Can you please help me paint a human nose realistically?
Pierre Geier, Lichtenstein
To paint a nose I have to look at some images and references. And it soon becomes clear that the nose, like many parts of the human body, may have several different forms. It can be pointed, small, large or aquiline, and can vary depending on the race, sex and age of the person. This is because the nose is composed of a bone structure (the bridge) on which fits the cartilage of the septum and nostrils. Often (not always – there are a lot of exceptions) women have a more rounded and smaller nose because it has a thinner bone structure, while men have bigger, squarer noses. I keep this in mind because I’m going to draw the nose of an adult woman and I have to find a way to simplify its shape so I can draw it in any position.
Let’s consider the proportions of the face. From the hairline to the chin, it can be divided into three parts: forehead, nose, and mouth and chin. So the nose is long, about a third of the face. I draw a horizontal line through the eyes: this will be where the nose starts. To find the width of the nostrils, I just draw vertical lines that go from the inner corner of each eye.
The nose is the most protrusive part of the face and the skin is usually very shiny, so I like to paint a neat light highlight on the tip.