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Drawing Realistic Heads - A Guide
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By Taylor-the-Weird   |   Watch
Published: August 7, 2012
Since I promised *Lozey some drawing tips, so I figured that I'll go ahead and make a little tutorial for everyone about how I go about drawing heads that aren't cartoons.

This is more the long way I go about doing things. Unless I'm doing a weird angle or having trouble getting a likeness of someone, I'll generally skip mapping out the planes, drawing the eyeball, the mouth muscles, and occasionally the volumetric forms of the nose. It's by no means the only way to draw things. This is just how I go about drawing faces. Hopefully it'll be of some use for you!

No matter what you draw - realism, abstract, anime, or cartoons - it's important to know at least a little anatomy and how to draw the human figure. Having a solid understanding of the basics will help you have a solid drawing, regardless of where you go stylistically.

Drawing and Inking a Picture - a Guide
Image size
800x6000px 2.1 MB
IMAGE DETAILS
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh
Comments27
anonymous's avatar
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Kyle-13's avatar
Kyle-13Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the great tutorial! I'm the creator of AnatomyHowToDraw.com, a website that teaches artists how to draw people by explaining difficult anatomy concepts in simple terms. I loved your tutorial and thought that it would be really helpful to my readers, so I featured it on the site. I made sure to give you full credit, link to your page on deviantart, and comply with all the terms of your creative commons license. I hope you don't mind!
Taylor-the-Weird's avatar
Taylor-the-WeirdProfessional Digital Artist
Sure, that's fine! Thanks for dropping me a line and letting me know!
wintryautumn's avatar
Thanks for making this! I gave it a whirl and am pleased with my result :))
InstanitysMasterMind's avatar
InstanitysMasterMindHobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this! It's helped a lot!
TheLearningArtist's avatar
TheLearningArtistStudent Digital Artist
He looks so sad.
Wolfgirl5667's avatar
Wolfgirl5667Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the wonderful tutorial! I especially liked step three; that's not something I usually see on tutorials.
theENDuniverse's avatar
theENDuniverse General Artist
i was wondering if you'd mind this being put in my group [link] for people to use? it's a group for people to go when they need help drawing.
Taylor-the-Weird's avatar
Taylor-the-WeirdProfessional Digital Artist
Sure!
theENDuniverse's avatar
theENDuniverse General Artist
thank you :D
LuLuchaan's avatar
LuLuchaanStudent Traditional Artist
I love how you did this because you could have drawn a person with perfect features like a see a lot of people do in tutorials but it's like you changed it and it really distinguishes the features from a lot of what i have seen.
Taylor-the-Weird's avatar
Taylor-the-WeirdProfessional Digital Artist
Thanks! I know EXACTLY what you mean - too many artists seem to suffer from same-face syndrome. I used to have that same problem for years - hell, I STILL fall into that habit a bit with some of my more cartoon stuff occasionally.

I wish that more people would realize that there's more than one way to draw a face, and that "perfect" faces aren't necessarily the more interesting ones. I think that too many people worry about making facial features "beautiful" rather than distinctive, although I don't think that those two things have to be mutually exclusive.
linHananako's avatar
linHananakoHobbyist
i tried it c: [link]
Watoons's avatar
WatoonsHobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for this. Very useful and simple since I'm not too great at drawing human heads yet. :)
Taylor-the-Weird's avatar
Taylor-the-WeirdProfessional Digital Artist
You're welcome! Just keep practicing - you'll get better, I promise!
Lilith-the-Giraffe's avatar
Excellent tutorial! I like it's simplicity, and I'm definitely doing this tutorial in the future! :)
Taylor-the-Weird's avatar
Taylor-the-WeirdProfessional Digital Artist
Art's never easy, but that doesn't mean that it has to be complicated. I'm glad I could help!
Marcxangfenix's avatar
MarcxangfenixStudent Digital Artist
amaizing
Taylor-the-Weird's avatar
Taylor-the-WeirdProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you!
spiderlady's avatar
Very nice guide. I like the whole face planes thing.
Taylor-the-Weird's avatar
Taylor-the-WeirdProfessional Digital Artist
Thank you! Yeah - it's really useful in finding the placement of the features and helps keep a good sense of volume when things are broken down into their most basic components. I'm glad you like it!
TheMbamoeVectory's avatar
TheMbamoeVectoryProfessional General Artist
nice one dude
Taylor-the-Weird's avatar
Taylor-the-WeirdProfessional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Lozey's avatar
LozeyHobbyist Digital Artist
This is fabulous thank you!
Before this I can see a few steps I used to help myself draw realistically, so this is pretty cool! Thank you!
Ill have to keep all of this in mind, this is fabulous, it truly is, thank you again~
Taylor-the-Weird's avatar
Taylor-the-WeirdProfessional Digital Artist
Glad I could help! I'm not breaking any new ground with how I build up faces - I'm sure you'll see many of the same techniques through other tutorials.

I forgot to mention it in there, but don't forget that if you're drawing a likeness of someone, measuring is important. Look at the face you're drawing and its proportions. How high on the face do the eyes sit? What is the width of the nose in comparison to the width of the mouth? How far down does the bottom of the ear come? It's the little things that help to differentiate one face from another.
anonymous's avatar
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