Moving on with JW Learning's course on Part 1 of the Beginner Figure Drawing - Drawing the Head.

Note: always check your reference - these are just guidelines

Skull and Face Structures

  • made of 2 parts:
    • skull
    • face structures
  • profile
    • start with an oval for the skull
    • add a boxy shape for the front face
  • front
    • start with a circle for the skull
    • add the face shape based on the subject (?!?)

Gestures and Proportions


  • 2 gesture lines
  • eye-line:
    • 1/2 of height
    • also where head rests on the neck at the back
  • bottom of the nose:
    • 1/2 between eye-line and bottom of the chin
    • if needed, you can put it a bit higher than lower
  • bottom of the lip:
    • 1/2 between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin
  • brow-line:
    • same distance from bottom of the nose as the distance from the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the chin (?!?)
  • ear:
    • between the brow line and the bottom of the nose
    • behind the vertical middle line
    • less than 1/3 of the half back side
  • jaw:
    • drop from ear
    • connect from chin
  • head plane:
    • corner starts at around 1/3 from the front side
    • triangular “?"-like form for the eye socket


  • eyes:
    • the face is roughly 5 eyes wide
    • eyes are in slot 2 and 4
    • nose is in slot 3
  • mouth:
    • roughly as wide as the distance between the two pupils (centers of the eyes)

Neck Transition

  • front
    • for muscular men, as wide as head width
    • women and children have thinner necks
  • side
    • connects lower in the front than in the back to the torso
    • the chin can be drooped (double-chin)

Boxier Structures

  • easier to represent position in space with boxier structures than using rounded shapes

Forehead and Cheekbone Structure

  • lateral planes
    • approximately where eye-brows arch
    • approximately where eyes end
  • the keystone
    • face landmark
    • specific to each face (can tilt more or less)
  • eye socket lower lines
  • jaw line
    • swings down through the corners of the mouth
  • ears
    • are sitting behind the jaw
    • don't make them stick out of the jaw

Nose Structure


  • flares out of the keystone
  • narrower at the top and wider at the bottom
  • drop gesture lines from the corners of the eyes to delineate the sides of the nose


  • triangular shape



Once completing the lecture part of the video watch and draw along with the demonstration videos, or alternatively, watch the demonstration first, then try the same exercise yourself. The same images will be in the Lesson Notes if you wish to practice in your own time. Additional images of the head from different positions will be included, if you wish to attempt those trickier perspective give it a shot, but more of that will be covered in Part 2.

Draw along
Draw along