Drawing A Face In Proportion, Three Quarter View

October 24, 2011

Drawing Faces, Sketch Proportions

What I love about drawing faces from a three quarter view is that you can feel the depth and shape of the face more then when you are drawing it from the front.

This also presents us with a few complications in drawing the face. As the face turns further away from you the features that are furthest from you diminish in size while some features that will be directly in front of you may appear larger or will take on another shape.

In this post I hope to address those points and break down drawing a face in a three quarter view so that anyone can understand it.

Step 1.

Let’s start by drawing a circle. Next we will determine the direction the head is facing by drawing a horizontal and vertical line wrapped around the circle.

To establish the center of the face, draw a line straight down from where the vertical and horizontal lines cross.

Step 2.

Next divide the head into 3 equal parts, the horizontal line (brow line) to the hair line, the brow line to the nose and the nose to the chin. Now slice off a bit of the circle to complete the basic shape of the head.

Now draw a second horizontal line underneath the brow line for the eyes.


Step 3.

Determine the width of the nose and use the same measurement to find the width of the eyes.

Tip: The eyes and the nose are equal in width but in the case of the three quarter view and depending on what angle you are viewing your subject from, the eye furthest away from you will be slightly smaller then the other.

When measuring the width of the nose you are measuring from where the nose connects to the face not to the tip of the nose.

 The center of the mouth is drawn on the center line of the face and the basic width of the mouth is found by drawing a straight line down from the center of both eyes.

Tip: As is with the nose and the eyes, as part of the mouth moves further away from you it decreases in size and in this case the furthest part of the mouth is hidden entirely form view.

Step 4.

The ear begins on the eye line peaks at the brow line and ends at the nose line.

This is a simplified tutorial on drawing a face from a three quarter view and when viewed from a slightly different angle the facial features will begin to change its shape but the basic principles and guidelines still apply.

Again practice makes perfect and the more faces you draw using this method the easier it will be for you to draw faces from a three quarter view.

Exercise: Look through some magazines or online for faces in the three quarter view and try drawing the guidelines on their faces to help you understand how it all fits together.

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