How to Draw the Face of Jesus

How to Draw the Face of Jesus

Author: Alison Hazel   –   Published: February 2024

Reference and Acknowledgement

Today I’m going to show you how I draw the face of Jesus as an icon. This is not my original idea as I am following along and referencing the work of Mikhail Fadi at UK Coptic Icons and you can see more if Mikhail’s work on his YouTube channel.

 

Watch >>> UK Coptic Items Video

Getting Started

I plan to create more Christian art. It doesn’t have to be super religious, but calm and simple art that reflects what I believe. I’ve been trying more Christian art pieces recently.

  

St Chad’s

You can look at the watercolor I did of the church in which I was christened. This is trip down memory lane as clearly, I can’t remember the auspicious day.

The place is a dim memory now, but still I enjoyed researching the church’s history as I tried to make a watercolor artwork.

Watercolor is a medium that I do like, but I have not yet mastered. Maybe I never will and I certainly won’t get better if I don’t do more watercolor.

 

Read more >>> Ink and Wash: St. Chads Church

 

St Andrew’s

Then I did a pen and ink sketch of the church closest to my home here in Vancouver.

St Andrew’s is on an extremely busy street in the heart of downtown Vancouver. I think it is on the highest point in the city. This makes sense as the early church builders want the churches to be visible for miles around. When churches are prominent on the horizon parishioners can see them and are moved to attend worship each Sunday.

 

Read more >>> Pen and Ink: St Andrew’s Church

 

Religious Sculpture Pencils Sketches

I’ve also been trying to sketch some religious sculpture such as la Pieta by Michelangelo. Which depicts Mary holding her dead son after they took him down from the cross. This is a sketch I did in graphite. I feel it requires some more darker shadows and I may do that to bring more depth.

la-pieta-pencil-sketch

Recent Project: Drawing the Face of Christ

Now I’ve turned my attention to religious icons and how they are styled. First up is my drawing of the face of Jesus. The layout is quite specific.

Paper Size

Here in Canada my paper size is letter which is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, but you can use A4 as well.

Art Supplies

To create this exact sketch, you will need a 2H pencil, a compass, a ruler and an eraser.

 

Read more >>> My Art Supplies

 

Guidelines: Crosshair

I use a 2H pencil for all my guidelines. Find the center of the page by lightly drawing a diagonal line from each corner.

Draw a vertical line at the center. We will call this line A-B. Measure down from the top 110mm. Draw a horizontal line and we will call this line C-D. This creates a crosshair in the center of the face.

We will create marks at specific points along these two guidelines A-B and C-D.

face-of-christ-crosshairs

Christ’s Halo

Proportion

Typically, His face is two thirds the width of the halo. Draw a circle with a radius of 80mm for the outside of the halo.

Face

For the face, draw a circle with a 50mm radius.

Where the face intersects the line C-D, mark the points as E and F and the center cross as H.

face-of-christ-halo

Eyes

On the lines E-G and G-F inside the face circle, divide both sides into three equal parts as follows:

  • On the line E-G, divide into 3 and mark H and I.
  • On the line J-K, divide into 3 and mark J and K.

 

Irises

The irises are at the two points of I and J.

The irises are the colored parts of the eye. The irises diameter is 14mm diameter or roughly the distance between the chin and the nose (see later). Draw a circle for each iris at positions I and J.

 

Pupils

The pupils are 5mm diameter or about one third the diameter of the iris. Draw the pupils in the center of the iris.

face-of-christ-eyes

Eyelids

Right Eyelid

Divide line H-I and mark with L. Divide line I-G and mark with M. For the right eyelid lower line, draw a soft curve from position L to position M and line up with the top of the pupil. For the top eyelid line draw a light curve from L just on the top of the iris to point M.

Left Eyelid

Divide line G-J and mark with N. Divide line J-K and mark with O. For the left eyelid lower line draw a soft curve from point N to O and align with the top of the pupil. For the top eyelid line draw a light curve from N to just on the top of the iris to point O.

face-of-christ-eyelids

Eyebrows

Eyebrow Guidelines

Place a P at the intersection of line A-G and the halo circle. Divide the vertical line G-P into 4 equal parts and mark with S, R and T. 

 

  • Draw a light guideline horizontally at position T. 
  • Draw a light guideline vertically at positions H, M, N and K. Where M and T intersect mark as U. Where N and T intersect mark as V.

Eyebrows Curve

The eyebrows curve from the above the eye, across the top of the eye and gently tail off slightly longer than the outside edge. The eyebrows begin directly above the inner eye position.

  

  • Draw a curved line parallel the eyelid reaching the top curve at U and outwards to slightly past the outer eyelid (between H and L).
  • Draw a curved line up to V outwards to slightly past the outer eyelid (between K and F). Slightly thicken the eyebrow where it is above the pupil and tail off at the sides.
face-of-jesus-eyebrows

Nose

Nose Guidelines

The nose is usually long and thin and in the center of the face. Starting from the inner eye position midway between M and G mark as W. From midway between positions G and N mark as W.

  

Nose Lines

  • Draw two vertical lines down from W and X to as far as U horizontal. 
  • Softly add a soft curve as the point of the nose below.
  • Lightly add two nostril curves on each side of the nose. 
  • You may wish to emphasize one side of the nose with a darker line for shadow (see later).
face-of-jesus-nose

Mouth

Mouth Guidelines

At position V draw a light horizontal line. The mouth width lines up to just past the nostril curves.

Mouth Lines

The mouth is typically closed. The upper lip is thinner but wider than the lower lip. 

  • Gently add a generous rosebud curve to the bottom lip.
  • Add the top lip peaking up twice for a natural look.

Do not to add a too small mouth as it can look pinched. Work on the mouth as this feature can give expression to the face. Ideally you want a generous expression.

face-of-christ-mouth

Cheeks and Jaw

Jawline

  • Draw a curved line from each side of the face to the chin.

Avoid a too sharp chin as this makes the image look pinched. Make sure both sides are the same evenly.

face-of-christ-cheeks

Ears

Ears Position

Where vertical H and F intersect horizontal U is the ear position X and Z.

Ear Shapes

Only the earlobes show in this image and not the full ear.

  • Draw in a fishhook shaped earlobe on each side of the face.

The earlobes are nestled just below the hairline.

face-of-christ-ears

Neck and Shoulders

Christ’s Age

Depending on the age of Christ that you are drawing, the neck starts in different places. In general, younger men (and women) have thinner necks. Mature men have thicker necks. 

Young Christ

For a younger Christ (and female Saints and Mary), draw a line down (from vertical L and O) in a slight curve from the edge of the face to the shoulders.

Mature Christ

For a mature Christ (and mature male Saints) start the neck at the full side of the face circle.

Shoulders

Sketch the shoulders in a gentle curve across the page. Again, a younger Christ (and female Saints and Mary) will have longer necks and slightly thinner shoulders. Whereas a mature Christ has a thicker neck and broader shoulders.

face-of-jesus-neck

Hair

Hair Guidelines

At position R draw a horizontal guideline. The hair is drawn in three separate folds which gently curve in an “S” shape.

  

First Lock of Hair

  • From position S, draw a soft curve to position E on the right of the face and to F on the left of the face (see diagram). 
  • Draw in more hair strands by following the original outside curves so each hair locks has parallel lines within it.

  

Second Lock of Hair

At the point where horizontal R intersects the first lock begin the second lock of hair. 

  • Draw a curve from under the first lock and gently curve in an “S” shape to the outside.

  

Third Lock of Hair

  • Draw the third lock of hair from under the second lock starting at the earlobe and curve it outwards gently to cascade on the shoulders.
face-of-christ-hair

Halo

Halo Design

Only Jesus has a cross in his halo. This is so you can pick him out in a scene. People without halos are not Christ. You can draw a second halo line just inside the original sketch to add emphasis to the halo. In religious icons the halos are always gold.

  

Halo Cross

Only draw the halo cross in images of Jesus.

  • Line up with the horizontal crosshair and draw a line about 20mm above and 20mm below.
  • Draw the vertical lines 20mm to the right and left of the vertical crosshair.

You can gently curve or taper the halo cross towards the outside halo circle for artistic effect.

face-of-jesus-halo-cross

Clothes

Jesus Garments

Jesus’ clothes are usually blue with a red sash and gold trim. The three primary colors red, blue and yellow (gold) and are often all you need for an icon image. Of course, you can choose other colors to match the situation within the image.

Mary’s Robes

For example, Mary is always in blue robes and often baby Jesus is in white wraps. The trick is to avoid being too busy with your color palette.

Other Color Options

If you have a particular theme or place where this icon image will be displayed you can choose colours to suit. You may have a church with special color theme inside and you may wish to make the artwork feel a part of the whole.

Or perhaps you plan to hang the picture on a wall in a room with a color theme. You could change the robe colors to align with the decor. This will create a cohesive feeling for the space.

face-ofjesus-robes

Backgrounds

Traditional and Plain

The backgrounds of icons should always be plain. You can choose a color that complements the robes of the icon. The backdrops must be simple and not detract from the glory of Jesus, angel, saint or religious figure in the portrait.

Backgrounds to Avoid

Avoid busy backgrounds with:

  • Patterns
  • Wallpaper
  • Animals
  • Furniture
  • Landscapes

  

Keep the background as plain and simple as possible.

Finishing

Your Art Style

Your image of Jesus will be slightly different to mine. This is a natural expression of each of us and our own art. You are not trying to reproduce the exact same image every time. You can add some nuance to your artwork.

If you do this project with your children, they too will have different results on the look and shape of Christ’s face and this is okay. Everyone draws art in their own style, through their own hand and with their own brain. Individual artistic expression and interpretation is the beauty of each original drawing.

Darken Outlines

Continue slowly darkening the main lines to make the image just how you want it. You may carefully erase the pencil guidelines if you want to pen and ink the final image as I did.

Color

I have a digital image of Christ.

I have one with colored pencils to show you. The last one is the very first attempt I had of drawing the face of Christ. You can see the evolution of my style and skill with this drawing.

face-of-jesus-watercolor

Where to Position Your Face of Jesus

In Your Home

Your face of Jesus artwork needs to be the focus wherever it is located. Place your icon either in a corner, in a shrine or hang it on wall where there are no distractions.

People who visit your home and see this art will want to take a moment to pause and appreciate the piece. Individuals will need room to sit, kneel, stand or pray. Give your artwork some space to be enjoyed. Let this art piece breathe.

Where Not to Place Your Face of Jesus Image

This art needs respect which is found by carefully choosing a place for it to live. Do not hang your face of Jesus in a complex wall gallery of other images from your vacation, your kids and your cat. Avoid unsuitable places like hot kitchens and wet bathrooms.

The Face of Jesus in Your Sketchbook

If you have this drawing of Christ in your sketchbook, place a sheet of tissue paper over the face to protect it. It is usual to have many practice drawings before you get the best one and these sketches may be in your sketchbook. Due to the importance of Jesus always slip in some tissue paper to protect the image and give respect.

face-of-jesus-heavy-lines

Free Template

When I first followed along witrh the video I found that this was not an easy design to start with. I personally had many attempts at drawing the face of Jesus. To help you out, I have created a template with all the lines and shapes you need to draw the face of Christ.

This design can be used as a guide and you can pen over and color in to your heart’s content. I suggest you follow your intuition when working with this template.

  

Final Image

Here is my final image. An icon of Christ colored in shades that I like with red and blue robes. I do like the cross in the halo. I will probably repeat this drawing in my sketchbook. It is one that needs time to be perfect. And it is what I want, a perfect drawing of Christ’s face. Let me know how you get on drawing the face of Jesus.

 

face-of-christ-color

Older Christ

This is the saem drawing but with a moustache and beard. I also added some crow’s feet and brow furrows to add age.

face-of-christ-when-older
Alison Hazel

Author Bio: Alison Hazel

Alison Hazel is a hobby artist and she shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

The Creation: 7-Day Challenge

The Creation: 7-Day Challenge

Author: Alison Hazel   –   Published:  January 2024

Inspiration

I’m trying to do more Christian artwork on this channel. It occured to me just to go back to basics, so I thought I could just do some simple artworks that depict the Creation in Genesis for the very first week.

7-Day Challenge.

I am a fan of art challenges. Some art challenges are harder than others because there’s just so much you have to do. I have a few challenges on this site.

When I started looking into the Creation Seven Day Art Challenge. I thought this is a good idea, I can do a 7-Day Art Challenge and it’s not going to kill me. It’s a way of continuing working with daily art practice. I created these seven simple, extremely simple images for the Creation.

 

Read more >>> Seasonal Art Challenge

 

Day 1

Light and day and night.

day-1-the-creation

Day 2

The vault of the sky.

day-2-the-creation

Day 3

Sea and land.

Vegetation plants, trees, fruit and seeds.

day-3-the-creation

Day 4

The Sun to light the day and the Moon and stars to light the night.

day-4-the-creation

Day 5

Birds to fly in the sky. Sea creatures to team in the oceans.

day-5-the-creation

Day 6

Land animals, livestock and wild animals. Mankind, male and female to rule the animals and the food and seeds of the green plants and the seas.

day-6-the-creation

Day 7

The Holy day of rest. The sun is shining and all is good. Everything is there. Everything is poised for greatness and to continue to flourish.

day-7-the-creation

Final Thoughts

These few drawings have to be the simplest depiction of the Creation with flat color and limited palette. The idea is that if you reduce your art down to the most minimal strokes, it can still denote what it is supposed to represent.

Symbolism

I think this type of work can be the origin for symbolism where one stroke can symbolize a nation, group, or movement.

 

the-creation-challenge
Alison Hazel

Author Bio: Alison Hazel

Alison Hazel is a hobby artist and she shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

Seasons of Art: Spring

Seasons of Art: Spring

Seasons of Art: Spring 2023 Group Meeting Learn more about the recent Seasons of Art group meeting. See more about the Seasons of Art group here.  Satvvir's Artwork Below is Satvvir's artwork (Instagram @theambivertsbb). She used watercolor and combined orabges...

Christian Art and Sacred Places

Christian Art and Sacred Places

Author: Alison Hazel   –   Published: December 2021 

Introduction

The Christian Art we practice here at Alison Hazel Art is traditional and straightforward. We want our Christian Art to be peaceful, meditative and reflective. To draw Christian images and symbols adds a richness to life which we enjoy, and we want to share that with you.

We are not here to influence you, or to convert you, but rather to celebrate our beliefs with you. If that resonates with you, then you may enjoy some of our future plans for creating and developing some Christian art.

three-angels

People

We aspire to have more drawings and images of religious people such as:

  

Stories

We will be drawing and illustrating chapters from the bible and particularly from the book of Genesis with stories like:

  

  • Adam and Eve
  • Cain and Abel
  • Noah’s Ark
  • The Nativity and Christmas
  • The Passion and Easter
Jesus-mary-and-joseph

Sacred Places Art

We also have an interest in sacred places. Sacred places generally means churches, cathedrals and related buildings, but it also encompasses other places such as:

  

  • Labyrinths
  • Pyramids
  • Standing stones (like Stonehenge and Inukshuks)
  • Glades of trees

    Our Sacred Places Art So Far

    So far, we have drawn:

      

    saint-chads-church-poulton-le-fylde

    Future Artworks

    We have plans to sketch:

    • Church footprints
    • Church architectural drawings and facades
    • Stained glass windows
    • Rose windows
    • Altars
    • Fonts
    • Steeples and towers

    Christian Symbolism

    We plan to explore Christian symbolism. This can be as:

      

    • Crosses
    • Bibles
    • Icons
    • Candles
    • Mosaics
    • Sculptures
    • Other ancient artworks

    There is a place for all art. We believe that if you follow Jesus then if you draw and create your own Christian themed art it will benefit you.

    Sharing and Merchandise

    Some of our Christian art is already available on Christmas cards and you can see more designs in our Redbubble shop.

    Alison Hazel

    Author Bio: Alison Hazel

    Alison Hazel is a hobby artist and she shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

    Read more about Alison’s story.

    Send Alison a quick message.

    Seasons of Art: Spring

    Seasons of Art: Spring

    Seasons of Art: Spring 2023 Group Meeting Learn more about the recent Seasons of Art group meeting. See more about the Seasons of Art group here.  Satvvir's Artwork Below is Satvvir's artwork (Instagram @theambivertsbb). She used watercolor and combined orabges...

    St Chad’s Church Poulton-le-Fylde, Ink and Watercolor

    St Chad’s Church Poulton-le-Fylde, Ink and Watercolor

    St Chad’s Church Poulton, Pen and Ink and Watercolour

    This is a pen and ink and watercolor painting that I created this week.

    The method that I used is similar to the Sketch Journal Page from last time, but without the commentary that goes with a journal entry.

    Buildings

    I do enjoy drawing buildings. I find them easier than people or animals which always seem to look a little weird.

    I joined my local Urban Sketchers group the year before lockdown and I found it very interesting to draw what was in my city.

    Back then I was using a pencil and Tombow markers because I had no paints or crayons for that matter. I didn’t know just how much I was going to love getting back into art after so many years.





    Sacred Places as Subject Matter

    Sacred places are typically buildings, groves, fields or monuments that have special meaning for people. They can be places where people congregate and find community.

    St Chad’s Church

    Many years ago, I lived in a small village near St Chad’s church in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, England. I was christened in that church, so it seems a good sacred building to start with.

    I found some images of St Chad’s church online, and looking at the images for reference, I drew the front façade of the building and added a tree.

    I suspect that it is a Norman church by the square tower, but that is really as far as my knowledge goes.

    In a way it is an inconspicuous building as churches go.

    It seems to have been built between 1086 and 1094. You can read more about the history of this St Chad’s church here.

    Each spring there is a wonderful display of lilac and purple crocuses over the entrance lawns.

    Crocus

    Pencil Sketch

    Using an HB pencil, I began with a light sketch and combined all the features from a few photos that I looked at online. I can’t show those photos here as they are copywrite to someone else.

    I chose watercolor paper from Strathmore size 140mm x 216mm or 5 ½ x 8 ½ inches.

    Pencil sketch

    Pen and Ink

    With a 0.1mm black pen I drew the main lines of the building and the other features.

    After this I gently erased the pencil lines so they were no more. If you leave the pencil lines on the page you will see them through the watercolor paint and then you cannot get rid of them once they have been painted over.

    Pen and Ink

    Watercolor

    With a light mixture of Payne’s grey and brown I started to lightly wash the building walls. I tried to add a little more grey for each separate type of brick work just to add some interest.

    Here I used a number 6 watercolor brush and kept gently rolling it to mop up excess water each time.

    I repeated the color layers a few times to add depth to the color and to vary the shadows a little.

    Watercolor

    Once that part was dry, I went in with a finer brush (number 2) and with denser paint I laid down some brick marks and roof tiles just to give the effect of rough texture to the stonework.

    For the grass I mixed an olive green with a touch of burnt sienna.

    I always avoid the bright greens that are in my paint box. They are not natural and are glaring when used in a landscape painting. It is best practice to mix colors and never use them straight out of the little pans.

    Pencil Crayon

    With my pencil crayons in several tones of cool grey I gently added small definitions like the shadows below the eaves and the door recesses. This brings details to life and adds shadows to suggest depth.

    Colored pencil highlights

    Pen Again

    I went over the main structure lines once more with my fine 0.1mm pen and in some places I employed a 0.3mm black pen.

    Gold Trim

    I do love some gold trim in my artworks. In this drawing it was a challenge to know where to add a spot of gleam, but I found one or two spots that could do with some life.

    Shimmer of gold

    Overall

    I am really happy with this painting. Receiving a watercolor set from my son-in-law this past Christmas, I am a relative newcomer to watercolor painting.

    This piece is probably my fifth painting so far using this art medium.

    Complete

    There was some flow over of color especially around the tree, but I will get better at controlling the paint and handling my brushes with some practice.

    Let me know what you think.

    Alison




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