common object example

Summary: This project is still under construction! Please forgive spelling errors, broken links and other formatting problems.

Face Proportions Portrait in Illustrator

    ●   Is your Face a Perfect Specimen of Human Symmetry?

    ●   Sketch a Human Face in Adobe Illustrator according to the ideal human proportions that every portrrait artist must know.

    ●   Then superimpose your own face over your sketch. How do you match up?

Learn About:

Pencil ToolWarp Tool Eraser

•   This tutorial is part of a series:

  •   102-pencil-portrait-ai.htm   •   232-face-proportions-ai.htm  •   105-mesh-tool-portrait-ai.htm   •   204-vector-eyes-ai.htm

•   This tutorial is part of the Drag and Drop using HTML5, Picture Perfect Portrait and Photoshop Portrait Projects.

Other People's Work:

Here are some examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

Step #1: Open a New Document in Illustrator ~

Start with a print document in Illustrator of 8.5 x 11″- change the color mode to RGB - and set the Raster Effects to medium.

Step #2: Pencil Tool ~

Get the Pencil Tool, or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (n) …

… then Double-Click on the Pencil Tool to open the dialogue box …

… uncheck "Keep selected" …

… and raise the smoothness to make your pencil strokes smooth.

Step #3: Stroke and Fill ~

Change the Stroke to Black and the Fill to None.

Step #4: Draw a Circle ~

There are 2 parts to your head. For the first part, draw a big circle.

This establishes the top form of your head. 

Step #5: The Jaw ~

Then draw a smaller circle below to represent the jaw or mandible.

Step #6: Select All ~

Hit Cmd (⌘)+A cmd e + a key to select both shapes …

cmd a

… then get the Eraser Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letters (Shift (⇧) + E) shift key + e key

eraser tool

… and erase the extra lines.

Step #7: Warp Tool ~

Get the Warp Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letters (Shift⇧+r) shift key + e key

warp tool

… and smooth out the lines.

Try and make it look like a head.


Step #8: Crosshairs ~

Hit the keyboard shortcut Cmd (⌘)+R cmd e + r key to bring up Rulers


… and, with the Selection Tool selection tool small click-and-pull the ruler to make a Guideline.

Line up the crosshairs in the middle.

Step #9: Vertical Guidelines ~

Then split the shape into 5 equal vertical lines.

Divide the head into 5 equal parts.

Step #10: Horizontal Guidelines ~

Then split the lower half of your face into 3rds:

Leave the top half empty, and divide the lower part into 1/3 each.

Step #11: Left Eye ~

Make a New Layer and Lock lock your other Layer …

Make a new layer

… call the new layer "left eye" by double-clicking on it …


… get the Pencil Tool pencil tool again and an eye in the spaces between the lines 1 and 2.




Most people tend to move the eyes up too high on the forehead. 



But the eyes line up right along the middle.

Step #12: Ellipse Tool in Illustrator ~

Get the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …

… and draw a perfect circle by holding shift while you drag.

Also draw a little pupil.

Step #13: Erase the Excess ~

Get the Selection Tool selection tool by hitting the keyboard shortcut letter (V) and select outer shape …

… then go to: Object > Expand

object expand

… get the Eraser Tool again by hitting the keyboard shortcut letters (Shift+E) and erase outside the outline.

Step #14: Duplicate the Eye ~

Select all the eye parts with the Selection Tool

Right-Click and go to: Transform > Reflect

select transform reflect

… select Vertical and hit Copy …

… and drag the new eye to fit in between 3 and 5.

The space between the eyes is usually equal to 1 eye width.  The nose is attached to the eyebrows.

face proportions

Step #15: Mouth ~

The edges of the mouth line up to the center of the eyes.

Step #16: Nose ~

Nose is just a triangle with 2 smaller triangles but it centers in between the Middle-Third.

Step #17: Ears ~

The ears come out of the eye line and go up, then down. 





Now you have a face portrait using the standard human face dimensions.

Step #18: Your Picture ~

Now get a picture of your face and superimpose it over your drawing.

How do you match up? Are you a perfect specimen of human symmetry?

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Save your work as -]

save as

Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:

  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.

  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.


Using the proportions image already created above and the guides, see if your face matches up to the ideal proportions.

Other Resources: and