Tutorial Tuesday! How to Draw a Pretty Face, Week Three : Drawing a perfectly proportionate head.


Its Tuesday and I have another free drawing tutorial for you! Today I am showing you how to put all those eyes, nose, and lips you’re practicing onto a proportioned head perfect for beginners to learn to draw.

I know I promised the How to Paint version of noses and lips last week but I am going to hold off on offering the how to paint versions until after the How to Draw versions are done. It isn’t going to help anyone to jump into painting before they have perfected the drawing parts. It will be worth the wait, I promise!

One more quick note before we dive into the lesson: This is a proportion for a stylized face and head. The proportions for a realistic female head are a little different. I started with the rules of drawing a human head and I just adjusted them slightly to fit my stylistic needs. (As long as you know what the rules are you can make them work for you.)

Who wants some step-by-step face and head diagrams? Get your sketch books and pencils ready, we’ve got 8 easy steps to drawing the cheeks and chin in proportion on your girl’s head. Exciting!

It looks like a lot of information, I know. But I promise you its only confusing the first time you diagram it all out. You’re golden if you just remember: eyes are in the middle of the head and start the bottom half of the head’s division into thirds. Keep your eyes at least one eye width apart, and the outside corner of your mouth should end at about the pupils of your person.

Make it your own! Change the size of your eyes or the width apart and take note of how it changes the entire feel of your drawing. Alter the size of your lips, make ’em tiny, and see how it changes her expression.

Practice practice practice so you can get a real feel for how and where the curves in the face go. Have fun and make mistakes! Draw her too thin or too chubby. Give her model cheekbones and a pointier chin. It is only by drawing it over and over can you develop the muscle memory and the eye for how you want your girl’s face to look.

At this point our girl is really starting to come together; we only have to worry about ears, hair, and the neck and shoulders. Smooth sailing!

<3 Kat
In this blog workshop / free painting series you can expect to learn how to draw and paint all the basics of a pretty female face so please share these tutorials with anyone you think would love free drawing and painting lessons.  Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, whatevs – just link back to me pleaseandthankyou!

Look at all this content I’m covering:


  • How to Mix Custom Skintone Colors (Included in the How to Paint Eyes lesson)
  • How to Choose a Canvas
  • Types of Paint : Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews
  • Types of Brushes: Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews (I’m feeling a theme here)
  • Gesso, Mediums, + more: demystifying the whys and whens of using primers and mediums
  • How to Incorporate Mixed Media and Collage elements
  • Where do I go from here?
  • Pinterest drawing and painting Inspiration

I know there will be a lot more additions to this list too, because I want to include everything I know about drawing and painting a pretty face in this series.  I want it to be easy to read and follow along and fun for beginners and more advanced painters alike.

If you have questions go ahead and leave a comment so I can answer them & add them to the tutorial.


I named her Rosaline!

Rosaline is a new painting, and I love this girl.  Dreamy portrait, pink mermaid hair, layers of rainbow sherbet butterfly wings.  This painting came so easy too!




This cute girly is acrylic on paper, 9×12, which is nice but small.


So now I’m itching to paint her on 16 x 20 canvas I have that is waiting for something beautiful. I wonder if she will translate well to canvas from paper in almost double sized? Only one way to find out!

I’ll let you know when shes available for purchase. For now there are a bunch of beautiful paintings and prints listed in my Etsy, hop on over and pick yourself up something nice.

Paintings and Prints in my Etsy

I listed 20 new paintings / prints in my Etsy shop : katcanpaint.etsy.com

Holy Art, Batman! Those 20 lovelies are in addition to the custom portrait paintings you can commission.

<3 Kat

Custom Baby / Child Portrait Painting

Custom Baby / Child Portrait Painting

Sometimes photos don’t capture a memory quite the way I want; the pose is perfect! …but the lighting is off. My son looked so cute in this photo, but it was early Spring and our yard was dead. (Seriously dead, the only time I have a green thumb is if I smear paint on it.) 2/3 of this sweet moment was ugly brown patches of grass and I was pretty bummed. 


my son with a dandelion by KatCanPaint

So cute! But, ugh, look at all that dead grass.


Summer came, the grass was green, and I kept trying to figure out how to get a 2 year old to stop destroying the dandelions with his toy trucks.

Have you ever tried to get a 2 year old to stop destroying something? My dreams of a perfect photo shoot were ruined by stubbornness and Tonka.
Thankfully I am an artist and I love painting portraits.


Custom Child portrait acrylic painting by KatCanPaint


Have you had the same problem? Have a great picture you would like painted but the background is you at the grocery store? No worries- I can work with you to create a great work of art you’ll love. I can paint from any photo; prom, family photos, senior pictures, graduation, vacation pictures, even candid shots.

Simply e-mail me a great, high resolution photo of the people for your painting, or a couple if you’d like me to combine portraits from separate photographs. I can add a beautiful painterly, classic, background to your painting or a solid color of your choice. I use professional quality acrylic on 140lb, cold pressed, archival watercolor paper.

It takes about a week for paint and seal your original painting, because I’m a painting ninja!

Want one? Two? Check out my etsy!

butterfly wings painting

Butterfly Wings

These two pieces were really fun to paint. I don’t know how I couldn’t enjoy painting layers of bold, rainbow colored butterfly wings.

butterfly wings painting

I have wings on the brain: almost every piece I have created lately incorporate butterfly wings somehow in the painting. Probably because wings are one of my favorite things to paint. (Also, flowersportraits, carousel horses, glittery rainbows! Okay not glittery rainbows, but… unicorns!)

butterfly wings painting

I can smoosh and blend all my favorite teals and greens and pinks together, no worries if I am technically correct anatomically speaking, but the idea is there. Which makes my brain shut up while I’m working because, seriously, SO MUCH FUN! Wings! If I am getting too caught up in a painting (STUCK! Arg!@^%!*&!) I can paint wings and turn off my perfectionist painter brain and just enjoy the process.  Because that’s what it is all about, yes? (Hokey pokey!)

I think this is the theme of the week. Or the blog. Hooray for finishing things and destuckification!  Did I make that word up? Probably!

<3 Kat

16 x 20 acrylic portrait of Brandon

How I paint a Classic Portrait : Brandon’s traditional portrait

16 x 20 acrylic portrait of Brandon

16 x 20 acrylic portrait of Brandon

Classically posed and executed portraits are perfect gifts for parents and grandparents, especially if those with more traditionally styled homes.  

I usually paint in a fun, brightly colored, non-traditional style but sometimes a customer needs a completely custom, classically rendered, original painting. Brandon ordered a large scale traditional portrait to give to his grandparents for Christmas. The process was quick and easy: Brandon took a quick picture of himself with his camera phone and emailed it to me.  After we talked about background color, size, and style,  I started working. He was a part of the process each step of the way, I checked in with him to make sure he liked the sketch, underpainting and final product.

What really sets this painting apart from my usual work is the color scheme and size. It’s huge! 16″ x 20″!

I used a classic palette of Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Cerulean Blue, Ivory Black, Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Titan Buff and Yellow Ochre.  This painting started off with a grisalle which is a gray underpainting, then I painted the colors in multiple layers over top. I use Golden fluid acrylics, they are the best, but if you use cheap acrylics hand mix your skin tones! If you squeeze a generic flesh tone out from the bottle you end up with orange plastic skin – and that only looks good on Barbie dolls.

Traditionally or nontraditional? You can choose which style you like in my etsy shop: KatCanPaint! I sell custom, affordable portraits from your photographs just like this one.

<3 Kat