# Modeling the Human Face in Illustrator

##### Download Source Files
This entry is part 5 of 16 in the Vector Portraits Session
« PreviousNext »

With a simple and direct methods described in this tutorial, you can create a female portrait easily. This process will have you creating anatomically correct human faces in no time.

### Final Image Preview

Below is the final image we will be working towards. Want access to the full Vector Source files and downloadable copies of every tutorial, including this one? Join Vector Plus for just 9\$ a month.

#### Tutorial Details

• Program: Adobe Illustrator CS 3
• Difficulty: Intermediate
• Estimated Completion Time: 60 minutes

### Step 1

Let’s open a new document in Illustrator (File > New).

### Step 2

We start with the construction of the ideal female proportions of the head in full face. Create two guides, horizontal and vertical that cross in the center of our document.

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a circle centered at the intersection of the guides, move the cursor to the mid point of intersection and extend the circle, while holding down Alt + Shift to constrain. Set it to no fill with a s black, 1 pixel stroke. The diameter of the circle will be equal to the width of the head. To simplify the calculations, I used a circle 250 pixels by 250 pixels.

### Step 3

In the left and right points of intersection with a horizontal guide, create lines by using the Pen Tool (P), while holding Shift.

### Step 4

Let’s split this into five sections. Select both lines and go to Object > Blend, apply the setting you see below.

### Step 5

The diameter received five parts. Each part is equal to the width of one eye. We’ll be placing the eyes under are 2 and 4.

### Step 6

Create a new line by using the Pen Tool (P) at the bottom point of the intersection with the vertical guide (point A).

### Step 7

Select the bottom line, go to Object > Transform > Move… at a distance equal to the width of the eye (50 pixels) and press Copy. Now press Command + D. Point A will be the tip of the nose.

Now press Command + D. Point A will be the tip of the nose.

### Step 8

Now divide segment A/B in half and get point D. Select line A and B, and create a Blend.

### Step 9

Create a circle of radius D/C by using the Ellipse Toll (L). The center of a circle is at point D. Point C is the lower boundary of the chin, point D is the upper boundary of the mouth, and point B is the lower boundary of the mouth.

### Step 10

Create a tangent of the circle to the right and left, using the guides. Place the guides and rotate, using the Rotate Tool (R).

### Step 11

We connect the circles of lines E and F on the guide. Connecting lines E and F at the points of contact with the larger circle line G. Line G is the upper limit of the eye.

### Step 12

Create a line for the cheeks. Create a circle with center at a point E, radius at point G and the circle with center at F radius at G.

### Step 13

Cut the circle with scissors and remove the unnecessary parts.

### Step 14

Create two vertical lines at points E and F by using the Pen Tool (P). These lines are the lateral limits of the head.

### Step 15

Cut along those lines using the Scissors Tool (C) and remove unnecessary parts of the template.

### Step 16

We connect the outer contour of the face. Select the nearby anchor points and go to Object > Path > Average and apply Both. Then apply Object > Path > Join.

Thus, we close all the paths. The darker area indicates the deepening of a cheek bone.

### Step 17

We lower the vertical line down to where the eye will be located. Rename the layer in the “template” and lock it.

### Step 18

Now create a new “eye” layer at the top. We will start to create eyes. Eyes are probably the most important part of the human face, “eyes are a mirror to the soul.” Create an ellipse by using the Ellipse Tool (L). Select the right and left anchor point and convert the points to corners.

### Step 19

Now raise the outer corner by turning the eye counterclockwise.

### Step 20

Select the eye and add anchor points. Making the internal part of the eye slightly concave by using the Direct Selection Tool (A). Convert he extreme left anchor point to Smooth.

### Step 21

Now we’ll build the lashes. Take the Pen Tool (P) and create the shape of the lashes. Also, create a line to emphasize the thickness of the lower eyelid.

### Step 22

Create two ellipses: the pupil and iris.

### Step 23

Copy and paste in front the contour of the eye, select the iris, pupil and contour of the eye, before making the clipping mask.

### Step 24

Now we’ll make an art brush. First create an ellipse, then convert the right and left anchor point to a corner. Drag the shape to the Brushes palette. Drawing the fold of skin, parallel to the boundary of the upper eyelid using the Pen Tool (P). Now apply the new brush.

### Step 25

Select all the objects the of the eye and group them (Command + G). Now go to Object > Transform > Reflect, choose Vertical and press Copy. Place the eyes in the right places of the template.

### Step 26

Now we’ll make a new “mouth” Create a form for the upper and lower lips by using the Pen Tool (P). Place the lips in the correct places of the template.

### Step 27

Now let’s make a new “nose” layer. We denote the minimum number of lines to the nose. The tip of the nose should be located at the intersection of the straight lines shown below.

Create an ellipse, drag it into the Brushes palette to make a new art brush. Select the nostrils and apply the new brush.

### Step 28

Take the Pen Tool (P) and create a curve in the form of an eyebrow. Create a new art brush and apply it to the curve.

### Step 29

Now we’ll create a new “ear” layer. Take the Pen Tool (P) and create the shape of the ear and skin folds. Select all the objects of the ear and group them (Command + G).

Now go to Object > Transform > Reflect, select Vertical and press Copy. Place the ears in the correct areas of the “template.” The height of the ear is the height of the upper eyelid to the tip of the nose.

### Step 30

Now we’ll make the “face” layer. Copy the path from the template and paste it in this layer.

### Step 31

Let’s create the hair next. First make two new layers: “hair front” and “hair back.” Place the layer “hair front” above all the layers, and place the layer “hair back” below all the layers. Now take the Pen Tool (P) and create a shapes for the hairstyle.

### Step 32

Now we’ll create a new “neck” layer. Use the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape of the neck.

### Step 33

Now we’ll be getting into more subtle work on the portrait. Go to the “eye” layer. Fill the iris with a radial gradient that goes from white to green (C=57, M=26, Y=60, and K=10).

### Step 34

Now we’ll decide where to place the source of light. I placed the light source right in the center. Location of the light source determines where we will have flashing in her eyes, and in the future it will determine the location of the shadows on the face. Create glare in the eye by making an ellipse, fill it with white, and give it no stroke.

Now take the Pen Tool (P) and create a shadow on the upper eyelid. In the Transparency palette, change the blending mode to Darken, Opacity to 100%. Now fill the eyeball with a radial gradient that from white to light pink (C=7, M=12, Y=9, and K=0). Take the Pen Tool (P) and emphasize lashes.

### Step 35

Now we’ll make the corner of the eye. Create a shape and place it under a clipping mask as shown. Create a white ellipse that will act as a highlight in the corner of the eye.

### Step 36

Now create the other eye corner for the left eye. Pick a place on the right.

### Step 37

Go to the “mouth” layer. Fill the lips with a linear gradient from pink (C=27, M=100, Y=100, and K=26) to red (C=27, M=73, Y=76, and K=16).

### Step 38

Create a series of white ellipses to use as highlights on the lips.

### Step 39

Go to the “face” layer and fill it with a skin tone color (C=2, M=11, Y=21, and K=0). Now use the Pen Tool (P) to create a form of shadows on the face. Fill in the shadow color (C=5, M=18, Y=38, and K=0).

### Step 40

Similarly, shade the neck.

### Step 41

Use the Pen Tool (P) to create a shadow for the hair. In the Transparency palette change the blending mode to Darken.

### Step 42

Let’s turn to the “hair” layer. Use the Pen Tool (P) and create the strands of hair.

### Conclusion

Some designers have difficulty creating a portrait, as you can see there is nothing overly complicated in the process used here. I hope you get pleasure from this lesson. Dear friends, write a comment if you are interested in the continuation of this theme, as we could cover more portrait types and creating human figures in future tutorials. Good Luck!

Subscribe to the Vectortuts+ RSS Feed to stay up to date with the latest vector tutorials and articles.

• http://www.sommersethdesign.no Tom Sommerseth

Excellent tutorial! Will surely check this out in detail later!

• Leah Bulloch

I’ve been looking for something like this for a little while. Thank you for creating this tutorial. I will test this out tomorrow.

• http://margaretnicholdesign.deviantart.com/ margaret

Good to see a detailed tut on the proportions of the face. This is something that a lot of people just don’t know how to do. You’ve got everything right in yours, but there are some extra steps that you could have gone over. Like that the outside corners of the lips should line up to the outside rim of the iris, and that the nose should be approx the same width as the eye.

• http://designi1.com designi1

pretty cool :D nice tips and thanks for the great tut… keep going the good work Lazunov Iaroslav

• Lily

Her chin is too big I guess, but great tut anyway.

• mik

otli4no! sdelai takoi je tutorial na latinice

• arcasa88

Thanks, good tutorial, , the way of make the face is very interesting

My attempt

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/5343/99064390.jpg

Next , Modeling the human body in illustrator ??

I am waiting it

• Iaroslav Lazunov

Excellent job.

• Skazius

Now this is the kind of tutorial i can use!

• Rajwinder singh

hi ,,, Lazunov Yaroslav….
hey this tutorial was awesome..
i almost know how to do other things except this..
thankz aton to u….for giving this tutorial..
i really appreciate ur efforts..
keep sending these kind of tutorials…
plz plz…do upload more n more…
its only bcoz of u guys …vector tutsplus is so helpfull for us..
thanz to u n thakz to vector tutsplus…
i continuously prcticing these tuts…
n they are very very helpfull for me..
thanx once again… Lazunov Yaroslav
u rock..

• http://www.devdsine.blogspot.com/ devdsine

good work on those eyes!

• Levi

Hmm… a little constructive criticism. The lips are too narrow. They should be wider. The eyes are relatively well done, but the tear ducts need some work. Unless she is a member of the military, her neck is too thick and too straight. You should add a gentle curve to soften it up. An average between the neck you made and the neck that arcasa88 made should do.

• gherrin

i LIKE a woman with a big neck!

• http://www.bleedcreative.com Steve

While the finished result isnt too much to my liking and needs some work, there are some great techniques used in building the face. People can learn a lot from this tutorial – good work!

• Lingura

Great tut! Can i add a few things?

1. Make the top eyelid line thicker.

2. Add the neck muscles: i dont know how it’s called in english, but it’s the one you see when you turn your head.

3. bottom lip is bigger than the top lip.

4. the top lip is darker.

But overall, it’s an awesome tut!

• http://www.criaideias.com.br/english.hmtl Gustavo Guichard

Nice Tut… But… I’d never kiss that girl!

• Iqubal

and she’s never kiss you.

• http://pica-ae.deviantart.com pica-ae

nice tut… i guess
actually the proportions are not quite right and you could have saved like 10 steps

the eyes should be in the middle, the nose tip in the middle between the eyes and the chin, and the lips in the middle between nose tip and chin…

• Alessandra

it d be awesome to have more tutorials like this!

• Sh@rjil

Excellent Work!

• Myron

Good tutorial. Thank you.
My attempt in Inkscape:
http://www.gimpuj.info/gallery/671_10_02_10_1_46_31.png

• Iaroslav Lazunov

fine

• Jasmine

Amazing!!!!!!!!!
Thanks!!

• ne

Here’s my attempt… I kinda made some artistic decisions of my own

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=143208&id=543983037&saved#!/photo.php?pid=3509735&id=543983037

• Iaroslav Lazunov

It is a good portrait!

• khalid

stunning, thx for share

• http://www.bloggerzbible.blogspot.com/ Bloggerzbible

Nice tutorial

• http://facebook.com/MahdiF Mahdi Al-Farra

Nice tutorials, but are you sure that’s a girl?

• Iaroslav Lazunov

Sportswoman ;)

• Groningen

thank you for this excellent tutorial :D

• Daniel

Hi Iaroslav
Very good tutorial I’ve learn much about Ilustrator and how to design in human proportions
Here is my work, Thank You

http://subefotos.com/ver/?282ff5b4e4b9a4c007041d790d95c790o.jpg

• Ghada

Wowww! Thanks a million. I was looking for something like that. Here’s my attempt:

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/5839/creatingafemaleface.jpg

I’d appreciate if you have a look on it and tell me how good is it:

BTW, I designed it using corelDraw, not illustrator, but following ur guides :)

• http://www.caramelink.com Carine

Cool I like your tutorial, these steps are so precise! I’ve never tried illustrating a face this way.

• jjju

Her eyes and lips are too small, the neck is too thick and straight and the face is too wide. And why has she got little white clouds on her lips?

• Daisys

Thank you very much for this tutorial. It is excellent and just what I was looking for. I’m also looking for a tutorial for the full body with arms stretching out at a 45 degree angle on both sides – are you planning on doing anything like that? Nice touch with the art brushes :)

• Ida

This was a realy good tutorial! Great job!

• syd

Brilliant!

• WebProgramer

Can I design this with illustrator 10

• Aru

yes you can

• Redguy

Yes, I am very very interested in this theme, I made the tutorial, I loved it, I made a lot of work with it, PLEASE keep this theme going

• http://twitter.com/erestonto mktrefe

Thanks from spain!!
We had create this potrail in a school project.

• S.APPOOTHY

It is a very fine tutorial! Thank You!
Appoothy

• http://www.mytalkbd.com afm shajib

This is amazing. Really amazing. I like it. I am trying it on pc now :D thaks for sharing.

• Manthos

I love symetric lines and I like your very fine tutorial.
I’m a newbie in Vector creation. I was try to design this… and made it!
This is my first real Vector design Portrait.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4224279442555