Lore’s Guide to Drawing Profiles

7 Dec

So Hill came down to my dungeon the other day (where she usually keeps me chained to my drafting table) and said, “Since Jeni’s getting ready to have this baby you need to write a post.” Okay, so that’s not exactly what she said but the gist is there. To which I responded, “A post?! Oh boy!” Followed immediately by, “What the flipping fudge to I write about?!”

The obvious answer is write about what you know. What do I know? I guess you could call me the Diva’s Artist in Residence? So, let’s talk about art.

I get asked the “How do I draw ____?” all the time. So today we’ll tackle human profiles. Now I’m thinking “Dear God, what have I gotten myself into?”

First, I’d like to point out, this is just the way I do things. Its not the right way, its not the only way, its just a way. If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.

Now its time for a Lore’s Tip for Aspiring Artists: References are not cheating folks. Say it with me “references are not cheating.”

Let’s get this ball rolling:

1. This is a circle, when drawing people, the circle is your friend. Know it, love it, embrace it.
profile

2. Add the chin. You see I’ve drawn it straight down from the front of my circle. This step my seem unnecessary later, but it is. Trust me.
profile

3. In this step I’ve extended the back of head to account for the skull.
profile

4. In this step, I’ve started adding the neck so the head has something to connect to. I’m sure a floating head without a neck would look awkward.
profile

5. Here I’ve added guides for eyes, nose and mouth. My eyes aren’t exactly centered in my head, they probably should be, but it works! Also note the position of the nose at the bottom of our circle and the position of the mouth roughly half way between the nose and chin.
profile

6. Here I’ve followed that initial line I drew. On a male I might make the forehead a little more pronounced; on the female its a smoother slope. The nose sticks out the farthest and drops into the mouth. Note the indents between the nose and mouth and the mouth and chin.
profile

7. At this point I’ve added a guide bisecting the head for the ear. I’ve also added a sloping jaw up to it. If this were a male the jaw wouldn’t sloped so steeply. Note: even if I’m planning to ink and color I still add hints of shading here and there. It helps me keep in mind where the shading will go when I go to color.
profile

8. I’ve erased my original guide line for the front of the face, added the eye and eyebrow on the guideline I drew for that. Also added a little shading.
profile

9. At this point I added the ear. Note the ear extends from the eyebrow line to the nose line. Detailing the ear is a whole tutorial unto itself.
profile

10. At this point I start adding hair. Hair has weight and volume. Unless its really dirty it won’t sit right against the scalp. And if its pulled back it will add more space to head. I’ve decided to go with a pony-tail so all of my detail lines are leading back to the spot where all the hair is gathered. The bangs are loose.
profile

11. I’ve started drawing the pony-tail itself with a little lift and curl. The hairline grows down in front of the ear a bit.
profile

12. More detail lines in the hair, all ending at the gathering spot of the pony-tail.
profile

13. Yes more detail lines, and fleshing out the bangs, I think I may have added more to the pony-tail here.
profile

14. I wasn’t able to clean the whole thing up because I got confused as to which layer I was on, but here you have it.
profile

I hope someone somewhere found this help. Now I’m being herded back to my drafting table.

(On a side note, people say to me all the time, “I’m not an artist, like you.” To which I reply, “Do you enjoy art?” If the answer is yes, then you are an artist.)

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