Do you ever want to draw more expressive people but aren’t sure where to start? Today we’ll learn how to draw a guy expressing fear. Art takes practice and muscle memory, so get your own drawing tools ready and follow along as we draw this scared guy!
Step 1 – To begin, let’s start with a circle and cross hairs. This is going to be the head of our frightened guy, so place it near the top of your drawing paper. Keep your hand loose when drawing the circle and move your arm from the elbow and shoulder rather than at the wrist. You don’t need to apply much pressure since these are only guidelines. We’ll be erasing them later.
Step 2 – Now we’ll be drawing the outline for the rest of our guy’s head and shoulders. Like the original circle, try to keep your hand loose when making these curvy shapes. These are all basic “C” shapes since we’re just outlining now. Don’t forget that you can rotate the paper to get an angle where you have more control.
Step 3 – Next let’s get those hands in place over his mouth. The main part of each hand is an oval at a slight angle. They are positioned a little lower than halfway over the bottom of the head oval. Then add “C” shapes on top of those ovals for where the fingers are going to be. You can see where the arms will connect between the hands and the loose arm/shoulder shapes from before.
Step 4 – Moving on, we’re going to add some facial feature outlines. The eyes should sit on the top of the cross hairs line from Step 1 with the eyebrows above them. The nose will sit at the bottom of the circle from Step 1. Don’t forget to also add the hairline! It should end around where the ears start.
Step 5 – Here we can safely erase our guidelines from the first few steps. Then we’ll add detail to the facial features (eyes, nose, and ears) and get those fingers on properly. Think of the fingers like little oval segments between each joint. You can look at your own for reference. Remember from this view that the thumbs are mostly obscured.
Step 6 – Next is shading! Let’s go ahead and shade in the hair, eyebrows, and the shadow on his face behind his hands. We want to add some shading to the eyes, ears, and nose. It’s also a good time to mark out where the lighter shadows will sit on the face and hands with light boundary lines.
Step 7 – For this next step you may want to use a tissue or tortillion for blending. At this step, we’re going to be adding those lighter shadows around the face and hands in the areas we planned in the previous step. Think about how the light hits a face. The front of the forehead, the tip of the nose, and the cheekbones get most of the light, so the areas around them should be slightly shaded. You’re halfway through learning how to draw a guy looking scared!
Highlighting and Shading
Step 8 – After smudging our shadows to blended perfection, we need to erase some of the mess to make sure those shadows sit exactly in the right places. Pay careful attention to the creases of the face around the mouth, nose, and eyes. These should keep their shadows.
Step 9 – Now we’re going to give our guy some clothes! Outline the shape of his shirt. Note how fabric creases around different junctures of the body, like his armpits in this case. Also note that when people are scared, they often pull their arms in close. This will give the shirt some bundling and extra fabric around the chest area.
Step 10 – Let’s add some shading to the shirt like we did for the face and hands. Pay careful attention to creases and folds.
Step 11 – Then go a little darker for the lines we really want to lock in. We’ll outline the face and hands and deepen the darkness of shadows we made earlier.
Full Figure Shading
Step 12 – Next we’re going to add a layer of shadow over the whole figure. You can lightly shade with your pencil. After we get the base layer of shading down, we can go back and erase the areas we want to look highlighted.
Step 13 – Now we’ll use the same method of shading and erasing to add more detail. Notice we are focusing on really smoothing and blending those shadows, but we don’t want to lose the truly dark shadows like those of the ears and hand areas. The folds of the shirt and the arms are going to take the most attention here.
Step 14 – This is the part where any last tweaks are made. For this step, we just want to sharpen and darken our lines. Once we’re happy with the work, we can add a few more highlights back in by erasing. Ta-dah!
Now you know how to draw a guy who looks scared! I hope you apply the skills learned from these steps in similar, future drawing projects. You may also choose to use this figure in a bigger scene. Above all, keep practicing!
Note: I would like to thank artist Audrey Rosse for contributing her drawings and tips for this tutorial!