Learn to Draw People - The eyes & forehead




The eyes & forehead

Finding the eyeline on the head


Symmetry is not your only concern when you're drawing portraits. Your own mind may try and fool you as you look at your subject. When we look at a face we see the eyes, nose, and the mouth, these are the first things we focus on, and the things we deem the most important on the head. Because of the importance we place on these features, we tend to make them larger and more prominent on the head oftentimes by neglecting the other parts of the head. Let me explain what I mean...

Where are your eyes on your head? They look to be about one third of the way down your head, right? NOPE! The answer is that they are halfway down your head. The distance from the top of your skull to your eyes is the same as the distance from your eyes to your chin. When people start drawing portraits their mind tells them that the forehead is "less important" than the brow and the eyes, so they unconsciously make the forehead shorter than it should be, thus raising the eyes on the head to about one third down from the top. You don't believe me? Look at the demonstration to the right. Just as I pointed out when you were drawing a profile, that many people tend to "squish" the head by putting the ear too close to the rest of the facial features, the forehead often gets the same treatment by getting drawn too short.

Next, Let's look deeper into the straight on portrait. We'll address each facial element on it's own and look at how they can be measured, drawn, and shaded.

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