Drawing the Head in:
Three-Quarter View

Welcome to drawing the head in three-quarter view! This is when you draw a character looking slightly to one side or the other. It's part-way between a front view and a side view. This is a bit more challenging than drawing the head from the front, because in three-quarter view, we deal with a little thing called perspective.

In drawing, we use perspective to make things look farther away or closer. This gives the illusion of the drawing being three-dimensional, when in reality it's only in two dimensions, it being confined to a flat piece of paper. Basically, things that are farther away are drawn smaller. Things that are closer are drawn larger. Pretty simple, right?

We don't use perspective all that much when drawing the head in the three-quarter view, just enough so we can tell that the character's face is turned a little to one side or the other.

1. Start by drawing your basic circle or oval. Place the center guideline off to the side, to show where the face will be. Draw in your other guidelines as well.

2. Make two ovals for the eyes. This is where we get into perspective. Since the face is looking off to the side, one eye is farther away from you than the other. Therefore, when drawing the eyes, the one farthest away will be slightly smaller. Remember, slightly smaller. This may take a little bit of practice, to make it look just right, but your guidelines should help. Place extra guidelines if needed.

Once the eyes look right, place the other facial features: eye pupils, nose, mouth, and an ear. When drawing the nose, remember that the farthest-away eye hides a little bit behind it.

3. Add hair. This guy's hair is just a curved line above the ear, and two curved lines on the top of the head.

4. Ink your drawing, erase the pencil lines, and you're done!

The Three-Quarter view is handy in cartooning, since it allows you to show your character interacting with the other cartoon characters and objects around him, while still seeing most of his face. In fact, the Three-Quarter view is used in the general cartoon more often than any other view. Check the comics in your newspaper, and you'll see what I mean.

If you're having trouble mastering the perspective part of this lesson, here's something you can try that may help. Get and egg, and a marker. On the egg, make guidelines like you would on a cartoon head. Then draw two circles for the eyes.

Now you have a visual model to use when you're drawing. You can hold your egg in one hand, and draw with the other. As you slowly turn the egg around, you can see the effect of perspective on the eyes.

As with everything, the more you practice, the better you will be!

Check out the Sketchbook Pages for more examples of different faces from different views!

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