Do not skip on how to draw ears as an artist. Even if being covered by hair or other decorative ornaments, the ear is one of the small things that complete a picture of a person. This guide will go through the process of understanding an completing a fully realistic ear drawing.
The ear is an organ that is commonly associated with hearing. There is are complex mechanisms that takes vibrations from the outer, transfers it to the middle and inner ear, which is then processed to our brain to become sound.
The other wonderful function is that it facilitates balance as it can adjust to both static posture and dynamic movement. The ear is also used as decoration in society for thousands of years. Primarily, these decorations are done on the ear lobe but it isn't uncommon to have decorations being places on other parts of the ear.
Although there are many types of ears, it has the same common shapes. Therefore, we must know the parts that comprise the ear. You're not expected to learn all of them. However, it'll be a good idea to learn it as I will refer to these areas when I explain how to draw ears.
Take a minute or so and just study a diagram of the ear to the best of your abilities. It will pay off later as you gain more knowledge on it in the long run. Specifically, the helix, antihelix, tragus, antitragus, and the lobe are key areas to understand.
In your basic sketch, the main focus is the overall shape. This is my suggestion. Start from the outer helix and circle around to the ear lobe. Then, draw in the tragus, follow the lines of the helix, circle back to form the antihelix, change directions to create the root of the helix, and then finish it off at the antitragus.
The next step would be to fill in the sketch. On another layer, aside from the neutral color tone, darken the inner sections of the outer ear and the hair that surrounds the ear. There are lighter shaded areas around the chin and the sides. Make sure to block these areas in.
Once this particular section is done, merge both the sketch layer and the colored layer together. This will make it a lot easier to draw things quickly as we will use this simple base as a guide to chisel out the rest of the form and to get rid of those rough sketch lines in one go.
The helix is perhaps the most important part of learning how to draw the ear as it is used to separate the ear from the background hair. With a large chalk brush, carefully create a circular band of light color all around and ending at the ear lobe.
Using the same sized chalk brush, circle in the inner darkened portions of the ear in an attempt to erase or blend in some of those gesture lines. Now, define the tragus by picking up the face's skin color and then drawing into the darkened area.
The difference in color illustrates the potential depth of the areas. What allows everything to fit together is the root of the helix. With the helix root drawn in, you will also create the external auditory meatus a direct result.
About half the ear has been developed using the the tragus and the helix. Next, develop it a bit more by suggesting the antihelix. From the lob, block in a curved area reaching from the bottom to the top of the upper ear. At the top, fork the antihelix into two more paths.
While you suggested the root of the helix at the previous step, there is still a color difference to consider in learning how to draw ears. Now, select the color for the helix and then blend it out like a gradient to the inner parts of the ear. The goal is to make the helix root and the helix itself into one continuous band of skin.
The antihelix is another area of skin that needs continued attention. Continue bringing it out so it matches the color of the main helix. If done correctly, it will create the scalpha, and parts of the fossa cavity. Of course, if the fossa cavity is too deep based on its color, consider blocking that in too.
The antihelix reached another vital part of the ear: the antitragus. Using a small chalk brush, draw curves that combine the antihelix to the antitragus, and thus, combining it to the tragus. The sharp edges of the chalk brush will automatically create a boundary between the antitragus with the rest of the ear cavity.
This is also a good opportunity to work on the rest of the drawing. As the ear is very close to the hairline, consider drawing and refining the hair a around the ear. It really is an excellent opportunity to learn about hair volume and how curves around the back of the head.
The previous steps in learning how to draw the ear had you draw out the key structures that construct an ear. With all the different values, it seems that the antihelix and parts of the meatus are not at the correct level. Now you need to even out the topography.
The easiest way to level the entire ear is to go over it with a very large round brush tip using the helix color. This is the first step in unify the entire ear in one color. Be careful though, there is always a chance some of the textures can be lost.
Once the colors are unified, draw in little areas of shadow in the ear cavities. This can be done with a small chalk brush. Moreover, you can switch over to a light brush to work out some of the reflective light found in the major areas of the antihelix.
There is another point of unification to consider: antihelix with the main helix. Near the bottom, blend in the two areas together with a round brush. There is a lot variety that you can do here as there are some ears that have this area extend all the way to the ear lobe.
Speaking of the lobe, consider lightening up this area as well. Since it is a flat area, just a simple flat color is enough to bring it out. It is also possible to start thinking about adding an earring to add a little bit of extra to the drawing.
Since the ear is only one part of the face, you can consider refining the chin and the hair connected to the ear. Again, just be mindful of the outline. Any hair that wrap around the ear will need to be carefully drawn in. Use a separate layer for these extras until you are comfortable with drawing it directly on the ear.
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