How to- Head Proportions: The Basics

Well hello, there!

Yes, this blog still exists, and so do I! As an apology for abandoning it for this long, here’s a two part tutorial on one of my favourite themes!

I get so many questions about how I draw realistic faces, and what methods I use to create the line-art. In the past, I relied on the grid method, the tutorial for which you can find HERE. That got very tiring fairly soon, though, so I gave the proportions method a go, and it’s so much quicker and more independent! If you’re a beginner or don’t know how to go about drawing faces from the imagination, I suggest applying this method to a reference. Real faces give you better practice than trying to work within your own mind!

Keep reading to find out exactly how this method works.

Step 1: Start with nothing simpler than a circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just try to get it as close as possible!
This one’s digital, but I drew a real one, I swear!

Step 2: Draw a line approximately down the horizontal middle.  It doesn’t have to be perfectly straight, in fact I prefer it to be at an angle – makes it easier to add features later.


Step 3: Extend the line by about a third of its original length. This will be the point where our chin lies.


Step 4: Find approximately the vertical edges of the circle, and drop down an angle which ends at the chin. Make this look as jaw-like as possible, making sure that the bends are at the same level.

Step 5: Now things get a tiny bit more complicated. Draw a little dash about a quarter of the length within the circle. Draw another little dash between the chin and the base of the circle. The distance between this dash and the chin should be equal to distance between the first dash and the top of the circle. The diagram below makes it easier to understand.

Step 6: Look at the line between the two little dashes you’ve just created. Divide this into three almost equal sections.

Step 7: Now we work with the middle section. Divide it into halves, and extend to form horizontal lines that approach both ends of the circle. Make sure these are fairly even: these are some pretty important lines!


Step 8: Finally, make little ovals on both sides, so the tops touch the upper line and the bottoms touch the lower line you just created like shown. Now click on the image below to enlarge it and see what each line stands for!


Now you can go ahead and draw in the eyes, nose and mouth if you feel confident enough. If not, head over to part two of this tutorial, where I show you how to add features to the figure you have so far!
Thank you ever so much for reading, and let me know if it helped you!

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