Facial Proportions

Drawing a Portrait using Proportions

In this article I start to talk about techniques to make portraits. In particular, I am going to discuss on how to use proportions to make credible portraits. When a professional artist executes a portrait, he has in mind the proportions between the various parts (mouth, nose, eyes and so on) of an ideal model face. His skill lies in finding the differences between the proportions of those parts in the subject and those of the ideal model. In order to acquire the same skills we need to fully secure in our minds the proportions of all the element of ideal face.

Drawing a Portrait using Proportions

It’s easy to see that:

  • The eyes are halfway between the top of the head and chin;
  • The base of the nose is halfway between the eye line and chin;
  • The lower mouth is halfway between the base of the nose and chin;
  • Corners of the mouth are aligned with the center of the eyes;
  • The bottom of the ears line up with the base of the nose;
  • The top of the ears line up with the eyebrows.

Now that you know the relationships between the different elements of a face, try to draw it doing some exercise.s After you have done a bit of practice, take a picture of a family member and start to observe the differences between the photo and the ideal model. Keeping in mind these differences, try now to draw the person in the photo.

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