Art Discussion

What is the first thing that you draw, when you draw someone's face?



  • Nicole Reck artist
    Nicole Reck (@NReck)
    07/19/2018 @ 10:49am

    I outline the head so I know where better to draw in the other features and get everything positioned wear I want it on my page. Kind of like drawing the map of an island you have to know the shape of the island first.

  • èf artist
    èf (@ef11)
    07/19/2018 @ 2:22pm

    I struggle a lot to draw "pretty" faces but when I start with the nose it's easier to place all the features then

  • Dietrich Adonis artist
    Dietrich Adonis (@ArtNinja2000) Plus Member
    07/19/2018 @ 3:17pm

    The eyes then the outline of the head. . .

  • Lauren Konopacki artist
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    07/20/2018 @ 11:07am

    i really had to think about this! for me it depends on what angle the head is at..if it's straight on i start with the eyes..if it's a profile i'll start with the nose for some reason.

  • AKU NAPIE artist
    AKU NAPIE (@akunapie)
    07/20/2018 @ 11:55pm

    i will eyebrow first..and something the shape of face i draw first. depend on easy or hard to draw their face.

  • George Wheeling artist
    George Wheeling (@RipitDesigns)
    07/24/2018 @ 2:32am

    I start with the chin and up to the cheek bones so I can place the eyes in the right position.

  • Derek Lowes artist
    Derek Lowes (@inkdote) Plus Member
    07/24/2018 @ 10:38pm

    A circle for the orb of the scull... then the jawline, eye line and centreline of the face. Then usually the eyes or base of the nose.

  • Caroline Rodriguez artist
    Caroline Rodriguez (@carolinerodriguez)
    07/25/2018 @ 6:33pm

    Definitely the eyes, they seem like the easiest thing to draw.

  • Embracing nightmares artist
    Embracing nightmares (@gibroni87) Plus Member
    07/25/2018 @ 8:42pm

    It use to be the mouth. But now it’s either the eyes or shape of the head

  • Rolf Schroeter artist
    Rolf Schroeter (@rolfschroeter) Plus Member
    07/26/2018 @ 10:45am

    I mostly start with one eye, than nose, eyebrows, mouth. than try to position rhe ear (or both, depending on direction of face) right, only than the outline of the head and hair.

  • Colin Reid artist
    Colin Reid (@Blueflow)
    07/26/2018 @ 10:54am

    Eyes, then work out from there, similar to Rolf.

  • Shari Wolf artist
    Shari Wolf (@Handmade13)
    07/26/2018 @ 11:38am

    I always draw the head first. This helps me decide what the hair, eyes, nose etc. look like.

  • brianne carroll artist
    brianne carroll (@willow)
    07/26/2018 @ 3:22pm

    I used to do the eyes first, but now I do the shape of the head.

  • Franny artist
    Franny (@franimationsyt)
    07/26/2018 @ 5:29pm

    The outline of the head. I've never done it a different way.

  • jan artist
    jan (@janl)
    07/26/2018 @ 10:05pm

    the left eye

  • jan artist
    jan (@janl)
    07/26/2018 @ 10:07pm

    @Explainit isn't this the way we're taught?

  • Derek Lowes artist
    Derek Lowes (@inkdote) Plus Member
    07/27/2018 @ 12:55am

    Yeah maybe that’s why I doi it that way wh knew... it works for me @janl

  • jan artist
    jan (@janl)
    07/27/2018 @ 5:56pm

    @Explainit Sometimes I wish I could get the hang of starting a face the way you do. Number 1. I believe I'd have better luck with my feature placement and Number 2. My proportions may improve as well. I don't know why but a circle first just throws me off. I guess we do what works. But one of these days I'll leave my comfort zone and begin a different way. Have a great weekend, Oh, I also love fountain pens :)

  • Lillian DiGrazia artist
    Lillian DiGrazia (@SketchMaster223)
    07/29/2018 @ 1:38pm

    I draw the head shape and then go on to the rest although I am one of those people who needs everything to be perfect so It takes forever for me to get it exactly how I want it.

  • Joseph T. Yawus (jojo) artist
    Joseph T. Yawus (jojo) (@Jojoyawus)
    07/31/2018 @ 5:37pm

    The outline then eyes. nose and the mouth.

  • Arthur Koestler artist
    Arthur Koestler (@arthurkoestler)
    08/01/2018 @ 9:29am

    @rolfschroeter When you start with one eye like you mentioned do you notice it difficult to re-create the second eye or the symmetry in the face?

  • Rolf Schroeter artist
    Rolf Schroeter (@rolfschroeter) Plus Member
    08/01/2018 @ 9:46pm

    @arthurkoestler , in fact I think the symmetry (or maybe not so rarely the correct asymetry, as real faces are not very symetric) is not too difficult, when drawing eyes, eybrows and nose together as 'one system' instead of single objects. I use to think of a cruslike structure of axis of nose+la conncted line of lower contours of eyes when doing so (only in my mind, without actually drawing any constructions).

  • Rolf Schroeter artist
    Rolf Schroeter (@rolfschroeter) Plus Member
    08/01/2018 @ 9:48pm

    'cruslike' should have been 'crosslike', sorry ...

  • Rolf Schroeter artist
    Rolf Schroeter (@rolfschroeter) Plus Member
    08/01/2018 @ 10:14pm

    I think, what is more difficult, than getting the 'eyes-eybrows-nose-mouse-system' right, is to relate it correctly to ears, fore- and nackhead and chin. maybe because those are not as close together. here I generally do the ear next (easiest if person has glasses, if not, I might imagine some). To me, especially good positioning and shape of ears is crucial to get a likenes,. Guess, this is a reason why we might have been teached to start with the shape of the head, from 'rough to details'. Guess this still is the most successful way, if you have to fit a face in a given composition. But, if I am not forced to that, I prefere, to draw like my view moves, when I whatch a face, which is normally from the inside out, starting with eyes, maybe even mouth, as 'core of expression' . Actually I cannot know or controll the result very well, going this way, but this is the fun ....

  • David Young artist
    David Young (@fauxpost)
    08/01/2018 @ 11:35pm

    A portrait likeness starts with getting the proportion of the triangle (eyes and nose) exactly right. Once you have that, everything else falls into place. The expression comes from the eyebrows and lip line.

  • Melba Christie artist
    Melba Christie (@MELBA)
    08/02/2018 @ 4:28pm

    I usually start with the eyes. The eyes are as they say “the windows to one’s soul”.

  • Elena artist
    Elena (@PetiteElleDesigns)
    08/03/2018 @ 10:17am

    I love to start with the eyes! I tried to begin with other features but I feel more comfortable with the eyes :)

  • Suzanne Urban artist
    Suzanne Urban (@SuzanneUrbanArt)
    08/05/2018 @ 11:53am

    The nose.

  • Rubina artist
    Rubina (@Rubynna)
    08/07/2018 @ 5:49am

    The eyes and the wherever the pencil leads me.

  • Hugo Seijas artist
    Hugo Seijas (@hugo) Plus Member
    08/07/2018 @ 10:45am

    @Elena9 i agree, eyes seem to be the easiest for me.

  • Leah Lucci artist
    Leah Lucci (@SuperStarling) Plus Member
    08/14/2018 @ 10:15am

    I start with the eyes, because they give me a feel for what kind of creature I'm dealing with. Are they slim, big, buggy, weird, ugly, scary? Then I create the creature or person accordingly. It's fun to draw the face around the eyes so that the eyes are way too small, or way too big, or coming off the side, or too low or too high, then try to make that "work."

  • Līga Jekabsone artist
    Līga Jekabsone (@ligathelatvian)
    08/16/2018 @ 4:34am

    First, I map out the dimensions of the face or/and the body, the outline of the face and the hair. Then I roughly sketch the features of the face and start the actual drawing with the eyes, which usually is the focal point in a face. Once I've drawn out eyes, if any proportions are off, my base is the eyes and I measure everything according to them.

  • WieldingColor artist
    WieldingColor (@Wieldingcolor)
    08/16/2018 @ 3:14pm

    The first thing that I usually start with is the forehead or the skeleton sketch before I move onto the eyes. :)

  • Kathieh Miller artist
    Kathieh Miller (@KathiehMiller)
    08/17/2018 @ 2:19am

    The eyebrow...

  • Kaden artist
    Kaden (@Kestep)
    08/18/2018 @ 7:28pm

    I draw the outline of the head but I've been told you start on the eyes because the size of your eye proportions the rest of your face.

  • mrinalini vodela artist
    mrinalini vodela (@meenu)
    08/19/2018 @ 9:11am

    I start with the eyes, then I outline the face.

  • Anna Thomsen artist
    Anna Thomsen (@Annaillustrated) Plus Member
    08/19/2018 @ 3:06pm

    i do the exact same thing as you haha @laurendoodlecode . I really can't put a finger on why It's different though.

  • Gwendolyn E. Urquhart artist
    Gwendolyn E. Urquhart (@GwendolynSedai)
    08/20/2018 @ 11:03pm

    I draw the eyes.

  • Sohini artist
    Sohini (@bookboozer)
    08/21/2018 @ 5:40am

    I used to begin with the face outline but I shifted to drawing eyes first as it helped me get the proportions better and more quickly than going in and erasing features all the time so they could "match"

  • Abby Byers artist
    Abby Byers (@Abby12)
    08/22/2018 @ 6:23pm

    I always start with the head, and then add in everything else. This helps with knowing how big everything should be.

  • MGB artist
    MGB (@Thatonewierdperson)
    08/28/2018 @ 4:52pm

    I usually start with the ear which is weird but it helps me place the rest of the facial features. In my art class however I am learning a different way and we start with the outline of the head then the hair then we do the nose it is different since I am not used to that but I am sure I will learn tho the face may be deformed

  • Jawad Adrees artist
    Jawad Adrees (@Jawad)
    08/30/2018 @ 2:33am

    Eyes . Well i m not good in sketch but love to doodle the faces :)

  • Remy Francis artist
    Remy Francis (@Noname101)
    08/30/2018 @ 3:12am

    I draw the outline of the head.

  • ellen artist
    ellen (@Keepmakingthings)
    08/30/2018 @ 6:04am

    The eyes

  • Nai Obeid artist
    Nai Obeid (@naio) Plus Member
    08/31/2018 @ 10:11am

    it's been forever since I've drawn a portrait. But back when I did, I used to always start with the eyes. I have many fully drawn eyes and unfinished face art.

  • Jenny Catherine artist
    Jenny Catherine (@artsideofthemoon)
    09/02/2018 @ 6:51pm

    when I draw a face I always start with the right eye. then I do the nose and the mouth going in a circle .

  • Ana Sofía Jaramillo artist
    Ana Sofía Jaramillo (@anasofiaaaaa)
    09/04/2018 @ 3:38pm

    the eyes then eyebrows, then the nose and finally the mouth

  • Alexi Noir artist
    Alexi Noir (@alexinoir)
    09/07/2018 @ 7:37am

    For me... the outline of the face first... and continue with the hair and so on...

  • Hawwa Lahfa artist
    Hawwa Lahfa (@lahu)
    09/12/2018 @ 2:53am

    Eyes. Always the eyes. :D

  • Sandra Antunes artist
    Sandra Antunes (@SandraNez)
    09/12/2018 @ 7:47am

    The outline of the face, then the hair and only the the details (eyes, nose, mouth, not necessarily in that order) so as to insure the overall proportions are accurate.

  • Suzanne Urban artist
    Suzanne Urban (@SuzanneUrbanArt)
    09/16/2018 @ 7:28am

    I usually lead with the head shape.

  • Cindy LeGrand artist
    Cindy LeGrand (@legrandlife)
    10/01/2018 @ 4:59pm

    I always try to get the eyes (size and orientation to each other) done first. Everything else usually seems to fall into place from there.

  • Mike Litecky artist
    Mike Litecky (@Twitchyscribs)
    10/05/2018 @ 3:09pm

    I typically start with the overall head shape and some reference lines that wrap around the head for the direction it is facing. There can be so much character that is defined by the silhouette of a basic shape. When doing more realistic stuff where I'm looking for realistic proportions, I might start with an oval for the top part of the skull.

  • Karmen Cordel artist
    Karmen Cordel (@PreciousChild)
    11/13/2018 @ 9:43pm

    I normally start with their face shape then work on the nose. I am trying to start drawing differently because my drawings aren't that good, so maybe I'll start with the eyes...

  • Eddie artist
    Eddie (@AniMentos)
    11/14/2018 @ 10:59am

    I usually do cartoons, so I start by drawing the main point on a face, like a multicoloured afro

  • Junkyard Sam artist
    Junkyard Sam (@JunkyardSam) Plus Member
    12/18/2018 @ 1:47pm

    I'm terrible at drawing people and sadly I don't care to improve. So for me I draw a very incorrect circle and then rely on facial, body, or clothing features to make the character recognizable. (Moustache, thick eyebrows, glasses, big ears, hairstyle, etc.) And if the character isn't recognizable I'll draw the name of the person and point an arrow at him because why not!! :-)

  • Melissa Hentges artist
    Melissa Hentges (@MelKeithArt) Plus Member
    01/01/2019 @ 10:57am

    I used to start with eyes, but lately I'm finding happiness starting with the nose.

  • J.Kill & Hide artist
    J.Kill & Hide (@Dallyvanters)
    02/07/2019 @ 10:59pm

    Face shape...then tha eyes.

  • Machukov artist
    Machukov (@denni)
    02/11/2019 @ 1:30pm

  • Caitlin Carter artist
    Caitlin Carter (@Holybellhooks1313)
    02/13/2019 @ 6:50pm

    The face cause I can't proportion very well out of a certain area. I suck at art...

  • k librandi artist
    k librandi (@thespecterhermit)
    02/17/2019 @ 9:01pm

    I usually draw a basic head shape and then go straight for the eyes lol, but it depends sometimes I start with the nose.

  • Mark Lane artist
    Mark Lane (@MarkLane)
    03/10/2019 @ 4:53am

    Hi. I start from the centre (the eyes) then work outwards. So, eyes, nose, mouth, jawline, ears and then the rest of the head and the hair but the main thing is to keep it all light and sketchy then darken up when you’re happy with it. Here’s a tip: if you’re drawing from a photo and the head is cocked, twist the pic (and your canvas also) so that the eyes are level. That makes them easier to get right. Anyways, that’s how I draw a portrait. Best wishes.

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