How to draw a Portrait

By | Art & Design
How to draw a Portrait. Have a go!

By Louisa Falconer, Age 12

Drawing portraits can be easy as long as you take it step by step!

In this guide you can learn the wonderful ways of art and drawing people’s facial features!

First draw an oval, always with pencil. This will be the head! Next, draw two almond shapes for the eyes. Draw them opposite each other with an eye width apart! After that, sketch a circle in each eye for the iris. Add an overlapping line for the eyelid, and a smaller circle for the little pupil. Draw the eyelashes and eyebrows. Make sure your pencil lines go in the direction of which the hairs grow!

Now draw the nose. The nose is half way across the face, and is as wide as the gap between the eyes marking the base half way between the eyes and the chin.

The bottom of the nose sits just above the mouth, draw three over lapping circles at the base.Outline the circles to make the sides and bottom of the nose. Add two oval shapes for the nostrils and fill them in!

Draw the bottom lip half-way between the bottom of the nose and the chin, the corners should line up with the middle of each eye. Draw a flattened out ‘m’ shape for the top lip and a flatter ‘m’ for the line between the top and bottom lip.

Now draw the ears, they should be in line with the eyebrows at the top and level with the nose at the bottom. Add a curvy line inside each ear for the detail.

Now leave a gap above the eyebrows for the fore-head. Surely the sizing depends entirely upon the size of the portrait of your thumb.

Now draw the hair, the hair should be as tall as half of the face you have drawn, it may sound big but once you have finished it look great! Then draw the hairs flowing the way the hair falls. Now, if you have any guidelines, now is the time to rub them out!

The Shading:

Light and dark pencil shading:A pencil is the best thing to use for shading as you can make it lighter or darker, press firmly for the darker shading and use the side of the lead lightly for the lighter effect!

The skin is usually smooth, to create this effect press gently and build up the darker tones slowly.

For the hair use a rough texture, use dots and lines to create this.

Short lines are best for rough, hairy skin.

Use scribbled lines for messy hair.

Use lots of little dots for freckled skin or stubbly hairs.

Use squiggly lines for frizzy of curly hair.

Now shade around the eyes still using a pencil. Next shade the iris with lines coming out from the pupil. Make the pupil very dark with a small white dot to show reflection or shine.

To shade the lips, make the top lip darker than the bottom and leave a highlight or two blobs, one big and one small, on the bottom lip to make it look glossy.

Add dark shading round the base of the nose and lightly shade the sides of the noses also. Then shade around the eyes, do darker bags for a tired effect.

Lastly shade lightly around the edge of the face and add a dark shadow under the chin. And lightly shade the neck too!

There you have your portrait!


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