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How to Draw a Profile

Take a desire to draw the human profile; some basic proportions for placing eyes, nose, and other features; and a willing attitude; and you get a formula for creating a successful work of art.


  • Step 1: Assemble tools Assemble your tools, including your paper, pencil, and eraser. Pose your model to provide a direct view of their profile, or place a photo of the side view of a face beside your paper.
  • TIP: Create a profile by drawing the face looking to either the right or left, with only one side of the face, and one eye and one ear exposed.
  • Step 2: Draw an oval Draw an oval to represent the head with the lower portion of the oval tilted slightly left to create a left profile.
  • Step 3: Draw the eye Draw a triangle-shaped eye halfway between the top and bottom of the oval, recessing it from the oval's left edge so that it will later align to the outer edge of the mouth.
  • Step 4: Draw the nose contour Draw the nose contour below the eye, reproducing the line and proportion of your model's nose.
  • TIP: Capture a likeness of your model's face by replicating the individual proportions of their facial features.
  • Step 5: Continue contour Continue the profile contour by recessing the two lips and chin from the line of the original oval.
  • Step 6: Add ear Add a C-shaped ear, placing it opposite the nose near the oval's center, and aligned between the eye and nose.
  • Step 7: Erase unwanted lines, fill in details Erase unwanted lines and fill in details such as eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair. Now, add profile artist to your list of accomplishments.
  • FACT: A profile of Queen Victoria was pictured on the world's first official postage stamped issued in Great Britain in 1840.

You Will Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Eraser
  • Live model or photo

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