Portrait Drawing Tweaks

Portrait Drawing Tweaks

Nancy has been getting her artwork critiqued weekly for a while now. The biggest struggle I see for Nancy is her photo reference choices.

Nancy usually takes screenshots from her favorite Netflix series. Sometimes the lighting is just , well, horrible. However, as of late Nancy has been making better picks in terms of photos

What I stress over and over again in the critique gallery is repetition. I’m a big believer in systems. Most artists hate systems, they think they are too restrictive.

I find the opposite to be true. Let’s use portrait drawing as an example. When you start a portrait draw the same way every time, you will improve faster.

My system for portrait drawing is simple, first draw the outer edge hair, second draw the inner edge of the hair where it touches the skin. Then draw the shape of the face. The features should fit inside the container of the face.

In Nancy’s portrait drawing the features did not fit inside the container of the face. After a couple of tweaks we can see that Nancy was not that far off. Looking forward to the next one Nancy.

 

Sometimes it is the little things that make a huge difference. I am here to help you improve your artwork. You can get feedback in Drawing Tutorials Online member critique gallery. I also offer one to one coaching if you prefer that route.

Thanks Nancy! 

Seeing The Head As A Box

Seeing The Head As A Box

Arjun consistently uploads his work for a critique every week. In this week’s critique, I help out Arjun with seeing how to fit a box to a head. You might ask, why even bother with this technique, what’s the point?

I think what Arjun is practicing is super important. He is trying to understand how to see and decipher the surface planes of the head. Placing a portrait within a box is the most primitive way to see the surface planes. It’s the most macro, front and side.

There is a multitude of surface planes on the head. With portraits, it’s important to know where the big surface plane shifts occur. They occur at the temple and cheekbone, otherwise known as the Zygomaticofacial foramen. I know, anatomical terms, ugh.

Understanding where to see and place the big surface planes will most certainly help you to improve the way you draw a three-dimensional portrait. It’s even better when you light the portrait whereas the front planes catch the light, and the side planes are in shadow.

Lastly, trying to place a perfectly geometric box around an organic head just does not compute for a lot of artists. That is why I suggest drawing curved edged, organic boxes instead of right-angled boxes.

The human body is not synthetic, it’s super curvy. In other words, round all of your corners.

 

 

Thank you so much for checking out Arjun’s critique. You can check out his Instagram page @AKTracer.

 

Five Tips For Drawing A Portrait Likeness

Five Tips For Drawing A Portrait Likeness

I recently completed a critique of Arjun’s portrait drawing. Arjun is a member of Drawing Tutorials Online. He is a super hard worker and is improving immensely as of late.

Here are five tips to help you capture a likeness the next time you work on a portrait drawing.

First, you will want to pay attention to the centerline of the head. This will help you tremendously in terms of measuring both sides of the face. It will aid you in getting the correct angle of the head.

Second, do your best to look out for the three angles that make up the lower jaw bone. The mandible is an important structure. It acts as a frame for the lower half of the head. Do not overlook the jawline.

Third, avoid using high-contrast value shifts within the model’s face. Especially when drawing from photo-reference that has soft lighting. Extreme value shifts within the light will make your drawing look too patchy.

Fourth, tilts will most certainly help you capture the model’s likeness. I like to look at the tilt of the eyes. You can also use the tilt of the mouth from corner to corner. This is often overlooked.

Fifth, see the whites of the eyes as shapes that you must draw accurately. Yes, easier said than done, I understand. Take some time to study the shapes of the whites of the eyes. This will help you capture the model’s likeness.

 

 

I want to thank Arjun for uploading his work to Drawing Tutorials Online‘s member critique gallery on a regular basis. His hard work is really paying off.

Check out Arjun’s instagram @aktracer.

 

Thinking Technique – Drawing In Your Own Style

Thinking Technique – Drawing In Your Own Style

There is a time and a place to draw certain techniques physically on the paper. While other times you just will want to draw in your style. The key is to think about certain techniques as you are drawing in your style.

In terms of practice, I believe its a must to draw techniques in their purest form. I have my students do this in class. During the classes morning session, I have the students draw pure technique.

However, during the afternoon session, I have them develop their style of drawing. The point of this post is to get you thinking about the difference between style and technique.
If you just draw a portrait or the figure in traditional techniques, your drawing will not have their voice.

Make sure you practice both every week. Cultivate your style while practicing new techniques. This practice will serve you in the long run.

 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to watch. Let me know your thoughts.

 

How To Draw The Eye

How To Draw The Eye

I recently completed a course titled How To Draw The Features Of The Face. In this new course, I break down the features of the face in a step by step process. I cover how to draw the eyes, nose, and lips.

I wanted to share this particular lesson with you because it is short and to the point. You really want to draw the eye in a loose, curvy organic sort of way. You do not want to incorporate any straight lines when drawing the eye, everything about the eye should look rough and organic.

As you can see in this rough sketch of the eye I did not really focus too much of my time on the lashes. Do your very best to draw along with me, avoiding the lashes for now. Think more about the structure of the eye, not the lashes.

When drawing the lashes do not draw them with straight lines, instead, try to group all of the lashes into a shape.

I’m really happy with the way this course turned out. It’s really helping people improve their portrait drawings.

Download the Photo reference.

 

 

Thank you so much for watching the drawing lesson above. If you are interested in seeing the rest of the course consider a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online. Not only will you gain access to this course and many more, but, you will also be able to get feedback on your portrait drawings in our member critique gallery.