Drawing The Human Head

Human Face Drawing

Four Views of Head in Rotation

When you have mastered the procedure, try it on a series of heads showing various turns to left and right. In all views, note how each measure A-B equals measure C-D.

Photo Heads

Slight Turn to Left

Rotation The Head

Greater Turn to Left

Proof of Method

Let us, for the sake of argument, raise an important question: Is the foregoing method reliable for any stage in the rotation of the head? It is. Here is the proof. Suppose that we wish to give the head its greatest possible rotation, from a front view to a full side view. First, we draw the front ovoid shape and divide it, as before, in halves. We then take the measure A-B (half the width of the front view head) and transpose it to C-D, which 'completes the cranial mass. Finally, we sketch in the full profile. Our method gives us a good side view head. But is it proportionally correct? Recall Chapter 1, in which we demonstrated that the side view head divides vertically into three equal parts. Measure the above head: A-B, B-C, and C-D are exactly equal.

Drawing Human Parts

Slight Turn to Right

Very Great Turn to Right

Picture The Human Head


In drawing the many possible views of the rotating head, two problems impede our attempts to achieve sound proportions. These are the placement of the side plane (A-B) and jaw line (C-D). The side plane, which begins at the corner of the brow, changes with every turn of the head. But the jaw line tends to remain unchanged regardless of the rotation!

Measuring Jaw RotationHuman Head Draw

The side plane of the face begins decisively at the brow point, just above the outside corner of the eye. Here the front and side planes meet, then fall obliquely inward to the cheek bone, mouth edge, and chin. The line of the side plane lies on a steep 15 degree drop from brow to chin.

rotation of side plane

Hard-cornered as the brow point is, the line (A-B) on which it lies is quite circular, going around the middle of the head. This curvature means that when the head turns, the side plane of the head (C-D) rotates in the same proportion as the center line (E-F).

Human Head Side View

placement of side plane

To locate the side plane for any given turn of the head, follow this simple procedure:

placement of side plane

To locate the side plane for any given turn of the head, follow this simple procedure:

Drawing The Head

Step 1: Draw a front view-head and put in the vertical (A-B) and horizontal (C-D) axes. These axes meet at the center point of the face (E). On the brow line (horizontal axis C-D) indicate the two brow points (F and G).

Sketching Horizontal

Step 2: If we give the head a turn to the right, the center point of the face will move from E to H. A new center line (A-H-B) is established. F shows where the left brow point appeared on the front view, step 1. Note the new location of the right brow point

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    How to drawing human head step by step?
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