Drawing the Head and Features

A 10-week course where you’ll study the anatomy of the skull, facial muscles and features so you can draw convincing looking heads

Student Artwork

Student Artwork by Victoria Armas

Drawing the Head and Features

Do the heads that you draw ever lack a convincing three-dimensional feel, a believable expression or well-defined, accurately drawn features? It's so important to draw heads and facial features well because they establish the identity of the person and much of what they are communicating.

We naturally direct our attention first towards the faces in any image and notice mistakes with proportions, anatomy and details that are so subtle, most people would miss a similar issue somewhere else on the body. If there’s something wrong with the head, then the whole body and and your whole artwork will feel off!

In the Heads and Features course at Syn Studio, you will understand how to draw the head from any angle by completing a series of rotation studies under the guidance of the instructor. You will learn the key proportions, anatomical landmarks and planar structure of the head so you can draw believable heads from imagination. And you will gain a method for analyzing the shape and alignment of an individual’s particular facial features to capture someone’s likeness when drawing from life or photo-reference.

By the end of this course, you will have the ability to create artwork with convincing heads that feel three-dimensional, express someone’s unique visual identity and show believable facial expressions that communicate what they’re doing, how they feel and who they are. You will have acquired some of the most essential skills for any character designer, modeler, fine artist, animator, comic book artist or illustrator. The skills and confidence you gain from becoming really good at drawing heads and faces will help boost your overall artistic progress and results enormously.

  • Course Type Traditional Drawing Courses
  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Skill Level Level 2
  • Language English


Wednesdays from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM 

Date of first class: January 15th

Duration: 10 weeks


Drawing the Human Form or equivalent experience (competence and confidence drawing live models) is required.

Language requirements: You need at least intermediate level English to take this class (the teacher is bilingual and can explain concepts and give feedback in both languages).


Required Materials

  • 11 x 14 (minimum), OR 14 x17 OR 18x24 inch pad of white drawing paper: Canson, Strathmore,
    or Fabriano brand. NOT newsprint.
  • Notebook or sketchbook for taking notes
  • 3 sheets of Canson Mi-Teints paper, 19x25 inches, Steel Grey or Felt Grey colour
  • Staedtler Mars Lumograph graphite pencils, 3 of each: 2B, HB. 1 of each: 2H, 4H and 8B.
  • Derwent Drawing pencil in Chinese White
  • White plastic eraser
  • Kneadable eraser (recommended, Staedtler karat art eraser)
  • A mechanical eraser (recommended, Tombow Mono Zero Eraser Pen, or similar)
  • A good quality pencil sharpener (recommended, Staedtler metal sharpener with a recipient)
  • Clear plastic ruler: 30 cm / 12 inches or longer,
  • 3 or 4 bulldog clips to hold paper onto a drawing board


Please do not fold or roll your papers and drawings! It is recommended that you carry them in a
portable portfolio with an adjustable shoulder strap such as this.

Course Outline

*This course outline is currently being updated and is subject to change. A new revised outline will be provided at a later date

Week 1 - Learn the proportions of the human skull and how to draw it effectively with box and sphere-based construction techniques.

Week 2 - Understand how to use cross-contour and relief modeling to feel and express the solidity and mass of the skull. Learn a powerful method, from Bammes, to break down the skull into basic planes.

Week 3 - Gain proficiency drawing a head from a live model, delineating plane-breaks with reference to the anatomical landmarks of the skull learned earlier.

Weeks 4 - 6 - Fully comprehend how to draw the skull from all angles by creating 16 sequential views of the skull rotating in perspective for an animated video sequence.

Week 7 - Learn to draw facial expressions and express the dynamic relationship between the head, neck and shoulders through gesture drawing from a live model.

Weeks 8 - 9 - Become proficient drawing the eyes, ears, nose and mouth using planar hatching, cross-contour and relief modeling to bring out the form and topography.

Week 10 - Learn to analyze the shape and alignment of features on the skull and capture the uniqueness of each human face. In a series of final drawings from live model, put together all you’ve learned to achieve a convincing head drawing with a feeling of volume and planar structure.

Check out the entire outline


Syn Studio offers the highest quality education at the most affordable prices.

This popular class tends to fill up well before the deadline, so register early!

Winter term classes begin on Monday the 13th of Jan. Late registration still available for some classes.

This class is being offered at
$499.00 $430.00
for a limited period of time (save $69!!)

Speak to an advisor

Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 514-998-7625
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