Learn to Draw People - drawing the nose




Drawing the Nose

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Now let's try drawing noses. You'll soon see that the face is very interconnected by the way we're chopping up the face to draw each feature separately. I think noses are usually the least interesting part of the face, but they are still very different from face to face, and can be very expressive. So don't take them lightly. Let's draw the nose that belongs to the female eyes we drew a few pages back. If you still have the female eyes you drew and there's enough room under them to draw the nose, continue to use that drawing. You'll need at least and eye's length below the eyes you drew in order to fit the nose in. If you can't fit the nose in on your paper, I suggest drawing in the eyes near the top of a new sheet of paper without shading them in. Then you can draw the nose below the penciled-in eyes.

Finding the nose length

On the enlarged (or printed) photo of the eyes and nose, measure the width of her right eye to get your basic measure unit. Holding that measure, turn your pencil 90 degrees down pivoting at the tear duct so you're measuring the height of the nose.  See that the nose is about 1 1/4 eyes long. Measure the drawn right eye, pivot the pencil down and mark 1 1/4 eyes long.

Now, on the photo, hold your pencil vertically at the edge of the right nose lobe. See where you pencil falls on the right eye - a bit to the left of the tear duct? Put your pencil in that position on the drawing just left of the tear duct. now go down your pencil to the mark you made for the length of the nose. Make a mark horizontally parallel to the length mark right where your pencil is. This will give you the right edge of the nose. Do the same measurement for the left edge of the nose. Now you should have three marks that indicate the area where the nose will be drawn. You can measure the width of the three marks and see that the nose will be slightly wider than an eye.

Draw the nose contours

See in the photo that her left lobe looks a bit bigger than the right? This means that the ball of the nose is pointing slightly to the right. You'll have to draw it that way. Lightly draw the contours of the ball and the lobes of the nose. Use your "eye" measurement so that the ball is larger than the lobes. Also measure the height of the ball of the nose. You can draw the nostrils as horizontal "C"s.

Looking at the photo, begin to shade in the nose. Notice that the space between the nostrils is darker than the lower part of the ball. Also see that on the left nostril there's more shadow on the bottom than the top. Note the highlight on the ball of the nose. You can use your eraser to erase out the highlight. I'd do the very dark nostrils last, shade completely around them first.

Shading of the nose

If you're done with the ball and lobes, shade the sides of the nose. Starting from the bridge in between the eyes and going down, notice that the shadow gradually widens the closer you get to the ball and lobes. See that the nose shadows just sort of melt onto the cheeks. Also notice that the shadows are darker on the right side of the nose. The shadows indicating the sides of the ball of the nose will blend in with the shadows you're drawing that are the sides of the nose. On this woman's nose it's very hard to see the nose bone that goes right down the center, so the highlights on the nose and the shadows are pretty gradual.

Draw this nose

Your assignment: Draw noses. Try this nose. The nose bone is much easier to see in this guy's nose so the shadows will be better defined. You can't see the nostrils much at all because the ball of his nose turns down much more than the woman's did. Draw this nose using the steps described above. After you finish this guy, sit in front of a mirror and draw your nose. Try and get it as straight on as possible. Try drawing noses from different ethnic groups and notice if there's any differences in the placement of the nose on the face, or the size of the ball versus the lobes. I'd recommend drawing African-American noses. I find African American people a lot of fun to draw because their skin tone is so dramatic.

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