Many people make mistakes when drawing faces because they don't fully understand facial proportions. Proportion refers to the relationship in size and placement between one object and another. When creating realistic portraits, it is important to get the facial proportions correct. True, there is a formula for positioning facial features. This formula should be used to help you see and compare. In each stage of the formula, analyze each feature and draw what you see. The result will be a representational portrait of the person you are drawing with all of the features in the right place. Scroll to the bottom of this page for a video lesson on this topic.
The first step in drawing a face is to draw a circle to represent the cranium. Then bring a straight line down from the top of the circle to about double the length of the original circle. Next, you bring lines from the bottom of that line to the edges of the circle creating the shape of the face.
Your "eye" line is in the middle of the shape that you just drew. Your eyes aren't way up on your forehead, so resist the temptation to put them there.
Five eyes make up the width of a typical human face. Obviously, people only have two eyes. The "five eyes" just helps you get the width of the face in correct proportion.
Your "nose" line is in the middle of your "eye" line and the bottom your chin. When it comes to facial proportion, most noses will end at this line. However, there are exceptions to every rule. Some people have really long noses and some have really short ones. The corners of the inside of the eyes generally line up with the edges of the nose.
The "mouth" line is in the middle of your "nose" line and the bottom of your chin. This line represents where the top lip meets the bottom lip. The pupils of the eyes generally line up with the corners of the mouth. The ears are usually found bet wee en the "eye" line and the "nose" line.
When drawing faces, use these standards to help you get your facial proportions correct. Remember, you must look and study your subject. While these standards apply to most of us, they do not apply to all of us.
The featured art video lesson shows you the correct proportion for human faces.