Drawing a cartoon face using the ball technique

In my classes at the The Cartoon Academy I often talk about the ‘ball technique’ for drawing a character’s face.

It’s quite simple in theory but can be a little tricky in practice. Largely because it involves a certain amount of imagining of the features before you draw.

Here’s a 3 step guide to drawing a character’s face using a ball.

First off image that the character’s skull is a ball and choose a direction for them to be looking

The simplest way to imagine this is by holding a white football and drawing two black lines on it.

The first line represents the nose line and the second the eye line.

Something like this.

You can imagine that by turning the ball around you’d see those lines appear different on the surface.

Second, we place the eyes and nose on the ball

For a human character the eyes and nose would be fairly close. On an animal such as a dog or a bear the nose would protrude a little on the end of the snout. So in those cases we draw the nose a little further away from where the lines cross.

Third, and final, we complete the rest of the face

Once the eyes and nose are in place it becomes much easier to draw the complete face.

In the case of a human character the ear would rest on the eye lines.

In many animal cases the ears would sit higher.

Depending on which way the character is facing we’d see more or less of the forehead / chin area.

Here’s a few examples. Most of the characters that I draw use this technique.



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