How To Draw Face Angles

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Hi! It's Hanairo!
Something I used to struggle a lot with is drawing different angles of the face. I've been practicing and feel like I've gotten better at it, so I thought I would share some of the things I've learned.

Think in 3D

It can be hard when drawing in 2D, but it's important to think about what you're drawing in 3D.
Guidelines can help you to visualize in 3D. You don't need a ton of them, just a few basic ones to start. Or if drawing digitally, you can have a 3D model assist you.

Front view

Start with a circle, then a vertical line down the center of the circle. This line marks the center of the face; the nose, mouth, and chin will always be on this line.

Draw a horizontal line for the eye placement. When looking at the face from the front, the vertical line is straight, and all horizontal lines can either be straight, or have a slight curve to them. The eyes are always one eye space apart from each other.
Draw the nose and mouth, they are evenly spaced.

The top of the ears are in line with the top of the eyes,
and the bottom of the ears are in line with the bottom of the nose, or just between the nose and mouth.

3/4 view

Start with a circle, then draw a curved vertical line like in the example.
Draw a line for eye placement.
From this angle we will see more of the cheek, and don't forget the brow bone
sticks out a bit as well. The nose may become more defined.
The eye that is farther from us will appear slightly smaller, and more narrow.

In the second drawing where the face is turned even more, the eye is right on the edge,
we almost can't see all of it.

Profile view

Start with a circle, then draw a curved line down the side of the circle, and a line for eye placement. Draw the chin, and the jaw will connect up to the ear.
The placement for the ear follows the same rule as before, and if we split the circle into quarters, it would be around the lower half, attached to the back of the center line.
The brow bone will stick out a bit, and we might be able to see the other eyelashes from the side. The eye sort of makes a triangle shape, and is not placed on the edge, but farther in about a half-eye space.
The nose will stick out, and we will also see the lips from this angle.

If the mouth is open, the jaw will lower, and we will see the teeth and tongue.

Avoid drawing the mouth on the side of the face like in the example.
The eye is like a glass dome, so the pupil does not touch the edge.

3/4 Back view

This one is a little tricky to explain, so please bear with me.
Start with a circle, then a line for eye placement.
Drawing an oval or circle to indicate the side of the skull can help.
Similar to the 3/4 front view, the brow bone and cheek stick out. Connect the jaw up to where the ear will go. Make sure to also change the angle of the ear.
We will see the eyelashes.

If you find it easier, you could actually start by drawing a face in a front 3/4 view,
and then adjust it like so to turn it into a back 3/4 view.
Feel free to try it out!

Bird's-eye view

For a semi-bird's-eye view, start with a circle, and a line down the center.
Then a curved line to indicate the top of the head.
The line for eye placement is very low on the circle, and all horizontal lines curve downward.

For a top view, draw a cross in the center of the circle.
Where the lines intersect is the very top of the head.
Depending on how far the ears stick out, we may be able to see them.
We cannot see the eyes, but will see the hairline, and the nose will stick out a little.

Worm's-eye view

Start with a circle, and a line down the center. Then a line for eye placement.
In Worm's-eye view, all horizontal lines curve upward.
The chin and jaw sort of make a loose W shape, and is placed within the circle this time.
We can barely see the hairline in this view.

I find it easier to draw this angle when it is also 3/4 view, rather than a front view.
Start the same way as a 3/4 view, but all horizontal lines curve upward, and the chin has
a more square shape, like this.

When looking down at the face, the ears are placed higher. When looking up at the face,
the ears are placed lower.

Extra tips: Mouth angles

Depending on the angle, and the expression, the mouth changes.
Most of the time, if the mouth is open, we can see the top row of teeth, and the tongue.
When looking down at the face, or if the character is frowning, we might see the bottom row of teeth.
Here are some examples of different mouths.

Extra tips: "The other eye"

We all know the struggle when it comes to "the other eye".
When drawing a front view digitally, it may be tempting to use a symmetry ruler,
copy and paste, or just cover up the other eye completely to avoid drawing it
in any way possible.
However when drawing traditionally, we cannot simply copy and paste it.
Therefore, our only choice is to be brave and try our best.
So, here's my tips:
First, don't focus on one eye at a time to perfect it, only to not be able to make the other eye match.
I find that it helps to draw both eyes little by little at the same time.
Lightly sketching them and making sure they are symmetrical the entire time.

And second, flip your canvas. If drawing traditionally, you can take a photo and flip it,
or you can hold it up to a mirror, or a light.
Flipping your drawing can help you see mistakes that you missed.

Closing

That is all of the tips I have. Now you can have fun with drawing different angles and making all kinds of interesting art!
Thank you for reading, and I hope this was helpful! See you next time!

If you're interested, you can view my art gallery on my website linked below. ↓↓↓

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