What are the steps to draw a face? Guide to master the best strokes

Are you looking for the steps to draw a face from scratch? don’t worry! The truth is, there are many ways to draw a face, but without a guide, getting started can be a complicated task.

That’s why today we want to show you the steps to draw a face that you should take into account so that your drawings are increasingly cooler and you can make portraits much closer to reality.

To draw a face you only need a sheet of paper and a pencil, or your graphic tablet ready with your favorite program to illustrate. And the most important thing: a lot of desire to learn and improve.

Don’t forget that perseverance is the most important part of any creative process, and as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. With this in mind, we’ll also share with you some free tools to get your wrist moving and perfect your strokes.

grab a blank sheet of paper, a pencil and let’s get started!

Steps to draw a face from scratch

To start developing your drawing skills it’s important that we talk about the steps to draw a face from scratch. We recommend you, before starting with this guide to draw a face from scratch, to find a place with very good lighting and a space where you can feel as comfortable as possible.

Prepare a sheet of paper, sharpen your pencil and the most important thing: have fun. After the result, you can use the colored pencils of your choice to give life to your illustrations.

Here are the steps to draw a face.

Learn without limits and reach your best version of yourself

1. Draw the base of the face

The first step to draw a face is to make a circle, it doesn’t matter if perfection doesn’t go hand in hand with it, draw one anyway! This is because the best way to draw a face is to use geometric shapes as a base.

2. Draw the base lines

Now, in the second step of drawing a face, you must draw a total of five lines that will shape the circle. Don’t worry if it’s the first time you draw faces, we already explained which lines you should draw.

divide the base! draw a horizontal and vertical line to know where to place the eyes, nose and mouth.

These two lines will also help you to generate perspective. Then draw a triangle underneath to mark your character’s jaw.

Now, draw another horizontal line(1) on top of the line you did before, as shown in the image above.

In that space the eyes will be placed. Then, draw another line at the bottom (2), just below the horizontal line you drew at the beginning. There you will draw the nose.

a last few lines! Below the nose section draw another horizontal line (3) to mark the lips and then another two in the upper section.

The first one (4) in the middle and the second one (5) in the middle of that last part. now we have the face sketch!

3. Draw the parts of the face

We’ve reached the third of the steps for drawing a face, which represents a key moment and will shape all your face drawings from here on out. So, how to draw the parts of the face? Because a face is not just lines, you must now place all the elements of a face. Start with the eyes, you must place them right between line 1 and the first horizontal line you drew.

The nose and the mouth will be the next steps to draw a face. Keep in mind the distance of each one and try to make them proportional to the eyes. To guide you, you can mark two vertical lines from the tear troughs to see the length of the lips.

Finish with the ears and eyebrows. Remember that it doesn’t matter what style of drawing you use to draw the elements that make up a face. What is really important is that you learn the right proportion to draw a face and that you take into account the distribution of the lines to ensure symmetry.

4. Start making the details of the face

After you’re done with the look and the other elements of the face add shadows, hair, wrinkles or lines that help your character to be unique.

If you need help in this part, grab a mirror to get inspiration from your own face or take guidance from a friend so you can draw a face more easily.

In fact, the mirror technique is widely used by 2D and 3D designers to explore the different expressions of a person’s face. Luis Gadea, teacher of the gesture drawing from scratch online course, explains how we should use this technique:

“The idea is to analyze what’s going on with our face. Let’s start moving the muscles of the face and understand what happens with each one. For example: if we move one side of the cheek, the nose, eyebrows and lips move in turn. This will help us to visualize the details to draw a face”.

técnica del espejo para dibujar un rostro

Easy, isn’t it? In fact, as we mentioned at the beginning, there are several ways to draw a face and the most fun will always be to break the rules a little bit.

Now you know how to draw a face from the front, taking into account symmetry and other elements that are important to give life to your drawing. But what if you want to draw using another perspective? For you to develop your skills to the maximum, in the next point we will tell you which are the steps to draw a face in profile, so stay tuned to the reading.

Steps to draw a face in profile

Now, we know that most of the time we tend to draw a face from a frontal perspective, but it is also important that you learn how to draw a face in profile to optimize your notions of perspective and symmetry.

In this process you should also involve different lines so that you have an idea of the location of the elements that compose a face. For this type of face drawing we will also use some geometric figures, so be ready to make the circle of the face and a couple of lines.

1. Draw a circle with a cross

To draw a face in profile, first draw a circle. As in the previous drawing, the circle will be the base of the face.

Draw a vertical and horizontal line to generate an intersection in the figure.

Then, draw two other lines at the top and bottom and draw a square that makes contact with the corners of the circle, as shown in the following image:

Image: The Virtual Instructor

2. Calculate the location of the chin

To calculate the location of the chin, you can measure the centimeters from the middle of the circle to the bottom line of the square. Use that measurement as a reference to calculate the length of the chin just below the circle.

Then, draw a curve from the top of the face and join it to the bottom chin mark you drew earlier.

Image: The Virtual Instructor

3. Shape the jawline

After the previous step to learn how to draw faces in profile, draw another curve from the bottom of the chin to the center of the bottom line of the square. You will see that little by little your profile face will take shape.

Image: The Virtual Instructor

4. Place the eyes and other elements

You’re almost done drawing a face in profile. Go back to the center of the head and draw another line below the main line of the circle. On the left side draw a small circle to determine the location of the eyes.

Image: The Virtual Instructor

Once you have selected the location of the eyes, you now have the facial symmetry to place the other elements such as the nose or the mouth, and thus, you can draw a profile face more easily. You can also use the vertical line to place the ears.

Image: The Virtual Instructor

However, remember that it doesn’t matter the style you choose to draw these elements, but that when drawing a face you should strive to maintain symmetry.

Other options for drawing a face

If your best friend was the circle, now you should forget that friendship and look for connections that allow you to be more diverse in your drawings. Try these kinds of shapes to explore the amazing human face. We don’t all have the same round face.

For example, these characters use a different structure and that also contributes to the personality they want to convey. This is the most important thing when creating a character’s face, the story can be told without being written or told, because with strokes alone you can project the personality of your character.

If you’ve seen “Hey, Arnold!”, surely what attracted you at first sight was the shape of the main character’s head and face, right? Precisely, this is the wonderful thing about drawing a face that is out of the ordinary, especially if you like to make cartoons or characters for animations.

As the creator of this funny character, Craig Bartlett, mentions , his main goal was to create an eye-catching character.

“When I designed Arnold I really wanted him to stand out, to make him recognizable by his silhouette. That’s why he’s shaped like a ball head, because he’s funny.”

Dibujo de Hey Arnold!

Image: Amazon

Tips for drawing faces

After talking about the steps to draw a face and sharing with you some tutorials with which you can learn how to make better face drawings, it’s time for us to give you some tips that will help you develop your drawing skills.

This list of tips is very simple, and we are sure you will find it very useful to put your talents into practice.

Study the movement of facial muscles

The muscle movements of the face determine the expressions and emotions in face drawings. So it is important that you spend some time thinking about what are those movements that give expressiveness to a face, and what are the steps you should follow to draw them.

Human beings are capable of producing at least a dozen expressions that are associated with certain emotions. To learn how to draw a face it is necessary that you also learn how to draw emotions in your portraits.

Of course this advice applies to those who already have certain skills and know how to draw a more or less realistic face, however, for you to become an expert with face drawing, you need to aim high and start doing what the most advanced students do.

Source: Unsplash

Draw from general to specific

If you paid attention to the steps to draw a face that we told you before, you could notice that at the moment of making the face you always move from the general to the specific. Basically, because this allows you to maintain symmetry and have a better perspective of what you are doing.

Although it may seem a bit boring, you should practice with the shape of the circles and the drawing of lines, whether you are drawing frontal or profile faces. The idea is that you perfect your technique and you can give structure to the face before perfecting the details of parts such as the eyes, nose or mouth.

Having a good structure, your face drawings will become more and more realistic. So practice with a lot of patience and start with the biggest parts first. Don’t underestimate working from geometric figures, because it’s one of the best techniques to draw faces!

Identify shadows and highlights

Another step in drawing a face professionally is to identify shadows and points of light to give a touch of realism to what you draw. In addition, this allows face drawings to have more depth and not look like a flat, unattractive drawing.

Shadows and highlights give weight and volume not only to face drawings, but to any kind of drawing in general. Therefore, we recommend you learn how to use them in a proper way.

Persona dibuja rostro con sombras y luces

Source: Unsplash

Develop the four most important points for drawing

If you want to draw faces and get impressive results, you must develop four fundamental aspects in any kind of art. That’s why we recommend you to pay special attention to the use of techniques, and to the development of knowledge, artistic sensitivity and creativity.


Mastering the techniques for drawing faces is essential if you want to do a good job. While talent is important, knowing the ways in which a job is easier to do is also useful.


With knowledge we refer to that ability to expand our horizons and learn new things. In the case of face drawing, you can get more knowledge through a guide to draw faces, art books and tutorials like the ones we share with you.


If you want to know how to draw a face, it is important to develop your observation skills, stimulate your curiosity, and find sources of inspiration for your face drawings.

Although some people believe that observation is an innate ability in human beings, the truth is that it must be developed. Moreover, the ability to observe depends a lot on past experiences, memory and creativity.

The same happens with curiosity and inspiration, it is necessary to put into practice exercises that help us to be more interested in things and find inspiration in a simple way. This is useful to make drawings of faces and to put into practice any talent you may have.


Finally, you must be creative when learning how to draw a face, as sometimes you will encounter problems that can only be solved with creativity. In the example of Hey Arnold! we show you how creativity when drawing helped the character to stand out and be recognized by the public as something special.

Persona dibuja rostro con figuras geométricas

Source: Unsplash

Give expressivity to your face drawings

The number of combinations that can be achieved with the elements of the face is practically unlimited, and thanks to this a person can make face drawings in which certain expressions and emotions stand out.

In the list of steps to draw a face in a professional way, you should include a section in which you mention the importance of expressiveness in the drawings. We already told you about the impact that the movement of the facial muscles has on the drawing, but it is time to start developing your skills to make drawings of happy, sad, melancholic, etc. faces.

With expressions the face is understood as a unit, in which each of its parts defines the emotion. So you must study well what are the characteristics that define that a drawing projects certain emotions. To learn how to draw a face you must also learn how to draw emotions.

Use books as a guide to draw faces

Our last recommendation in this list of tips to draw faces is that you dedicate some time to study and deepen your knowledge about drawing faces and artistic drawing in general.

The truth is that it is very easy to find books that explain what are the steps to draw a face, that list a list of techniques to draw faces, and that give you knowledge about any aspect of drawing that interests you.

That’s why we think you should start stocking your library with some drawing books that will help you grow artistically and professionally, if that’s what you want for your life. It doesn’t matter if they are digital or physical books, the important thing is that you don’t stop learning.

Persona dibuja rostros en bloc

Source: Unsplash

why is it important to know how to draw faces?

After teaching you the steps to draw a face, we want to tell you why it is important to master the techniques to draw and accurately portray a person’s expressions.

Knowing how to draw a face is an essential rule for every artist. A face is the exact representation of emotions, feelings, and everything that identifies us as human beings.

In any drawing, a face is the element that draws the attention of the eye and never goes unnoticed.

Dibujos de rostros femenino y másculino

Image: Alicja Nai

Perhaps one of the first things we do to test our artistic skills is to draw a face. It’s almost a gateway that evaluates the capabilities we have to test how close we are to recreating reality.

However, beyond the style you choose to draw a face, whether it is digital drawing or traditional drawing, keep in mind that the importance is in mastering symmetry techniques, symmetry techniques, symmetry techniques, symmetry techniques, symmetry techniques, symmetry techniques, symmetry techniques and symmetry techniques.these techniques are responsible for giving the face a harmony in terms of composition, and will make it much more credible and attractive to the eye.

do you want to learn how to draw a face like the gods? good! Learn what you need to start drawing.

Drawing courses to draw faces

So, if you are looking to perfect the steps to draw a face and master the drawing techniques like an expert, you may be interested in knowing the best drawing courses.

Online gesture drawing course from scratch

Once you have learned the steps to draw a face, this gesture drawing course from scratch is the right one for you to learn how to draw facial expressions on the faces of your characters.

Professor Luis Gadea will teach you to identify the most important gestures of a face using simple tools.

Online pencil drawing course: From beginner to expert

Now, if what you want is to take a course that will make you an expert in drawing, this material is the right one for you.

In addition to learning the steps to draw a face, with this online course of Pencil Drawing: from beginner to expert you will learn all the essential drawing techniques that will make you exploit all your talent and creativity.

From the hand of our teacher Luis Gadea, you will know how to make sketches, draw characters, make caricatures and even concepts of color theory. If you are interested in drawing, this course is essential.

Online Illustration Course for non-illustrators

If you want to take your drawing skills to another level, this online Illustration course for non-illustrators is the right course for you to acquire the best illustration skills.

With this material you will learn the basic concepts of illustration, you will learn techniques to break creative blocks and you will know how to conceptualize ideas from zero to the final product. You will begin to conceive the practice of drawing as a fun exercise.

Tutorials to learn how to draw a face step by step

are the steps to draw a face from scratch not clear to you? don’t worry! We bring you three practical and simple tutorials for you to master the best techniques to draw faces.

how to draw the human face step by step?

In this tutorial, our teacher Luis Gadea will share with you his secrets to draw human faces in a simple and quick way. don’t leave it for tomorrow! Discover today the steps to draw a face from scratch in less than fifteen minutes.

how to draw a face with proportions?

One of the most important aspects to learn the steps to draw a face is to take into account the proportions when making your first strokes.

For this reason, Professor Ricardo Celma will teach you his best techniques to draw a face step by step in this tutorial. This way, you will be able to transform the way you look and observe the world around you.

how to draw a nose with pencil?

do you want to draw a nose that conveys personality just by looking at it? good for you! In this tutorial, Professor Martin Palottini will tell you how to make a pencil nose in a matter of minutes.

In this way, you’ll learn how to focus on the features and stress points carefully, and how to make a profile study of a face to draw it correctly.

Free tools to perfect your face drawings

Now that you know the steps to draw a face from scratch, it’s time to start warming up your wrist and practicing your best strokes. Therefore, we share with you a pack of free resources that will help you to polish your drawings like an expert.

Guide to draw the head and face

Nothing better than learning how to illustrate the details of a face with this drawing guide from scratch. In it, you will find the steps to draw a face and a head in a simple way.

And best of all, you ‘ll learn from the best classic artists to inspire your face drawings. With the method of Andrew Loomis, one of the greatest illustrators of the 40s, you will learn the secrets to start drawing your first faces like a professional.

download the guide to draw the head and face

Guía Dibujo desde cero: la cabeza y la cara

Guide to draw the human body

If you want to go a step further and not only want to learn the steps to draw a face, this guide to drawing from scratch: the human body is ideal for you. Just review again the technique of the outstanding Andrew Loomis to keep surprising us with simple to use drawing techniques.

download the guide to draw the human body

Guía Dibujo desde cero: el cuerpo humano

Freehand drawing templates

do you want to draw animal faces? excellent! how about starting with a cuddly penguin like the one in the image below? I know, it’s so adorable that you can’t resist drawing it and sticking it on your wall.

That’s why we’re sharing with you these free free freehand drawing templates that will help you create amazing works of art. what do you need? Just paper, a pencil (or pen) and, of course, your hand ready to start drawing fascinating strokes.

download freehand drawing templates

Plantillas de dibujo a mano alzada

Handbook of tools for your inner illustrator

As a good illustrator you will need the best tools to optimize your work. don’t worry! With this free handbook on tools for your inner illustrator you will have the necessary weapons to attract the eye to your drawings. you won’t forget the steps to draw a face anymore!

Exercises to draw every day

looking to learn the steps to draw a face in profile? Then you’ll need a lot of practice. With these 13 exercises to draw daily you will be able to start with your first sketches.

In addition, you’ll find the essential tips to practice daily and improve your face drawing technique. you’ll relax while you perfect your strokes!

download the exercises to draw daily

Ejercicios para dibujar a diario

We hope that with these steps to draw a face and these drawing courses you will get ready to show off your skills. Keep in mind that the most important thing is your discipline and that you have a habit of practice that makes you improve every day.

Trust in your abilities and never stop trying until you get the best results. good luck!

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