Exercise 24: Let’s Draw the Nose

How do Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, May 16th, THIS post will be updated with the new images and any tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

Exercise 24 (E24) – Let’s Draw the Nose

EXERCISE:  To understand how to sketch, shade, and color the Nose properly and accurately.

  • Two (2) Week Drawing Exercise!

This exercise takes us back to the basic understandings of drawing a fundamental facial feature, the nose. This has been requested multiple times and now we are going to isolate this feature and look at how it is shaped in the process of memorizing how the forms hold and how to shade the nose properly. This exercise breaks it down into 3 different sections: the sketching phase, the shading phase, and the coloring phase. So you can download the exercise handout and complete each square as follows:

1. front view sketch          2. side view sketch         3. 3/4 view sketch

4. front view shaded         5. side view shaded        6. 3/4 view shaded

7. pale skin colored          8. olive skin colored        9. dark skin colored

After you create the top row, copy those sketches down into the second row and use those as a base to shade on top of, working solely in greyscale. Think about the lighting and how it would wrap around the different forms of the nose. The nose is a mixture of rounded shapes and edges so imagine shading different spheres in a bundled cluster. For the last row, this is where the challenge comes in. Do your best to sketch, color, and shade different tones of skin. One nose for each square. Look at reference images and notice how light affects the color of each tone and how skin has a lot of underlying color. Skin is a mixture of colors ranging from warm flesh tones to cooler highlights. Take your time with each, especially if you are adding subsurface scattering in areas where the nose thins out, mainly in the nostril region.

DOWNLOAD: Download this Exercise 24 Practice Sheet .PSD HERE.



Last year I created a nose reference for some quick tips. Did some re-touches here and there, but this is still a great reference for some quick tips to remind yourself how to draw the nose. As with most things, break the nose down into shapes and shade those shapes accordingly. Don’t overthink it and if it looks forced or the lighting too intense, change it. Don’t allow yourself to settle with mediocrity. Keep pushing those forms and values until you are proud of the results!


GOAL: Establish confidence in understanding how to draw, shade, and color the nose properly and accurately

If you are looking to be a character artist, the facial features are essential to understand. This is one of those exercises that should be ingrained into your mind so that when you are working on a face, you don’t have to worry or stress about making the nose look correct, you will have the confidence that you know exactly how it should be shaded!


The Results Update

Diandra: shines are your friend! but don’t overdo it. Noses are all different shapes and sizes, experiment! Below is my final outcome.


Tim: There were some great submissions and we really enjoyed seeing the variety in the nose structures! Look forward to a full nose tutorial and walkthrough next week! Remember to not let the nose intimidate you. Work with it as different shapes and don’t be timid laying down some basework before you detail on top. It’s easier to have gesture lines or quick sketches to shape out the nose to draw on top of. Also remember that when shading the nose, keep those shapes in mind and just imagine lighting those basic shapes and have the values reflect that! Great work to those that submitted.


Remember: You can always submit even after the week is over! These are meant to act as exercises to practice and strengthen your work!

Leave Comment


2 Responses to “Exercise 24: Let’s Draw the Nose”

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.