QUICK TUTORIAL: How to Draw a Nose from the Front

Today I decided to put together a quick tutorial on how to draw a nose from the front. Got some requests for tutorials over the years and after my recent post of a quick step-by-step of a lip sketch, I got reminded by a few more requests. I’ll do my best to post these in between projects. Maybe on Tuesdays. Ooh, we can call it Tutorial Tuesdays!

Of all the ways I’ve learned to draw a nose, this stuck to me the most because I found I could easily manipulate it to create the different sizes and styles of noses I wanted to draw. All methods vary and of course you have to take into account artistic style and exaggeration.

1) Start off with lightly sketching geometric shapes of a three dimensional nose. Kinda looks like half of a hexagonal pyramid viewed from below. One wide in the middle while the two on each side are a bit skewed. I adjust the size of the pyramids according to how wide or narrow I want the nose.

2) Next, sketch in a large circle for the center of the nose towards the bottom of the pyramid. Add one smaller circle on each side. The width of these circles will affect how wide or narrow your nostrils will look. For now, just sketch in small circles that are a little more than half of the bigger circle so you can at least get an idea.

3) Start to sketch out the main shape of the nose as shown above using your shapes as a guide.

4) Define your nose shape + nostrils a bit more. Pay attention to the roundness of certain areas and avoid tracing the straight edged areas of your geometric shape guide.

5) Notice the smaller shapes that start to form within certain areas where shadowing could be placed. Use this as a guide and begin to add some shading to these areas. Then move on to add shading all around the bridge and around the nose. Remember your eraser is as much a tool as your pencil. Use it to carve out the highlights on the nose and bridge.

Tips: It helps to move your pencil in the direction of the shape you are trying to create (diagonal lines for the sides of the bridge, half circle movements for the rounder areas, etc). Also keep in mind where your light source is coming from. The shadows will be darker behind or below those areas. By using different tones of shading (light to dark) for contrast, you allow your nose to really take life. Experiment with using your finger, a q-tip, tissue, or a brush to “smudge” your lines or shading around. More on techniques in future posts.

Practice truly makes the difference! More detailed tutorials, techniques, and definitions will be up here and on Patreon.




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