Another highly requested tutorial fresh out of the oven! This one is, again based off my original method, but with a few small changes here and there to create a female face with soft features. I’ll explain the differences in each step as we go along.
Note: Remember to use an HB pencil with light pressure for all steps so you can easily erase your guidelines in the end. I used a lot of pressure in the examples so you can clearly see what I’m doing.
I know there are a lot of measurements in this tutorial, but I think it’s very important, especially if you’re a beginner. Once you understand proportions you can try this tutorial again without the ruler method.
- HB pencil
- Sakura electric eraser to quickly remove guidelines
- Prismacolor kneaded eraser
- Canson Recycled Sketch Paper
How to Draw a Female Face Step 1: Face Shape
Draw a circle and make a small horizontal line at the bottom for the chin. It’s position should be roughly half of the circle’s diameter vertically. This matters because the circle was drawn freehandedly, so the horizontal diameter could be different.
Females tend to have shorter chins than their male counterparts, so a long chin can display a more masculine look.
When you’re done, draw the jawline to connect the circle to the chin. Females have all sorts of face shapes, but for this example I’m going to stick with a smooth, tapered jawline that’s less angular.
Finally, use a ruler to draw a faint line down the middle of the face vertically.
Step 2: Draw Face Guidelines
Measure the length of the face and draw a ruler to the side of your drawing using a straight edge. Then divide it into 8 equal spaces length-wise.
Label each of the ticks like the image on the left and once you’re done, use a ruler to carefully draw faint lines on the face through the ticks labelled: CENTER LINE, 2, 3, A and C.
If you’ve gone through this tutorial a few times already and want to try it without the ruler, draw your lines in this order: CENTER LINE, 2, 3 , B, A, C, essentially breaking sections of your drawing in half over and over again.
Click here to see the SIMPLE version of this tutorial. It’s a faster method and it’s also paired with a video!
Step 3: Draw the Eyes
On the CENTER LINE, draw 4 ticks that separate the face into 5 equal spaces horizontally. If you’re like me and you drew a very narrow cheek/jaw line, you’ll want to take the full diameter of the circle into account (The two dotted lines mark the full diameter of the head).
When you draw the eyes, keep in mind that females generally have wider, more open eyes than males. If you want to learn how to draw realistic eye shapes and how to size your irises properly, visit this tutorial.
And click here for a super detailed tutorial + video on how to draw a pair of realistic eyes.
Step 4: Nose
To draw the nose, extend the two lines at the inner corner of each eye all the way to Line 3. This will serve as a guideline for the nose’s width.
If you’ve already read my tutorial on drawing noses, place your circle above Line 2. I’m going to go with a short, narrow nose with a narrow bridge.
Step 5: Eyebrows
The picture on the left shows the top of the brow bone. I added this so you can see how the eyebrows are positioned naturally in regards to the bone structure.
In the image on the right, you can see that the eyebrows are drawn below Line C. For a surprised expression, the eyebrows will be pulled up closer to Line C.
Step 6: Lips
From the center of each iris, draw a vertical line all the way down to Line 3. This will give us a boundary for the mouth.
If you’ve already practiced my tutorial on drawing lips, place your triangle under the nose. The base of the triangle should be drawn inside the square. The top of the triangle should extend to wherever the bottom of the nose is.
After you’ve drawn the lips, you might feel the need to lengthen or shorten the chin so it’s more proportional to the rest of the face. This is completely normal. Happens to me all the time. That’s why it’s important to draw using faint lines so you can easily fix things.
Step 7: Ears
The CENTER LINE and Line 2 are general boundaries for the ears. You can learn how to draw realistic ears here.
Step 8: Hair
When drawing hair on females, keep in mind that females generally have narrower and shorter foreheads compared to males. I drew the hairline for my character well below Line A and drew more hair at the sides of the temple, making sure not to bring the hair in too close to the eyebrow.
Remember to give the hair some volume by leaving lots of space between the head and the hair. For more detailed instructions on how to draw hair, visit this tutorial this tutorial.
I like to do a final check before I erase all my guidelines. Check to see if the facial features need changing. Perhaps you’d like to change the nose length or eye shape.
Once you’re happy with your results, use a hard eraser to clean up all the lines. An electric eraser works very well for this kind of work.
After cleaning those lines, I like to use a kneaded eraser to dab away dark spots from where the lines intersected with my drawing.
This tutorial is focused only on structure and proportions. If you want to learn how to shade a face, visit this page.
Time to Experiment!
After you’ve grasped the drawing method above, try drawing faces without the ruler. Here are a few faces I created using rough measurements. Stretch your imagination and get comfortable with drawing faces quickly. How many faces can you draw in under 20 minutes?
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Other face drawing tutorials:
Part 3: Drawing Faces from the 3/4 View
Part 2: Drawing Faces from the Side
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.