There are many different shapes of the human face. The standard shape is an oval/ellipse. I often use this shape in examples to simplify drawing the face, but there are many other shapes to consider. Not everyone’s face is shaped like an oval. Just like we all have different body types, we have different facial shapes. Below are some examples:
Oval-Shaped Face Features are equally rounded from the top of the head to the chin; No distinctive features (i.e., cheekbones & jaw line); Face is slightly longer than wide.
Circular Face This facial shape is fuller & wider than the other shapes; No prominent jaw line; Round hairline.
Triangular Face Jaw line is wider; Face tapers from jaw line to forehead.
Square-Shaped Face The sides of the face are straighter (forehead, cheekbones, & jaw are aligned); Face is long as it is wide.
Rectangular-Shaped Face Face is slightly oblong; Jaw line & hair line are square.
Diamond-Shaped Face High, prominent cheekbones; Chin is pointed; Forehead & jaw line are tapered.
Inverted Triangular-Shaped Face is slightly longer than it is wide; Forehead is wider; Chin is pointed; Jaw is narrow.
Heart-Shaped Face This facial shape is the same as the inverted triangular-shape, but the hairline has a widow’s peak.
Baby. The shape of a baby’s face is drastically different than the adult face. It is rounder & less angular. As babies, we have “baby fat”. As we grow older, we lose this baby fat. The shape of the head is less of an oval/ellipse and more of a rounded-square shape. Because the baby’s face is smaller his or her features are more compressed & the features are divided into smaller parts starting at the eyebrows, which are depicted in the following image.
Adolescent. An adolescent is between the ages of 12-17. The face has become more firm and less “chubby” like a baby. The shape is similar to that of an adult’s, just a smaller frame and no prominent shapes (e.g., square, heart, etc.) are formed yet. Starting at the hairline, the facial features are divided into three parts.
In this portion of the lesson we will examine the differences between a man’s face and a woman’s face.
o The man’s face is more angular & the jaw line is more squared. This is not to say that a woman’s face cannot have the same features, but these are more common in men. The brow line or the brow bone can also be heavier in men.
o The woman’s face is more rounded, less angular, and the features are more subtle.
Lightness & darkness are important when drawing the face. If you want to emphasize light, you have to decide which direction you want the light to come from before you draw your figure. Lighting can create a certain mood (ex: natural sunlight on the beach or a spotlight on a dark stage).
Stage Light Front Light Rim Light Top Light 3-Quarter Light Side Light
You have just learned the different facial shapes, types, and lighting. It is now up to you to decide how you want to draw the face!
v Key Points to Remember
-The first step to drawing a face is deciding which facial shape you want to draw.
-Although there are many different shapes of the human face, start with the standard oval.
-The baby, adolescent, & adult faces all have unique characteristics.
-The shape of the baby’s head is more of a square shape divided into 4 parts starting at the eyebrows.
-The adolescent & adult heads are divided into 3 parts starting from the hairline.
-The man’s face is more angular & the woman’s face is more subtle.
-Don’t be hard on yourself & have fun!!