Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tutorial: How to Draw a Face

(Lyric here)
Drawing the human figure is difficult. 
But it CAN be done.

I was surprised to learn that drawing a face can be like learning math.
Much of it is simply a matter of learning certain proportions.

It takes work but it CAN be done.
(shall I repeat myself?)
I said, it CAN be done!

This month's theme is "Highly Prized."
People are the most highly prized asset in my life. I'm struggling with this challenge because although I can now draw a face and have it look human, I still have trouble making it look like the person I'm drawing. I'm determined to come up with something though.... "make it work" as they say.
I'm drawing a face every day this year and hopefully by the end of the year I'll be able to capture a likeness. In order to keep me accountable they'll be posted each Friday on my blog. I'll post them to the Sketchbook Challenge Flickr group too. I'm truly enjoying seeing your work there!

What are some of your struggles with this challenge?
What skill would help you create what's in your mind?


  1. This is the same thing I was struggling with. My "highly prized" is my daughter, but didn't want to draw a face! Thanks for your tutorial. It was really good.

  2. I am having trouble putting to paper, what I am prizing? First off without saying is my family and my son, but labeling something highly prized, means I would really miss it if it were gone. I think I am afraid to label what I really love because then it may be taken away, does that make sense?

  3. I have had classes in drawing a face but have forgotten some of the proportions. Thanks this was helpful. I have some photos of my sketch books up. I use one for drawing, one for paints, and one for poem ideas.

  4. My problem is I can draw ok I just can't be creative. I can copy....I just don't know how to be original. I see all these wonderful simple and fluid mini masterpieces ....using color...and I am just stumped to come up with a thought of my own.

    I have colored pencils and sharpies...I just need to bite the bullet and try something. I don't know why I feel I can't mess up....have to do it just right the first time...I mean isn't that what a sketchbook is all about...just putting something to paper no matter how good or bad it is?:)

    Yeah, I tell myself that but then I look at my book sitting there on my chair and I am stymied!!

  5. I did not know any of that. Thank you! Time to get my sketchbook and practice.

  6. That is awesome! I had no idea...I can't wait to try and do this...terribly I"m sure but practice, well, if it doesn't make perfect, it at least makes better!

  7. Holy Cow, Lyric!!!
    You make it look so easy!
    Thank you. Now maybe i'll work up the courage to try it.
    Thanks for this tute!

  8. For those of us who don't draw faces very often this is a good reminder. Thank you.

  9. Lyric,
    Thank you for this turorial. I tried a few and although they are cartoony, they actually look like faces. I may keep trying to get the "human" bit in there. Thanks again.

  10. DeeRoo - you did it. You said "can't". Zip up your mouth and don't say it again!!!! (said with my arms around you, full of love and compassion)

    Get out a sheet of paper, pull out a pen and some colors, set a timer for ten minutes. (right now. GO. do it right NOW.)
    Now you are going to make BAD ART. Really bad art that you can wad up and throw away at the end of ten minutes. I give you permission. Perhaps you need more direction? How about making a "bad" face following this tutorial, then use colored pencils to give it the wildest tattoos you've ever seen. Then fill in the background with whatever color you'd like.

    If you do this often, give yourself permission to make bad art - with nothing to lose and no pressure to be good - over time you will discover that what you've been doing all along was being creative. And original. And wonderful.

    Timer out yet? NO?
    (bossy mother of five children speaking here)
    Walk away from the computer and go do it NOW!!


  11. Spiderlady - we will all go at some point, it might be today. That's why we live and laugh and love together as much as we can. But then again - I don't think this is the end.

    Thanks for all of your comments. I'm glad that even my cartoonish face and my funny way of holding a pencil (drove my parents nuts) is helpful.

    It really is amazing how much one improves by actually DOING a thing. My kids are looking at my faces so far - admitting that they do indeed look human now, if not actually looking like the person I was looking at. I can also look now and begin to see exactly WHAT it is that I did wrong in each particular piece. It's all about doing the work.

  12. Lyric that was very, very cool. Nice job!

  13. Lyric...awesome video. I struggle with faces as well. So I too will be working on faces. My problem is knowing when to stop. I love details and you will see when I post at Flickr what I mean ! Goal thie year is to use materials and techniques I have not worked in before !

  14. I've been working away in my sketchbook and have just posted some photos to the flickr group and my blog this morning of my first pages. loving checking in with the blog and flickr each day to see what's new...great fun!

  15. I'm loving this challenge so far. The biggest struggle was just the idea of sharing my pages with other people. Nerve-wracking! (So was figuring out how flickr works.) I seem to be getting the hang of that though, and I feel less nervous already. lol

    Another is being too intimidated to start anything. So far, I've found the tips to just put some color on the page and make backgrounds REALLY helpful. It usually leads to playing around with something else after that's done. Even if I don't come back to it until a few days later, it's still really helpful to have something already on there. Also, I've noticed it's good to just start trying something right when the idea occurs to you and not wait and think about it too much.

    Drawing better would help me, and having some better control over how watercolors act on the page, but I'm guessing that may come in time. lol

    Thanks so much for organizing this, all of you who did. It's really cool and fun so far! Love reading the blogs and looking at people's artwork on the flickr pool. There's just endless inspiration. :)

  16. Drawing anything is hard for me and I wish it was like math which I find easier than drawing. My highly prized is my granddaughter. I sketched her face from a photo of her and did upload it to the flickr group. Like you I struggled with making it resemble her. This was a leap for me and my goal this year is to allow myself to do poor art and be vulnerable to a larger community. Thanks for sharing your challenges and the video. I never knew that about the 5 eyes wide. :)

  17. lyric - this video is awesome. thank you so much!
    i can't draw, you know ;-) ... but the face i have been drawing with your instructions actually looks like a human face!!! wow, i CAN draw!

  18. This video demonstration was really helpful! Just what I needed. Thank you!


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