Cheat Sheet: Understanding & Drawing The Anatomy Of The Ear
When I was in art school and first having to learn how to accurately draw any given figure, I had a professor that was obsessed with us drawing one part of a body over and over again. I drew eyes over and over and over. I drew lips over and over and over. And I drew ears over and over and over. While it was tedious work, once you practiced a wide variety of body part variations, it became a lot simpler to tailor how you draw these features when working with an actual model.
This method worked the best with ears, which probably would have been far more challenging if we weren't taught the three fundamental 'shapes' to the ear - the hook (the outer shape of the ear or the helix), the "y" (otherwise known as the antihelical fold), and the bump (aka the tragus).
Here is a really helpful diagram that's been thrown together that shows you not only how to start with those basic elements and adapt them into a much more natural-looking sketch, but how to approach drawing ears from their most common angles. Give yourself a good 45 - 60 minutes, take out your pencils and sketchpad, and try this out yourself. Knowing how to draw a more realistic ear will definitely enhance the quality of your later portraiture.
[ If you're still having trouble, check out the previous card I created for ear anatomy, featuring an easy-to-follow video tutorial by online art instructor Stan Prokopenko: http://www.vingle.net/posts/564995-Video-Tip-Understanding-The-Anatomy-Structure-of-The-Ear ]