How to Draw Heads: Drawing a Sphere for the Head
Learning how to draw heads and face drawing proportions are some of the most important things you can learn as an artist.
There are several different ways to draw in these basic proportions for the face and this guide will follow the method outlined by famous artist Andrew Loomis.
We like this method for the proportions of the face because it’s easy to understand and uses simple formulas that are quick to grasp even for totally new artists.
Here’s a look at the finished proportion guides that you’ll be learning to create in the next few lessons.
Start with Circles
While studying how to draw heads, you’ll be working on learning all of the different views of the head at once.
And, the circle is the building block that is going to drive everything else. While you are drawing circles, which are flat shapes, keep in mind that the head has depth, so in the next step you’ll be turning these circles into spheres.
Change the Circles into Spheres
The next step in learning how to draw heads is to draw in the lines to divide the sphere into half-sections. You can draw in these guide lines lightly because you’ll eventually be erasing them.
You need to draw a guide line that goes around the imaginary middle point of the following sides of the sphere:
- Side to Side
One way to think of these guide lines is if you have an orange, and then you cut that orange in half. That first cut would be the horizontal middle line.
Then you made another cut through the orange to give you the vertical middle line. Finally, the last cut would give you the line that travels along the sides of the orange. In the end, you’d be left with 8 equal pieces of orange.
It’s a little tricky to explain with words, but when you take a look at this image to the right I think you’ll instantly understand how this works.
The trick here is to be able to draw these guides from your mind, and it’s not the easiest thing to do. Just keep practicing, and if it helps you could even get an orange or a ping pong ball and and then draw in the guide lines so that you can look at it from all angles.
Remember that your understanding of objects as having depth and dimension is going to always play a big part in making what you draw appear three dimensional and not too flat.
Flatten the Sides of the Spheres
Where the ears will eventually be placed you’ll want to flatten the sides of the face. If you think back to the orange – to get the desired effect you’ll just be cutting off a little bit more from the side of the orange.
Follow along with the video for this lesson on proportions for face drawing to really see clearly what you will need to do to flatten the sides.
In the next lesson on how to draw heads, you will continue where you left off here and start to draw the structure of the mouth and chin in three dimensions.
Return to the Face Drawing Proportions Lessons Page