What Everyone Ought to Know About Proportions

In my early teens when I started drawing, I remember wondering how those professional artists could draw such perfect pictures and well proportioned faces when no matter how hard I tried, what I drew turned out to look like a rendition of Picasso.  Well if you’ve ever struggled to get the proportions right on a face, then this post is for you.

Step 1.

I like to start my faces off with a circle.Draw a vertical and horizontal line going right through the middle to create a sniper’s scope. This is the foundation of the face viewed from the front.

face proportions 1



Step 2.

In this next step we will be adding a few more horizontal lines. The top line represents the hairline. The second line from the top represents the eyebrows. The third from the top represents the nose and the bottom is the chin. As pointed out in the picture the spaces between the 4 horizontal lines are equal in height.

face proportions 2


Step 3. Next, we add pockets for the ears by drawing two vertical lines slightly tilted inwards at the bottom.

face proportions 3


Step 4.

The eye line is drawn under the halfway mark and it’s on this line that we draw the eyes. Now on this horizontal line you should be able to fit almost 5 eyes in width. So go ahead and pull out your ruler and make sure that there is an eyes width between the other 2 eyes. We’re going to be doing some more measuring so feel free to keep your ruler out.

The nose, amazingly, is just as wide as your eye, generally speaking. So, on the nose line, mark where the nose should be. (The nose line is two thirds of the way down between the half line/eyebrows and the mouth)

And for the mouth draw 2 imaginary lines straight down from the center of each eye; the mouth should stay within those bounds. The mouth sits on the curved line at the bottom of the circle.

face proportions 4


Step 5.

Now all you have to do is fill in the features, erase your guidelines and you have a well proportioned face.

face proportions 5

Disclaimer: the measurements mentioned above are guidelines and are not necessarily going to fit each face you are drawing. Each face is unique and has it’s own special features but I hope this will come in handy next time you find yourself stuck drawing a face.

face proportions 6


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