been an ardent fan of the profile portrait drawing. It reminds me of antique
cameos, the profiles of emperors stamped on Roman coins, and 18th-century
silhouettes. But learning how to draw a face in profile does come with its
share of possible missteps, so here are a few portrait-drawing tips to keep in
||Virginia Wolfe by Jeremy Mann,
charcoal drawing on paper, 18 x 24.
When drawing faces, be sure not to
place the ear too close to the eye. It is usually equal to the distance between
the chin and the corner of the eye.
Shrunken skull. Facial features are not the only
important parts of a portrait. Make sure not to cut off the skull above the
forehead and to fully shape the back of the head and neck.
Nose to eyes. Take note of how small the visible
part of the eye is relative to the size and structure of the nose.
Just two angles. When starting your profile portrait
drawing, take note of the angles between the forehead and the tip of the nose,
and the tip of the nose to the chin. This will help you build the "envelope"
for your face drawing.
|Taquia by Gregory Mortenson,
graphite drawing on paper, 11 x 14, 2007.
When drawing eyes, note the
thickness of the eyelid, which often isn't as noticeable when you're drawing
faces straight on. Also take the time to register the angle of the upper eyelid
in relation to the lower one.
I hope these
tips help when it comes time to draw faces and portrait drawings of your own. This
is one of the most exciting ways to hone our skills because we get to interact
with people while practicing techniques that carry over to so many other
aspects of drawing and painting. For more on drawing faces--from any angle--there
are two eBooks that I recommend: Secrets
of Drawing and Expressive Portraits.
Take a look and see if these give you the insights and instruction you need. If
you like them both and want access to more information,
we have an eBook Subscription package that you may want to consider. Enjoy!