Lesson on drawing the profile. Sketching the face from side view. Portrait tutorial.

Drawing Profiles

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Middle-aged guy sketch profile

Notice in the portrait above how the eye is a long "triangle" shape. A common "newbie" mistake is to make the eye an almond shape (like it is drawn from the front view) and to make the eye start right up flush with the bridge of the nose. But that is not correct. The eye is recessed back--set in. That's where the saying "deep set eyes" comes from!


The "triangle" shape of the eye in profile.

Above is an illustration showing a blue triangle is overlayed upon the eye in profile. This shows the basic shape of the eye when looking at it from the side.

How the features line up in profile
How the nose and eyes "line up" with mouth and ears

A new face! Just to keep things interesting...

See where the ear lines up with the nose and eyes. (The green lines.) You draw a line straight back from the bottom of the nose, and you draw a line straight back from the brow ridge or eyebrow area. And that's where you will place the ear - between these two lines! Make sure to notice how large a person's ears are, because that will affect where their ears line up.

Once again, this is to remind you of how the edge of the eye and the outside of the mouth pretty much line up (the red line). I'm sorry, I keep repeating it. It's just that it's very important to remember! (There is a bit of "wiggle room" on this, as some people have wider mouths, or eyes that are not as deep-set. But for the most part, this "rule" is a good one to remember when you are drawing the profile.)

Also notice the position of the nostril compared to the red line in the illustration above. The nostril does go in to the face quite a bit, but it doesn't quite line up with the edge of the mouth and the eye. Another "newbie" mistake is have the nostril end very close to the edge of the face. But this is not correct. As you can see, the nose goes in quite a bit from the edge of the face.

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