Learn How to Draw

Learn how to draw using RFA’s simple, easy to understand and detailed drawing tutorials. These step by step drawing lessons are designed for people of all ages and skill levels.

Don’t be discouraged if you get stuck! I offer FREE one on one support where I provide you with specific drawing techniques, tips and suggestions which are tailored to YOU :)

No more expensive online art classes or programs! Follow my simple drawing lessons, interact with me and let me help you draw better!

How to Draw Faces for Beginners – SIMPLE

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 was requested by Wendy Nelson. Thanks Wendy!

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 inward so the chin is more narrow than 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!

[GIF]

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!!

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How to Draw Faces for Beginners – SIMPLE Read More »

How to Draw a Pair of Realistic Eyes

This is hands down the most requested tutorial to date. It’s a long one too!

Tools I used:

How to Draw a Pair of Realistic Eyes

This is a long tutorial and I tried to keep it short, so if you get stuck anywhere, please watch the video version (linked at the bottom of this tutorial) or let me know and I’ll try to explain it better or add examples :)

Step 1: Determine the Eye Size

Using an HB pencil, draw 2 light ticks spaced well apart. This will determine the size of the first eye.

Use a ruler to draw a horizontal line through the ticks and extend it to the far right side of your sketchbook.

Measure the distance between the 2 ticks and triplicate it across the horizontal line so you end up with 3 equal spaces.

Not sure how to do this? Check out the video to watch me do it.

Step 2: Draw two Circles

In the left and right spaces, draw 2 circles similar in size. Make sure the circles are large enough to fill the space.

Step 3: Decide on an Eye Angle

Eyes are usually a little slanted. Use a ruler or draw a line freehandedly across each circle at an angle.

Erase the horizontal line to keep your drawing space clean.

Step 4: Draw the Eye Shape

Draw the inner corner of each eye where the circles and slanted lines intersect.

Draw the upper eyelid while staying within the circle.

Draw the lower eyelid but avoid drawing a flat line. Put a little curve into it so it looks more realistic.

Let’s draw the upper crease now. Start from the inner corner and work your way out towards the tail of the eye. You can use the shape of the top lid for guidance. If you want a more detailed tutorial on drawing eye shapes, click here to learn how to draw 8 different eye shapes.

Step 5: Shadowline the Eyebrows

Starting above the circle, use the Shadowlining technique to outline the eyebrows. Shadowlining prevents your outlines from showing through in your final work. Want more guidance on drawing eyebrows? Visit this detailed eyebrow tutorial.

Now erase all your guidelines to get ready for the next step!

Step 6: Draw the Irises

Very lightly draw an iris in each eye using an HB pencil. The iris should take up about 2/4’s of the eyeball horizontally like the examples below:

Your measurement should start from the tear duct to the outer corner of the eye.

To draw a perfectly circular iris, draw a full circle and then just erase the parts that fall outside the eyeball instead of drawing bracket shapes. This helps a lot when drawing narrow eyes.

Step 7: Shade the Face

Shade the face, leaving the eyeballs white. If your drawing is too light, darken it just a little before you shade or else the lines could disappear.

Click here to learn how to shade a face

Step 8: Draw the Eyebrows

I’m using a sharp 0.5mm 4B mechanical pencil for this step. Starting at the bottom portion of the eyebrow, draw upward strokes. The strokes should be thickest at the base and very thin at the ends.

If you want a super detailed tutorial on drawing eyebrows, check out this tutorial.

Do the opposite for the top portion of each eyebrow. Angle your strokes downward and use lighter strokes near the end of each eyebrow. Make sure your strokes taper at the ends instead of crossing over each other forming ‘X’ shapes.

Add a row of hairs going down the center to fill in some white space.

Carefully go over your strokes on the bottom to darken them.

Lastly, add a light shadow by shading the area using an HB pencil.

Step 9: Draw Details in the Eye

This is a really long step because I tried to include as much detail as possible haha. Stick with me guys!

Draw a small circle (pupil) in the center of each iris. Draw a rectangle (or any shape you want) in or touching the iris. This is the reflection of light from a bright window. Curve the sides of the rectangle to make it look like the eyeball is spherical.

Use a sharp 6B pencil to shade the pupil. Try to keep your edges as clean as possible.

Around the pupil, draw a squiggly ribbon using an HB pencil.

Around concave areas, use a sharp 4B pencil to darken the ribbon to give the eye more depth.

From the center of the pupil to the ribbon, draw light spokes.

Darken spokes that fall within concave sections of the ribbon.

Very lightly, draw a second ribbon around the first one. Leave a thin space between them.

Use a dark pencil such as a 2B or 4B (up to you) to darken the ring of the iris. Then use an HB pencil to shade the section between the ribbon and ring.

Grab your kneaded eraser, pinch it and dab it onto your drawing. This will create white spokes.

Use a sharp 2B pencil to make the spokes pop! You can do this by outlining them.

Use a sharp 4B pencil to add more details in between those spokes.

Grab a blending stump and carefully blend everything but the rectangle reflection. If you don’t want to use a blending stump, use an H pencil to shade instead of blending.

Step 10: Shade the Rest of the Eyeball

To make the reflection really pop, shade the rest of the eyeball so the only thing that remains white is the reflection.

Start by shading the inner corner of each eye using an HB pencil. This area is bumpy, soft, glossy and darker than the rest.

Once you’re done, soften the edge around each iris using a blending stump or HB pencil.

Shade the rest of the white space using the contouring method. If you want a more detailed tutorial on shading eyeballs, visit this tutorial.

After shading the eyeball as light as I could, I decided to darken the face to give the drawing more contrast.

Step 11: Draw the Eyelashes

Start by drawing 3 lashes per eyelid. Space them well apart. Use very light pressure just in case you need to erase anything.

Click here for How to Draw Eyelashes <– There’s a lot more detail with longer explanations and more pictures.

Fill the empty spaces with more lashes.

Create some triangles by tapering the hair ends together.

Once you’re happy with the shape and placement of each lash, use a sharp 4B pencil to darken them.

Not enough lashes? Thicken the base and body of each one or add additional lashes – making sure not to overcrowd. Once you’re done, use a 2B pencil to shade the upper eyelid skin and an HB pencil to shade the lower lid.

The eyelashes should cast a shadow on the eyeball, so use an HB pencil to shade the top of the eyeball a little darker than the rest (Do not shade into the reflection). Try to make your shading very gradual.

Step 12: Add Eyelash Reflections

Finally, use a sharp 4B pencil to draw several eyelash reflections in the white rectangle. Want the eyes to have more depth? Darken your pupils as much as possible, brighten and/or darken some spokes to make them pop even more.

If you got stuck at any point, please check out the video version of this tutorial on my Youtube channel. It’s more detailed and contains extra steps!

Guys, I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Let me know if you have any questions and don’t forget to share this with your friends using the share buttons.

Happy drawing!

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How to Draw a Pair of Realistic Eyes Read More »

How to Draw Closed Eyes

How to Draw Closed EyesHere’s a quick and easy way to draw closed eyes for beginners. I came up with this method by combining a few of my other ones, which turned out very well. You guys have been requesting me to draw a pair of opened eyes for a while now. So I’m going to work on that one next!

Tools I used in this tutorial:

Note: Up until step 6, use only an HB pencil with very light pressure so that your guidelines and mistakes don’t show through in your final artwork. Drawing lightly is also better for erasing. In the examples below, I’m using more pressure so you can clearly see what I’m doing.

Step 1: Determine Eye Size

Determine the size you’ll want for one eye and use 2 ticks to mark the boundaries for that eye.

Use a ruler to draw a horizontal line through the ticks and across the right side of the page.

Then measure the first space and multiply it by 3. You should now end up with 3 equal spaces going across your sketchbook horizontally.

Step 2: Draw Circles

Draw a circle for each eye. Make sure each circle fits within the boundaries.

Step 3: Determine the Angle for Each Eye

Determine the angle you want the eyes to slant and draw a line through each circle, making sure the angles are similar.

Step 4: Draw the Eye Shapes

Draw the inner and outer corners of each eye where the slanted line intersects with the circle. The inner corner of each eye should be deeper and darker than the outer corner or tail of the eye.

When you draw the tail crease, allow your lines to gradually become lighter instead of having a hard edge.

Finally, draw a set of curves to form the eyelids.

Step 5: Draw the Shape for Each Eyebrow

Use my shadow-lining technique to draw a set of eyebrows. I like to draw the eyebrows just above the circles and slightly wider than each eye. In the video, I show you a technique to make the eyebrows match as well as where to draw the arc.

We’ll detail the eyebrows later. Let’s move on to the next step!

Step 6: Shading

Before you shade, make sure the guidelines you drew from step 1-3 are only slightly visible. You can use your kneaded eraser to roll a layer of graphite off those areas.

Let’s start by shading the top eyelids. Use the side of your pencil to shade a shape similar to an almond. The circle around each eye can help you see if your shading on the right eye is similar to the left eye.

Add some light shading for the bridge of the nose.

Once you’re done, erase what remains of each circle.

Step 7: Shade the Rest of the Face

Shade the rest of the face. You can use these two tutorials to learn more about shading:

Step 8: Draw the Eyebrows

Here, I switched to my 4B 0.5mm lead. Starting at the lower part of each eyebrow, draw upward strokes. Make sure to lift your pencil up at the end of every stroke to make the hairs look more realistic. For a super detailed tutorial on this, check out this tutorial.

At the upper portion of each eyebrow, draw downward strokes. Add some hairs going down the middle if it still looks bare.

This step is very subtle, but also very important. Use an HB pencil to shade directly underneath each eyebrow. Make sure the transition is gradual. Now the eyebrows look like they belong, instead of just pasted onto the skin.

Step 9: Add Wrinkles to Eyelids

This step is optional… but it’s super fun, so why not do it too?

This one’s more of a crease than a wrinkle. When the eyes open, a crease forms on the eyelid. Use an H pencil and the lightest amount of pressure to draw two creases. The darker you draw them, the deeper they will appear.

Draw a row of curved diagonal lines along the edge of each eyelid. This area of the skin is very thin – wrinkling up when the skin is tugged. You’ll want to use an H pencil for this as well.

Depending on where the light is coming from in your drawing, blend the opposite side of each diagonal line drawn. For example: in this drawing, the light is coming from the top, so the side of each wrinkle that faces the light will be left alone, while the side facing away from the light will need to be blended.

Unless you’re drawing this on a large scale, avoid using a blending stump because the tip will not be thin enough for this job. Instead, use an H and HB pencil to create a nice gradient along each wrinkle.

Using a kneaded eraser, go over areas of each wrinkle that are facing the light and dab it gently with the pinched end of your kneaded eraser to lift a thin line of graphite. The highlights should appear brighter and the wrinkles should become more apparent and shapely.

Step 10: Draw the Eyelashes

To start, draw 3 eyelashes for each eye. One on the far left, far right and another in the middle. The lashes should fan out, angling away from each other.

If you want to be really careful, draw the eyelashes lightly with an H or HB pencil to start. Once you’re okay with the placement, curvature and length, etc… go over it with a darker pencil like a 4B. Here, I used a 0.5mm 4B lead.

Take your time to fill the spaces in between.

It’s okay that some eyelashes touch. It’s actually more natural looking when they form triangle shapes or even cross over each other.

How to Draw Closed EyesFinally, use an HB or 2B pencil to shade directly under the top eyelid to create a light cast shadow coming from the eyelashes.

Video Tutorial

I created a video to go along with the version you’re reading. You can check it out below! It contains a bunch of extra tips and tricks, which I think you’ll find useful! If you have the time, please leave a comment to let me know what you’d like to see me do differently in a future video, what you liked/disliked or other constructive feedback would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

The purpose of the video is not to produce a polished piece, but to show you the steps and techniques in a quick and easy manner. Click here to watch it on YouTube!

This is the first time I’ve done a written tutorial + video tutorial and I want to know what you guys think! Do you like videos in accompaniment to my usual stuff? Does it clear things up for you or would you rather see the video tutorial done another way?

Your feedback is always appreciated and will help me improve upon the tutorials further :)

I’m going to work on creating videos for past tutorials as well. So if you haven’t subscribed to me on YouTube, click here. Youtube won’t notify you when I post new videos unless you hit the bell icon beside the subscribe button as well, so don’t forget to click that too.

Thanks guys!

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How to Draw Closed Eyes Read More »

How to draw a female face (side view)

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step by StepStruggling to draw female faces from the profile view? This tutorial gives you a great way to practice getting your proportions right and eventually being comfortable enough to draw quick sketches.

Follow my drawing method 2-3 times and then try some quick sketches without the ruler. You’ll astonish yourself with the level of improvement after only a few practice sessions!

Tools:

Note: Remember to use an HB pencil with the lightest amount of pressure for each of the steps so you can easily erase outlines when you’re done the drawing.

Step 1: Draw an Oval

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 1

Draw an oval and a line at the bottom. The line should be distanced away from the oval by a little more than half of the oval’s vertical diameter.

In other words, a little more than the oval’s vertical radius.

Step 2: Face Outline

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 2

Connect the oval to the horizontal line to complete the shape of the head. Then, draw a long straight line down the middle of the oval.

Don’t worry about shaping the jaw or chin just yet. These are just rough guidelines!

Step 3: Make a Ruler

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 3

Use the length of the head to make a ruler on the side of your drawing. Don’t draw it too close to the face because you want to make room for the nose.

Divide your ruler into 8 equal spaces and use a straight edge to draw lines from each tick through the head. Don’t forget to keep your lines light. It’ll be a pain to erase later on.

Step 4: Brow, Forehead and Top of the Head

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 4

Now that we’re done with the guidelines, let’s start drawing the top portion of the head. Where the CENTER LINE meets the face, draw a shallow curve. I’m trying to avoid a deep curve because I don’t want to bring too much attention to the brow area. Just trying to keep it looking soft and subtle.

Once that’s done, draw a slight bump for the brow and then use the oval as a rough guide to draw the forehead and rest of the upper head.

Step 5: Nose

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 5

If you haven’t read my nose tutorial, go here first. I prefer to draw the nose without the circles, but you can use that technique if you want.

I like to draw my noses at a medium length, keeping the tip of the nose under Line 1. The angle of the nose depends on the face I’m drawing, but I tend to draw them at a 50 degree angle.

Step 6: Mouth

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 6

From the nose’s base, form a natural curve that dips down through Line 2 and wraps back in towards the face, creating a full top lip. The corner of the mouth should not extend too far past the nostril.

Then draw the bottom lip which should be above Line 3.

When you’re done, check to see if there’s enough space for the chin or if there’s way too much space. Adjust the lips accordingly to prepare for the next step.

Step 7: Chin and Jawline

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 7

Keep in mind that your chin and jawline does not need to follow the exact guideline of the head/face shape.

Extend the jawline beyond the vertical line that goes down the center of the face. When drawing females, I tend to give the jawline a soft or rounded, less angular appearance.

Step 8: Neck

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 8

Draw the front and back of the neck. Avoid drawing the neck using vertical lines. Also try to avoid using straight lines, as this will appear very unnatural.

Step 9: Eye and Eyebrow

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 9

To find where to place the eye, draw a vertical line from the corner of the lip to the CENTER LINE. The eye should be drawn where those two lines meet. If you want more details on drawing an eye from the side, visit this tutorial.

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 9_2

Follow the general shape of the eye to form the eyebrow. Keep the eyebrow well below Line C for a relaxed look. For a more surprised expression, draw the eyebrows a little higher and stretch the eye up along with it.

Step 10: Ear

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 10

From the jawline, draw an outline for the ear. This outline can be anywhere from roughly the CENTER LINE to Line 2.

Learn How to Draw Ears

Step 11: Hair

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 11

Draw the forehead’s hairline starting between Line A and B. When you draw the hair at the sideburns (hair between the ear and cheek), keep your lines extra light because females have very sparse sideburns. Don’t forget to give the hair some volume, for more on that, visit my hair tutorial.

How to Draw a Female Face from the Side View Step 11_2

Happy with how your drawing looks? Whip out your eraser and have fun erasing your guidelines! To save time, I like to use an electric eraser followed up by a kneaded eraser to get into those tight spots or overlapping lines.

Experiment by Drawing Many Unique Faces

When you’re comfortable, try drawing some faces without the ruler on the side. The examples below have very rough guidelines. In fact, if you look closely you can see just how sloppy they are. Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to draw realistic and unique female faces on the whim!

My challenge to you is to fill an entire page in your sketchbook with rows and rows of faces. Make them small so you can fit as many as you can (I actually find it more difficult to draw faces on a large scale). It might take 5 or more tries to get the hang of it. If you’ve filled the entire page but your faces don’t turn out quite right, come back and follow this tutorial again.

Examples how to draw female faces from the side RFA
Like my teaching style and want to make a request? Drop me a comment below and I’ll see what I can do for you :)

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Want to download a FREE PDF version of this tutorial for offline viewing or printing? Please share this page with your friends using the buttons below to unlock the PDF. Thank you! Alternatively, you can purchase ALL my tutorials in PDF form at once, for a small price. Click here for more info.
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In the meantime, happy drawing and I’ll see you again soon with another detailed drawing tutorial!

Want more similar tutorials?

How to Shade a Face

NEW: Draw Female Faces from the Front

how to draw a face from the side thumbnail 324x235Part 2: Drawing Faces from the Side

How to draw a Face Thumbnail 324x235 7

Part 1: Drawing Faces from the Front View

How to draw a female face (side view) Read More »

How to draw a female face in 8 steps

How to Draw a Female Face

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.

Tools:

How to Draw a Female Face Step 1: Face Shape

How to Draw a Female Face Step 1

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

How to Draw a Female Face Step 2

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.

Example:

Draw-a-female-face-step-by-step-small

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

How to Draw a Female Face Step by Step 3

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

How to Draw a Female Face Step 4

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

How to Draw a Female Face Step 5

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.

Click here if you want to learn how to draw realistic eyebrows

Step 6: Lips

How to Draw a Female Face Step 6

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

How to Draw a Female Face Step 7

The CENTER LINE and Line 2 are general boundaries for the ears. You can learn how to draw realistic ears here.

Step 8: Hair

How to Draw a Female Face Step 8

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.

How to Draw a Female Face

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?

How to draw female faces experiment RFA

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Other face drawing tutorials:

How to Shade a Face

NEW: How to Draw Female Face (Side View)how to draw a face from the side thumbnail 324x235Part 2: Drawing Faces from the Side

How to draw a Face Thumbnail 324x235 7

Part 1: Drawing Faces from the Front View

NEW: Simple method to draw male/female faces

How to draw a female face in 8 steps Read More »

How to draw 6 different eye shapes

THUMBNAIL different eye shapes 324x235In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to draw 6 different eye shapes: almond, round, monolid, hooded, upturned and downturned.

You’ll get a chance to look at different types of eyes being drawn at the same time. I don’t encourage you to draw them all at once, so pick only one and follow it throughout the tutorial.

Feel free to mix and match as you get comfortable on your next run-through.

Since I couldn’t fit all 6 eyes in every step, the last 2 have been pushed into a bonus section at the end of the article.

Tools:

 

Step 1: Draw a Circle

How to Draw Different Eye Shapes 1Using an HB pencil, let’s start by drawing a circle. This circle represents the eyeball.

 

Step 2: Pick an Angle

How to Draw Different Eye Shapes 2 RFAHow slanted do you want the eye to be? Draw a line going through the circle with the angle you prefer. Feel free to deviate from the examples above.

Note: the left side of each circle is the inner side of the eye

This method is awesome if you’re drawing a set of eyes on the same face.

Step 3: Draw the Inner Corner of the Eye

How to Draw Different Eye Shapes 3 RFATime to draw the inner corner of the eye. You can use several shapes. Angular, pointy or rounded ones like the examples above and in the bonus section. For small or shallow corners, stay very close to the circle. For deep and large corners, place it well outside the circle.

 

Step 4: Draw the Top Lid

How to Draw Different Eye Shapes 4 RFA
Draw the upper eyelid while staying within the boundary of the circle. Imagine that the eyelid is wrapping around a sphere. The last example shows the right side of the lid wrapping around the eyeball with a big steep curve.

For almond shaped eyes, you’ll want to stick to a slim football shaped curve and the deepest part of the arc should be located at the middle of the lid.

Step 5: Draw the Bottom Lid

How to Draw Different Eye Shapes 5 RFANow draw the lower lid. Make sure to draw a slight bump near the inner corner of the eye and avoid drawing the lid too far away from the line you created in step 2.

For almond shaped eyes, the arc of the top and bottom lids are very closely aligned vertically.

Step 6: Add a Crease

How to Draw Different Eye Shapes 6 RFADraw the fold above the eye starting from the inner corner and working your way out. The thicker the space between this line and the eye, the thicker the fold will look. You can loosely mimic the curve of the top lid.

This crease should not go past the line you created in step 2 unless you’re drawing wrinkles.

For the hooded eye, you’ll want to bring the crease as close to the top lid as possible. You can even overlap them or cut through a portion of the top lid.

When drawing the crease, keep your lines fairly light. A dark crease will look really deep.

 

 

Step 7: Erase Outlines

How to Draw Different Eye Shapes 7 RFA

Carefully erase your outlines. I used a hard tombow eraser to save time.

Step 8: Add Some Details

How to Draw Different Eye Shapes 8 RFA

At the inner corner of the eye, draw a curve or two to separate the eyeball from the soft pink caruncula.

For Iris sizing, a good rule of thumb is for the iris to take up about 2/4’s of the eyeball (horizontally). Examples below:

How to Draw Different Eye Shapes Iris Sizing Example RFAIf you want to draw a perfectly shaped iris, draw a full circle and then erase parts of the circle that go outside of the eyeball. This step should be done very lightly. Once you have the position and size you want, darken the iris outline.

How to Draw Different Eye Shapes Iris Example RFA

 

Step 9: Shade Your Eye

To shade and add more details, you can refer to the tutorials below:

BONUS

How to draw eye shapes Bonus RFA

Monolid: You can draw a monolid eye by excluding the crease or giving a small hint of it at the end of the eye.

Downturned: Try not to angle your line too much when drawing downturned eyes. In fact, the one I drew is pretty extreme already. Actually, you know what? Just do what you feel like. Experiment and have fun!

Click here to learn how to draw a pair of eyes!

I hope you got a lot of value out of this tutorial! If you didn’t, let me know why in the comments below and I’ll do my best to make it right for you.

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How to draw 6 different eye shapes Read More »

How to draw short hair (very detailed)

wm-rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-10_2Looking for a highly detailed tutorial on how to draw short hair? This is a very extensive one with plenty of examples, a full step by step tutorial and mini tutorial.

It’s an expanded version of the mini tutorial from my first hair article. So if you’ve seen the thumbnail for this article before, I’m not feeding you old content. What you’re getting in this tutorial is new content with more images, more steps, more explanations and over 2000 words of valuable content! Let’s get into it!

Tools:

I hope I don’t lose you during any step in the application part of this tutorial, so here are a few things I want to cover with you before we start. Let’s talk about:

  • Grouping Hair
  • Layering Hair
  • Hair Flow/Direction
  • Shading
  • Detailing Short Hair
  • Lighting and Consistency
  • How to Draw a Small Section of Hair (Mini Tutorial)

 

Grouping Hair

Grouping is a great way to approach drawing a an entire head of hair, especially if the sheer amount intimidates you. This method can help you draw hair faster because you’re simplifying something that looks complex.

wm-how-to-draw-short-hair_grouping-hairs-example
When you’re in the grouping phase, you’ll want to draw using very light outlines. These groups will eventually be broken down into smaller, more detailed sections of hair.

In the grouping phase, all you need to think about is the length, overall design and flow of hair.

If you’re drawing from a reference image, you can identify groups of hair by zooming out of the image or standing back to find patterns in the hair. Group hairs that are flowing in the same direction and/or close together.

 

Layering Hair

This part is self explanatory, but I decided to include it just in case. If you get the idea, move on to the next point.

The order in which you draw each group of hair is important. If you’re drawing a hairstyle where the hair is prominently parted at the side of the head, you’ll want to start your first layer there and work your way out.

The image below is an example of drawing from the part and working your way down the side of the head.

hair-layering-example

If all the hair is brushed from the back of the head towards the front, start your first layer of hair from the back of the head where the swirl or whorl is located.

If the hair is brushed from front to back, you’ll draw starting from front to back.

 

Hair Flow and Direction

wm-how-to-draw-short-hair-flowIf you have a reference image, look for patterns in the hair to find out the general direction where the majority of hair is flowing. In the image above, the hairs at the top of the head are all pointing in a similar general direction while hair on the side of the head seems to have a more unique flow. You can use arrows in your reference image to help visualize the flow.

Avoid drawing hairs that follow the exact direction your arrows are pointing. You can make your drawing look a lot more interesting by pointing the hair in several different directions, while still appearing to point in the same general direction.

wm-rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-direction-and-flow-example-2

Dark Spaces

Drawing hair isn’t about creating as many lines as possible. Between some hairs, there should be dark space. These dark spaces are important and can make a head of hair look more interesting to the eye and give the hair more volume or depth.

wm-dark-spaces-exampleYou can introduce dark shadows in areas like the swirl behind the head, spaces between large groups of hair or even areas where overlapping, curly or unruly hair appear.

 

Detailing Short Hair

If you’re drawing from a picture and you’ve lost track of which hair you just drew and you don’t know which patch of hair to draw next… there’s really no need to copy the exact picture hair by hair.

If you end up reading through this entire tutorial, you will be more comfortable playing it by ear instead of pouring over the tiny details from your reference image.

Below are just a few ways you can detail hair. You can incorporate a few or all of them in your drawing wherever you see fit. Come up with your own formulas. It’s a lot of fun!

wm-how-to-detail-short-hair-close-up-rfa

 

Lighting and Consistency

Overall Lighting:

rfa-overall-lighting-exampleIf you often find it hard to keep track of the overall lighting while you’re drawing, it really helps to plan ahead. You can do this by outlining/shadow lining areas of the hair you want the light to fall on or areas you want to have the most shadow and then shade these areas in. This step should be done before grouping and layering.


Lighting Across Particular Sections:

Once you start drawing the individual hairs, it’s easy to lose track and end up with inconsistent lighting across small groups of hair. Here’s an example:

particular-lighting-exampleYou can easily change the highlighted section of hair by pinching your kneaded eraser into a long thin shape and swiftly remove graphite from your drawing.

example-how-to-erase-hair_highlighting_kneaded-eraser

How to Draw a Small Section of Hair – Mini Tutorial

 

Step 1: Light Planning

mini-tutorial_drawing-small-section-of-hair_lightingHave a good idea of where you want the hair to be lightest and where it should be darkest. Use a soft but sharp pencil to shade the darkest areas of hair. I used a 6B. If you don’t want such dark shadows, use a harder pencil. Make sure to use strokes that follow the hair’s flow.

mini-tutorial_shade


Step 2: Add Individual Hairs

You can start drawing the individual hairs now. If you’re not comfortable with that just yet, see the mini tutorial from the original hair article. You can do this step with many pencils or you can use one. I usually draw one group of hair at a time. But in order to make this mini tutorial short, I’m working on all 3 groups at the same time.

wm-mini-tutorial_-how-to-draw-small-section-of-hair-2
Using a 4B mechanical pencil, I created strokes that were bold to begin with, but ended lightly as I approached the areas I wanted to highlight. Then I used a sharp HB pencil to fill in some spaces. I applied a variety of pressures to get a mix of different values and line thicknesses.

Some lines are shorter or longer than others. This is great, but make sure the area that you want to highlight has not been shifted.

Step 3: Directional Strokes

Now, you’ll want to draw from the end of the hair towards the highlight. If you draw the hair ends as dark as the root, the hair will have more of a curve to it.

wm-mini-tutorial_-how-to-draw-small-section-of-hair-3
The thing you need to keep in mind here is that the stroke needs to appear as though both ends are faded out or thinned out. The way to do this is to draw each hair using 2 strokes going in opposite directions. You only need to do this if your hair ends are noticeably blunt, making them appear unnatural.

mini-tutorial_how-to-draw-short-hair_stroke-example

 

Step 4: Touchups

If you haven’t been mindful of the prearranged lighting and your highlights appear to be off, use your kneaded eraser to redefine them. If you want the highlights to pop more, increase the level of overall darkness and/or use an eraser to brighten up individual strands of hair.

If you’re still reading, you’re one heck of a patient person. I think you’re ready for the full tutorial now!

How to Draw Short Hair From the Side

 

Step 1: Head Outline

rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-1Draw the shape of a head from the side. You can use this tutorial for proportions. Make sure to draw the ear and neck in this step as well. I used a 4B pencil so that you can clearly see my outlines. If you’re afraid of the outlines showing through in the end, use an HB pencil.

 

Step 2: Hair Length

rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-2Decide on the length of hair you’d like to draw. In this example, the hair is shortest around the back and sides, while the hair on top of the head is longest. Once you’ve decided on the length, grab a blunt 4B pencil and use the shadow lining technique to outline the hair.

Make sure the distance between the hair and head is consistent.

 

Step 3: Separating Top From Side Hair

rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-3Erase any outlines that you made for the head and then use an HB pencil to create an outline that separates the hair on the side of the head from the hair on top of the head.

 

Step 4: Overall Lighting

rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-4If you don’t want to lose track of the overall lighting, use an HB pencil to shadow line areas of the hair you want to the light to fall on and then shade around those highlights. You can shade using a single tone or take it a step further and introduce darker tones. I used a blunt 4B pencil for that.

 

Step 5: Grouping, Layering, Flow and Shading

wm-rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-5_1If you did step 4, use a 4B pencil to layer groups of hair starting from the swirl at the very back of the head. If you didn’t do step 4, use an HB pencil. Make sure you keep the overall direction/flow in mind as you draw.

You can cover the entire side of the head or work section by section. I stopped as soon as I got close to the area I wanted most of the light to fall on.

wm-rfa_how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-5_2When you start shading, start by defining the darkest areas before drawing individual hairs (sharp 6B). If you happen to cross into the area you wanted most of the light to fall, do not introduce overly dark tones.

After you’ve defined the major shadows, start drawing individual strands of hair. Naturally, you’ll start breaking large groups into smaller groups and you’ll find ways to incorporate overlapping hairs and other unique and interesting patterns.

For the individual hairs, I used a 0.5mm 4B mechanical pencil.

 

Step 6: Repeat

wm-rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-6Continue working around those highlights. When drawing hair at the nape of the neck, curl the hairs in towards the neck. For areas close to the back of the head that aren’t getting much light (the light source for your drawing may be different), focus more on mid tones and dark tones instead of trying to define highlights/shine. It’s okay if the hair doesn’t stand out.

 

Step 7: Grouping, Layering, Flow and Shading

wm-rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-7_1Working in small sections at a time, I drew layer upon layer of large to medium groups of hair. Working in layers helps me carefully plan out the hair direction and flow.

wm-rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-7_2In the image above, I shaded around major groups of hair, making certain areas darker than others to show some depth. Since this is the area I wanted the majority of light to fall on, I used an HB 0.5mm mechanical pencil and a 2B pencil to draw the individual hairs.

 

Step 8: Fixing/Adding Highlights

wm-rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-8If you’ve shaded too dark, or simply want your highlights to pop more, roll your kneaded eraser into a ball, pinch one section so it’s flat and sharp and then run the eraser along areas you want to highlight as though you’re drawing white hair.
The image on the left is before erasing and the one on the right is after.

Step 9: Grouping and Layering

wm-rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-9In step 2, if you can recall, I wanted the hair on top of the head to be longer than the sides. The longest hairs you will have to draw will be in your first layer. The following layers are overlapped by layer 1, so they’ll appear shorter.

Step 10: Adding Dark Space and Individual Hairs

wm-rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-10_1Use your creativity to define shadows along random areas of hair. These might be areas that you’re not sure what to do with or that would have looked awkward if you did draw hair. You’ll know what I mean if you’re following along and applying this to your drawing.

After you’ve drawn the shadows, use your mechanical pencil to break groups of hair down into smaller groups until they start looking like individual strands of hair. While you’re drawing the strands, improvise and find unique ways to incorporate unruly, overlapping, loose hair, etc.

wm-rfa-how-to-draw-short-hair-from-the-side-view-10_2

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If you like this tutorial and want to see more in-depth hair tutorials, drop me your suggestions in the comments below!

In the meantime, here are other tutorials you can check out:

 

How to draw short hair (very detailed) Read More »

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!

Tools:
HB, 2B and 4B pencils
Canson Bristol Paper
– Ruler or Straight Edge (Optional)
Blending 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

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-2-rfa
Draw a hook shape that starts from line B and ends at line A.

Step 3: Add the Tragus

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-3-rfa
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

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-4-rfa
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

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-8

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

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-9

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

how-to-draw-an-ear-from-the-front-step-10

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.

I’ve gotten some requests for the left ear, so here are the steps for those of you struggling with the other side:

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How to draw an ear from the front Read More »

How to shade an eyeball

how-to-shade-an-eyeball-step-5-rfaEvery now and then, I get questions about how to shade eyeballs and how to make them look round. It’s a little difficult to explain without pictures, so here’s a short and sweet step by step tutorial to answer that question :) Enjoy!

Tools:

 

how-to-shade-an-eyeball_white

While you’re drawing the eye, keep the white part of the eyeball as clean as possible. We’re going to shade the entire eyeball later. This will bring your highlights out more because your highlights will be the lightest value in your drawing.

Step 1: Light Shading

how-to-shade-an-eyeball-step-1-rfa

Grab a blunt HB pencil and use the side of your lead to create large, blunt strokes on a scrap piece of paper. Use the exact same edge to shade an even layer of graphite across the eyeball without drawing over the iris. Contouring would be a suitable shading technique to use.

Step 2: Blend Carefully

how-to-shade-an-eyeball-step-2-rfa

Wrap a small piece of tissue paper around your finger and blend the eyeball in 2 separate sections. Do not touch any areas with dark shading or else you will smudge extra graphite onto the eyeball. Use very little pressure and use a new piece of tissue after every stroke.

 

Step 3: Shade Around the Iris

how-to-shade-an-eyeball-step-3-rfa

Once your shading is smooth, use your HB pencil to shade around the iris. The goal is to eliminate the harsh edge around the iris. Blend the graphite out if you need to.

 

Step 4: Shade the Eyelid Rims

how-to-shade-an-eyeball-step-4-rfa

Soften out your graphite where the skin touches the eyeball. This step is very subtle, but helps pull the skin and eyeball closer together. Compared to the previous image, this one looks like the top and bottom lids are actually touching the eyeball – snug fit.

Step 5: Add Subtle Shadows

how-to-shade-an-eyeball-step-5-rfa

Depending on where your light source is coming from (mine’s coming from the top), add subtle shadows using a blunt HB pencil. To make the eyeball look round, shade the far ends of the eyeball. Make sure your value transitions are very gradual.

Scroll up and compare the images from step 4 and 5. Notice how even the most subtle shadows can give the eyeball such a round shape. Just something to keep in mind when you shade.

Also, there’s an area of the eyeball near the tear duct that is slightly bumpy. So make sure to pay extra attention to that. However, you don’t want to bring too much attention to it, so try to keep it subtle.

Thanks to MargaritaM for reminding me to add a slideshow to this tutorial! Use the slideshow below to see all the steps and their subtle differences:

I hope this tutorial was helpful! Which steps helped you the most? I’d love to know :)

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How to draw eyebrows on paper

how to draw eyebrows
Hey guys! In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to draw realistic and subtle eyebrows. Learn how to draw eyebrows that compliment a drawing instead of sticking out like a sore thumb!

The structure of this tutorial will be similar to my previous one on eyelashes: examples with explanations and then application in a step by step format.

Tools:

 

Stroke Quality

eyebrow-hair-qualityKeep your strokes fairly thin. I always try to keep the tip of my pencil as sharp as possible for each stroke. Once your pencil starts to become blunt, individual hairs will blur together and eventually disappear as they blend in with each other.

Stroke Direction and Curve

I see a lot of people draw eyebrows like this:

example_incorrectly-drawn-eyebrow

While that’s great for cartoons and manga, it’s quite unrealistic.

 

We want to draw hairs that point in 3 main directions: Up, down and from left to right (or right to left if you’re drawing the left eyebrow).

eyebrow-hair-directionEyebrow hairs also come in a variety of shapes such as the ones below. Find the right combination/grouping to get your desired look or just go with the flow.

eyebrow-hair-curve-rfa

 

Stroke Length

Eyebrow hairs are usually shorter at the end of the eyebrow and as a rule of thumb, the lighter the hair, the shorter it is.

Root Placement

Slow down and carefully plan the placement of each stroke you make and try to make them as unpredictable as possible. Avoid predictable patterns like the ones below.

eyebrow-example-predictable-patterns

Random = natural

Do not make the mistake of drawing a single row of hairs in an attempt to cover the entire eyebrow. More on that later.

 

Eyebrow Shape, Length and Position

With your fingers, put some pressure along your eyebrow and move the skin up and down. You’ll find that your eyebrows grow along the brow bone. The brow bone is the protruding area directly above your eye socket. When you don’t know where to draw an eyebrow, visualize the eye socket around the eye.

Eyebrow length varies from person to person, but the average length is only slightly longer than the length of the eye itself.

As for the shape, there’s no one correct way. Just play around with different shapes while following along the brow bone.

 

How to Draw Eyebrows Step by Step

If you want to draw clean, sharp eyebrows, shade the area above the eye and blend it out first before you start. It doesn’t have to be perfect. This step eliminates the amount of shading and blending you’ll have to do later on.

how-to-draw-eyebrows-rfa
Step 1: Shadowline the eyebrow

how-to-draw-eyebrows-step-1-rfa
With an H pencil, use my shadow-lining technique to outline the shape you want the eyebrow to have. If you use this technique, your outlines will blend in perfectly when you draw the actual hairs later.

Do not outline it like the image below. It will be very obvious in your final drawing and a complete pain to erase!

example_how-not-to-outline-an-eyebrow

 

Step 2: Draw first row of hairs

how to draw eyebrows
We’re going to draw hairs going in several different directions. Using a sharp 2B pencil, let’s start by drawing a single row on the bottom and go from left to right. These hairs grow in the upward direction and start pointing downward near the end of the eyebrow.

 

Step 3: Add a second row

how to draw eyebrows
Now, add an additional row or two. Remember to draw hairs at the beginning of the eyebrow longer than ones at the end.

 

Step 4: Add unique hairs

how-to-draw-eyebrows-step-4-rfa

Make slight changes in the hair direction and amount of curve. Join some hairs together by their ends as well.

I’m not adding any more hairs on the left side of the eyebrow because I don’t know if that will be enough yet. I’ll be able to decide later when I draw the upper portion of the eyebrow.

It’s up to you how you want to design your eyebrow, so you can add more hair if you want.

Step 5: Darken overlapping hairs

how to draw eyebrows

In this step, I didn’t add any new hairs. I just looked at which ones were overlapping and used the sharpest edge of my 4B mechanical pencil to darken those areas. This will make the eyebrow look more interesting.

 

 

Step 6: Draw a light row of hairs at the top

how-to-draw-eyebrows-step-6-rfa

Time to draw the upper portion of hair. I usually draw the first row really thin/light and then increase the thickness/darkness with the following rows.

Your ultimate goal is to get a smooth transition from upward-pointing to downward-pointing hairs.

 

Step 7: Merge hairs with bottom rows

how-to-draw-eyebrows-step-7-rfa

Add an additional layer or two. As the ends of the hairs start coming in contact with the upward-pointing hairs, allow your strokes to slowly merge into the same direction.

 

Step 8: Fill the middle portion

how-to-draw-eyebrows-step-8-rfa

When filling in the middle portion of the eyebrow, focus on drawing hairs that flow in the direction that seems most natural to you.

If you used the shadow lining technique for your outline in step 1, you will notice that it has blended in well and there should be no need to erase it.

Step 9: Touchups

how-to-draw-eyebrows-step-9-rfa

If you see any inconsistencies in value or you think you’d like a darker eyebrow, go over some hairs with a sharp 4B mechanical pencil and darken overlapping hairs or individual hairs that you want to stand out more than others.

Be very careful not to overdo it. It’s hard to erase thin lines. If you do need to erase any hairs or make them appear lighter, pinch your kneaded eraser until it looks as sharp as a knife and then press it directly on the hair to lift a layer of graphite away.

Step 10: Add light shadows on the eyebrow

how-to-draw-eyebrows-step-10-rfa

Can you spot what’s different in the image for this step? I’ve added shadows in the forest of hair. If you shaded the skin as light as mine, use a 2B pencil to shade over your entire eyebrow. Don’t press too hard.

At this point, the eyebrow still looks like it’s sort of pasted onto the face. We’ll fix this in the next step.

Step 11: Add light shadows around the eyebrow

how to draw eyebrows

Okay, last step! We just added some shadows inside the boundary of the eyebrow. Now it’s time to draw shadows around the outside. If your light source is coming from the top (like mine), draw your shadows directly below the eyebrow and/or sides only. Subtle shadows will do. Avoid hard edges!

If you think it still looks pasted on, use a sharp H pencil to draw really light hairs around the top and side.

And that’s it!

I just want to send a big thank you out to all of you guys who take the time to leave a comment or connect with me via email or Facebook. Your kind messages remind me that what I do makes a difference and helps give me the motivation to keep going! You guys are awesome! :)

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