This comprehensive tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to draw an ear from the front view. It includes examples for each step, starting from basic construction lines and progressing to a beautifully shaded pencil drawing.
Drawing an ear can be challenging due to the variety of shapes and sizes they come in. To tackle this, we take a generalized approach by using construction lines to estimate the major proportions and main shapes of the ear.
If you’re interested in learning more about drawing techniques and practices, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Learning to Draw. Additionally, if you’d like to draw an ear from the side view, we have a separate tutorial titled “How to Draw an Ear: Step by Step – Side View.”
Step 1 – Create a Construction Line Drawing of the Outer Shape of the Ear
To begin, make a simple construction line sketch that outlines the general flow and proportions of the ear’s shape.
Step 2 – Create a Construction Line Drawing of the Inner Shape
Following the previous step, make a construction drawing of the inner part of the ear. This will involve three lines: one to define the thickness of the outer part and two guide lines for the inner folds.
Step 3 – Create a Line Drawing Inside the Construction Lines
Now, you can see how the ear fits into the construction frame. Typically, ears have a “rim” around the top part, followed by an indented area, and then a protruding fold at the side. Create a line drawing based on this example and erase the construction lines afterward.
You should now have a clean line drawing of the ear, similar to the example above.
Step 4 – Start Shading
For this example, we will shade the ear based on common lighting conditions, assuming that the light source is coming from above. Shadows will appear on the bottom parts of the ear’s curves, while the top areas will be lighter.
The darkest parts of the ear will be the deepest areas of the folds, as they receive the least light.
You can treat each part or curve of the ear as a separate shape with its own light and dark areas. However, it’s crucial to view the ear as a whole to maintain consistent shading. Begin by darkening the areas that are in shadow, as described above.
For different shading techniques and stroke types, refer to our tutorial on Shading Techniques.
Step 5 – Finish the Ear Drawing/Shading
Once you establish the basic light and dark areas of the ear, smooth out the shading by adding more sets of strokes and blending them where necessary. Avoid sharp transitions between light and dark. Instead, aim for smooth gradients, considering the curvatures of the ear.
Ears come in various shapes and sizes, making them challenging to draw accurately. Follow the approach outlined in this tutorial: start with a construction drawing to define the most crucial aspects of the ear, then gradually add the smaller details. When shading an ear drawing, it can be helpful to consider each curve as an individual shape with its own shadows and highlights.
For examples of shading basic 3D shapes, please refer to our tutorial on How to Shade Basic 3D Shapes. If you’re interested in drawing entire faces, check out these tutorials: “Tips on Drawing the Same Male Face of Different Ages” and “How to Draw a Male Face: Step by Step Tutorial.”