Free Art Tutorial: How to Draw or Paint the Nose Step by Step

By Milan Art Institute on March 8, 2021
Free Art Tutorial: How to Draw or Paint the Nose Step by Step

Photo caption: Learning how to draw or paint the nose counts as a critical step for artists who want to do portrait work. Photo courtesy of Milan Art Institute.

Drawing or painting facial features doesn’t take talent as much as developed basic skills. However, the ability to acquire these skills is a major step towards moving from student artist to master artist.

But what you need to become a master artist is truly just under your nose. It’s not hidden at all. It’s right in plain sight, so to speak.

Yes, and it’s right, not left. We’re talking about tapping into the infinite power of your right brain to turn your art from good to superior.

If you begin drawing the nose using your left brain, your lines become more rounded and look cartoony. When you use your right brain to look at your source, it’s easier to break the image down into shapes and angles. This, in turn, helps you create a better piece. 

Talking about tapping into your right brain may seem simplistic, but never underestimate the power this has to change your art for the better. This one principle alone has turned many a novice artist into a professional artist.

Your ability to approach your art-making from the right brain instead of the left is what makes all difference in the success you have when drawing or painting the human nose. This art tutorial gives you some step-by-step instructions on how to realistically paint or draw the human nose.

What You Need to Know About Drawing a Realistic Nose

So, it may be right under your nose, but what kind of nose does your source have? Take a look. It can be straight and narrow, short with a turned up tip, or large and bulbous. 

Now, look beyond the outlining shape and use your right brain to look for the angles and shapes within the outer edges, and then, follow the drawing tutorial below.

Getting Started Drawing the Nose

  1. First, use light strokes to draw a circle for the tip of the nose. 
  2. Then add the smaller circles (nostrils) on the sides. It’s helpful to see the basic shapes of the nose here. It’s also helpful to have a good light source, which allows you to identify the shapes more accurately.
  3. Check your source again to note the shapes and angles to help you get the proportions accurate. 
  4. Trace the outline of the rest of the nose. 
  5. Begin adding darker strokes with your pencil as you shade the creases and folds. This allows you to fill in the details of the nose.

Once you’ve finished your sketch, you’ll need to spray fixative to hold your pencil lines in place.

Video caption: Get more free tips for painting and drawing portraits.  

How to Paint the Nose Realistically

Whenever you’re painting with oils to capture facial features, it’s important to lay down your warms and cools properly. 

Use cool colors in the areas you want to recede. Use warm colors on the areas of the painting that you want to move forward toward the viewer. It’s also good practice to paint dark to light ending with the very lightest highlights.

Getting Started Painting the Nose

  1. To begin, paint the outlines of the nose with a cool, dark color. Don’t worry too much about fine details. Be expressive. Start with loose and flowing strokes. You’re not aiming for perfection on this first layer. 
  2. Continue to use cooler colors to paint the length of the nose, especially in the dip just before the bridge (between the eyebrows). Continue adding your cools in varying colors.
  3. Warmer colors should be used on the ball or tip of the nose. It’s the spot that comes forward the most. Cadmium colors are great for this because they’re very warm. The highlights will be added at the very end. 
  4. Again, warmer highlights should be added to places you want to pop forward. You can add cool highlights to the dip just as you get to the bridge of the nose. 

Final Words: Key Takeaways for Drawing or Painting the Nose

  • Engage your right brain and look for the shapes and angles within your source.
  • When painting facial features, go dark to light.
  • Use your warm and cool colors properly. Use warm for the areas you want to bring forward. Use cool for the areas you want to recede.
  • Be expressive and bold when you lay down your marks!

And there you have it - right under your nose!  Get more tips like this and so much more by joining our Milan Art Community

Get More Free Art Tutorials to Up Your Art Game

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Quick Tips for Artists: The Vibrant Impact of an Artist’s Brush Strokes

3 Ways to Emulate the Masters Without Copying Them 

Milan Art Institute
Milan Art Institute

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