Understanding the Anatomy of a Sketch
Greetings and welcome to our Anatomy of a Sketch series! In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of drawing people. Today’s lesson focuses on an essential aspect of drawing – noses. We will explore how to draw noses from both the front and side views, providing you with the necessary skills to create realistic or animated representations.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that while this tutorial doesn’t follow traditional realism techniques, the principles and techniques taught here can be applied to create highly realistic noses if desired. The illustrations used in this tutorial are in an animated style, aligning with the way I approach drawing.
Let’s jump right into it!
Please be aware that this post may contain sponsored content, ads, and promotional information. Kindly refer to my disclaimers by clicking here.
Mastering the Basic Shapes of the Nose
In this tutorial, we’ll focus on understanding the structure of the nose before diving into the drawing process. The nose consists of three fundamental parts: the bridge, the ball (or tip), and the nostrils. Except for the bridge, which contains bone, the rest of the nose comprises cartilage and soft skin tissue.
Take a look at the image below to observe the four different nose shapes I’ve drawn. Despite their variations, they all share a common feature – a right triangle shape. Additionally, each nose has a ball-shaped tip and rounded nostrils. Keep in mind that while noses differ from person to person, they all adhere to these basic shapes.
Drawing a Nose from the Front
Let’s commence our journey by learning how to draw a nose from a front-facing perspective.
Step One: Sketch the Ball
To begin, draw a circle to represent the ball of the nose. Then, add two smaller circles on each side of the larger circle.
Step Two: Craft the Nostrils
Next, focus on drawing the nostrils. The nostrils typically have an oval or circular shape, depending on the individual’s nose shape and angle.
To better grasp the shape of the nose’s tip, I’ve highlighted the angles in the image below. This diagram serves as a helpful reference for shading and laying down any guide lines you may need. It also depicts the location of the nose’s bridge.
Step Three: Define the Bridge
The definition of the bridge is entirely up to you. You can decide how pronounced or subtle you want it to appear.
Drawing a Nose from the Side
Now, let’s explore the process of drawing a nose from a side view.
Step One: Begin with the Ball
Start by sketching the tip of the nose, commonly referred to as the ball of the nose.
For this drawing, I’ve placed a circle in the bottom left corner of the canvas.
Step Two: Outline the Bridge
Next, outline the bridge. Begin by drawing a triangle shape with the ball located at the bottom corner.
For the final outline, trace the angled side of the triangle to define the bridge. Then, round out the bottom of the outline to create a shape that curves below the ball or tip of the nose.
Step Three: Sketch the Nostril
Finally, draw the nostrils.
Notice that I rounded the top of the nose in the image below, adding a touch of color and shadow to enhance the depth of the drawing.
If you are interested in learning how to draw a side profile, I have a complete tutorial dedicated to that subject as well!
Exploring Different Nose Shapes
Every individual possesses a unique nose shape. Some have small noses, while others have more prominent features. By observing the illustrations below, you can see the vast variety of nose shapes that exist.
Let’s examine various nose types on the same character:
Different Nose Shapes
In this drawing, I’ve depicted the same character, altering the nose shape in each image. First, we’ll consider the nose shape from the front view and then from the side angle.
As you can see, merely changing the nose makes the character appear distinctly different. Now, let’s observe the character from the side.
In this case, the only modification I made in each image was the nose shape, yet each character looks substantially dissimilar.
Drawing Noses in Anime Style
As I researched what you all wanted to learn about drawing noses, I noticed a particular interest in drawing anime-style noses. Anime drawings often feature intricate and breathtaking details. When it comes to drawing noses in an anime style, you might observe that they tend to be relatively small compared to real-life noses. This stylistic choice allows artists to focus on other facial features.
In anime, noses are not intricately detailed when viewed from the front. However, they may appear larger when observed from a side view. Take the character Naruto, for example (the image below is for reference purposes only and not drawn by me).
In the image above, you’ll notice that Naruto’s nose appears small, as only the nostrils are drawn. However, in the subsequent image, you can see the nose depicted in full dimensions. Keep in mind that anime styles vary, so I encourage you to study your favorite anime characters and explore how each artist draws noses. Referencing images is an excellent way to improve as an artist!
Want to Learn Full-Color Illustration Techniques?
While sketching is undoubtedly enjoyable, rendering illustrations in full color is a personal favorite of mine. On Patreon, I share monthly full-color tutorials exclusively for my Champion and Hero tiers!
These tutorials are incredibly fun, and patrons have the opportunity to comment, ask questions, like posts, and participate in polls. Moreover, my Hero tier patrons receive a monthly vinyl sticker delivered via mail. These stickers have been immensely popular, featuring characters such as Harley Quinn, Princess Leia, Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn, and Captain Carter from Marvel’s What If? (pictured below).
Patrons have the chance to vote on the sticker designs each month, ensuring their preferences are considered.
Join the fun at Patreon.com/LeahHarris!
Thank you for taking the time to read this beginner’s tutorial on drawing noses. If you found value in this post, please consider sharing it. Your support plays a vital role in helping websites like ours thrive and creators like me continue to produce valuable content.
See you in the next tutorial!