How to Draw Noses
how to draw noses as they are seen from the front, in profile, and in
You can click on the following links, if you want to jump to the side-view
or 3/4 view
How to Draw Noses - Part 1: Front View
use my own nose as an example here. Its proportions are shown on the
left. But you don't need to draw such a strong square.
It is sufficient if you just faintly mark the noses top and bottom like
it is shown on the right.
How to Draw
Noses - 1.1: Basic Outline
drawing the nose with a big curve in the middle for the tip, and two
coils at its sides for the nostrils.
is a bit different. The curve in the middle could
be drawn a bit thinner, pointier, or broader; and the coils at the
sides a bit
larger or smaller.
Now outline the
nasal wings at the sides.
Make them curved stronger at the bottom and rather flat towards
the top. Their size should fill a bit less than a third of the nose's
the bridge of the nose in the middle and also the lines where
the nose transitions into the face. The problem is
that on a real nose you don't really have any clear
You can now either try to solve this by drawing clear contours
anyway, or through the application of shading.
(If you want to shade, don't draw either of the next two pictures.)
How to Draw
Noses - 1.2: Drawing the Bridge with Lines
the left, I decided to outline the edges of the bridge with clear
lines. Into the middle I placed a bulge, because that's what my own
nose looks like. Towards the bottom I let the lines spread wider apart,
didn't let them touch the upper ends of the nasal wings.
Alternatively, you can go
for a more open look, and just outline the most prominent feature, or a
small middle part, of the bridge with strong lines. Then you only
hint at the rest with fainter lines.
But we get the most realistic look through shading.
We start with the bridge, and then shade the rest of the nose also.
How to Draw
Noses - 1.3: Shading the Nose
of drawing any clear lines along the nose's border, you shade a light
shadow along its edges, but leave the nose's bridge entirely free.
is what comes closest to reality. You may still bring out a few
stronger features with slight lines, like I did with the bulge at the
the nose openings with black, starting from the top. Then draw two
small lines below the nasal wings for the nose's connection to the
shade the edges of the nasal wings and the nose's tip,
well as a small area below the nasal wing.
I had a very flat nose, it would probably be finished already, but
the tip of my nose is standing out, we have to apply a bit more shading.
a curved shadow around the tip of the nose, so that the shadow
separates the tip from the nasal wings clearly. Also add a bit
shading below the tip.
Now the nose is finished.
strongly recommend that you practice drawing more noses in front
view. It is always best to draw from nature. You can draw your own nose
with the use of a mirror, or you ask someone else to hold still. You
can even draw people's noses on the subway, but who knows if they might
get upset? - Do this on your own risk.
you can prepare a couple of rectangles to draw noses inside, and then
invent your own noses. This is what I attempted in the picture above.
to Draw Noses - Part 2: Side View
I also use my own nose as an example here.
Through the use of a small double-mirror I was able to see it from the
from the side, my nose has, surprisingly, the same proportions as seen
the front. Its height is one and a half of its width.
Draw your rectangle rather pale, like it is shown on the right, so that
you can erase it easily later.
It all begins
with the nose's bridge.
My nose is pretty straight but has a little bulge at its top.
Draw the line diagonally downwards until it touches the square's left
Now finish the nose's tip with a curve that lines up with the
At the end, the nose transitions into the upper lip, which you can show
with a small curve reaching below the square.
The red dotted line shows that this part usually lies a bit in front of
the nose's beginning at the top.
the nostril now. The line should make a sharp curve at the beginning,
and then become a bit flatter towards the end. But the nostrils can
have very different shapes for different people.
the nasal wing to the right. Let it continue straight from the line
of the nostril and let it touch the square's right border. Its size
should be a bit less than one third of the nose's
Seen from the side, the nasal wing is
pretty evenly curved.
outline of the nose is finished, and you can erase the square now. Then
it is time for shading. Depending on the direction of the light source
look very different. In this case the light is coming straight from the
front (left in the picture), because I'm sitting in front of a large
window. That means the shadows all have to lie towards the right side.
Now, that was my nose, but let's take a look at some other noses.
practice drawing noses some more, you can first draw several rectangles
next to each other and then fill them all with a nose that has its own
These are the important components of an interesting nose:
- shape of the bridge
- shape of the tip
- shape of the nostril
- shape of the nasal wing
Observe the subtleties of these nose parts on the people around you.
After all, an artist's special ability must be to observe the small
details that other people miss.
The 3/4-view is in the middle between the frontal view and the side
can outline one side of the bridge with a clear line, but you have to
shade the other one. Only one nasal wing is visible, unless
nose is very flat or broad. The nasal wing's curve becomes a bit
flatter towards the top. And in my case, this is the angle
in which the nostril looks the largest.