Artistic Anatomy Lecture: The Face

This video explains how to the structure of the head and neck are organized. All of the major bony landmarks are covered, as well as how to identify them on a person.

In addition to explaining how to articulate bones like the mandible, the zygomatic arch, etc., this lecture shows how to group these bones together to create a convincing portrait. Lecture by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

70 min. video

Video Walkthrough

  • Resist the temptation to start with the eyes/nose/mouth
  • Instead, start with the skull structure.
  • Search for the structures around the eyes/nose/mouth
  • Look at hair as a mass, and draw it simultaneously with the face
  • Hair is an essential structure
  • Cheekbones can be round or angular
  • Shadows can articulate cheekbones
  • Foreshortened heads
  • The ear is a great landmark
  • Use the ear to find the location of other parts of the head
  • Build the eye socket before you draw the eye
  • Find the “pockets” on the side of the lips
  • Creases/ dimples around the mouth
  • Wrinkles follow the form of the face, think about their relationship to the structure of the face.
  • Wrinkles often cross over each other, look at how they layer on top of each other.

Reference Photos


Anatomical landmarks mentioned

  • Ear
  • Philtrum
  • Masseter

Bones mentioned

  • Nasal bone
  • Mandible
  • Zygomatic arch
  • Eye sockets