When drawing portraits, people usually do not put too much effort into creating a likeness with their subject’s ears because we usually recognize people by their faces or other unique features that stand-out.
Despite the lack of attention they receive, mastering the art of sketching an ear and comprehending its intricate anatomy remains a valuable endeavor.
Mastering the art of sketching ears might appear as a daunting task, for they possess a plethora of intricate ridges, crevices, and undulations. Yet, fear not, for unraveling the secrets of rendering an ear becomes a breeze once you grasp the art of simplifying its intricate contours, akin to the illustrative masterpiece displayed beneath.
Supplies I utilized for this uncomplicated ear sketching tutorial:
HB Derwent graphite pencil.
4B Derwent graphite pencil.
Canson Sketch paper (not the typical Canson Bristol Paper which is my absolute favorite. Ran out of that.).
Step 1: Draw the shape of an ear
Sketch the contours of the ear, ensuring that the lower portion (also referred to as the ear lobe) is relatively smaller compared to the upper section, commonly known as the helix.
“Where precisely should I sketch an ear on the head?” Click here to discover!
Step 2: Draw the bumps and folds
Sketch two graceful arcs to illustrate the primary creases nestled within the delicate contours of the ear. The initial arc should gracefully traverse the central to uppermost portion of the auricle. Feel free to imbue this arc with either seamless elegance or sporadic jaggedness, as your creative instincts dictate.
Don’t forget to allow for a tiny space bordering the edges. The curvature on the left should gently embrace the ear’s center.
The second curve should come out of the first one and have a tear-shaped bottom. Wrap the curve up to form a flap (known as the tragus). Make sure you leave a good amount of space at the bottom for the ear lobe.
Step 3: Shading preparation
At the start of the tutorial, I highlighted three primary forms found in an ear. In step 2, we sketched two of these shapes. The third one resembles the letter ‘y’. You have the option to either lightly sketch the ‘y’ or visualize it in your drawing. We will utilize it in a later part of this step.
Choose a specific source for the luminosity and employ gentle strokes to portray the location of the deepest shadows. These areas will highlight the most prominent creases and profound recesses found in the contours of the ear.
For this instance, the illumination is radiating from the left-hand side.
If any shadows cross through the ‘y’, make sure you warp them to compliment any ridges, bumps or valleys of the ‘y’.
Step 4: Shade the darkest areas
Utilize a 4B pencil to gracefully infuse shadows within the marked regions from the preceding step. Keep in mind to imbue a deeper tone on the recessed sections of the ear, while delicately accentuating the protruding contours with a lighter touch.
Click here to discover the techniques of shading!
Step 5: Add mid tones and light tones
Employing an HB pencil, employ subtle shading techniques to embellish the remaining portion of the ear, while being mindful that the elevated bumps are rendered in a lighter tone and the deep valleys are depicted in a darker shade. Utilize a blending stump to seamlessly merge each distinct area, and for guidance on its usage, acquaint yourself with the art of blending stumps. Employ a kneaded eraser to accentuate the most illuminated regions of the ear, should the need arise.
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What comes after? Click here to discover how to sketch it on a face!
In 2013, Darlene embarked on a creative journey by establishing RFA, aiming to disseminate effortlessly intricate drawing tutorials among fellow artists across the vast expanse of the internet. As a self-taught maestro of pencil portrait artistry and an influential presence on YouTube, Darlene’s passion knows no bounds.