Drawing the Face Profile View

ffIt seems to be a law of nature that no man is ever loath to sit for his portrait. "

-SIR MAX BEERBOHM

opposite Based on a 1465 painting by Piero della Francesca. drawing by student jane woiansky

Good news! You can use the same basic proportions for drawing the profile as you did for the frontal view of the face.

Beginning with an oval, features line up at right angles to the midline; eyes are placed halfway down the oval; nose base (not tip) is halfway between eye and chin; the midline of the mouth is about a third distance between the nose and chin. The major difference is that profile features are placed on either right or left side of the oval, depending on the pose you're drawing.

The profile is characterized by diagonals, rather than verticals and horizontals.

As usual, your energy will be stimulated by a good subject, so choose a face that appeals to you. You may have relatives and friends who would be happy to sit for their portrait—but you'll need a patient model. Otherwise, work with printed reference material. Use an easily discernible reproduction of a painting or drawing of a profile that has accurately rendered features.

Photographs of family members are rarely taken in true profile, and are often not crisp enough to be good sources, so you will probably have to turn elsewhere for reference material. Usually this means a trip to the art-history section of the library. If your library has photography magazines and annuals, they are also a good source to check. In choosing a good picture to copy, keep in mind that right-facing profiles work best for lefties, and the reverse for righties. When you photocopy a color picture, use the black-and-white setting on the laser copier to get an enlargement that reproduces gray tones accurately. While you're at the library, take the opportunity to photocopy at least a few profile portraits for further inspiration, after you've completed the exercises ahead.

SUPPLIES FOR THIS CHAPTER 14"-x-l 7" drawing pad 2B and 2H pencils Pink Pearl eraser or writing-pencil eraser

"The hair is still a problem for me— when I get back into drawing what I know is there, rather than drawing what I really see."

-studentjane wolansky

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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