Hi Sarah, I suggest you have a look at some real people or photos of people and the proportions of the face. Leonardo used to make studies of weird and ugly faces and it helped him to become more comfortable with features and proportions.
I would make the following suggestions about proprotion: If you look a person's face, you'll see that the eyes are further down the face, and that the face is not so flat. Also, the nose is more generally much more prominent than the lips. The chin is usually comes further forward, and the eyeball is convex rather than concave. If you have a look at a person's face (whether in reality or a photo), see where these features fall in relationship to oneanother. Have a look in the mirror. It is a good idea to get a photo of a face (you could even take one of your own) form the front, profile and 3/4 and rule lines on it to show the porportions.
You may find the following links useful: http://thevirtualinstructor.com/facialproportions.html
I think self-portraits are a good exercise in drawing faces, to start with. You will not find a more patient sitter than yourself! Set up a mirror and sit quite close to it. Work on the full face and on parts of the face. Enjoy!
My recommendation is always work from photograplhs, kEven if yu are drawing yourself in a mirror, the angle or the expression is going to change slightly every time you look at yourself.
I have drawing a lot of people and I have found that the most accurate universal measure ments are as follows:
Draw an oval like a egg standing on it's small end.
Draw a horizontal line through the center of the head and divide it by five. The eys are placed in the second and fourth spaces.
From the chin divide the head by 3 1/2 From the chin the first line will be the sip of the nose; the second will be the eyebrow line and the third, the hairline.
On either side of the head make marks between the eyebrow line and the eye line and even with the tip of the nose.. That's where the ears are placed
Draw a line straight down from the inside corner of each eye to the nose line.. That will be the outside of the nostril.
Divide the space between the chin and the tip of the nose From the chin the first line will be the cleft in the chin. The second will be the center of the mouth Draw a straight line down from the center of eye to the mouth line. That will be the outside corner of the mouth.
If you look at the fashion magazines, you will find that these proportions will match the beautiful people almost perfectly.,
Get these proportions thoroughly in mind so that when you look at your subject you can see how they differ from the perfect measurements.
Two things to keep in mind. The outside of the corner of a woman's eye will be a little bit above the eye line whereas the line will run through each corner of a man's eye.. The woman's eyebrow will be a bit high than a man's.
Hopefully that will get you started..
Hello sarah ,
My simple suggestion to you is to start your drawings very light. it would be easier for you to do corrections as you build up on your lines. hope this will help.
this is a really great study! check the eyeballs. they should look rounded on the surface not indented like you've drawn them. also make sure that the eyes are in the middle of the head. its always better to not have such a dramatic like on the face. try making a lighter, more graceful line. keep up the work, this is great! :)
That's a very good start. I like the suggestions presented so far. Richard, I'll have to try your technique sometime to see if it will help me because I still consider myself a beginner at drawing people (even though I've done it for almost 7 years).
Another way to look at the human face: if you look at the face as a simple oval, the eyes will be in the center of it. The length from the horizontal midline of the eyes to the chin (the lowest point of the face) is exactly or nearly the same as the length of the horizontal midline of the eyes to the crown of the head (the highest point of the face).
When looking at a human profile the face naturally curves outward from the eyes to the chin. That's because the skull is concave (or, sunk-in) at the eyes and the lower you go it starts to form the shape of the nasal then down to the teeth. The forehead sits back slightly from the plane of the teeth. Think of the skull inside of a box. The teeth will sit closer to the wall of the box than the forehead will. Here is an example: skull in box
One of the biggest things that I've found to help me is to mentally break down everything into simple shapes. As we grow older we tend to over-complicate everything we see around us. But if you'll notice how children draw when they first begin they use simple shapes to convey their images onto paper. Every drawing begins with a line. Always. That's as simple as it gets. That line can be used to create shape. If you bend the line around on itself it becomes a circle. If you draw three intersecting lines it becomes a triangle. If you draw four intersecting lines it becomes a square. Stretch the circle in one direction it becomes an oval (the basic shape of the human head). Skew the triangle upward and it becomes the basic shape of the nose line. Stretch a square into a rectangle and it can become the neck. Or, if you add dimension to the circle it becomes a cylinder for the basic shape of a human arm. If you add dimension to a triangle it becomes the nose. Add dimension to the rectangle and it becomes a bench that your person sits on. Everything around us is based on simple shapes. If you can begin to see everything that way you're drawing will continue to get better and better!