My name is Jonene Ficklin, and I'm a full-time wife, mom, writer, and professional artist. I've been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I use colored pencils, oil paints, and watercolors. I love what I do!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lesson 14 - Drawing a Chin and Cheekbones

When you draw the chin and cheekbones, you want more than a round egg shape. So we'll take it little by little. It's not that hard. You can be a little more heavy handed with men, so I'm showing both male and female faces again.

We'll go back to Lesson 8, drawing face proportions. You have the eye-line, nose-line and mouth-line. You can fit exactly one eye in-between your two eyes. Your nose is also one eye wide, and previously, we drew lines from the insides of the eyes down to the nose line. Well, the very bottom of your chin is also around one eye wide (or wider sometimes, but this is the basic pattern to get you started.) So extend the line from the inside of the eyes clear down to the chin, like below.

Now at the bottom of the chin, where these lines come down, draw a straight line across. If you feel your chin in this area directly below your lips, the jawline flattens out a bit, some more than others. A few of you will only feel rounding, and if you look in the mirror, you probably have a heart-shaped face. Still, let's flatten this area out, like the drawings below. With men, I usually daw this flat area a little wider.

Now, following the outside of the jawline from this flat area to the mouth line, the jaw angles out. Draw a flat line angling straight from this flat area to the mouth line. (Don't worry, we'll round out the sharp areas in a little bit.) With men, I usually draw this line outside the egg shape, and with women, it usually falls just inside the egg shape.

Now run your fingers over your cheekbones as they curve from your ears into your nose. There's a hollow beneath where your teeth and jaw sit. Now feel from the curving cheekbones by your ears straight down your face. Below the cheekbone, there's a slight curve in then very slightly back back out into the jawline.

First we'll draw the curve of your cheekbones as they go into that hollow. Start just above the eye-line. Draw a line with just a very slight curve down just a little over halfway to the nose line. Notice I went just a little further with the male face than the female face, and that's because generally, the female bone structure is a little more delicate.

Off the bottom of that cheekbone curve, we're going to swing ever so slightly in the opposite direction to the nose line. Now from the nose line to the mouth line, the line straightens, like below.

Okay, now you have the basic shape. Erase the outside helper lines (the previous egg shape), reserving your new lines. Now go to wherever there is a sharp edge, such as at the mouth-line and the flat bottom of your chin and slightly curve those lines so that the jawline flows smoothly around the face. Keep working until it flows like the jawlines below. (I took out all helping lines and features inside the face so you can see how the lines go. Above the eyeline at the temple area, the lines will curve in, ever so slightly as they go into the forehead area. As mentioned in Lesson 12, the hair-line in the forehead area starts about halfway between the eyebrows and top of your egg shape. The hair will ride above and outside the egg shape going around the head, like below.

And be prepared for women to have the hair ride higher than the men's. We began with the same egg shapes, but when you finish, the woman's will look bigger because of the hair.

However, in real life, men's heads usually are larger than women's. When you are drawing a man and woman together, remember to draw their egg shape slightly larger.

When you add the features, you have a nice, flowing, natural looking face!

Future Art Lessons: Okay, I'm going into my busy season, since I draw a lot of commissioned portraits for Christmas. I'm not going to be doing any art lessons between now and New Years. If you are interested in future art lessons, be sure and comment! I'd love to hear from you. You are also welcome to make requests by e-mailing me at:


  1. Again it astonishes me at how similar the faces are until the later steps. Great post.

  2. Aw, we'll miss you and your amazing lessons!

  3. I used your faces page as a template to have my art students add value to faces. Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas and art helps!! Much appreciated.


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