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Facial Tutorial

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So, are you guys ready to draw some human faces? I know Iím always ready to, and here Iím going to demonstrate the (ART SCHOOL©) way Iíve started to draw them, line them, and shade them, as demonstrated by my streams. Iím going to warn you some basic knowledge of human anatomy is needed.

First I start with gestural circles. Loose lines to help me figure out how big the general scale of my monstrosity is going to look. Not that hard, actually itís the most fun part. From here you generally decide how your face is going to express, and in what direction. The hard part? sticking to that.

I tend to draw a loose, gestural skull from here, this character has an underbite jaw, so I drew in the jaw line meeting up underneath the teeth line. This is just the gesture sketch, so from here Iím going to drop the layer opacity, and do it again, this time adding facial circles, guide lines, and referencing an actual underbite skull to get the most out of my base.

So I decided to detail this a bit more than usual, but for you guys, I cleaned it up, shaded it, and did the grid lines in red so theyíre easy to see. Your middle-most circle will be the center of the eye, and the rest is pretty much self explanatory. The skull is a bit stretched, but thatís gonna be fixed during actual drawing. If you spend too long on your base, youíll forget what youíre going for.

So again, opacity is lowered on the skull, and I decide how I want the skin to lay over the face, or how I want to modify the skull to suit said character. For prominent figures, such as the nose, I use 3D shapes like squares and rectangles to depict angularity. I also shade in areas Iíd like the weight of the character to show through on. Itís at this point I decide if Iíd prefer a cartoony or life-like style, though usually I settle on a mix between the two. On to lines.

For the lines, Iím only using the brush tool in photoshop, and laying everything down by hand. I never use the pen tool. Perfection isnít human. We have the basics down, now itís time to really, really refine how this character is going to LOOK. Once you have your anatomical base, you canít really mess up your line work. If you have my problem, youíll notice that your jaw line will look funky while youíre on this part. I canít do jaw lines to save my life, so the trick? Facial perspective and REFERRING TO YOUR REFERENCE OFTEN. Zoom out, turn the canvas. If itís paper? Turn the paper. Youíll notice 99% of artwork that involves human faces is based on ďsomething doesnít look quite right.Ē

From here, you guys take it. Draw your hair, finish your expressions, fix your faults, and draw something awesome. This is all trial and error, and what works for one person might not work for another. Take constant breaks if you feel overwhelmed, and donít be afraid to move stuff around if it doesnít look right.
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