Looking More Closely At The

Jaw Cartoons Pictures Pencil Drawings Facial Expressions

As the head turns, the body of the ¡aw appears to shorten. On the far side of the face, the foreshortened body (B) appears to go in almost the same direction as the vertical ramus (C). A slight change in direction is maintained, and the chin appears almost flat.

In profile, the ¡aw appears as a bent L-shape, consisting of the almost vertical ramus (D) and the almost horizontal body. The back edge of the ramus points at the front of the ear. The chin has an in-and-out shape because of the canine fossa (E) and the mental protuberance (F).

Mental Protuberance Xray FaceVertical Ramus

Here's two heads that contrast the showiness of the ¡aw line. On the woman's face (below), it shows through most of its length. On this man's head, the ¡awline disappears after the chin but still can be sensed under the surface.

Images Facial ExpressionsDrawing Facial Expressions

This woman has wider cheekbones than the man above. Her face thus has a more oval quality and a sharper angle from cheekbone to chin. Learning the anatomical forms when they appear the clearest helps to see them when their look is much more subtle.

The very wide cheekbones make this line a much sharper angle than average (A).

Bumps Under The Jaw LineSkull Side Profile

In profile, the relationship between skull and face is particularly clear. The hair follows the shape of the skull—straighter hair would hug the form even tighter. The eyebrow ridge is only a vague bump (A). Whether or not the cheekbones show up depends on the thickness of the fatty pad of the cheek as well as the shape of the cheekbone itself.

B. The jaw often becomes less sharply marked as it rises from the angle of the jaw.

C. This shadow is caused by a lack of cheek fat underneath the prominent mound of zygomatic arch; we call this "high cheekbones."

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