Learn to draw a side view portrait / face

In the previous tutorial, I described how to draw a face in the front view. If you want to draw portraits, you should also learn how to draw a portrait in the side view. Again, we apply the similar method as before.

Draw portraits in the side view

The side view is perhaps slightly easier to draw than the front view. Here you can simply draw the head shape through the contour of the face. This characteristic contour can be represented in the frontal view only by light and shadow and a few slight lines carefully drawn on the paper.
Learn to draw a side view portrait / face
Example of a portrait drawing in the side view

I would like to remind you that the rules of proportion are not irrefutable. They are only points of orientation that help you draw your own portraits - especially at the beginning.

Facial proportions in height

In the portrait drawing below, you see that the head is divided into three equal parts (1 to 3) and a smaller part (4). The measure here are also three nose heights. Part 1 is from chin to nose, part 2 is the nose itself - in this area also the eyes are located -, part 3 the forehead including the eyebrows and part 4 the hair. The eyes lie on the center line of the head. On the end line of the first part ends the back end or the rounding of the skull.

proportions to draw a side view portrait / face
Subdivision of the face in the side view


In the side view, the size ratios of the ears are also easier to recognize. They lie exactly in the area of the 2nd part of our subdivision and are as high as this.


The lips can be proportioned by a further subdivision from the first basic measure (part 1). The lower edge of the lower lip lies here on the center line of the basic measure. The mouth lies on the line of the upper third.

Facial proportions in length

The portrait can also be divided lengthwise into three large parts and one smaller part. The smaller, fourth part is the back of the head. This piece varies from person to person. On the line between the 2nd and 3rd part is the origin of the ear and the jaw. Part 1 is the most important area because it extends from the nasal tip to the eyes. Therefore, it is again divided into three parts for drawing the portrait in the side view.

The first third (from part 1) goes from the nasal tip to the lips and the eyebrows. This line is a very useful help in portrait drawing. Note that the lower jaw, lower lip, and chin are somewhat offset (applies to most people but not to all). On the line of the second third are the pupils. On this line also lies the mouth corner. With the final line of the last third the eye is ending.


If everything has been the same, your finished portrait will look something like the picture below.

sketch of the portrait in the side view
The finished sketch of the portrait in the side view

When you start to draw a face in the side view you can start to draw these construction lines and begin afterwards with sketching the portrait. When you are finished with the sketch, you can erase the construction lines and have the finished portrait drawing.
How to shade this sketch to make a completely finished portrait, I will describe in one of the following tutorials.

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