People Drawing People: Tips for Drawing Portraits

The human face presents a challenge to some artists, urging them to tackle and practice drawing the subject with adept skill and patience. With facial features, shapes, colors, and more to consider, figuring out an appropriate starting place proves difficult for new artists.

To start, try using the following tips for drawing portraits!

Start with basic shapes

When drawing people, the first thing to recognize is that every person’s face is made up of distinct shapes, different proportions, and sizes, meaning you need to use varied artistic methods and techniques when sketching different types of faces.

Start by discerning the major shapes of the face to break it up into more doable sections for drawing.

Study the alignments

Man Drawing a Portrait in ClassPortraits include minute details that differentiate one face from another, including the way facial features align on the face. Keep placement and size in mind when drawing the eyes, ears, and nose.

For example, make sure the eyes are not too far up or down on the face, and do not draw them too close together.

Use lines to measure the distances between the different features to achieve appropriate proportions.

Add some depth

One of the differences between the flat, one-dimensional drawings you started with and the expert portraits you are working towards mastering is depth.

When drawing hair and teeth, for example, play with light, spacing, and shadows to create depth and volume.

As you begin exploring ways to add shape and dimension to your portrait you will discover the best techniques for creating living, realistic drawings with dynamic facial features that jump off the page.

Improve your skills with drawing portraits by working on proportions and capturing the likeness of your subject in the portraits class at Hunakai Studio of Fine Arts! Drop us a line to learn more about our art classes!