In the summer 2014 issue of Drawing, our “Drawing Fundamentals” series teaches you how to draw realistic mouths and noses from various angles. Author and artist Jon deMartin explains that the same underlying process applies when drawing any of the face’s features. First, you must find the line of action, which describes the form’s overall gesture and dimensions. Next, you indicate the structure of the form with a series of lines approximating its outer contours. Finally, you hone these into finer curved lines and add additional lines to describe interior shapes.
Although this is a seemingly simple process, each step comes with its challenges, especially for those who are first learning the method. To help with this, deMartin offers numerous demonstrations of how this process plays out when drawing the facial features. The current article contains more than 10 demos on drawing the mouth and nose. (The next issue of Drawing will contain similar demonstrations for the eye and ear.)
Below are two of deMartin’s demonstrations. The first is a bonus nose-drawing demonstration that didn’t make it into the magazine. The second demo, about the eye, offers a sneak peek from the next issue.
Enjoy these two short demonstrations. For many more examples and more in-depth explanations of the process, get your copy of the summer issue of Drawing here.
Demonstration 1: The Nose in a Three-Quarter Upward View
Step 1: We define the outer shape of the nose by connecting its outermost extremities with straight, gestural lines.
Step 2: We refine this outer shape through finer lines, and better define the base of the nose.
Step 3: Our next lines further refine the curves of the nose and indicate the nostrils. At this point one can see the general planes of the form.
Step 4: We hone the curves and selectively darken lines of greatest contrast.
Demonstration 2: The Eye in a Three-Quarter View
Step 1: We begin by drawing the action line, which establishes the gesture and the outer bounds of our subject.
Step 2: We draw the outline of the shape, by focusing on the points of amplitude that dictate the curves of these outer lines.
Step 3: We define and detail the major interior lines of the form.
Step 4: We add final important lines and selectively darken key lines for emphasis.