Learn to draw a human ear in 6 easy steps ( with pictures )

In Art, Artists, Tutorials by Toni Justamante Jacobs

We are back again with another anatomy drawing tutorial. This time we will focus o how to draw the human ear properly. The tutorial will be divided into 6 different steps. From creating the basic shapes that conform the ear to rendering and shading techniques that will add depth and volume to our drawing.

Each step will be quite easy to follow, and it will come with an image and a written description of what you have to do in each step.

Before we start, here you have a visual reference of the different parts of the external ear, in case you don´t know all the names.

Here you have the different parts of the External Ear. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

So, if you are ready, let´s begin with the tutorial:

Step 1: drawing the ear outer line

Draw 3 curved lines. One curve on top short( top of the helix ), another one longer on the right( the helix ), and one on the bottom even shorter than the one on top( the lobule ).

Step 2: Drawing the ear inner bones

At this stage we will draw the bones of the part of the external ear connecting to the cranium. As you can see we will draw first to curved lines that connecting the helix with the interior part of the ear. This part is called the crus of the helix. Bellow that we will draw two curved lines one concave and the other convex. The convex curve is called tragus.

Step 3: Drawing the inner bones 2

The interior bones of the ear will be our next stop. As you can see above, and based on the reference photography we publish at the beginning of the tutorial, we will draw the antitragus on the right, opposite to the tragus we drew in the previous step.

Also, we will draw the antihelix which is like a smaller version of the helix, inside the ear, that connects the antitragus with the upper part of the crus of the helix.

 Before we continue I will like to stop here and recommend one course I found very useful when I was learning to draw the human head.

This course will teach you how to draw different parts of the human head and also how to draw stunning portraits that will leave your friends and family with the mouth wide open. Down below you can see some of the face anatomy exercises I did for the course:

These are some of the anatomy exercises I did during the course.

I wrote an in-depth article describing and analyzing this course. Feel free to check the article clicking here.

Step 4: Adding some line thickness to the sketch

Now that we have all the ear bones and parts represented, let´s add some line thickness to the parts of the ear that could be in shadows. Examples of these parts are the inner parts of the tragus and the crus of the helix.

Step 5: Adding some shading

Now it´s time to add some shading to your drawing. We are going to use some hatching and cross-hatching techniques. You can learn more about these techniques by reading my article on How to shade using a pencil.

Step 6: Final Touches

This last step is very similar to step 4. Let´s focus on these areas that could be in shadows and let’s darken those areas by repeating the hatching or cross-hatching process you did on the previous step on those specific parts.


If you are interested in learning more about drawing human anatomy, you can check my tutorial “How to draw the human body” and “How to draw an eye”.

Toni Justamante Jacobs

About the author: Hi, I’m Toni Justamante Jacobs. I´m a professional Concept Artist and Illustrator with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. Some of my clients are Gameloft, Fantasy Flight Games, Kunlun Games and Games Workshop. Currently, I´m working at Socialpoint as an in-house Senior Concept Artist.