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7 Tips For Drawing Great Portraits

Out of everything that humans adore, it’s their portrait drawings. If you are having second thoughts about it, visit any museum and check for yourself. For experienced artists, drawing portraits tends to land them a considerable sum of money. However, when it comes to budding ones and newbie artists, drawing portraits can sometimes get messy and make them lose track after a while. That’s because there are several tricks and tips to draw an appealing portrait.

Because of the demand for portrait sketches, they take vital positions in an artist’s illustration portfolio. Moreover, it is a wonderful side-hustle for artists to explore their capabilities and accuracy to produce fine lines and circles of illustrations skills. Portrait drawing is an art of intimacy, which, in turn, makes you explore the meager details of an individual’s visual claims. But, if you are thinking about more straightforward ways to demonstrate a piece of illustrations, here is a rundown of seven worthwhile portrait drawing ideas.

1. Purchase Portrait Drawing Tools & Start With Shapes

Thinking of drawing a portrait? Experienced artists recommend the use of light or B pencils. Those who are new to this might find it challenging at first glance, but after you have sketched initial ones, you’ll know which ones to pick to add multiple shades. 3B, B, 5B, 4B, and 6B pencils are ideal ones for portraits. Remember, drawings find their base around geometric shapes, be in circles, triangles, boxes, or simple lines. 

In case you are drawing somebody else’s portrait, print out their picture. Begin by breaking the body and face into basic shapes. You can sketch the body around a vertical rectangle and a face around an oval shape. Regardless of whether the picture is in silhouette, straight-on, or providing three-quarters of view, break it all down.

2. Nail Down The Distances

By this point in time, transfer all the lines and shapes to the actual sketching surfaces. Such a step depends on whether you are doubling or tripling the image’s size. Now, lay down and copy all the shapes you sketched on the reference images, followed by relational lines. The key is to keep everything proportional. When you reach the face, the final step is to take the measurements. Several experts recommend the use of pencils while measuring. Take note of the alignment of your pencil between the ear and mouth. If you are sketching the portrait twice the photo’s size, the distance between the ear and mouth should fall around 2/3rds of the pencil’s length.

3. Add And Smudge the Shadow

Add shadows to make the sketch look professional and refined. Moreover, for an artistic and realistic approach, try creating shadow effects by smudging tools or your finger. Such a process will blend the medium you are using – charcoal, graphite, or pastel. This will make the shadows easier and lighter to clean in case you committed a mistake.

4. Follow The Cupid’s Bow to Draw A Realistic Nose

If you follow the Cupid’s bow, you will eventually get to know the nose’s base. Take a B pencil and begin with a couple or three circles. However, it depends on the portrait’s perspective. One circle is for the nose’s tip and the other ones for nostrils. From here, you can add delicate lines for the visible nose’s perimeters. Now, take a 4B or 3B pencil, depending on your sketch’s tones, and add the shadow. While you add shadows, ensure to take a look at original shapes, measurement lines, and relational lines.

5. Experiment With Lighting

You will often come across bland lighting over the head area or even worse – sketch from pictures using flash photography. Such things flatten every feature you see in the picture. As a result, you can experiment with lighting. Try to go with a golden afternoon glow or diffuse misty morning light. You can also let the light pass through louvers or windows. In cases where you utilize photographs, learn to control the photography’s light.

6. Practice Between Darks and Lights

Several beginners make the mistake of not adding dark tones where required. If there are values in the reference pictures, don’t get afraid to go a little bit dark. Post this, ensure not to press too dark on paper as it can damage and make scratches visible. That’s where detailing erasers lighten up the task. These erasers make it easier for you to lighten such areas.

7. Fine Details Come Towards The End

After you have completed the shading and outlining, it’s time to fine-tune more details onto the canvas. You can begin by filling some places in the lips and eyes. Then, add some shadows in the neck area before moving towards the face. This is done to ensure that the face does not appear as if it is floating amid thin air. Such fine details add a realistic quality to portrait drawings.

Final Thoughts

Drawing portraits is one of the challenging things for an artist, but once you get hold of its hacks and tips, you can try and test hosts of options. Furthermore, it is essential to use the right drawing tools and ways to form flawless portraits. So, read through the drawing ideas and implement them on your next venture.