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Drawing African features

Not all fashion designs look their best on pale skin models. Sometimes a darker skin is what it takes to make the design idea pop. However simply coloring the skin in a darker shade isn’t the best solution. To draw an African or African-American model correctly you need to pay attention to the specifics of the face also. In this tutorial you will learn how to draw the facial features of a black model step-by-step.

Step 1: Draw the face guidelines

Start by drawing a vertical Centerline and place two overlapping circles on it. The bottom circle overlaps the top one right at the center.

Tip: Try to draw the circles about the same size. If they have any difference in size make sure that the bottom one is the smaller circle.

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Step 2: Eyes and nose guidelines

This step is very important. Firstly you draw an ellipse covering the very bottom of the top circle. The nose in the African models is wider compared to Caucasians. Make sure the shape of the ellipse reflects that.
Next draw two ellipses for the eyes. Notice how uplifted and wide set the eyes are. African faces tend to have eyes that are wider set. Leave enough space from the outer corner of the eye to the face guideline!

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Step 3: The face shape

Black skin models usually have very beautiful face shape with pronounced cheekbones. The cheekbones are the highest point of the face outline and finish right under the nose level.
To draw the jaw line connect soft curves to the horizontal line marking the chin. Use the face guidelines to help you with the symmetry.

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Step 4: Drawing the eyes and the nose

Using the guidelines draw the eyes. They are almond shaped and somehow rounded in the middle. Don’t lose the lifted outer corner.
To draw the nose start with a very opened “V” with curved corners. Next draw a bracket on each side.

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Step 5: Lips guideline

It is time to mark a guideline for the lips. Place an ellipse with almost round shape in the middle of nose-to-chin area. Notice that the ellipse is slightly closer to the nose than to the chin.

Tip: To avoid making the lips too wide stop at about 1/3 of the eye width.

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Step 6: Draw the lips

The key of drawing beautiful black girl’s lips is in the shape of the top half. Make sure the line goes up immediately after the corner as oppose to the gradual increase towards the center in Caucasians. “How to draw the lips”  and “How to draw sexy lips” are tutorials that might help also.

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Step 7: Add the face details

Clean up the unnecessary lines. Gently mark the bridge of the nose which is rather small compared to the nose tip. Then add the eyebrows. Short, thick and curved eyebrows work best for drawing an African face. You can also sketch some lip lines and a cupid bow if you wish.

Tip: All ethnicities have details unique to the race. In my online course on How to Draw Faces you will find tips on that and become an expert in drawing models that are Asian, Indians, Native Americans, Latinas and more.

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Step 8: Finishing touches

Draw the eyes, neck and ears of your model. The last touch is a beautiful afro hairstyle and your model is ready to go!

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Hopefully this tutorial have helped you draw an African/African-American girl and now you only need to dress her up with amazing clothes. For an easy to follow step-by step tutorial on white girl’s face click here.

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13 comments

  1. @Katherine Gushchina

    Not to be rude but what you see and statistics are two very different things.You clearly said that if you look at an African American, statistically speaking, that compared to caucasians they have very droopy eyelids. But in what statistic does it say that every and all African Americans have “droopy eyelids” what you’re doing is condemning the artist based on the observations that you made. It simply is disrespectful to the piece of art and does not make any sense.

  2. djglassworks@hotmail.com

    Droopy eyelids? What does that even mean? And TONS of people get lip fillers. And they are not “shunned.” And how can you speak on what all white men like. You are literally the dumbest. Africans literally come hundreds if not thousands of ways. So what are you even talking about? I think the drawing is great and you are ridiculous.

  3. i feel like their no right or wrong in any race everyone built diffrently its genetics some have widder noses and bigger lips then other and its based on ancestory …

  4. Katherine Gushchina

    @Proud black girl with beautiful skin and soft lips

    “You people are always trying to darken your skin and make your lips fuller like ours. Looks to me like you want to be black!”

    LoL, what? Only a crazy fringe group of white women get lip injections and they are widely ridiculed, hated and shunned by the white community. Also, the overwhelming majority of white women do not tan at all and those who do do not tan themselves to have a black African or biracial skin tone. They go for a golden, somewhat bronzed tone but they still look fully white after it. They just go from very pale to somewhat sun-kissed. Besides, white men hate it when white women get tans. They like natural white and pale skin tones.

    It is a biological fact that black people have more droopy eyelids than whites. Look at any black person and you can clearly see it. It’s not something you should get offended about. If I said that black people have wider noses and larger lips would you also have gotten mad even if that is a biological fact (except for Eastern Africans like Ethiopians and Eritreans, etc.)

  5. Asa black girl, i think the above comments are sad, the illustration clearly looks like a black girl and she looks gorgeous. she can’t illustrate every shade of black or every type of feature . Seriously smh

  6. Proud black girl with beautiful skin and soft lips

    Katherine you are full of crap! And that’s using my words lightly. I don’t have droopy eyelids and neither does my mom or sisters! I’m pecan colored so I’m lighter than that! Watch how you talk about another race of people, you know why, because we can say all you white people have skinny lips and thin stringy hair. Plus, not all black people gave big lips butt hole! You people are always trying to darken your skin and make your lips fuller like ours. Looks to me like you want to be black!

  7. Very nice, but black people tend to also have droopy eyelids, which you left out of this sketch. Also, the skin tone you chose is a bit on the light side.

  8. Hi, I wonder what the meaning of guidelines. does it mean the structural lines in drawing? would you please answer.

  9. Can you do some with different view angles and hairstyles?

  10. the fuck is right bitches this shit is wrong i know our lips are big but Damn nigga

  11. Since that comment most likely wont go through… This is just so ignorant…

  12. What the. fuck. ? !

  13. Pınar Ateşoğlu

    Normal bir insan yüzü gibi

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