How to Draw: Ears

Ears… they aren’t just blobs on the side of everyone’s head and neither are they just C-shaped attachments. They are something that is different on each person. They have a lot of character, though not nearly as much as other portions of the face. As I said in the last post of the series (you can find it here), this is going to be the easiest to draw of anything that the human face comprises.

If you are new to this series welcome! You can find the rest of the episodes on this page. I’m covering how to draw all the subjects of the human face so that you can enjoy drawing portraits with confidence and ease. These skills and techniques are also very important for landscape pictures that may have people in them. And the first two episodes are actually the very base foundation which all of the pencil drawing world rests upon – whether you’re drawing portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, or anything!

Soon we’ll get to peek at the progression of drawing ears below. But first, lets go to the mirror (or select a really good photo). What do you see? Is your ear actually c-shaped? Nope! It is large at the top and slants down to a small bottom. Cute. Alright, while we’re still in front of the mirror, go ahead and check out the rest of the ear – what creases are there and where are they? Do you see any shadows? Take a moment to observe it all and soak it into your brain.

How to Draw Ears

  1. First of all we start with the very basic shape of the ear. I would encourage you to copy off a picture for this. (Note: if you use printer paper, you will probably be able to trace the original ear which gives you a lot more accuracy.
  2. Then we add the rest of the sketch. You may obverse my sketch above if you wish for this or continue with the picture. There is the outer roll of the ear, the inner ridge, the “sound hole” area, and that weird dark shadow above it.
  3. Using a tortillion, let’s get thing shaded! Right now, it can look funny and if it looks different than mine or the picture you’re going of, that is completely okay. This isn’t science! As a general guideline in shading, the lines will get softened (smudged, really 😉 ), and wherever we see a dark area, we’ll put some graphite there to get it as close to real as possible. Let’s sit back, does it look right or does it look “off”. If it looks a little too weird, go back to the picture and see what might be missing or where the graphite may be too heavy. Voila! You’ve created an ear! Make several more and they’ll all be different. That’s part of the fun – each has their own character or look.

To really become a pro at shading, check out my post about sketching and shading.

How to Draw

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