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Proportions of the Human Face

(These are the ideal proportions. Most people dont match this exactly but it is a
good place to start from. Use these measurements to get started and see how you are different!)

The basic Foundation

You always pour the foundation before building the rest of the house...

1. The human face is an

similar to an
upside down egg shape.
Start with one that fills
most of the space. Leave
space on all sides.
2. Divide it in half
vertically to show the line
of symmetry.

3. Mark the hairline. It will be different on everyone--some are high and some are low. This is a VERY
IMPORTANT step because it determines the rest of your face proportions.
4. Divide the space between the hairline and the chin into THIRDS.
The top line is for EYEBROWS and the bottom line is for the BOTTOM OF THE NOSE.

The eyes

The eyes are used to measure a lot of other facial features--so well work on those first.
1. Start drawing the
eyes by making
another horizonal line
underneath the
2. Divide that line into
5 equal pieces.
HINT: the middle
piece will be centered
around the center
symmetry line.
(4 marks=5 pieces)
Use your fingers to
measure equal pieces.
3. In the second and 4th
sections, draw the eyes.
The basic shape for an eye
is similar to a football-slight curves on top and
bottom, with points at the
4. If you want a more
realistic eye, add the
tearduct on the inside
corner and move the
high/low points of the eye
off- center.
TOP=move towards the nose
BOTTOM=move out towards
edge of the face

5. Finish the eyes by adding the iris, pupil and eyelashes.

The tops/bottoms of the iris are usually covered by the
eyelids. Keep eyelashes spaced apart and dont make
them too long. (No spider eyes!) Eyelashes curve out at
the outside corners of the eyes. For guys, just thicken
the top line of the eye to create the illusion of eyelashes
without being too girly...

The nose

For everyone who ever struggled drawing a nose.

Every nose is different. Some are skinny, some are wide, some are very angular and others very round.
And like every other facial feature, youll need to really pay attention to the specific shapes of the nose
you are drawing. But here are some tricks to get you started.
1. Begin drawing the nose by
bringing 2 vertical lines down
from the inside corners of the

(These tell us the width of the nose.)

2. Draw a small U shape

resting on the spot where the
symmetry line and bottom of
the nose line intersect.

3. Now flatten out the U and

wrap the line back towards the
U shape. This will create the

NOTE: Dont get confused with these two lines... They are NOT the sides of the nose. They are just
used to measure the width of the nose. Well add the sides of the nose later using shading.

4. Now add two

curves on either side
of the nose that touch
the lines coming down
from the inside corner
of the eye. This creates the wing of the
nose. Make sure these
curves dont touch the
nostrils. Leave some
space between them.

Youve just drawn a nose!

The mouth

There are too many delicious things in life to forget this...

Just some tidbits on mouths:
-Most people have a larger lower lip than upper lip.
-Look at the top of the top lip--is it a U shape, a V shape, or just flat?
Knowing the shapes and sizes of both top and bottom lips will make it look more like you.

the set up...

1. Divide the bottom third of the face into THIRDS again. The top line will be used for the mouth.
Ignore the other line--it is for measurement purposes only.
2. To know the width of the mouth, bring 2 vertical lines down from the pupils of the eyes. These will be
the corners of the mouth.


(where the lips meet)

1. Start with a U that sits
on the mouth line/symmetry line intersection.
2. Flatten out the U and
bring both sides out to the
vertical lines coming from
the pupils. Curve the ends
up slightly at the corners
of the mouth. It will look
happier. :)

the upper LIP

1. Start with another U or
V that sits directly above
the one you made for the
middle of the lips.
2. Then curve the tops of
the U or V back down
towards the middle of the
mouth. Connect both sides
into the middle line just
before it hits the corners of
the mouth.


1. Start by marking the bottom of the lower lip with a horizontal line. The height between the middle of
the mouth and this point depend on the person.
FOR GUYS: YOU STOP HERE. (You dont want to look like youre wearing lipstick!)
2. FOR GIRLS: You will connect that horizontal line back up to the corners of the mouth.
NOTE: The proportions for the mouth ONLY work when the mouth is closed, relaxed
and the jaw is closed. If the mouth is open or smiling, there are no specific proportions.
Go off of shape and try to measure using nearby shapes.

the rest of the face

eyebrows, ears, neck, hair and anything else we might have missed...



1. Eyebrows sit centered on the eyebrow line that you drew during setup. They follow a similar curve to the eye and extend a little bit on either
side of the eye.
2. Study the shape of each individuals eyebrows. Some are flat, some
curved and some more angular. Noticing the specific shape of each persons eyebrows will help you create a better likeness.
NOTE: Eyebrows help show emotion. Their position will create different
expressions and affect the rest of the face.

1. Add two long skinny curves
between the eye and mouth lines for
the ears.
2. Add some smaller curves inside
the ears to show the form.

1. The neck comes out from the
same point where the base of the
ears connect into the side of the
2. Bring two vertical lines down and
then slope into the shoulders.


in all its various shapes, colors and cuts

the hairline
The hairline helps give shape to the face. No hairline is the
same, and they are rarely symmetrical. Look for parts the overall
shapes of the hairline.
1. Use that mark you made at the beginning to start drawing
the hairline.
2. The hairline should stay within the upside-down egg shape
you drew for the face. It should also come in front of the ears-for both guys and girls.

hair shapes & styles

The outside shape of the hair depends on the style and texture of the individuals hair.
1. Start the outside shape of the hair out away from the face shape. Remember that hair grows up and
out of your scalp so it lays on top of the original shape you created.
2. Pay attention to the direct the hair grows and the smaller shapes it makes within the overall shape.

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