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Drawing can be a rewarding past time for anyone looking to find an outlet or a hobby. It's therapeutic and helps you to relax and delve into your inner creative spirit. But many people lack the formal training for the art of drawing, and they think they don't have what it takes to get started. Did you know the face is a great place to start? There are some simple techniques that anyone can learn if you apply them and believe in yourself.

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Start with a large basic circle.

Anyone can start with a basic circle. Draw a circle using a pencil and sketchpad. Then make a horizontal line below it for the chin and sketch the jawline. You will need to draw a vertical line down the center of the face and make sure the sides stay symmetrical. This will serve as your starting place to draw the face and begin to add on features that will make it more recognizable. There's an old saying that applies here: "Always begin with the end in mind." If you keep this in mind as you draw, you will have the picture of the result you want before you get to that point.

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Next, draw the guidelines on the face.

There are two ways you can draw guidelines for the face. One is to use a ruler. The other is not to use a ruler. If you use a ruler, you will want to mark off spaces beside your drawing that are the same size and height as your drawing. This will help you segment off the sections of the face as you draw. If you decide not to use the ruler method, you can draw the sections beginning with the center line in the middle and "A, B, C" on the top and "1, 2, 3" on the bottom to serve as a guideline for the facial proportions.

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How to Draw the Eyes

After you have created your lines to segment the face, you will need to draw the eyes. Start on the center line by drawing four small vertical lines where the eyes will be located. This does not have to be perfect, and you can vary where you draw the lines slightly by putting them above or below this line. Always refer to your subject and don't just follow steps without considering any variations in your subject's actual features. Techniques should serve as a guideline only. You should always keep the features of the subject in mind as you draw to capture the reality of their uniqueness.

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Next, draw a proportionate nose.

Start by extending the two lines where the inner corners of each eye are located to draw the nose. You need to focus on keeping the eyes and nose in direct proportion to each other. Draw a small box that determines where the nose will be. Then draw a temporary circle at the tip of the nose to determine where to begin. Make the shapes beneath the nose more angular.

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Add the eyebrows.

Next, extend the nose bridge past the eyelids to define the brow bone. Then use a sketching pencil and add the eyebrows to set the brow bone and draw the lines very lightly. Draw the eyebrows along the brow bone in a very light pencil and shade in as needed. When you are drawing a male face, it's essential to make them dark enough to appear masculine but don't overdo it as this can create too much of a contrast around the brow line.

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Use a triangular shape to draw lips.

Draw a vertical line down the center of each eye to serve as a boundary for the lips. Place the triangle in the small box under the nose area. Allow space for the lips by drawing a triangle that should reach up to the tip of the nose. Space the nose correctly to allow for space of the lips. Pay attention to the finer details of the subject's nose that you are drawing to focus on the details.    

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Next, add the ears.

To draw the ears, mark with a small line to indicate where the ears should go (preferably between the center line and line 2). Then draw the ears between these two areas. Watch for the natural curves of the subject you are drawing and follow the natural contours of their face to make it realistic.  

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Draw the hair.

Draw the upper hairline first between sections A and B that you drew previously when you first started your drawing of the face. If you are depicting a man with a receding hairline, go above line A. Then add hair from the sides to create a full head of hair. For a woman's face, you will want to draw longer hair to reflect the length and thickness of your subject.

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Completing the Picture

Once you spend time drawing each of the features of the face following the directions and techniques we've provided, you can fine-tune the features and start brushing up on each element to make it better and more realistic. Adding details to your work will improve the overall look and keep the image proportional to your real subject's features. Capturing a face in its natural appearance is the most important thing when it comes to drawing a person's portrait. Once you have mastered the art of drawing a face, you can add other features to improve your drawings even more.

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Starting your first sketch

Now that you have all of the basics down, it's time to go for it! Start off with a clean sketchpad and pencils and go for it. Even Picasso had to start somewhere. So take our tutorial and follow it, then see what you can create on your own. You'll never know what you can do until you try. Who knows? You might be the next Rembrandt just waiting to blossom. It all starts with that first drawing!

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