Online Class

Drawing Facial Features

Get own-forever classes for less than $8 a month!
As an annual Bluprint member, you'll choose one own-forever class to add to your library each month
Gift Bluprint

Capture the features of the human face with riveting realism! Master the technical and structural elements behind a perfectly-drawn portrait.

Skill Level


What You Get

  • 8 Streaming HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Class materials
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers to student questions from instructor Gary Faigin
  • Closed captioning available (web only)

How it works

  • Once you purchase, find your class in your class library.
  • Watch on any device anytime.
  • Find downloadable class resources in the class viewer.


Create a compelling portrait that captures the likeness of your subject and shows the range and depth of human emotion! With Faigin's guidance, you'll discover the fundamental forms of the skull and how to use basic ratios to accurately depict distinct facial patterns. Sketch a compositional study of the underlying structure of the face, and use gradual tonal changes to define the ridges and planes of your rendering. Learn to draw emotionally animated eyes and an authentic smile, and transform your portrait from flat to fully dimensional with highlights and shadows.

What You'll Learn

* The fundamental structure of the human skull, eye, cheekbones, jaw, nose and mouth

* To recognize facial patterns that can be personalized for a wide variety of subjects

* How to draw and arrange realistic facial features based on the anatomy behind the flesh

* The individual elements of expressive eyes and how to identify them on a live model

* How to draw a relaxed mouth and a natural smile

* When to use soft and hard edges

* To build the head, nose, lips and eyes using simple shapes

* How to use shadows and highlights to give your drawn faces a 3-D quality

What You'll Make

* Accurate self portraits with engaging eyes, proportional noses and shaded lips

* Instantly recognizable drawings of your family and friends

What You'll Love

* Tips on avoiding common portraiture pitfalls

* Using basic building blocks to easily recreate anyone's face on the page

* Capturing the facial features that make each subject unique yet recognizable

* Interacting with your world-class instructor and fellow students to answer all your questions

* 24-hour lifetime access from your web-enabled device, allowing you to take the class on your schedule

Lesson Breakdown

1. Drawing a Likeness
Meet Faigin and learn about recognizing facial patterns and deciphering the skull.
2. The Upper Half of the Skull
3. The Lower Half of the Skull
4. Age, Gender & Ancestry
5. Eye Structure
6. Drawing the Eye from Life
7. Drawing the Nose
8. Drawing the Mouth

Recommended with this class

  • Standard art supplies: pencils, pens, surfaces, kneaded eraser

Taught by

Gary Faigin
Gary Faigin
Gary Faigin wrote The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression, which is now in its 17th printing and published in six languages. Trained at the Art Students League of New York and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he taught in New York for 15 years. He is co-founder and artistic director of the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, where he teaches drawing and painting and leads art tours around the world with his wife, the architect Pamela Belyea.

If you're not delighted with your Bluprint experience, we'll make it right or give you a full refund.