congratulations!!

  3. Excellent work Darlene…..with your help my human faces draw have been more refined and cleaner(I don’t have to use shading to cover up anymore)…please, can create a tutorial on animal faces and figures too…thank you so much : )

  4. Hi Darlene,I’m a self taught artist an do really enjoy doing some of your exercises, one of my teachers in school or someone told me once (and this has helped me alot,and maybe it will help some of your followers)they said”draw it the way it’s supposed to look and not the way you want it to look”this has helped me numerous times,thank you soo much and keep up the great work!

  5. I wish i could see you so you could help me draw as good as you because my drawing is so messed up and you are a great artist.Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Very Nice tutorial, but I need to learn how to shade so I can paint the faces that I’ve drawn. Thank you , you do an awesome job going step by step.

  7. Thank you so much for this! Side views have always been a struggle for me but that scale you used REALLY helped me out! Might just start incorporating that into every side view drawing I do XD

  8. I’m curious where you studied. Your drawings are so amazing and detailed. Your bio says that you were self-taught. Did you really never receive any instruction?

    • I can’t stand a second of school, so it would have been impossible for me to go to art school :P
      I learn from doing and then improving upon my mistakes. It’s the long route, but I really enjoy it!

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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?