In this tutorial, we will capture Scott Hoying’s likeness in outline. We’ll apply these basic principles:
- Work large to small.
- Measure proportions.
- Look for shapes and angles.
We’ll keep it simple by using a reference photo where Scott is directly facing the viewer.
We’re going to work large to small: first we’ll draw the outline of the face and hair, and then we’ll fill in the features within. A common rookie mistake is to start with details, but even carefully detailed facial features can fail to look like their subject, if their size and placement relative to each other aren’t quite right.
1. Head Outline
Study proportions. How does the height of Scott’s face compare to its width? I’d say that his face, hair included, is almost twice as tall as his face (at eye level) is wide. So I’ve drawn a rectangle a little less than twice as tall as it is wide, and a line of symmetry down the middle.
Where’s eye level? A woman’s or child’s eyes are nearly centered between top and bottom, but a man’s are typically above that due to his longer chin. Scott has a strong chin, but then, he also has tall hair…a rough measurement shows that it evens out! So I’m putting eye level at the halfway mark. Also, I see that the midpoint between top of hair and eye level is right about where his hairline is, and the midpoint between eye level and chin falls right between his nose and mouth. I’ve drawn guides accordingly.
Identify shapes. I’m about to try drawing Scott’s chin and jawline, but I want to be sure I get the shape right. What’s the width of the chin? I look for other facial features to compare it to. As it happens, the pupils of his eyes, the corners of his mouth, and the width of his chin nearly line up. So I draw guides for these, and then I can pencil in the chin and jawline with more confidence, placing the corners of the jaw where I see them: just below the mouth guide. (Don’t take this as a hard rule, as it will vary depending on the reference photo’s face angle.)
Next I’ll outline Scott’s hair. The line where head meets hair is a slightly rounded-off box with a little bit of a dip. The outline for the edge of the hair is quite distinctive: its part is directly above one of the eyes, and it extends boldly beyond the face box I’ve drawn. I draw what I see, and here’s what I get:
2. Place Facial Features
Study proportions. It turns out that I’ve already placed guides for nose and mouth as part of my earlier work of measuring proportions. But now that we’ve gotten this far, do they still look like Scott? I think the nose looks too long, so I bring it up just a little. I draw in the nose: in Scott’s case, it’s about the same width as the space between the eyes.
Identify shapes. Now I draw the imaginary line that eyebrows follow: blond eyebrows are still eyebrows, after all, and this line will help us shape the eyes in later steps. Now let’s check to see if our work so far looks like Scott…
I think we’re on the right track. Now we need, ears, and to give shape to the eyes and mouth. Carefully observe the eye shape; Scott’s eyes are shaped quite differently from Avi’s, for instance.
When drawing the mouth, watch how it curves: Scott is smiling slightly, so there’s an upward curve. (By contrast, a mouth in neutral expression tends to have a slight downward curve.) Draw what you see, bearing in mind that the bend of the corners of the mouth will make a world of difference to the expression.
3. Check Your Work
Now we’re ready to erase guides and see how the face looks without them.
I see a few things I need to fix: I’m going to adjust the eye shape: show the little creases on the corners. And then I draw in the beard. Scott’s beard is short and blond, so broken or easy-to-erase lines are best for delineating it until time to fill in its texture completely.
The “swish” of Scott’s hair is one of his most distinguishing features, so let’s capture it in broad strokes. Also, I spy some little marks under the eyes that I’m going to add.
And now we’re ready to refine the details as we shade or color. The eye shape and nose shape need some work; I’ll adjust them during the detail phase. But most importantly for now, our careful attention to overall proportions have given us a face that looks like Scott.
As you get accustomed to drawing a particular person’s face, you may find you can place features correctly with fewer guide marks and intermediate steps. You’ll learn to do the proportion-measuring and shape-finding in your head. Here’s a recap of what we did:
This is the second in a series of tutorials on drawing members of Pentatonix. The series so far: