Introduction: Drawing a Female Bust for Beginners

About: My name is Karlie Williamson and I am a home-schooler from Montana. I love all things crafty but I spend most of my time drawing and painting. I know that I'm still learning myself but I hope that by sharing w…


Today I'm going to show you how to draw a female cartoon bust in my personal style. This is a really simple style and with a little practice you'll be creating your own characters in no time! I'll be showing you a very basic character with a neutral expression and a simple hair style.

Before we get started, there are few tips that you should remember throughout your drawing:

  1. Draw loosely. Shake your wrists out before you start, and then use quick, light strokes on your paper. You might even want to just practice sketching lightly on a scrap sheet before you start.
  2. Your eraser is your friend. There's nothing wrong with using it. (This is one reason you want to draw with light strokes, they're easier to erase.)
  3. Practice makes perfect. If you don't like how it turned out the first time, do it again. The more you practice the better you'll be.

Step 1: Ingredients

All you will need for this Instructable is:

  • a premium graphite pencil
  • a sketch book with 100 lb paper
  • a gummy eraser
  • a large white eraser
  • a Prismacolor sharpener
  • a pound of gold


  • a pencil
  • a few sheets of copy paper
  • an eraser

Step 2: Circles (ugh)

Circles. You would think they are the easiest thing to draw. But they're not. Most of the time they look like a squashed piece of candy, right? Well, that is soon to change. With a couple of tips, you'll be drawing circles so circular that Picasso would be jealous. (No, but really, these tips help.)

  • Don't just draw one circle, instead draw many circles lightly, moving your whole hand in a circular motion.
  • Move quickly. This keeps you from drawing too heavily.

If your circle is just not turning out, you can always trace something round such as a lid. This is a lot more time-consuming, though!

Step 3: The Guidelines

After you've drawn your perfect circle, divide it into quarters. Later on, your eyes will be placed on the horizontal line, and the perpendicular line helps to keep everything centered. Now place a short line halfway through the lower perpendicular line. This is where your nose will be. Next, you are going to mark where you want your chin. It should be about the same distance away from the bottom of the circle as the "nose line" is from the point where the lines cross.

Step 4: The Face (sort Of)

Now, we are going to finish drawing the outline of the face and neck. Start with a curved, c-shaped line, facing outwards on either side of the head. Next, draw sloping lines from these "c's" to the mark you drew for the chin. This, of course, creates the lower half of the face. This next step is optional, but I find it really helps to sketch out the top of the head. (I drew a dotted line in the picture) This will be covered by hair but it's good to have an idea of where her head is for later. Now it's time to draw her neck. In this style I like to make necks fairly long. When drawing them remember to use a loose hand, not making the lines too straight. Remember to add a beautiful slope from the neck to the shoulders! All we have left is the nose. I make my noses about as simple as you can get. They are literally an oval. If you want, you can make the nose look more 3D with shading, but it's not necessary. Place your nose right underneath the line you marked for it. At this point I like to lightly erase everything. You'll still be able to see your lines but they should be a lot lighter. Now you're done! Well, actually, not quite...

Step 5: Windows to the Soul

Eyes. It seems they are either an artist's favorite thing to draw or the bane of their existence. Either way, we should all know how to draw them. This eye style is simple and easy to draw. First draw a circle. (Yay!) Now continue the circle's lines to create an egg(ish) shape. Don't completely "finish" the egg. (Just look at the picture, okay?) I like to erase the circle inside the eye at this point. Now it is time to draw the iris. This is just another circle. You'll notice that in the picture I have the circle nearer to the left of the eye than the right. This will give your character a more focused look than if you had each iris in the center. Experiment! You can make your characters look in any direction you want, for obvious reasons just make sure both eyes are looking the same way. (Unless, of course, your character's crazy.) Next, we get to do the eyelashes. I make mine in different ways depending on the character, but I think this way is my favorite. It's basically thickening and extending the top line. I like to do it a little bit to the bottom too. Finally, all you have to do is add a small curved line for the eyelid. That's it! Now, we can add them to our picture.

Step 6: Adding the Windows

Now that you know how to draw eyes, we need to add them onto our masterpiece. Here are a few tips I have for this:

  • Don't draw one eye at a time. Work on them both at the same time, doing each step to both sides. This helps with getting them to look the same and prevents the strange, long banged hairstyle all artists try when attempting to cover up the "bad" eye.
  • Use light, loose strokes.
  • Don't be ashamed to use your eraser! That's what it's there for. If you aren't satisfied, don't get frustrated; just try again.

Step 7: The 'brows

It's time for the eyebrows. Again, some love 'em, some hate 'em. I like mine thick and bold. I think it gives a more determined and strong look to the character. If your character is meant to be delicate, then you should consider giving her thinner eyebrows. Also, eyebrows are one of the most expressive parts of the face, so there are many many ways to draw them. I am going to be showing you how to draw them in a neutral, resting position. Remember to use the same technique you used with the eyes. Draw both eyebrows at the same time. First, draw a curved line above the eye. Look in the mirror for reference! That's the curve you want in your picture. Now to fill out your eyebrow. Eyebrows are generally thicker near the middle of your face and kind of sharpen as they get to the outside. Don't draw square eyebrows! Give them an angle!

Step 8: "Muwah!"

It's time to add lips to your character! Start with a bow shape. The more you turn up the corners, the more she'll be smiling. Add the lower lip line by drawing a small curve below the bend in the bow. Now put in a smaller line with a curve to match the top line. Continue each side of your line to meet with the top one. The ends will curve up a little. You should now have a VERY soft W shape. To finish the outline, connect the bottom line to the corners of the mouth. (This is bit confusing, so definitely look at the pictures.) Now all that's left is shading! I like to make the top lip darker than the bottom one. You can also thicken the line in the middle to make it look like her mouth is partly open.

Step 9: The Ears

Ears are pretty easy, at least how I draw them. They're basically c-shaped curves that are a little wider at the top than the bottom. To place them, just line up the top of the ears with the top of the eyes. You can even sketch a little line like I did if you want. Now all you have to do is add a little s-curve inside each ear. You'll notice that I draw my ears kind of big. The size of the ears is a choice you have to make as an artist.

Step 10: Luscious Locks

You're almost done; you just need some hair! This is one of my favorite steps. There are just so many things you can do for the hair. Long, short, straight, or curly. Hundreds of styles, colors, and accessories. The possibilities are endless! I decided to show you the easiest hair I could think of. Long and straight with a center part. Start by drawing the part. Use the lines you made earlier (the center of the face and top of the head marks) to find the center. Using sweeping lines, make a loose "M" around her face. Form the rest of her hair around her head and shoulders. Remember, don't use straight lines. Give the hair movement! You'll notice that I chose to have her ears poking out through her hair because I think they're cute.

Step 11: Be Creative!

Now, it's time for the best part: adding the details. These are what make your character interesting and unique. Don't be afraid to go all-out. You want to add scars or moles or freckles? Do it! What about a piercing or some tribal paint? Definitely! Elf ears? Gills? Crazy-colored hair? Bring it on! It's YOUR character! You get to make her look however you want!

Step 12: Now You're Done.

Or are you? I just showed you the process of drawing out a sketch. What about inking, coloring, or drawing the rest of the body? My advice is to take a sketchbook and fill it with all the wonderful, awful, interesting, and weird pictures you can draw. The more you draw, the better you'll get. So, DON'T STOP! I'd love to see all of your drawings in the comments! Also, if you'd like more of this kind of Instructable from me, say so! I've really enjoyed this, and I hope you have too. Until next time!


P.S. I am entering this Instructable in the Epilog X contest, so if you liked this, please vote for me there!

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