How To Draw A Three Dimensional Portrait

How To Draw A Three Dimensional Portrait

If you are looking to improve your portrait drawings watch the video critique below. In this video critique we help out Ilse with drawing a better likeness of the model within the photo.

We also show her how to create more three dimension through the use of shadow shapes. I’m a big believer of shading in shadow shapes in a solid way. If you leave white paper showing through your shadows, not only will you loose the likeness, you will also loose that three dimension look and feel.

Lastly in the video we show Ilse how to handle drawing the hair. Once again it’s all about light and shade. However with hair it’s also very much about drawing cylindrical shapes. Making sure that when you draw strands of hair they are in the form of a cylinder. Especially with the hair within the photo reference Ilse is drawing from.

I hope that you learned something from this video critique. If you are looking for some feedback and guidance regarding your portrait drawings visit to read up on what our site has to offer you.

Thanks for watching!



Feedback and guidance from a respected teacher means everything to your growth. We are here to help you reach your artistic goals big or small. Visit to take a site tour.


Sydney’s Sketchbook – Bouncy Cartoon Characters

Sydney’s Sketchbook – Bouncy Cartoon Characters

Sydney is currently enrolled in my Friday drawing class at the School Of Visual Arts. Sydney is an Animation major which is perfect. Her characters are quintessential cartoon to say the least.

What I love so much about Sydney is that she is super comfortable in her shoes. She is not wishy washy about what her work is all about. She loves drawing bouncy cartoon characters and she is really good at it.

I also love that every character has a definite facial expression. Drawing diverse facial expressions is super hard to say the least. Especially for someone like myself who was trained in an academic style.

Whether you like cartoon drawings or not Sydney’s work is definitely something to take note of. She is super clear on her process, style and subject matter. That means a lot in my book. It usually means success.

With Sydney understanding what her work is all about she really has a step up on the competiton. I really can envision turning on my TV, switching over to the cartoon network and seeing Sydney’s work.  I just hope that she remembers to tell me when it’s on!

It’s so very important to have a clear vision for you and your work. If you don’t know where you are going with your work, all of that practice can make it feel as though you are just spinning your wheels.



Thanks again Sydney for sharing your art. You can check out Sydney’s YouTube channel here.


How To Draw A Portrait With Minimal Shadow Shapes

How To Draw A Portrait With Minimal Shadow Shapes

Have you ever tried to draw a portrait where the person in the photo reference had no contrasting shadow shapes? In other words the lighting within the photo was very flat.

When there aren’t many shadow shapes to draw it’s much more difficult to capture a likeness. In this video critique I help out Marjan, a member of Drawing Tutorials Online, with trying to capture a likeness. As you can see in the video below the young girl does not have many shadow shapes to cling onto.

In my latest Begin Here Step By Step course I teach a lesson called “Seeing Shadow Shapes”. Just about every member loved this lesson because shading in shadow shapes makes the process of portrait drawing much easier.

So keep in mind that it’s best to light your subject using form light in order for there to be some recognizable shadow shapes.

Now if you already have photo reference displaying flat light then you want to focus your efforts on drawing the shape of the hair first. Why you may ask, because the shape of the hair acts as a frame for the face. You want to take your time with measuring and drawing the angles of the face where the edge of the face touches the hair.

You also want to look for non contrasting shadow shapes. Practice shading in light non contrasting shadow shapes. Shadows shapes don’t always have to be super dark. You just have to practice being able to recognize subtle values shifts on the face of the person you are drawing.

I hope this video critique helps you with your portrait drawings.


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