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  • How to Draw a Nose - step by step

  • Hey guys, this is Stan Prokopenko, welcome to another episode of Proko! I recommend you

  • watch my previous video in which I cover the anatomy of the nose. Let’s get right to

  • it.

  • So that you can follow along with me, I’ve included the reference photo I used for this

  • drawing, below the video


  • I’ll start my layin with the perspective of the major planes. I want to define the

  • perimeters of these planes first and make sure the width to height relationship is correct.

  • Then, I’ll define the bottom plane, starting with a rhythm between the nostrils, and the

  • bottom plane of the ball. Get a rhythm in there to separate the top plane from the side

  • planes and connect the nose to the forehead and eye socket by indicating the glabella

  • and brow ridge.

  • The anatomical nuances are subtle and the plane changes especially around the bridge

  • are really soft. But, I still want to lightly map in the connections between the bones and

  • cartilage pieces because it will help me place the subtle halftones later. Staying light

  • here is very important.

  • Her nose points down and so the septum will extend further down than the wings.

  • The septum and wings curl in and so the nostril shape is not just a simple oval, more of a

  • comma. On the other side you don't see the inside of the septum, so the shape of the

  • nostril will be defined by the wing and by the front plane.

  • When the light is coming from the top (in this case its top left) most of the bottom

  • will be in shadow. Mapping in the shape of the shadow along the wings and ball is a key

  • element. Notice this little square shape. That’s this minor plane here which defines

  • the side of the front of the nose, giving it some thickness.


  • I’ll add the cast shadow from the nose and group this entire mass into one shadow value.

  • Even though I see variations of value within the shadow, like this reflection under the

  • nostril, those light values are still part of the shadow family. If you isolate these

  • values youll see that the reflection in the shadow is much darker than the halftones

  • in the light.

  • To complete the two value drawing I’ll add the shadow on the inside of the eye socket

  • to define the edge of the nose and glabella.

  • There is a dark halftone above the nostril that is awfully close to being a shadow. In

  • this case It’s up to the artist to decide. You can push it to be part of the shadows

  • or keep it part of the halftones. Personally, I don’t want to accentuate this hook shape

  • and so i'll define that plane change later with the halftones.


  • In this drawing there aren't too many dark accent, so this step will be quick. The deep

  • holes of the nostrils receive no direct light and very little reflected light, so they will

  • be very dark. Then as the septum and wings curl under, there will be some dark in those

  • creases.

  • After adding the dark accents, the rest of the shadows appear too light, so I’ll go

  • through one more time and darken a little further. I want to do this before the halftone

  • phase, to open up a larger value range for my halftones.


  • When drawing the halftones of the minor planes I want to make sure that I don’t lose the

  • big picture - the values of the major planes. The light is coming from the top. So, the

  • bottom plane will be in shadow, the top plane will be the lightest and the side planes in

  • halftone. The halftone on the left will be a little bit lighter than the halftone on

  • the right, since the light source is more on the left side of the picture.

  • The ball of the nose will usually have darker halftones because of the redness of the blood

  • under the skin. This makes the highlight more prominent on the ball, but it’s important

  • not to overdo it. You don’t want the highlight to look like a snowflake on the nose. So,

  • pay attention to the edges of the highlight and give the edges some variety. Maybe a sharp

  • at the bottom and soft at the top. There’s many ways of designing it, the important thing

  • is that you give it some thought.

  • The top of the ball goes into halftone and the highlight disappears. At the connection

  • of the ball to the bridge another highlight begins and continues up to the glabella where

  • it fades out really soft.

  • And get some more halftones on the side


  • I’ll go through the drawing one more time and do some cleanup work and define things

  • a little better. This stage is about details. I look very closely at every part of the drawing.

  • So, as usual I’m giving away this drawing, but this time I’ll give it to one of my

  • mailing list subscribers. If you’d like a chance to win this drawing, go to

  • and subscribe to the free mailing list to get occasional updates and be notified of

  • new videos. I’ll pick a winner on October 12, and will post the name of the winner below

  • this video.

  • Hey if you like this video, your friends might too. Please help me out and share this video

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How to Draw a Nose - step by step

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A2 shadow plane drawing nostril highlight ball

How to Draw a Nose - Step by Step

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    vulvul posted on 2014/09/22
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