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How to Draw Facial Proportions Step by Step

Child vs. Adult

Facial proportions are one of the toughest aspects of drawing a person. It can be difficult to place parts of the face in the correct areas, but don’t worry! There are a few simple steps you can follow to draw faces correctly, whether they’re adults or children. Here’s a quick guide for how to draw facial proportions!

Not much of a reader? Not to worry -- we have a quick and concise video all about how to draw facial proportions on our YouTube channel!

How to Draw Adult Face Proportions

Step 1: Draw a circle, and add a line that goes down the center.

You’ll want to start by illustrating a circle. Down the center of it, draw a vertical line. Cut that line in half, and add another line that continues outside of the circle that’s the same length as half of the initial line. If you’ve got that, it should look like the photo above!

Step 2: Complete the shape of the chin.

Once you have those lines down, you can complete the base shape of the face by drawing in the chin. This completes the “ball and shield” shape.

Keep in Mind: Whether who you’re illustrating is male or female, your facial proportions will remain the same!

Step 3: Sketch your eyes, nose, and mouth line.

Take your entire head, and draw a line horizontally that cuts it in half. That’s your eye line. Now, take that bottom half and cut that in half again. That halfway point is where the bottom of the nose will go. Finally, cut that final piece in half, from the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the chin. That’s where the bottom of your lips will go. The remaining space is

meant to be your chin!

Step 4: Draw your eyes, nose and mouth.

Taking the first horizontal line we drew, cut that into five equal parts. Your face is measured in eyes -- your eyes are approximately one eye apart, and one eye each away from the edges of your face. From the inner corners of your eyes, move downwards to the halfway point of your shield, and draw the width of your nose. The outer corners of your mouth will align with your pupils or irises.

Step 5: Add in your ears.

Extend another long line horizontally that aligns with the bottom of your nose. Your ears will be as long as your eye line to the bottom of your nose. Once you’ve gotten all of that down, those are your basic proportions for an adult face!

How to Draw Child Face Proportions

Step 1: Start with a smaller circle and add the chin.

Similar to how we did the adult head, start with a circle (but keep it a little smaller!). Draw a vertical line going down the center, and divide it into quarters this time. Take a quarter of that line, extend it below the initial circle, and complete the chin. Kids' faces are rounder and shorter, so make sure to draw in a rounder line for the "shield." Chubbier cheeks are more common in kids versus angular jaws, which you would see more in adults.

Step 2: Draw the eyes, nose, and mouth.

On the child, the eye line will be lower than on the adult. Your eye line will line up with the final quarter of the initial circle, the nose will align with the bottom of the circle, and your mouth will fit halfway through the chin. This time, the corners of the mouth will align with the inner corners of the eyes, and the nose will be slightly smaller.

Step 3: Draw the ears.

Using the same method as the adult, add in your ears. Because your eye line and nose have shifted downwards, notice that the ears now rest lower on the head as well. This applies to most younger people.

And there you have it! Facial proportions are kind of tough at first, but with enough practice, they can become second nature. If you’d like to see how to illustrate facial proportions in a side profile view, check out our YouTube video for a step-by-step walkthrough!

If you’d like to go further in depth with portraiture and drawing realistic people, consider signing up for our realistic drawing classes. If you’d like even stronger guidance for your portfolios, check out drawing art mentorship with the artist of this blog -- Fei Lu! More free tutorials just like this one can be found on our YouTube playlist all about drawing people, faces and bodies!

Any teacher now can facilitate world-class visual art lessons — even with no art experience! Get our art courses designed for classrooms, complete with step by step video lessons, assessment tools and handouts you can use every year.

If you're an educator, you're eligible for special pricing — 50% off our regular course price! Art Projects for Your Classroom

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