This step-by-step tutorial will guide you in drawing an ear from the side view in a simple and easy-to-follow manner. It includes pencil drawing examples and concise explanations for each step.
Step 1 – Establish the Overall Proportions of the Ear
To begin, create a rough sketch to determine the height and width of the ear. Use straight lines to construct a frame within which you can draw the ear. Refer to the example image below for guidance.
Step 2 – Outline the Basic Shape
Next, add the upper curve of the ear and include additional lines to define the bottom shape.
Step 3 – Position the Inner Details
After outlining the general shape of the ear, add a few guiding lines to help position the inner details. You don’t need to draw all of them, just enough to provide a guide for yourself.
Step 4 – Create the Line Drawing
Now, within the frame you’ve constructed, create the organic drawing of the ear, including all the smaller bends, curves, and details.
Once done, erase all the construction lines to achieve a clean drawing, similar to the example above.
Step 5 – Add Basic Shading
With the line drawing completed, you can now add some basic shading. Start by filling in the darkest areas, but avoid making them too dark. The goal is to establish the overall distribution of shadows.
In this case, imagine the ear in a typical lighting setup, such as daytime outdoors or a well-lit indoor area with the main light source located above it. The lighter areas will generally be on top, while the darker areas will be found at the bottom and in the deeper parts of the ear.
Step 6 – Refine the Shading & Complete the Ear Drawing
Once you have the basic shading in place, you can refine it by adding additional layers of strokes to create smoother gradients. If you need to lighten an area, simply erase some of the shadows.
In this case, the shading should be blended so that the individual strokes are not visible.
For more information on different shading techniques, refer to the tutorial: Shading Techniques and Stroke Types Drawing Tutorial
Drawing an ear may seem challenging, but don’t get discouraged. Keep in mind that ears can vary in shape from person to person. If you have a reference photo or someone in front of you, take the time to carefully observe and study the inner and outer shapes of the ear. Follow the steps outlined in this tutorial, starting with simplified larger shapes and gradually adding smaller details.
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