The Art Lab, Episode 30: Simple Face Drawing Tutorial

Halloo, guys! I’m excited to present a simple tutorial for drawing faces! 😀 I’ve heard a lot of you say “I CANNOT draw people” or “faces are SO hard,” and you know what? I kinda agree. People can be really hard to draw. But you can do it! Today I’m going to show you an easy way to draw a face with just a pencil and paper, and then I’ll show you some different combinations you can use to get all sorts of interesting characters. 🙂

So. To begin, here’s how to draw an average, boring face without looking off a photo of a person. XD (I – and probably you too – can draw a better face when looking off of a picture, but sometimes you just want to make up something, right?)


Technique: Drawing Faces

Step One:

Sketch out an upside-down egg shape for the face and two short curved lines below for a neck. A grid like this is nice if you need help with the placement of the features (like I do). Just draw a vertical line down the middle of the face and a horizontal one between a half and a third down the face. You can see that my sketch is far from perfect, but that’s okay. We’ll touch it up as we go.

face 1 (853x1280)

Step Two:

Using the grid, draw two oval or almond-shaped eyes. (You can add more grid lines if you like, but you don’t need to.) Eyes are usually smaller than you think, at least in my case. I drew these a bit too big. Getting them symmetrical is hard, but you know what? In reality, no one’s eyes are perfectly symmetrical – look in the mirror!

face 2 (953x1280)


Step Three:

One common mistake made when drawing eyes is to draw the iris as a whole circle. Unless you are surprised or unusually pop-eyed, you won’t be able to see the whole iris. So make your circle go off the eyeball, like this:

face 3 (1280x853)

Step Four:

Draw a tiny circle towards one side for the highlight, and a bigger, filled-in circle (or dot) for the pupil. Also draw a curved line above and below each eye for the eyelids.

face 4 (1280x853)

Step Five:

Draw the eyelashes. This can be pretty tricky, and I think I drew too many eyelashes here. From far away, you can only see a few individual spikes of eyelashes, not a whole fringe. (Again, look in the mirror if you need help.)

face 5 (1280x853)

Step Six:

Heh heh, this would usually be where you color in the irises, but I kind of forgot about it until step ten. XD You can skip to there now if you’d like or just do it later.

Anyway, now we need the nose. Draw two curved lines (kind of like you did with the neck) for the bridge of the nose, and two parentheses-like curved lines below it. How far apart you make them determines how big the nose is, as well as how far down on the face you put them.

face 6 (1280x853)

Step Seven:

Curve your parentheses around a bit more to look like “C’s” facing each other. Then connect the bottoms with a wide curve or “U.”

face 7 (1280x853)

Step Eight:

For the top of the lips, make a flattened “M” shape, which I think looks kind of like a flying bird. 🙂

face 8 (1280x1178)

Step Nine:

Connect the two ends of the “M” with a long curve. You can make it almost flat or very arched depending on how full you want the lips to be. Draw a line in the middle that echoes the curves of the top lip line.

face 9 (1280x853)

Step Ten:

Now I remembered to color in the eyes. XD A simple way to do this is to color a dark line around the outside of the iris and fill it in with lighter pencil. Make sure to darken especially the top of the iris to make it look more realistic.

face 11 (1280x853)

Step Eleven:

Now for the hair, which I am pretty terrible at. XD Oh well, you can tell it’s hair at least.

Using the face shape sketch you did at the very beginning, curve the hair around the head like so. (I decided to make the head a little shorter than I had originally sketched.) For this hairstyle, I kind of drew two elongated teardrop or comma shapes that meet at the middle line of the face grid.

Also now is the time to define the face shape at the jaw and chin. You kind of just have to play around with this part and experiment. A more round, curved jawline will look like a younger face, and a sharper, more angular jawline will look older or more masculine.

face 12 (1195x1280)

Step Twelve:

Start shading the hair. WAIT, DON’T PANIC BECAUSE I SAID SHADING. This is very simple. Draw darker, closer together lines beside the neck and at the top of the head, and lighter, farther apart lines for the rest of the hair. Don’t draw many lines at all at the top sides of the head, which will make the hair look more shiny and highlighted. Leave a little gap where the two sides of the hair meet for a part. Or just look at the picture and figure it out for yourself. XD

face 14 (853x1280)

Step Thirteen:

Finish shading the hair. Also *facepalm* I almost forgot the eyebrows. XD Oh well, you can add those sooner or later, it doesn’t really matter. But you should add them or the face will look kind of weird and blank. Eyebrows are simple: just draw a bunch or really short, slightly curved lines. Or you can draw just a single curved line for an even simpler, less realistic version.

Lastly, erase any grid lines and smudges, add shading around the face and under the neck if you want to (you don’t have to), and you’re done! Ta-da!

To tell the truth, this isn’t my best portrait. The face is too round, the eyes are too big… but that’s alright. This is what you have to do – if it doesn’t turn out good the first time, do it a second… and a third, and a fourth. 🙂

face 16 (916x1280)

Now since you know how to put everything together, here are some ways to change up the facial features. It’s so fun to try different combinations!

Here’s another Art Lab post I did on how to draw eyes: Episode 23.

faces 1 (1280x1277)faces 2 (1280x853)faces 3 (1280x1087)faces 4 (1280x1048)faces 5 (1280x1033)

faces 6 (909x1280)

Have fun mixing and matching! Also before you go, I wanted to show you a colored pencil face drawing I did off of different pictures. You can tell I do a lot better when I look off of something. XD

Which little cutie is your favorite?

girls drawing (1024x377).jpg

Well, I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Would you like me to do another face tutorial, like maybe how to do colored pencil portraits or profile portraits or an easier or harder version? What do you want to learn how to draw? Maybe I can do the next Art Lab from one of your suggestions!

Thanks for reading, dears, and have fun drawing!


Beauty from Ashes, Part 2

Beauty from Ashes (800x800).jpg

Beauty from Ashes is a short story I’m working on. It’s kind of a hybrid story between Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast because fairy tale medleys are fun. 😀

I’m so glad you guys liked the last part! (Click here to read it if you haven’t yet.) Thanks for all of your sweet comments. ♥ Are you ready for Part 2?

Just to refresh your memory, here’s an excerpt from the end of Part 1:

But the worst part was, I had promised, and my promise was backed by the terrifying threat of the Beast’s roar. I had to go back tomorrow, like it or not.

Oh. No.


Beauty from Ashes

Part 2.

Furious rage could not even begin to describe Druscilla and Lady Tremaine’s feelings toward me when I returned home single-shoed with only Anastasia’s roses in hand. I thought they would explode into tiny pieces. Even my frantic, tearful excuses and description of the Beast did little to calm them. I was sent to bed without dinner (though I had barely had lunch), and given twice as many chores for the next day.

When I awoke the following morning, I was more exhausted than when I went to sleep – Beast had tormented my dreams all night. By late afternoon it was nearly time to meet the Beast and I still had chores to do. I whirled the duster up and down the banister, polished the table in 30 seconds flat, and shooed a herd of dust bunnies frantically out the door. I could hear feet clumping down the stairs, but I didn’t wait for further instructions. I was out the door and in the forest in the time it takes Anastasia and Druscilla to pick out their cereal bowls.

I had one last chore – gathering those twenty white roses for Druscilla. This was the chore I dreaded most, for to complete it I had to meet the Beast once again.

I timidly entered the clearing, glancing this way and that for signs of the Beast. Nothing. I breathed a sigh of relief and started picking white roses, much faster this time. But just like the day before, I had only barely finished when I heard twigs crackling.

The Beast was here.

“I’m here. I came,” I managed to gasp as I cringed under his imposing glare.

“I see you succeeded in snatching a few more of my roses,” Beast frowned impressively. “I thought I had taught you a lesson the first time, but apparently you are slow to learn. WHY are you STEALING my ROSES?” Beast bellowed.

“I’m so terribly, terribly sorry, Sir Beast, Sir. I – I didn’t know they were your roses. You never told me!” I whimpered. “It’s just that… my sister needs these roses, I – I mean she wants these roses, very badly, and if I don’t bring them my mother is likely to shut me up in the house. Which means I can’t come back to see you.” I looked hopefully up at his face, searching for any signs of relent. Though his expression was harder than a stone chopping block, his words surprised me.

“Very well. You may take them on one condition: you must serve me for twenty days – one day for each rose. Meet me here each evening and I will put you to work. Or, if you would rather not…” Beast shrugged, “leave the roses – and your other shoe – with me.”

This was hard. Would I face the fury of my stepsister and stepmother and go barefoot for who knows how long, or face the Beast every day for twenty days? I buried my face in my hands in agony. I knew what I had to do, but I couldn’t bring myself to say the words.

“I will serve you for twenty days,” I whispered at last.

A tiny spark glimmered in Beast’s eyes. It looked almost like… hope, or gladness. But he only grunted and said, “Very well. Your service starts today.”

My shoulders sagged. I was far too tired to do anything properly, much less to serve the demanding Beast. But all I said was, “As you say. What is my task?”


Half an hour later I dragged myself home, picking bits of moss and leaves from my dirty dress and clinging to a handful of limp white roses. The Beast had ordered me to make a couch from wood, leaves, and moss. It was backbreaking work that he could have accomplished far easier than I, but he never lifted a finger to help. All he did was stare at me – or more like stare through me – the entire time, as if he were prying open my heart and searching for secrets. The Beast was a strange creature.

He only got stranger the next day. He sat on his couch and asked me question after question – who were my parents? Where did I live? Did I have any siblings? Was I good at sewing? Dancing? Painting? And many other questions, some normal and some unsettling. When I asked him why he wanted to know all this, he only shrugged and said that if I were to be his slave, he had better know some of my background. Secretly I wasn’t so sure. The Beast didn’t seem like one to care where I came from or who I was, as long as I did the things he required.

Instead of voicing my doubts, I began to question him. What was he anyway – a huge, hairy human or a talking animal? And if an animal, what kind, and how did he learn to speak? Where did he live? What was he doing here? How could I be sure that those rosebushes were really his? But though I bombarded him with questions, he remained stubbornly silent.

“Go on,” I prompted him, “it’s only fair that a slave should know something about her master. Why aren’t you answering my questions?”

Beast answered soberly. “Ella, girl, I do not answer because you would not believe me. The time has not yet come for you to know these things. I shall tell you soon enough, when the time is right and not before.”

I cocked my head in puzzlement. This was strange. It was like my father was talking to me. The Beast sounded almost wise, almost kind… Almost, but not quite. I shook my head. Would I ever understand this creature?

In the days that followed, I did a variety of tasks for the Beast. I brought him mushrooms, nuts, and other good things to eat from the forest; I tended his rosebushes; I entertained him with stories and sang to him songs from my childhood; and sometimes I simply walked through the trees with him, answering his questions and talking with him.

A strange thing began to happen. Each day Beast seemed to soften, each day he seemed more like my friend and less like my master, until finally we walked and talked and laughed together as naturally as a brother and sister. I could not fathom how this astonishing change came about or whether it was on his part or mine; I only knew that instead of dreading the daily meetings, I soon looked forward to them eagerly.

My eyes were bright with tears as I walked the familiar path to meet the Beast for the last time. Oddly enough, I would miss him very, very much. Who else could I pour out my troubles to? Who else would cheer me up when I was weary of life?

Who else would be my friend, the best friend I had ever had?

Beast looked sad and nervous too. There was an uncomfortable pause, then Beast said softly, “I have one last question and one last task for you, Ella, my dear. They will be the hardest of all.” Beast lowered his eyes and took a deep breath to steady himself. “I want you to answer honestly – you know me well enough to know that I will see through a lie.”

Beast reached out and held my trembling hands in his. My mind was racing. Why was he so anxious? He was frightening me. What was he going to ask me? I could think of nothing that qualified as “the hardest question of all.” He’d asked me everything, everything already. What was there left to ask?

Beast swallowed hard and looked me straight in the eye.


Mega-cliffhanger! Mwahahaha, I’m so cruel. XD It’s too bad you already know the background fairytales, or it would be super suspenseful. 😛

Oh, and since I couldn’t quite find a picture of Ella as I imagine her, I drew one. I think it turned out pretty well – except that her eyes are a little too big. XD I meant them to be big, but not that big. XD Also, this is not how Ella looks in her normal daily life. She looks like this when… well, you’ll see. 😉


I hope you enjoyed this rather long second part of Beauty from Ashes. There’s more to come!


P. S. You only have until September 10th to submit questions for the Sisters Q&A! I’m sooo excited to answer them. 🙂

P. P. S. I have a good idea for my first entry for Grace‘s TIWC! 😀 The deadline is the 8th, so I’ll post that soon.