How To Draw A Portrait Likeness

How To Draw A Portrait Likeness

I just finished up filming the weekly critiques over at This one critique really stood out. Cara has been struggling with being able to draw a likeness. We’ve all been there. I know I’ve struggled with being able to capture a likeness on many occasions.

What I’ve discovered over the years is that being able to match values plays such an important role in capturing a likeness. Even if you are able to draw all of the measurements of the models head correctly, if the values are off, the likeness won’t be there.

If you struggle with likeness take a step back. Practice matching values as shown in the video below. Be patient with yourself. It took me years to be able to match subtle values.  Especially with color.

Take your time with this, practice with a pencil first. Then move on to color and or paint.

Don’t have a value scale. Head on down to your local paint store. Grab a bunch of paint swatches within the black and white value range and get started today.

Thanks for watching!

Natalie’s Sketchbook – Character Design With Origami Paper

Natalie’s Sketchbook – Character Design With Origami Paper

Natalie is a student currently enrolled in my foundation drawing class at the School Of Visual Arts. I knew from the first time I peeked in her sketchbook a video was in short order.

It’s really a pleasure to have Natalie as a student in class. Not only does she dive into each assignment with tons of passion but she also inspires the entire class.

Natalie’s life drawings are big and bold. As you walk by her drawing pad her work just jumps out at you. It’s pretty cool to see all of the color.

Natalie is very comfortable in her shoes at such a young age and it shows in her work. It seems as though every drawing Natalie completes make a statement.

It makes a bold statement in design, color, pattern and line. Not to mention her character design is so authentic.

I see big things for Natalie moving forward. This year’s class is a special one and Natalie’s artwork is certainly a big part of making it so special.

Thanks for watching.

Thanks so much Natalie for sharing your sketchbook!!

Natalie’s Instagram

Pheobe’s Sketchbook Part II – Character Design Crazy

Pheobe’s Sketchbook Part II – Character Design Crazy

Pheobe was enrolled in my drawing class for the Fall/Spring 2015 – 2016 semesters. After going back home to China, then taking a Summer class at Cal-Arts she came back to visit. I’ve been seeing Pheobe’s work all Summer on Facebook so when she came back to visit I had to look in her sketchbook. Wow did she improve!

Pheobe is one of the hardest working students ever. I know I say that a lot, but Pheobe is the real deal. Her work ethic is bar none, her passion comes through in her character designs.

So after I saw her sketchbook I had to ask, hey Pheobe, do you want to film another sketchbook video? Thankfully she said yes. I wanted everyone to see her work. She is so young with so much direction and focus.

I was so inspired by her new sketchbook that I had to try something different, I had to try a Q & A. I’ll be adding that this week to this post. Moving forward I think I’ll be filming a Q & A with every sketchbook video victim.

Let me know what you think about her work. Let me know what you think about the whole Q & A thing too.

Thanks so much for reading. Look for new sketchbook video to trickle out soon.


Take a moment to check out Pheobe’s Tumblr.