Guide to Drawing Faces: How to Draw a Face, Nose, and Lips

Drawing faces is a common desire for artists, and beginners must start somewhere. That’s why lessons on specific features, such as how draw a nose or how to draw lips, are a great way to focus on the parts that make up the whole. FBI-trained artist Carrie Stuart Parks teaches you these things on how to draw a face and more in her books, including Secrets to Drawing Realistic Faces.

“Learning to recognize shapes in a photograph or image takes training,” she writes. “You need to train your mind what to look for. Once you become aware of something, it’s easier to see it. For example, when you’re buying a new car you spend time studying the cars on the market. You then go to a dealer and look over the selection. You might fall in lust with a particular model and color. Afterwards, it seems like everybody has the car you were looking at. Did everyone suddenly go out and buy the same car? No, you have simply become aware of the shape and color of that particular car, and you now recognize it among all the other cars on the road. The same thing happens with the shapes in facial features.”

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Drawing Faces Tutorial

Learn how to draw noses perfectly with this free lesson!

Inside: Learn the Proportions for Drawing a Face

“Proportions are like maps–they provide an overall view of where things are and how they fit into the whole picture,” Parks writes. “Most people have a pretty good idea where the facial features are located. They eyes are above the nose and the nose is above the mouth and so forth. One drawing concept is on how to locate various items we wish to draw with more exactness. It’s important to look at something to draw as you continue this process. It’s hard to measure, line up and view images that you’ve created in your mind.

“Proportions are a comparison, a relationship between objects dealing with size, volume, or degree. You may be able to draw the greatest eyes in the world, but if they’re in the wrong place, the drawing will be off. Proportion is the relationship of different elements in a work of art.”

How to draw face, nose, lips - a free download

How to Draw Lips

“Lips are a fairly simple series of shapes. You’ll quickly notice a line that forms where the upper and lower lip meet. The upper lip looks like a mountain range with two distinct peaks; the lower lip looks basically like a half-circle. You’ll also quickly notice that a smile affects the other facial features. The lips widen and thin out, the cheeks pucker, the eyes crinkle, and the jaw changes.”

Nose Drawing tips and guide

Drawing Noses

“You might have noticed that few poets have waxed eloquently on the nose. Even emerging artists seem to stumble when it comes to drawing noses. If much of the section in this excerpt seems remedial, it’s because the nose needs more attention … you don’t want to blow it. OK, a number of puns and nose comments are running through my mind. I admit this is a hard chapter to write. But noses are really quite simple to draw once you understand the structure of what you’re looking at.”

Draw lips, a nose, and a face with expression

A Nose Trick from Carrie Stuart Parks

“If you identify the shape of the nose highlight, find where the nose picks up the most light and ‘read’ the nose as a series of lights and darks, you’ll have correctly shaded the nose … up to a point. There are a few tricks to make your nose look more realistic. Many of these tricks involve not drawing the photograph exactly as you see it but adding or subtracting details.”

Take advantage of this free excerpt from Secrets to Drawing Realistic Faces to help you draw faces with more accuracy! Along with it, you’ll receive the free newsletter with inspiration for painting with watercolor, oil, pastel, acrylic, and of course, for drawing faces, and more!

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Drawing Faces Tutorial