How to Draw a Drama Mask

Written by scott damon | 13/05/2017
How to Draw a Drama Mask
Drama and performance masks can vary by culture. (Chinese drama -- change face image by huaxiadragon from

Long before the days of television and film, the ancient Greeks would perform their plays in an outdoor theatre. In order for people to see the intention of the actor, the Greeks would make masks signifying different emotions. The most common of those emotions are the "happy" and "sad" drama mask representations seen today. The masks also helped with the vocal projection of the actors. You may simply sketch the outline of the drama masks, or flourish your drawing with great detail.

Draw a large circle in the middle of your paper with a pencil. Draw this very lightly, as you will be erasing some of these guidelines later.

Add two guidelines horizontally in the middle of the circle. Again, draw these lightly so that they may be erased. The guidelines will serve as the top of the brow and the top of the mouth.

Add one guideline vertically down the centre of the mask. Again, lightly drawn. You should now have a circle with three guidelines.

Draw a gently curved semicircle from the bottom of the circle to both the left and right of the vertical guideline. You are making the long, narrow chin.

Add a line connecting the semicircles perpendicular to the vertical guideline. You should now have a long, narrow chin on the bottom of the drama mask.

Draw a semicircle on the top of your face circle. The vertical guideline should again intersect in the centre. You are creating the forehead.

Add two triangles on either side of the top of the circle. You have now completed the forehead.

Add eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth. Using the horizontal guidelines place the eyes along the top guideline, and place the top of the mouth along the bottom. The eye brows will go above the eyes, and the nose between the two guidelines. You can be creative with how you draw these features. A large mouth curved upward might be considered happy, and eyebrows that are severely bent might demonstrate an arch character.

Erase all of the remaining guidelines. With your features properly placed, remove both the horizontal and vertical guidelines from the picture. Finally, erase a slight semicircle next to each eye. This will give the proper curved shape for the eye socket.

Decorate your drama mask with colour. Be playful and creative as you fill in the eyes, mouth, base colour and other features.

Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil, coloured pencils, pen or crayons

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