View Full Version : Facial composition help?

Captain Fandango
05 May 2005, 07:24 PM
I've recently discovoered that, despite my experience in drawing conceptual figures or inanimate objects, I find myself utterly stumped when trying to sketch even the simplest human face. I don't suppose anyone could give me a push in the right direction or point out a decent tutorial on the subject?

05 May 2005, 09:47 PM
Yeah, iam also having problems with this, also can somone also add tut. of head angles.


05 May 2005, 10:34 PM
You're in luck! The world wide web is teaming with thousands of very nice tutorials. And a simple google search will take you a long way.:)

05 May 2005, 10:42 PM
Try to find Andrew Loomis's book "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth." It's got a really in-depth section on facial structure. I think you can find an HTML version at I've combined a bunch of the books off that site into PDF, so if you want, private message me and I'll send you a link to where you can download it. (I would just post the link here, but it's on my student webspace, and I don't think I'm technically allowed to let people download things off it.)

Also, at there are a bunch of drawing tutorials on faces and lots of other stuff. It's geared toward manga artists, but the stuff in the tutorials is pretty standard and can be applied to any style.

The thing I would stress (the thing that most helped me) is to learn the anatomy of the face. Learn all the proportions of the skull and learn how the muscles attach. What I did was get a plastic skull model and attach clay muscles to it. As you learn each new muscle, it's important to remember the name of it too. Only learn one at a time, and repeat the name over and over to yourself as you draw it or try to sculpt it on a skull model. "Anatomy for the Artist" by Jeno Barcsay is a good reference for detailed pictures of muscles and bones, plus explanations of what the muscles are for and how they're used by the body. (This also helps in your understanding of how to draw it, I've found.)

It's not that you should draw every muscle every time you draw, but once you know the anatomy, you'll start to see better how it affects the surface structure of the face and your drawings will look more accurate. I learned all this in a class about a year ago, and I can't believe how much it's improved my drawing.

06 June 2005, 01:42 AM
Here is a thread I started that attempts to in some small way, to address this issue:


06 June 2005, 07:55 AM
Check out Loomis right here in the Art Discussion forum, in the sticky about art theory.

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