The Secrets to Drawing – Facial Proportions

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Facial Proportions

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"The Secrets to Drawing" is the most complete online drawing video course available for learning how to draw. Β Drawing is a skill that is learned and developed and this video course is designed to give you the knowledge that you need to draw better almost immediately! The course includes 28 modules and 26 ebooks.


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Description: A look at basic facial proportions from the front and profile views. Concepts covered include general locations of facial features and placement relationships.

Suggested Materials: Graphite, white drawing paper

Next Video: The Secrets to Drawing - The Eye


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The Secrets to Drawing – Facial Proportions — 16 Comments

    • Great and simple. I have seen other ways to draw the human face and all are good, but yours is excellent. The idea of a circle for the cranium for both frontal and profile views is good.

  1. I’m really happy with my first attempt. My drawings look a little ‘cartoonish’ though. I’m sure they will become more realistic overtime.

  2. Fab lesson as always Matt, it was great to know generally where the facial features lie, this course ends great for me because for all I want to do animal portraits, which I’ve practiced a few and of course the dog portrait I did for my friend which you gave a good critique for, I do want to do people portraits too, so these last lessons run into me starting your portrait course πŸ™‚πŸ‘πŸ‘.
    And to be honest it will be a nice change to do people πŸ˜‰
    I’m actually on a dog portrait again, this also for a gift which is nearly finished and I’m pleased with it so might send it in for another critique πŸ™‚.
    Cheers Matt πŸ™‚

  3. Hello Matt sorry but I can’t draw the proportions of the profile view. Please help me. The problem is that I cannot find the approximate location of the bottom of the chin. Doing that in the wrong way, then the whole proportions are wrong. My profile face is too long . Do I have to divide the size of the profile view in half? Do the 2 halves have the same size? Thanks for your reply

  4. I am not sure how to word my comment. There are 360 degrees and i can infer at least 360 positions to draw the same head. But what is the actual number of positions for surely some angles a change is hardly negligible?

  5. this will not help my students I need or we need a breakdown of the proportions using GUIDE LINES. not yelling just emphasizing. if i followed this, my kids would fail

    • Hi Krista, I’m not sure I understand your comment. This approach does use guidelines. It discusses the relationships of the placement of the facial features using measurements and lines. If this approach is too general for you and your students, you may also check out the course “Portrait Drawing The Smart Way” You are a member, so you have access to it. It covers drawing the face in great detail. There are several different approaches covered as well. You may take a close look at Module 4 specifically. It is a slightly different approach but uses quite a number of guidelines.

  6. Hi Matt. I have two questions. First, on drawing the frontal face, I am not clear how you measured where the chin line goes. Is there a general rule, or do you go strictly by observation?
    Secondly, regarding the profile drawing, If I start with a “circle” for the cranium, my head will not come out right. When I observed your video for the second time closely, it seemed that you moved the line representing the back of the head way back, making your circle more like an oval or an egg, which gave it much better proportions. Wouldn’t it be better to start with an “egg shape” then, rather than a circle when you do a profile?
    Thanks very much.

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