A beginner’s guide to drawing faces

Hey friends, it’s Katie here today! Your resident doodler! I’m the girl that always has ink on her hands! Really. This year I’m doing a challenge to  draw or paint something everyday. Practice makes perfect, right? Today I wanted to share with you my process of drawing a (girls) face. It’s just basic drawing guidelines, so I hope this isn’t too simple a tutorial. I’ve been drawing faces forever so it’s hard to know how much I should break it down. My girls tend to have large eyes, like disney princesses.

How To Draw Faces Okay, here we go. You can draw right in your art journal, or draw on a separate piece of paper to add in later! Supplies needed: Art Journal or Sketchbook, Pencil, Eraser, Black Fine Point Marker. And whatever you want to color your girl in with. I use watercolors.

  1. Start by drawing a circle, this will be the top/center of the face so make sure to leave some room below it on your paper. Also draw 2 lines through the center, one vertical one horizontal.

How To Draw Faces

2. Draw a “U” shape underneath the circle, curving it towards the circle, as you can see in my picture. This is the jaw/mouth area.

How To Draw Faces

3. Time to add the features! Eyes- These go on the horizontal line through the middle of the circle. Nose- This goes at the bottom of the circle Mouth- Draw a horizontal line halfway through the middle of the U, this is where the mouth will be.

How To Draw Faces

I draw the eyes as almond shapes, with lines for eyelids. I sketch 2 circles for the iris/pupil and then a circle or line for the “light” in eyes. This will bring your character to life.

How To Draw Faces

I draw noses with just 4 main little curves, as you can see.  It’s hard to explain, but hopefully my pictures are helpful? For the mouth I start with the middle line, a slight grin (sometimes.). and then I add the upper lip, with a dip in the middle, and the lower lip. Don’t forget eyebrows!

How To Draw Faces

How To Draw Faces

4. It’s time to add your hair. Hair can be simple, or super detailed. My drawings usually fall somewhere in between those two. Just start her hair about 1-2″ above her eyebrows (so that she has a forehead!) and then play with it, styling it away from her face a bit. Hair can be super stressful or super fun, trust me, I know. I’ve hated some of my drawings before. But even drawings can have bad hair days!

How To Draw Faces

5. Once happy with how she looks, grab a pen/marker and ink her in!

How To Draw Faces

6. Grab your paints, colored pencils, markers, crayons, etc! I used watercolors for this lovely lady.

How To Draw Faces

I love drawing and adding faces to my art journal. They’re always girls, I don’t know why.

How To Draw Faces

So there you have it! Did you draw a face? I’m terrible at drawing self portraits, but considering this is the Season of Introspection, maybe we need a self portrait drawing challenge? xo

Katie

Katie is an Artist located in Washington, USA. She loves anything and everything crafty- from scrapbooking and art journaling, to drawing, to quilting. Katie is constantly inspired by nature, outer space, and colors.

16 Comments

  1. Tanyalee Kahler

    Oh My Gosh – this is the best tutorial ever – I’ve never been able to draw faces, but I think you may have just taught me! Thank you so much Katie!

    • Katie Smith

      YAY! I hope you give it a try??

  2. Holly Janssen

    Thank you SO MUCH for this tutorial. I am a beginner and faces totally intimidated me. Your techniques are inspiring me to jump in and try another portrait. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    • Katie Smith

      Ooh, I hope you give it a go!

  3. Melody Willoughby

    Never drawn a face but will try now from your tutorial. Thanks!!!

    • Katie Smith

      Never? They’re my favorite thing to draw!

  4. Clare Davis Etheridge

    Fantastic! Thanks Katie, I really want to practice my face and people drawing, in fact once The 100 day project is done, I think I am going to do a month of drawing people each day.
    I am going to have a go at some faces using your tutorial today. Yay!
    Your girls have such character yet they are clearly your ladies, this is what I am aiming to achieve.
    Thanks x

    • Katie Smith

      Oh that sounds so fun! I hope you share some on instagram!

      Also, thank you so much! Sometimes it is hard to see my own style.

  5. Sarah Maddox

    UNBELIEVABLE timing! !!! My post today on IG asks if anyone knows any online classes on drawing faces!!!! My journal spread includes wanting to learn to draw faces!!! Extreme serendipity!!!!

    • Katie Smith

      What a great coincidence!!

  6. Gilly Welch

    Katie this is brilliant & you’ve really made it so very easy to follow, I’ll definitely give it a go, however I have a feeling a lot of the finished result is in the watercoloring….maybe that could be your next tutorial??? Thank you

  7. Emily@squiggleandswirl

    Katie , this is such a fabulous tutorial ! I agree with Gilly, next one on adding the colours please . I’m going to try this right now haha 🙂

  8. Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

    Great tutorial Katie!

  9. Ariel Lerman

    Ahh this is fantastic I love it so much! And yes, I agree that it’s wonderfully timed – I’ve just started dabbling in the world of drawing faces and this is a GREAT tutorial. Thank you so much, Katie!

    I agree that “More With Faces” tutorial would be great, with things like colour and hair. I seem to be hair-challenged but absolutely love seeing different hair – especially gravity-defying, flowy hair like your purple girl. <3

  10. Romana

    Beautiful tutorial. Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to try it out.

  11. Anke

    Hi Katie, thanks for the cool tutorial! It’s interesting to see your technique (my teacher once taught it a little differently), and I guess it is the perfect kick in my butt to add a face to my art journal.