Draw the Cowboy’s Head
Draw the Ear
Now that the outline of the cowboy hat is complete, we are going to draw the outline of the visible portion of the cowboy’s head, which is the upper part of the head. Let’s focus on the ear first.
Draw a small line down from the bottom of the brim to represent the top of the head. This line should be placed just slightly inside the line of the crown.
The curve of the ear meets at this line, so you’ll want to start the ear a bit lower and slightly in front of the line you just drew. Curve the ear upward and, after reaching the line, continue this curve downward until you complete the earlobe. A little more than one-third of the bottom of the ear should be below the bottom line of the hat brim.
Begin drawing the characteristics of the outer ear. Draw a line curving alongside the upper part of the ear. This is known as the helix. Then draw this sort of curved V shape for the lower part of the ear.
Keep drawing a curved line up and alongside the original ear outline to complete the helix. Then we will begin to draw more details to make the ear look more realistic.
Finish up the ear by adding a few more lines that make up the typical shapes found in an ear. Ears can be very tricky to draw, but they get easier the more you practice. I suggest looking at and studying many different pictures of ears and trying to draw them in different positions. If you are having trouble with the ear for this drawing, you can look closely at the reference photograph and watch me do it a few times first before you give it a try.
Draw the Outline for the Hair
After the ear, sketch the outline for the hair of the head. With the hat on, all we can really see are the sideburns going alongside the ear. Lightly draw a few marks to begin establishing the hairline.
Keep working your way down the sideburn. The top of the back hairline connects to the start of the ear. It then curves down to create the sideburn. Finish the sideburn when it’s slightly above the bottom of the ear.
Lightly draw an outline of the cowboy’s beard attached to but below the sideburn. The reference photo shows us that this beard isn’t as thick as the cowboy’s hair, so we don’t want to shade it darker than the hair. By making the outline lighter than that of the hair, this can help us remember to shade it lighter too when we get to the shading portion of the drawing.
While we are here, let’s add just a few more details to the lower ear. Let’s also draw the back of the neck.
Draw the Outline for the Eyes
Now, let’s spend some time on the eyes.
But first, draw the other side of the head just in front on the corner turn on the brim.
The farthest eye sits slightly below the lowest part of the front brim. As you begin drawing the outline of the eyes, keep in mind the tilt of the head that is roughly parallel to the headband of the hat. The guideline for the eyes should line up with the top of the ear.
At the inner part of this eye, draw a small line down to represent the nose.
Now back to the eye. We’ll start with just the almond-shaped eye outline of this eye and the other one to make sure the placement is correct before adding in the details.
Along the guideline, sketch two small vertical marks to help you place the corners of the second eye. Since this eye is slightly closer to the foreground than the other eye, this eye should be slightly larger.
To make sure you get the distance between the two eyes right, compare it to the length of the first eye. You should be able to roughly fit the length of the first eye in the space between the two eyes.
For the second eye, start the corner at the same level as the first eye. The outer corner of the eye should then be angled a bit higher towards the top of the ear. This is easily achieved by using our guidelines. When drawing the contours of the eye, remember that the eyes are pointier at the corners and a little wider in the middle.
Draw Details for the Eyes
You can now fill in the details of the eyes. Begin by sketching a light outline above and below the eye that is closest to us in the foreground. These will be the eyelids for this eye. We will sketch the eyelids for the other eye soon enough.
Next, draw a curved line in the middle of the eye. This line will be the side of the iris. Since the cowboy is looking at us, we want the iris to be positioned so that it is at the corner of the eye rather than in the center. Repeat this with the other eye. Use the reference photo to help with proper placement.
Draw a tiny circle near the upper top corner of each iris. These circles will be small highlights in each eye. Then draw another tiny circle positioned in the center of each iris. These will be the pupils. The highlights should overlap the pupils.
Now draw the eyelids for the other eye in the same manner as we did for the first eye. Then it’s time for the eyebrows. These should follow the same angle as the eyes and should be just longer than the eyes. The bottom of the eyebrow is just above the top of the eye. The corner of the eyebrow should come down to our guideline from earlier.
I often prefer to draw eyelashes towards the end of the drawing, after most of the shading is complete. So instead of the eyelashes now, let’s sketch a few final details to define the bridge of the nose and the cowboy’s beard and hair. This will complete the outline portion of our drawing.