3 mistakes to avoid

when drawing a side-face


3 mistakes to avoid when drawing a side-face

When we draw a human face, one of the most central aspects are often the eyes. Though, when it comes to drawing a side-face, this is a bit different: eyes aren't the focus here.
But we have nevertheless a vast variety of different ways to show emotions and facial expressions in side-face sketches.

They can be super-expressive.

But we need to take some essentials under consideration when sketching them.
Some DONT's we should better avoid to not destroy the entire side-face drawing.

Here are 3 mistakes, that are among the most common ones when drawing a side-face. When you avoid them, you've already an awesome sketch in front of you!

side faces by Barbara Baumann

#1 Eyes

Don't draw them too big.

Usually we focus on eyes.
That's at least what I'm doing. Eyes are the very first detail that I'm drawing in a portrait sketch, right after the draft.

But they are clearly less important in a side-face:
BUT: we tend to draw the eye here too large. Being aware of this fact is already a good start. And you can use the eyebrows as an orientation to stay short when it comes to sketching the length of the eye.

#2 Lips

Don’t draw them too flat.

Lips are protruding.
And they're super expressive and will convey a lot of emotion in a side-face sketch.

Make sure that you draw soft, curved lines to capture the upper lip and the lower lip. The shapes of those curved lines depend on the facial expression of the person, you portray, and on the unique shape of the lips.

#3 Back of the head

Don't flatten it.

One of the most common mistakes I see (and I tend to do this myself as well, for sure), is that the back of the head is drawn too flat. Which is influencing the entire appearance of the portrait. (You won't think how much influence this even has on the perceived proportions of the face.)

So, be confident and draw a voluminous ball for the back of the head.
It will boost the expression of your side-face.

Good to know.

... well, those 3 mistakes are really helpful to know.

But it's even better to sketch a side-face entirely yourself and to directly register all those learnings in the muscle memory of your hand. And to sketch even more human faces and other motifs to train your muscle memory.

I've a new drawing adventure for you to do so:

Portrait Sketches: Emotions & Perspectives.
Lots of amazing, challenging portrait motifs, that we draw step by step together in this class.

Portrait Drawing Focus Class

You'll learn:

- essential basics about human portraits

- step by step tips & tricks how to sketch human faces quickly in an expressive way

- how to capture emotions in a human face

- how to draw human faces in different, challenging perspectives

+ bonus material: little live drawing sessions

Portrait Sketches Emotions and Perspectives

I'd love to see your drawings - feel free to tag me on Instagram, when you post them so that I can give you feedback and a feature.
Or you can show us your sketches in our private creative group
HERE on Facebook.

Barbara Baumann Illustration

About the Author

Hallo, I'm an award-winning illustrator and drawing tutor from Austria. After great experiences in the Marketing and Database sector, I finally realised that I simply need to follow my enthusiasm and fascination for drawing and illustrating.  

What fascinates me most, is this way to communicate without using any words. So expressive, so global. And this leads me to my second fascination about drawing: the exchange with others, with you! In my drawing courses I simply love to see the enormous developments of each participant - initiated by exchange and practice. That's what I like to do here, too. 

The idea for this blog comes from the bottom of my heart: to get you close to drawing and to show you that you too can draw #drawinggang  It's all about learning to feel the drawing!

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