You will have noticed the formation of the average eye is not quite as you may have imagined before you began drawing the human face. The iris, that is the coloured part, features quite large in the centre of the eye and yet is hardly ever seen completely. Normally, what you see is a part of the iris hidden under the top eyelid, and the bottom edge of the iris just touching the bottom lid.

1. The lower eyelid shows its thickness, whereas the thickness of the upper lid is usually hidden by the eyelashes.

2. Seen from the side, the shape of the eye changes dramatically, and is more obviously a ball held behind the lids. You can actually see the bulge of the lens on the front of the eyeball.

3. Then there are eyes with very heavy or drooping eyelids. In an older person, as here, the iris retreats further under the upper eyelid and does not quite touch the lower one.

4. In Oriental eyes the top lid is obscured altogether, which has the effect of simplifying the shape of the eye and, incidentally, making it smoother to draw.

5. Noses are much easier to draw in profile, as these examples show. When drawing from the front, ascertain the shape by observing the shadows cast by the projection. From these three examples, you will see that because it casts a larger shadow, the beaky or aquiline shape shows more clearly than either the retroussé or the straight nose.

6. With mouths, the difference between the front and the profile view of them is radical. Seen from the front, all these lips are easy enough to draw, but from the side you begin to see that the most important part of the mouth is where it opens. It does mean that when you draw the mouth, that part where the two lips meet is all important for giving the right effect to convince your viewer. With the smiling mouth the real problem is whether you should, or should not, emphasize the teeth. If you overdo it they can look quite grotesque, so go carefully.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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