The face of an older man displays a lifetime of character, experience, and personality. Just as there are differences between drawing children and adults, there are differences between drawing a younger adult and an older adult. If you think drawing an old man is difficult, not to worry! The differences between drawing a young man and an older gentleman are actually very few, in my opinion.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to draw an old man on his birthday. Here is the reference photograph we will use throughout the lesson.
I will break this lesson down into two main parts. The first part consists of drawing the basic facial features, which for an old man is no different than for a younger man. The main thing that is different about drawing an old man is properly indicating the placement of wrinkles. The second part of the lesson will cover that.
Draw the Basics for the Face
Begin by drawing the basic guidelines for the face. You can use any kind of pencil you want, but I found my mechanical pencil especially helpful for the many fine lines that are called for in later steps of this tutorial.
If you know how to draw a face, you should know that the basics for guidelines that place facial features are the same for an adult of any age. Use the diagram below to get you started with properly placed guidelines for this man.
Draw the facial features. See that the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears fit within the parameters of your guidelines. Use a circle template to draw the perfectly round circles forming each iris.
Erase the guidelines with a kneaded eraser for the tight spots. Then draw the the man’s hair. This includes the hair on the top of his head as well as his eyebrows and moustache.
How to Draw Wrinkles
Now let’s see how to draw wrinkles that would realistically appear on an old man. Begin by drawing wrinkles on the forehead. These are often called “worry lines”. But how many should you draw? I count about four rows on our subject. They should be somewhat disconnected and follow the curvature of the skull.
Draw wrinkles around the eyes. As you can see, lots of wrinkles form around the eyes as we get older. But where do you begin? Use the image below to guide you. Except for the frown lines shown by the green arrow, the wrinkles indicated by the other arrows should be duplicated on both sides of the face. These include wrinkles above the eyebrows (blue), crow’s feet (red), “bags” under the eyes (yellow), and even a wrinkle on each eyelid (purple).
Draw wrinkles around the nose and mouth. These include lines that come down the cheeks from the eyes (blue), the nasolabial folds or “smile lines” (red), and wrinkles along the sides of the cheeks beside the mouth (green) and under the mouth for the chin (yellow).
This is how the old man’s face should look after drawing the wrinkles.
Finish the man’s face. Draw some subtle, barely-noticeable eyelids. He has a couple of moles on his forehead you can draw. Additionally, draw strands of hair to make the top of his head, his eyebrows, and his moustache fuller.
Complete the picture by drawing the details on the birthday hat and the man’s shirt. Make the cone atop the man’s head look like a birthday hat with a few balloons, ribbons, and stars. I used the straight edge of my circle template to straighten the lines on each side of the birthday hat. Draw a string from the hat that goes around the man’s chin. Make an open collar and a few carefully placed folds for the man’s shirt. Remember to draw a few wrinkles that indicate the man’s neck.
These steps will leave you with a completed line drawing of an old man. If you want to take your drawing to the next level, you can feel free to add some shading. You can also leave it as is, your choice!
That concludes this tutorial on how to draw an old man. Aside from some well-placed lines to reflect age and experience, you can now see that drawing an old man is really no different than drawing any other man!