The human head can be one of the most challenging things to draw because there are subtle details of a person's face that we recognize in each other, and if they are not shown in a drawing other people won't know who the person is. Seeing those specific things about people's faces that make them who they are and being able to describe them visually with line in a drawing is a skill that can be honed using a few simple guidelines.


The above illustration shows some ways we can start thinking about the human head and face in a portrait drawing. The head can start out as a circle. If you don't think you can draw a circle, practice everyday, and you will get better at it. Circles are the basic shapes to all forms in drawing. You can see this in Disney animation, the way the hands and feet are drawn, and the way the hips of Mickey Mouse's body is shaped like a bouncing ball that actually appears to be bouncing when he walks!
Once you've got that perfect circle, or one that is close enough to being perfect for your tastes, draw in the eye line. We're going to think of this circle as being a sphere. For realistic portraiture the eyes are usually drawn somewhere on the center axis of the sphere. Depending on whether you draw your line curved up or down determines weather your head is looking up or down (as shown in the illustration.) This curved line can determine the direction of many forms in drawing.  Notice how the curved lines in this drawing show the outside of the cat tower when they curve in a U shaped direction, and then you see the inside of the cylinder wall where that cats sleep from the use of the n shaped curves. These curved lines can also be used to show the direction of an arm or leg as well as many other forms in drawing. When you study the human head, it's good to know the anatomy of the skull. You can buy a model of a skull online or art stores sometimes have them. Understanding the form of the skull helps in describing facial features in portraiture. The eye for example, sits inside the orbital, a crater like form of the skull. A common mistake in drawing is to draw the eyes flat. For realistic portraiture, you must see the forms as they are and draw what you see, not just what you think you are seeing. Taking time to study faces and people will help train your eyes to notice those subtleties of the face. The eye lids wrap around the spherical structure of the eyeball that rests in the skull's eye socket or orbital. Those curved lines help to show the direction of the eyelids and how they wrap around across the eyeball.
The tip of the nose and nostrils could be visualized as three spheres interlocked to each other. The upper lip contains 3 curved lines. Studying the structure of the lip and describing in with curved lines helps to capture the likeness of the person you are drawing.
Once you have the drawing done, you're ready to render. Make sure you look at my blog on Light and Shadow 
if you haven't already. It explains the basics of rendering. Take notice of where your light source is when you draw. Even if you are drawing from imagination, making a decision about where the light is coming from when you render can give your drawings a sense of weight and realism. For every form that turns away from the light source there will be shadow. For example, for overhead lighting, the brow hangs over the eyes, which puts the top of the eyes in shadow. Then, as the checks curve out past the brow, they receive light. The bottom of the nose gets a shadow, and the upper lip is also in shadow. The lower lip is in the light, but as it curves over towards the chin, there is shadow.
I hope this blog has been helpful in helping people learn how to draw.
I'll put together some more drawing tutorials later.

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