How to Draw a Human Head step by step

How to Draw a Human Head with XPPen Drawing Tablet

XPPen 2024-02-18 17:53:30 6 min read

For anyone looking to be an aspiring artist or designer, one of the critical elements to master is knowing how to draw a human head. It will help you improve an artist's foundational element, especially if they are at the beginning stages of their training.

Getting a better understanding of facial anatomy will also help with basic features and how to handle proportions. It will aid in growing an artist's observational skills as well since there are so many elements to consider when learning how to draw a head of any kind. Below, we'll look at a step-by-step guide on how to draw a head's shape and how to draw one on the XPPen Drawing Tablet.

Video Guide

Click on the video below to see how to draw noses step-by-step:

Getting Started with XPPen Drawing Tablet

For those who are serious about their artistry and want to utilize the power of digital technology, the XPPen drawing tablet is a superior option in many ways. It has an incredible level of detail with colours and a wide colour palette. It also comes with a pen with 16K pressure levels. This allows it to be as hyper-accurate as if you were to use a regular pen or pencil and helps you to capture the nuances of pressure that an artist needs.

It also comes with quite a large screen, perfect for capturing the essence of what you want to draw. In addition, you can use a range of free software options with the XPPen drawing tablet, and this is perfect for beginners trying to learn the ropes. These include drawing basics, learning animation, and even learning to draw an anime head instead.

Even before looking at different types of perspective models or alternatives to how to draw a head that is not a standard type, we want to start thinking about the 'head sphere'. This is another foundational tactic when learning to draw anatomy and detailed shapes. That's due to the spherical nature of a head, and this will help you manage your spacing well and add the right volume level. When you eventually master how to draw a head, you can consider other lessons. These include drawing other parts of the head with the right definition, such as the nose itself.

How to draw a human head from the frontal view

How to draw a human head from the frontal view

  • For all of our guides, you will start with a circle that the software can easily do for you. With this first one, you will want to put a crosshair square in the middle of it.

  • The next step is to form the ears on each side, which can be done by extending the outline further. You will also extend out the lower forehead by extending the shape downward. As well as this, you need to be with two more things. First, there should be equal spacing with the initial drawing and you want to fill it with a neutral colour such as grey.

  • From here, you want to reduce how clearly you can see the guidelines, which means reducing the opacity. You want to add your first definition layer by shading the cheeks on each side and forming the jaw.

  • The final step is to transform the square into a trapezoid and make the bottom narrower while expanding the width of the top. You can eliminate all guidelines here, leaving you with your front-facing head.

How to draw a human head from the side view

How to draw a human head from the side view

  • Start as you did with the front-facing view, a circle with a square inside of it with a crosshair.

  • From there, you're going to head to the bottom left portion of the square and work on drawing an outline of the side profile. This will require some skill so make sure to take it slowly. You want to include the ear and extend out the jawline naturally on the bottom right. Don't forget to shade in a neutral colour. Here you will also need to ensure that you have equal spacing as well.

  • Again, we're going to start to reduce the overall opacity of your guidelines while at the same time adding in a nose shape and a more natural curve and angle of a jaw. You should also darken the head in the centre in a circle shape.

  • From here, you can finish by adding hollow eye sockets and removing the rest of the guidelines, and you should have your side profile head.

How to draw a human head from a three-quarter view

How to draw a human head from a three-quarter view

  • You will draw the same circle as before but this time you'll draw an ellipse on the left side of the circle with a cross through it. It's a good idea to first train yourself on handling 2-point perspectives to give you a better foundation.

  • You want to find the central axis of where the face direction is. Below the vertical line of the ellipse, you'll want to extend out a jaw to the right side of the face. Again, you'll want to fill in with a neutral colour. Make sure that everything is equally spaced from the central axis.

  • At this stage, your guidelines will need to become less visible. You can start to adjust the jawline and the chin by changing the curvature and angle. You also want to darken the ellipse you drew at the beginning.

  • Eliminate all background colours and guidelines, and you'll be all set with this model.

How to draw a human head from above in Half Profile

How to draw a human head from above in Half Profile

  • A more advanced attempt at drawing a human head begins with this concept. You're going to start with the familiar circle, and this time, you're going to draw an ellipse that is going clockwise. You'll also want to draw an oversized crosshair with a similar angle.

  • From there, you want to focus on developing a central axis that will help show the direction of the face. There's a vertical line in the ellipse and here you'll want to draw a jaw extending out to the right side of the face. You should again make sure you colour it in with a neutral colour.

  • The opacity of your guidelines will be reduced here, and you will shade in the ellipse to showcase the definition. You'll want to add more curvature to the chin and sharpen the angles of where the jaw will be.

  • Completely remove the crosshairs and any additional guidelines. Make sure to smooth out the head, chin and jaw, and you'll be finished.

How do you draw a human head from below in the half profile?

How do you draw a human head from below in the half profile?

  • Start with the circle as an initial starting point. This time, you will place the cross on the left-hand side and draw a counterclockwise ellipse. This will help in guiding your head shape.

  • Your axis will help with directing the shape of the head upwards. Make sure to draw the jaw below the vertical line and to the right side of the face as well. This time, you also want to add a cylinder below the head to create a neck and make sure to fill it in with a neutral colour again.

  • The opacity of your supportive guidelines will then need to be reduced. You'll also shade in the ellipse to showcase definition and direction. Make sure to also shade in the chin that was created near the neck portion on the right side.

  • Your final step is to remove all guidelines and the crosshairs. You'll want to finish by connecting the chin via lines to the ellipse, which will help show depth. Then you're all done.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

While it seems that it's easy to draw circles and then form them into a human head, there are some elements you need to be aware of to avoid errors. First is the need to fully comprehend the proportions as the human head is not a perfect shape and can come in various forms. All the parts of the head, from the chin to the ears, can also vary and need to be proportionally shaped.

From there, another common mistake to avoid is not capturing perspective properly. You're drawing a three-dimensional shape in a two-dimensional plane. That means as the head moves, so will the depth and dimensions, and you need to be able to capture that in every direction.

If you're looking for tips to overcome these challenges then you'll first want to look into patience. Art is not about rushing through things and putting a lot of effort into your craft is essential. The details need to be captured precisely and this requires much repetition and patience in the background.

Make sure to start with the real thing, meaning utilize reference photos or draw directly from real life. You won't just gain the necessary practice. You will also give yourself enough variation in that practice to continuously improve.

In the end

Even the best artistic tools will only get you so far and the XPPen is an excellent tool for artists of all skill sets. But make sure you're also ready to put in the dedication necessary to become great at art. That means mastering and practising the foundational elements. This includes how to draw a human head, and always working to refine even the simplest artistic tasks.

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Originated from 2005, XPPen is now one of the top brands under HANVON UGEE, integrated with digital drawing products, content and service as a globally notable digital brand of digital art innovation.

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