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Tips for Drawing Eyebrows

December 19, 2009

Mashi recently asked a question on my eye tutorial about how to draw eyebrows. Eyebrows are made up of hundreds of individual hairs, so we should draw them the same way we draw any other kind of hair. That being said, there are a few strategies to use when drawing realistic eyebrows.

First of all, it depends on the size of your portrait. If the face you’re drawing is quite small, you simply won’t have the room for detail. For small drawings, delicate shading is all you need. Look closely at your reference for the shape and size of the brows. Sometimes, if a person has very light or very thin brows, you won’t actually see the entire arch. This is especially true for kids.

A few things to remember:

  • brows are generally widest near the nose and taper towards the outside of the face.
  • women’s brows are thinner, more arched, more tapered, and slightly higher on the forehead.
  • men’s brows sit lower, are wider and straighter.
  • eyebrows are thicker along the top edge, and more sparse at the bottom edge.
  • the hairs are curved, and change direction.

eyebrows1

Once you’ve drawn the contours of the brow, you can use a very sharp pencil to start layering in the hairs. Start at the base of the hair, and flick your wrist to create a tapered line. Towards the nose, the hairs tend to grow straight up. They begin to angle as you move away from the face. Don’t draw all of your lines parallel, make sure some of them cross.

eyebrows2

┬áThe edges of your brows shouldn’t be too even or too regular; add some stray hairs along the bottom edge to make it more realistic. You can also use a kneaded eraser to highlight a few of the hairs.

eyebrows4

Sometimes, a slight suggestion of hairs is all you need, especially on very light brows. Build up layers slowly until you achieve just the right effect!

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From → Drawing

4 Comments
  1. Mashi permalink

    Oh thanks for your reply!
    And this helps actually ;D Now I will just have to practice.

  2. paige permalink

    oh this was so helpful… thanks miranda; ever considered taking up art as a career

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