How to Draw a Portrait

Artist: catlucker / January 16, 2011

Step 1.

THE FIRST SIX STEPS in this tutorial are about TIPS & TOOLS. A great portrait needs an excellent photo and pose,which is drawn from torso up or the head only. On the photo, you need to see reflections and the white in the subject’s eyes clearly. Tr   

Step 2.

LIGHTING! Remember in the above lesson we talked about it? Here's some more tips. GREAT LIGHTING! The most commonly used lighting angle for portrait drawing is at 45 degrees and is called conventional lighting. The lamp is placed to the side, above t   

Step 3.

TOOLS! I'm introducing the grid. It's a great way to transfer the picture onto your paper with accuracy and speed. Draw the square grids on your ref picture printout (they could be one inch squares). Count how many in the column and row. Then you can   

Step 4.

In the portrait drawing, you are using THREE-QUARTERS VIEW (3/4). The picture shows us the 3/4 view at different eye levels. The ears are a great focal point of what eye level you are viewing, which is above, at eye level, and below. According to per   

Step 5.

FRONT and SIDE VIEWS! Oh that nasty word...proportions! The 4th and 5th step helps with proportions of the face. As a norm, with adjustments, the face is divided into thirds. From hairline to eyebrows, eyebrows to nose tip, nose tip to chin. FRONT VI   

Step 6.

Decide at this point if you're drawing the heads larger, or doing the whole head and torso. If you do the heads larger, then the heads will take up three fourths of the page. Work the heads on 8-1/2 to 11 inch paper (A4-typing/printer paper size). I   

Step 7.

Draw with you pencil lightly the snake-like centering lines. They help keep the centering of the face, neck placement and torso.

Step 8.

The first strange crescent shape represents where the ear begins, sideburns, and crown of hair (where my friend's pearl headband is). The second curve represents the back of their heads. This will help with the volume of the hair mass.

Step 9.

Draw in lightly these bowed guidelines on the face. This reminds me of a fencing mask, minus the mesh. The marked area (a) is the hairline on the new husband's face. On both faces are placements for: (b) Eyebrows, (c) Eyes, (d) Bottom of nose, (e) Mi   

Step 10.

You have worked hard placing those lines in the right place. So this step is a lot easier. Draw in the ears near the eyes and the mouth guidelines. Look closely at the ear placement to see if you drew them in correctly. Also add the neck lines.

Step 11.

Clap your hands everybody. Shake them. Relax them. We are now venturing into the fun part. Their faces. Start from the left side (my friend) and put a piece of paper or napkin under your hand as not to smudge the paper. Draw in her features lightly,    

Step 12.

Relax and stretch your fingers. Snack and drink some water, coffee, tea, or soda. You are ready to tackle eyeglasses and teeth of all things! My advice is take it slow and easy. Mold your picture. That means erasing, redrawing, and finding your persp   

Step 13.

LACE! Look at the picture. Click on the pic to read my tips. It takes patience and a fearless resolve. Attack it with an artist eye and have fun. You may have once thought you could never do lace. Now you are conquering that unknown. Find the basic s   

Step 14.

This is where you sketch out more lines in their hair, eyes, nose, pearl necklace and his shirt. I work a certain way in drawing and you may have a specific way. Go with it. But to help someone who could be baffled at doing two heads at the same time   

Step 15.

This can be considered a first layer applied everywhere and a second layer on their faces and hair. You can tell their skin has not been completely shaded in, neither has their clothes. Normally, it is good to start with shading in their faces and do   

Step 16.

Now you've added more shades, highlights patiently. Look at your end product. It's worthy to be framed because this is a piece of art. Lines of dark and light have meshed together from chaos to serenity and beauty. Whether it looks like my picture or   

Comments (0)


Artist: catlucker
Date Added: January 16, 2011
Steps: 16
Favorited: 10 (view)
Views: 0 in last hour, 5 in last day, 8 in last week, 48373 total
Comments: 0
Tags: how to draw realistic, draw realistic, how to draw a person, draw people, how to draw real, how to draw people, how to sketch
Description: A little background: This picture is an actual commission of friend at work and her new husband. I did it on 11 inches by 14 inches (A3 size) Bristol Smooth, acid-free paper. My friend gave me her color photograph taken by a loved one. I scanned it and turned it into a black and white picture in a photo editing program. That made it easier to see the tones and enlarge the picture since it is on the computer. This tutorial is about doing a portrait, which I hope will enlighten you or refresh your skills.