Drawing ears may seem difficult and complex because they contain many bumps, valleys and folds. Learning how to draw an ear is is a lot easier when you learn to simplify it’s complex shapes like the example image below.
Use a 2B pencil to add your mid-tones. Shade areas such as the opening of the ear, shallow valleys and slight folds.
Draw a hook shape that starts from line B and ends at line A.
Use the shadow lining technique to draw a curve in the center of the ear. Try not to make it parallel to the curve drawn in step 4.
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When drawing portraits, people usually do not put too much effort into creating a likeness with their subject’s ears because we usually recognize people by their faces or other unique features that stand-out.
Outline the shape of the ear making sure the bottom part of the ear (ear lobe) is smaller in proportion to the top part of the ear (known as the helix).
Using a blunt HB pencil, draw a narrow ear shape. If you want to draw ears that stick out of the head a lot more, draw your ear wider.
Shade the areas outlined in the previous step with a 4B pencil. Remember to shade deeper parts of the ear darker and bumps lighter.
Click the following link and hit the download button beside the printer icon to download the PDF: RapidFireArt Tutorials – How to Draw an Ear in 5 Easy Steps
Use a blunt HB pencil to shade an even layer of graphite across the entire ear. If you want bright white highlights, don’t shade over them.
If any shadows cross through the ‘y’, make sure you warp them to compliment any ridges, bumps or valleys of the ‘y’.
I’ve gotten some requests for the left ear, so here are the steps for those of you struggling with the other side:
At the beginning of the tutorial, I pointed out three main shapes within an ear. We drew two of them in step 2. The third shape looks like the letter ‘y’. You can either draw the ‘y’ very lightly or picture it on your drawing instead. We’ll be using it later in this step.
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Then, measure the length of your drawing and create a ruler beside it. Draw 3 lines through the ruler, breaking it into 4 equal sections. I’m labeling the 3 lines A, B and C so I can refer to them easily.
Using an hb pencil, shade the rest of the ear, keeping in mind that the bumps should be lightest and valleys darkest. Use a blending stump to blend each area separately (learn about how to use a blending stump here). Use a kneaded eraser to bring out the lightest areas of the ear if needed.
Remember to leave a small amount of room around the edge. The left side of the curve should curl slightly into the center of the ear.
Between the 2 lines you just drew, draw a large hook shape that sits on line C. This is the anti-tragus.
“Where exactly do I draw an ear on the head?” Click here to find out!
Materials I used for this simple ear drawing tutorial: – Blending stump – HB Derwent pencil – 4B Derwent pencil – Canson Sketch paper (not the usual Canson Bristol Paper which is my ultimate favorite. Ran out of that.)
In one continuous stroke starting from line B, draw the tragus (the small flap in front of the ear canal) and end your stroke with a small hook that rests above line C.
Your outlines should not be too dark because you don’t want them to show through after you shade.
Tools: – HB, 2B and 4B pencils – Canson Bristol Paper – Ruler or Straight Edge (Optional) – Paper Stump – Kneaded Eraser
If your pencil is still sharp, use a scrap piece of paper to make it blunt and then draw your shadows.
The second curve should come out of the first one and have a tear-shaped bottom. Wrap the curve up to form a flap (known as the tragus). Make sure you leave a good amount of space at the bottom for the ear lobe.
Use a blending stump to smooth out your shading. If your highlights are too dark, roll your kneaded eraser to a fine tip and dab some graphite away. If your edges are blurred, use a sharp pencil to redefine your edges and blend them lightly if needed.
Add a curve to the far right which starts at the top of the ear and ends below line C. Leave a fair amount of space for the earlobe.
Even though they are not given a lot of attention, it is still good practice to learn how to draw an ear and understand it’s structure.
Decide on a direction from which the light is coming from and use soft lines to indicate where the darkest shadows will fall. These places will be the most prominent folds and deepest valleys within the ear.
Draw 2 curves to indicate the main folds within the ear. The first curve should line the middle to top part of the ear. You can make this curve as smooth or jagged as you want.
To keep your edges sharp and clean when you shade, use a sharp 4B pencil to re-outline areas of the ear that cast the darkest shadows – Areas such as deep valleys, major folds and overhang.
Click the following link and hit the download button beside the printer icon to download the PDF: RapidFireArt Tutorials – How to Draw an Ear From the Front