In this simple lesson, I will show you how to draw a face filled with basic effects and featuring a neutral expression. Of course, our goal is not to draw a realistic character, but just a fun and appealing cartoon face using simple lines, shapes and colors. As you can see below, adding a few dark shapes in strategic places can help create more depth and volume inside your illustration. Ready? Let's start this fun cartoon tutorial now ...
Before proceeding with this lesson, you can try the video version of this cute cartoon face below. You will learn how to draw the basic elements (like the eyes, the mouth and the nose) and how to add simple effects using only different colors.
First, you can start the written tutorial by adding a large oval shapes and two curved lines (displayed in pink below). Using this template, draw the eyes, the nose, the mouth and the eyebrows using large and pointed strokes. You can also add hair, the jaw and the chin using more curved lines. Thinner lines are added on the forehead and above the chin. Now that the face is drawn, you can erase all pink outlines.
The hair and the eyebrows are filled with a saturated brown color. The skin is bright and both pupils are blue. You can also modify the color of all lines added on the forehead and above the chin to end up with a more subtle result. Of course, feel free to use various colors if you want to. For this tutorial, let's keep all strokes black so that we can work on a more cartoonish character.
If you are working with a vector application, then adding color gradients is definitely an easy task. This technique is perfect to create more depth and volume inside the illustration quickly and almost instantly. Drawing everything by hand is also feasible, but it will take more time and results may vary. See inside the cartoon character below how the addition of a second color within each shape can create more volume and make the illustration more appealing.
This is probably the most complex step from this lesson on how to draw a face. Our goal is to draw more shapes manually inside the head of the character to create even more volume. These elements must be darker and partially transparent to end up with a realistic result that blends perfectly inside the drawing.
These shapes can be added on the hair (near the left), above the forehead, around the eyes, on the eyebrows, below the nose, the mouth and the ears. You can also draw a long shadow on the left side of the jaw and draw more circles below the eyes. All new shapes are shown with temporary pink and blue lines on the picture found below.
In the previous step, several shapes were created to form shadows in strategic areas. We can also sketch brighter elements called highlights or reflections on the character's face to increase the contrast inside the head. These new shapes must be white and also partially transparent. In fact, they are almost invisible! ;)
Learning how to draw a face that looks realistic (even for a cartoon character) is not such a complicated task once you know how to handle shadows and highlights properly. Don't hesitate to study more pictures and photographs featuring beautiful faces like this one to learn how lighting can sculpt a character's face in various conditions. It's a fun exercise to do and you can learn a lot about the human anatomy by doing so ...