Facial Proportions & Anatomy

Mastery Objective(s): The student will…

  1. investigate materials, processes and ideas for facial proportions and anatomy.
  2. formulate through practice and experimentation.
  3. demonstrate understanding of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design: Unity & Proportion by creating a two-page spread containing visual research and exploration of head & facial proportions, anatomy & features.

Joseph M. SKBK No.1

The example above is one page out of two for this sketchbook assignment. The example above is also Joseph’s prep for the Studio Project: Surrealistic Hair Portrait.


  1. 2-page spread in your sketchbook
  2. subject matter: head & facial proportions, anatomy & features
  3. optional subject matter: visual imagery of themes and ideas for ‘hair’ in Studio Project: Surrealistic Hair Portrait
  4. experimentation with materials/mediums and processes/techniques
  5. visually appealing design layout and composition with use of annotation
  6. utilize and highlight Principles of Design: Unity & Proportion


GCSE Art Portfolio and Other Examples of Facial Proportions and Anatomy Visual Research in sketchbooks:

Head & Facial Proportions

This website has some good references to facial proportions: The Drawing Source

This video is Part 1, once you watch this video there are links on youtube to go to Part 2 and so forth.

Facial Anatomy

The information below is from the Student Art Guide

How to annotate a sketchbook

1. Generate personal responses

Aim to record personal reflections, evaluations, judgments, and responses (rather than regurgitating facts or the views of others), providing insight into your thinking and decision-making processes. Art examiners do not want to read lists of facts or chronological sequences of events. They do not want long-winded descriptions of technical processes, extensive artist biographies, or the inclusion of broad periods of art history. Cut-and-pasting or transcribing information from other sources is not acceptable (small portions may be quoted and referenced, as appropriate).

2. Communicate with clarity

A sketchbook should not contain endless pages of writing; this wastes the examiner’s time, as well as your own. Communicate in a succinct and clear manner. Thoughts may be recorded in any legible format: mind maps, scrawled questions, bulleted summaries or complete sentences and paragraphs. In most cases, a variety of approaches is appropriate. Whichever format you choose, avoid ‘txt’ speak and spelling errors; these indicate sloppiness and suggest that the work belongs to lower caliber student.

3. Demonstrate subject-specific knowledge

Aim to communicate informed and knowledgeable responses, using a range of art-related vocabulary and terminology. This learning may be the result of formal classroom lessons, individual research or personal art-making experience.

4. Critically analyze artwork

Art analysis is an integral component of most high school art programs. Aim to analyze work by a range of historical and contemporary artists, from a range of different cultures. Artist work should be relevant to your project and offer valuable learning opportunities, whether in approach to subject-matter, composition, technique or medium. You should also analyze your own artwork within the sketchbook, measuring success against original intentions and assessment objectives specified within the mark scheme. This allows you to gain helpful insights that inform and influence subsequent work. For more advice and a list of questions to help with analyzing artwork, please read How to analyze an artwork: a step-by-step guide.

5. Communicate intentions

It is usually helpful to begin a sketchbook by discussing intentions, starting points and design briefs, including any requirements and restrictions set for the project.

6. Avoid the obvious

Self-explanatory statements, such as “I drew this using pencil” or “this is a shoe” are unnecessary; they communicate no new information to the examiner.

7. Reference all images, text, and ideas from others

Any content created by others should be formally credited and acknowledged, even when this has been appropriated or reinterpreted, rather than directly copied. It is helpful to cite artists directly underneath the appropriate image (artist name, artwork title, medium, date and image source), along with brief details about any gallery, museum and artist visits.  You may also benefit from labeling original photographs, so that is clear to an examiner which work is your own.