How to Draw a Head Step-by-Step
Hi there, and welcome to Anatomy of a Sketch! Today, let’s walk through how to draw a head.
What do we need to know when we are learning how to draw heads?
Like any body part, we need to know how to draw proportions.
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Let’s get started and learn how to draw heads and head shape!
How to Draw a Head Shape & Proportions
I have a tutorial on drawing a face, which shows you the process of drawing a head front and front view.
I also have a tutorial on drawing faces from a side profile,
so for this tutorial, let’s start by drawing a head from a 3/4 view!
Step One: Draw a Circle
Step Two: Draw a Second Circle
The sides of our heads aren’t entirely round, so while drawing a circle for the base is great, having the sides flat is better.
This next step is going to look like cutting off the side of a ball.
Step Three: Find the Chin
Draw the centerline and stop where the chin should be.
Typically this line is the same length as the length of the ball.
Next, we will draw the jawline,
and add reference lines for the face.
I also added the neck in the image below.
The centerline is going to be how we find the proportions for the face,
and the angle of the centerline shows us which way the face is turned.
How do you draw a head from different angles?
How to Draw a head from the front view
My full tutorial How to Draw a Face step-by-step goes over exactly how to draw a face from the front!
You can click on the image below to be redirected to that tutorial,
or scroll to keep reading.
How to Draw a Head from the Side view
Let’s look at the proportions of a face from the side view.
The face and head are broken down into 3 equal sections:
The top (cranium, this is where the eyebrows and top half of the eyes rest)
The middle (The lower half of the eyes, the nose, and the ears)
and lower. (Mouth and jawline)
You can see in my drawing above that these sections are typically equal.
Next, let’s look at the proportions of the face.
One more important things about the head shape is to leave room in back!
The back of the head is often forgotten or flattened when drawing, but we need to make sure there is room for the brain.
Keeping this step will make our hair drawing much easier as well!
Head shape based on Gender
Does gender really matter when it comes to head shape?
Yes, and no.
The shape of the skull itself is different, just slightly.
How to Draw a Woman’s Head (Female Characters)
I use the picture below for reference quite often, but I think she is a very good example of feminine features.
Her jawline is smooth and rounded,
She has a slim, round nose.
I think when drawing female characters I do try to make their features softer looking than their male counterparts.
You can find my full tutorial on how to draw a (female) side profile here!
How to Draw a Man’s Head (Male Characters)
In my Instagram image below, you can see easily that this is a male character.
He has a flatter, more prominent forehead and a firm, square jawline.
You can find my full tutorial on how to draw a male side profile here!
How to Draw a Head with Hair
I have a full tutorial on how to draw hair that I will link at the end of this page!
It’s really helpful, especially if you’ve struggled drawing hair in the past.
Want to learn how to illustrate in full color?
Sketching is so much fun and I LOVE linework!
But one of my favorite parts of being an illustrator is rendering my illustrations in full color.
If you want to learn EXACTLY how I illustrate my characters, consider joining my Patreon community.
On Patreon, I post monthly FULL-COLOR tutorials for my Champion and Hero tiers!
These are so much fun, and Patrons are able to comment and ask questions as well as “like” posts and answer polls.
My Hero tier also receives a monthly vinyl sticker from me via snail mail!
These are such a big hit. Some of the ones we have done so far are Harley Quinn, Princess Leia, Aloy (Horizon Zero Dawn), and Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor.
Thank you for learning how to draw a head with me!
Please share this drawing tutorial on your social profiles if you found it helpful. It really does help my website improve!
Until next time, happy drawing!
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Hi there! My name is Leah, and I am going to help you learn how to draw, and take your pictures to the next level. I have college-level experience with form drawing and multiple art classes under my belt that have helped me create these tutorials. Let's learn how to draw together!