Things You'll Need
Artists and painters have been creating portraits of old women for as long as there has been art. There isn’t much difference between drawing an old woman and drawing a young one. However, there are subtle changes. With age, the eyes get smaller and the face gets longer. Also, older women often have wrinkles around the eyes, forehead and mouth. Drawing an older character means following the basic rules of facial drawing, but being sure to add those subtle details.
Draw a vertical oval on a piece of paper. This is the outline of the head. Draw a vertical line and horizontal line that intersect just above the middle of the oval.
Draw a semi-circle above the oval. Make both ends of the semi-circle touch the top of the oval. This is the hair bun. Draw parallel wavy curves from the top part of the oval to the hairline. This is the outline of the hair so that it looks pulled tight on her head.
Draw a few parallel wavy lines just below the hair. These are the wrinkles in her forehead.
Draw a broad “V” shape just under the wrinkle lines and just above where the intersecting line in the oval meets. These will be the eyebrows. Don’t connect the “V” at its point, or erase the point later.
Draw the outline of the eyes underneath the eyebrows. Make one circle on each side of the intersecting line. Draw the pupils inside the larger circle.
Add another line directly under the shape of each eye. Add another small curved line leading away from the inside corner of each eye. These are the eye wrinkles.
Draw an inverted “7” between the eyes. Add the nostril holes. Add small curved lines downward away from the nose on both sides of the nostrils.
Draw a small horizontal line below the nose. This is the mouth.
Add small vertical lines curving up from the mouth and down from the mouth. These are the mouth wrinkles.
Taper the bottom of the oval, leaving more room on the sides. This is the shape of the chin. The extra space on the sides represents the fuller, sagging skin of elderly people.
Erase the horizontal and vertical intersecting lines in the middle of the oval. Soften the outer shape of the oval to resemble a face.
Add detail and shading to the features of the face you have drawn. Texture the eyebrows with small pencil strokes. Add eyelashes to shade the eyes and give them depth. Shade the wrinkles to give them depth.
Look at pictures of elderly people to see the variation of facial shapes and skin conditions. Depending on how old you want your old lady to be, the wrinkles, eyes shape and facial structure will change.
Based in Los Angeles, Ty Wright has written professionally since 1993, working primarily in film and television. His articles have appeared online at MadeMan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in film and electronic arts from California State University, Long Beach.