On the nose

There’s a French proverb that says, “A big nose never spoils a pretty face.” To me, a badly drawn nose always spoils a pretty face. To make sure that doesn’t happen to one of your portraits, here’s one tip: Learn to draw the nose, as well as the other features of the face, separately—before you try to draw entire faces. A full face is too much to learn in one fell swoop. If you can’t draw a part of the face well, you won’t be able to draw the full face well either. So start small, and narrow your focus. And with a little practice, you’ll be able to draw noses with both likeness and lifelikeness.

Sandra Carpenter is a contributing editor to The Artist’s Magazine. She lives in Stockholm, Sweden.

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