How to Draw a Head: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginner Artists

Jane Doe


Drawing a head can seem daunting if you’re just starting your artistic journey. With some basic steps and practice, you will find that it’s an achievable and rewarding skill to develop. This guide is designed to break down the process into simple, manageable steps. Get your pencils ready, and let’s begin the exciting process of bringing a head to life on your canvas.

Step-by-Step Guide for Beginner Artists

Materials You’ll Need

  • A pencil (HB or 2B is a good start)
  • An eraser
  • Drawing paper
  • A good light source
  • A mirror or a reference photo

Step 1: Draw the Head Shape

Start by drawing a simple oval or egg shape on your paper. Don’t worry about getting it perfect; this is just the basic form of the head. The narrower end will be the chin, and the wider part will be where we’ll eventually draw the top of the head.

Step 2: Divide the Face

With a light hand, divide the oval in half both vertically and horizontally. The vertical line helps ensure the features are aligned in the center of the face. The horizontal line, which is where the eyes will sit, divides the face into two sections—top for the forehead and hair, and bottom for the nose, mouth, and chin.

Step 3: Eye Placement

Eyes are located halfway down the head. On the horizontal line you drew, mark two small ovals or almond shapes for the eyes, ensuring they are evenly spaced on either side of the vertical line. The space between the two eyes is approximately the width of another eye.

Step 4: Nose and Mouth

For the nose, come down from the eye line about halfway to the chin and make a small mark on the vertical line. This is where the bottom of the nose will be. For the lips, make another small mark halfway between the nose and the chin. Sketch the nose with a simple triangular shape and define the lips with a curved line for the top lip and a straighter one for the bottom lip.

Step 5: Ear Placement

The ears typically align with the top of the eyes to the bottom of the nose. On each side of the head, draw a C shape for the ears, making sure they follow this vertical guideline.

Step 6: Hairline and Jawline

For the hairline, place it a third of the way down from the top of the head to the eye line. Sketch it as a curved or wavy line depending on your character’s hairstyle. Refine the jawline from the ear down to the chin, giving it a softer or more angled look depending on the head you are drawing.

Step 7: Refining Features

Now that you have all the primary features placed, go back to each feature and add detail. Shape the eyes with pupils and eyelids, define the nostrils and tip of the nose, give the lips more form, and detail the ears. Remember, the more you observe from real life or photos, the more accurate your drawings will become.

Step 8: Shading and Finishing Touches

Shading adds depth to your drawing. Observe where the light source is coming from, and start shading accordingly. Generally, the side opposite the light source will have a shadow. Use your pencil lightly to build up shades and create dimension in the face. Add hair strands, eyebrows, and any final details you wish to include.

Practice Makes Perfect

Drawing heads is a fundamental skill in art that opens up a world of creative possibilities. Remember, practice is key. Your first attempts may not be perfect, but with continuous practice, you’ll see noticeable improvements. Keep experimenting with different head shapes, angles, and expressions.



Drawing a head may seem intimidating at first, but with this step-by-step guide and some practice, you’ll be able to create realistic and expressive faces in no time. Remember to use references and observe real life for more accuracy. Most importantly, keep practicing and have fun! Happy drawing!  So go ahead and grab your pencils, paper, and reference photos or mirrors, and start bringing your characters to life on the page. With time and dedication, you’ll soon be able to draw heads with confidence and ease.



Q: Can I use this guide to draw different types of heads, such as animals or fantasy creatures?

Yes, the basic steps outlined in this guide can be applied to drawing various types of heads. However, you may need to adjust certain features and proportions depending on the subject. Keep practicing and experimenting with different types of heads to improve your skills.

Q: How long will it take me to become proficient at drawing heads?

A: The time it takes to become proficient at drawing heads varies for each individual. It depends on factors such as your level of dedication, practice, and natural talent. Some artists may pick it up quicker than others, but with consistent practice and determination, anyone can improve their skills in a relatively short amount of time.

Q: Can I use this guide to draw realistic heads or just cartoonish ones?

A: This guide focuses on the basic principles of drawing a head, which can be applied to both realistic and cartoon style drawings. However, you may need to adjust certain techniques and proportions depending on the style you are aiming for

Q: Is tracing a helpful practice for learning how to draw heads?

A: Tracing can be a useful exercise for beginners to understand proportions and basic shapes. However, it is important to move on to freehand drawing and practicing from observation in order to develop your own skills and style. Tracing should be used as a tool to aid in learning, not as

Q: Are there any other tips or resources for improving my head drawing skills?

A: Yes, you can find many tutorials and references online for drawing heads. You can also try attending a class or workshop, joining an art community, or getting feedback from other artists to continue honing your skills.


About Me

An avid art enthusiast and tech innovator, Jane Doe founded to merge her passions, offering a unique platform that transforms everyday moments into sketched treasures