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$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
10 mins

Draw a simple profile from life in 10 minutes
This is a fun one to do with a friend; ask them to sit still for 10-15 minutes and sketch their face from the side, starting with a simple structure and building up to something more complex. Try sitting for them next and ask them to draw you. This exercise is taken from my book 'DRAW', released in October 2015.

Posted by Jake Spicer Published See Jake Spicer's 7 projects »
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  • How to create a portrait. A Head In Profile - Step 1
    Step 1

    Firstly look at your model, take in the shape of their head. Think about the structure underneath; it is the shape of the skull that underpins the shape of their hair.

    Draw a simple circle for the back of their head, this represents the back of the skull and gives your drawing some structure.

  • How to create a portrait. A Head In Profile - Step 2
    Step 2

    Building out from the circle look for some simple shapes in the head, ignore the features of the face.

    Draw the average line of the front of the face and the jaw line. Then draw in their neck, to their collar.

  • How to create a portrait. A Head In Profile - Step 3
    Step 3

    Now you can start to concentrate on the face, notice that the face takes up a very small part of the whole head. Draw the shapes that you really see; not how you expect the face to look.

    Start with the eyebrow, then draw the eye below looking at the shape of the space between them. Now draw the bottom of the nose; look at how it sits to the right of the eye and below. Finally the lips, almost halfway between the nose and chin.

  • How to create a portrait. A Head In Profile - Step 4
    Step 4

    You can now start to join the features, using your underdrawing as a rough guide.

    Look how far the ear is from the eye; nearly halfway through the head. Observe the shape of the nose carefully, it is a very characterful line.

  • How to create a portrait. A Head In Profile - Step 5
    Step 5

    Now for the hair! first look for big shapes, draw a simple line around the overall hair shape, collar and chin.

    You could stop here if you'd rather keep it simple.

  • How to create a portrait. A Head In Profile - Step 6
    Step 6

    It is the tone and texture in the face that makes it really stand out. Look for characterful marks in the hair and build up your lines to make it darker, creating tonal values. Lots of swift diagonal marks will make for convincing tone in the face.

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