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How to Draw Faces

Male vs Female Features

When we look at faces, we don’t usually realise how different male and female faces are. They all have eyes, a nose, and a mouth, so what else is there? Well, male and female faces actually have a ton of differences that are important to consider when drawing faces. Here we’ll discuss some simple tips that you can use to make your faces look more realistic!

Not a reader? No worries! We have a step-by-step YouTube video tutorial on how to draw male and female faces.

Drawing a Face - Basic Proportions in Four Steps

When drawing a face, whether it is male or female, you should begin with a sketch of the facial proportions. This layout can be the same, no matter what the gender of the face will be later.

Step 1:

Start by lightly drawing a circle on your page. This will be about as wide as the face, so make sure you adjust it to be a size that works for your drawing.

Step 2:

Under the circle, connect a "shield" (or rounded ‘V’) shape that is about half the height of the circle. This will be where the jaw sits on the face.

Step 3:

Lightly sketch a vertical line through the centre of the shapes to identify the middle of the face.

Step 4:

Draw a horizontal line through the middle of the face. This will help you find where the eyes will go, as the eyes on an adult are usually set in the middle of the face.

Tip: Children's eyes sit lower than halfway on the face, and their jaws are much shorter compared with adults

Like the image above, this will help you understand where everything on the face will go. You will then draw the specific features on top of this. Depending on the gender of the character you’re drawing, take a look at how to express the differences below.

How to Draw Male Faces

Thicker Necks

Male necks should be drawn thick, almost as wide as the head. Draw an ‘L’ shape in the centre to imitate an Adam's apple.

Masculine Face Shapes

Most male faces are very angular. This means that it’s not usually rounded out, but has more sharp corners around the face, especially in the jaw. Think of Batman or Superman – their masculine, squarish jaws are emphasised..

Angular Facial Features

Just like the face shape, male features usually appear more angular as well. The ears, nose, lips, and eyes may be expressed with a combination of sharp edges. The eyebrows are also angular and thick. Adding too many rounded shapes can take away from these features.

How to Draw Female Faces

Thinner, Longer Necks

Feminine necks are drawn differently than male ones. They are often thinner and longer, and do not reach the width of the face.

Feminine Face Shapes

Focus on adding less angles and more curves to the female face shape. It should have less sharp edges and appear more rounded throughout - picture Wonder Woman or any Disney Princess.

Rounder Facial Features

Unlike male features, female features are soft and rounded. Use more curves and circular shapes to express femininity. The eyes are larger and will usually also include eyelashes. The eyebrows are usually thinner and further away on the face than the male version.

Everyone’s Face is Unique

A male character (left) vs a female character (right) from Encanto!

Not all male and female faces follow these specific characteristics since every face is unique. The suggested face characteristics are interchangeable between male and female faces: some male faces are softer, while some female faces are more angular. These are easy steps to create basic male and female faces.

Now that you’ve drawn a face, you can begin to make it more personalized. You can start by choosing the type of hair you want to add - just remember that the hair will have more volume than the skull. You can choose to add facial hair (also a distinguishing masculine trait), accessories (like earrings) or bring some colour onto the page too! Since these steps aren’t strict rules, you can even play around with different features to see what they look like mixed around!

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Winged Canvas has a variety of online art enrichment programs. These virtual art classes offer students a chance to learn from professional artists, no matter where they’re located. If you’re interested in virtual lessons similar to the content in this blog, take a look at these classes:

Art Resources for Teachers:

If you’d like to access worksheets related to art, check out our teachers pay teachers page where you can get worksheets and lesson plans for your classroom! More classroom resources like this can be found on our art resources for teachers page, where we break down drawing and more!

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