How to draw a face/head

People always say to me, "Oh I'm no good at drawing. I can barely even draw a stick figure." Well, just so you know, people are the hardest things to draw and if all you are trying to do is get the idea of a person across to communicate, a stick figure does it for our left brains. That's what I use in the game of pictionary just like everybody else.

People are hard to draw because we all know what they SHOULD look like. We see people every the mirror or standing in front of us. Our eyes know the proportions and what goes where. So when someone draws a person incorrectly, we instinctively know.

However, EVERY person is different and has different proportions. That's what makes us all individuals. But there are a few basic rules to follow if you want to draw a general picture that resembles a non-specific person. Here are some images that you can print and use to learn the general rules (for personal use or classroom use only).

instructions on proportions of the face and head
you can print this head map to use as a tracing template when practicing your head drawings

a detailed explanation of drawing a general head


  1. Really useful post! Great drawing tips and advice, I've always struggled with achieving the correct proportions and these images really helped me out! I work for a new social blogging site called, and as just wondering if you would be interested in sharing your posts with us? It wouldn't affect your existing blog at all, and I know we have many aspiring illustrators in our community that would love to read through your work. Let me know what you think!

    All the best,


    1. Thanks for your interest. I have to be very careful with my work and where it's posted since I represent children's art. Therefore I make it a point to keep my posts on my blog which I can control the content of. Thanks again for your interest, but the answer has to be "No."

  2. We shared a link to your blog in a post we recently shared! Thanks for your tips! Feel free to share.

    The Brashear Kids blog.

  3. Jessica Shaw-Nolff1/31/2014 9:50 AM

    Thanks for offering these. I'm teaching an advanced art class to 5th graders and these will really help to illustrate (no pun intended) basic portrait drawing.


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I'm a freelance illustrator working in the children's book industry. I love kids and raising my own 4 children. They are the inspiration and the passion behind all I do in art and in life. See my website at

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