How To Draw Portraits Step By Step

Step 1. Drawing the nose in profile, the artist carefully follows the horizontal guidelines that locate the eye and the base of the nose. He draws the brow and the eye at the same time to establish an accurate relationship between the features. The eye is just above the bridge of the nose and aligns with the concave curve beneath the brow. The back end of the nostril wing lines up roughly with the forward edge of the upper eyelid. The nose itself is drawn with just a few straight lines and a few curves.

Step 2, The artist draws the contours more precisely over the guidelines of Step I—and then erases most of them. Now there's a distinct S-curvc from the bridge of the nose down to the tip. The underside of the nose is clearly defined as a separate plane, The curving shape of the nostril wing is more carcfully drawn. The artist also refines the curve of the brow and continues to work on the eye as he draws the nose, A few strokes divide the tip of the nose and the nostril into separate shapes—this division will become more important when tone is added in Steps 3 and 4.

Nose Draws

Step 3. The artist begins to block in the tones with broad strokes, using the side of the pencil lead. The light comes from the left, and so the front plane of the nose is in the light, while the side plane is in shadow. The underside of the nose and the back of the nostril are also in shadow, while the front plane of the nostril catches the light. Notice that a patch of shadow now divides the tip of the nose from the nostril. There's also a patch of deep shadow in the eye socket.

Step 4. As the artist strengthens his dark tones, you begin to see a clear distinction between light, halftone, and shadow on the side of the nose and on its underside. The artist deepens the shadow on the eye socket and darkens the nostril. With the sharp point of the pencil, he draws the contours of the brow, nose, and upper lip more cxactly. Notice a hint of shadow where the brow turns downward, away from the light. And observe how the slanted strokes of the pencil accentuate the three-dimensional character of the forms.

Step Portrait Drawing

Step 2, The artist continues to define the rounded shapes of the nostrils more precisely. He sees very little of the nostril on the left and a great deal of the one on the right. The tip of the nose seems to hang downward, since we're looking at it from slightly above. The artist redraws the bridge of the nose, which widens slightly just above the eyes. He works on the eyes at the same time that he draws the nose. Because the head and eyes turn downward, we see a great deal of the upper eyelids.

Step 1, In this view of the nose, the head tilts slightly downward, and so we see very little of the underside of the nose. The head is also turned slightly to the left, and so we see more of the right side and very little of the left. In this preliminary sketch, the artist visualizes the tip of the nose as a kind of diamond shape. The undersides of the nostrils look like curves. The outer edges of the nostril wings still align with the inside corncrs of the eyes.

Portrait Drawing Nose

Step 3, The light comes from the right, and so the artist builds up the tones on the left sides of the forms. The left side of the nose is in shadow. So is the underside, which casts a slanted shadow downward toward the upper lip. The artist carefully models the inner curves of the eye sockets, which define the top of the nose. In particular, notice the dark curve of the eye socket at the left, which swings around the bridge of the nose,

Step 4, The artist continues to darken the inner curves of the eye sockets; these tones make the bridge of the nose seem more three-dimensional. He darkens the tone on the shadow side of the nose: now you see a clear gradation of light, halftone, and shadow. He models the tip of the nose as if it's a little ball. He models the nostril at the right as a separate shape, surrounded by tone. The pencil point sharpens the contours of the underside of the nose. At the right of the lighted nostril wing, a hint of tone suggests the inner edge of the cheek.

Car Drawings Step Step

Step The artist begins by drawing a guideline diagonally upward from the jaw. The car attaches to this line. He draws the top of the ear with two angular lines and then moves downward to draw the back of the ear with a big curve and the lobe with a smaller curve. Carefully observing the inner detail of the ear, he draws the shapes with short, curved strokes.

Step 2. Over the sketchy lines of Step 1, the artist draws the contours of the ear with darker, more precise lines. A dark inner line defines the sinuous shape of the rim, which winds around to the deep "bowl" at the center of the ear. The artist draws the inner shape more exactly.

Sketching Eye Sockets

Step 3. The artist adds the pools of shadow within the ear, which is darkest just inside the rim. He moves around the outer edge of the ear and around the lobe, adding touches of shadow that make the shape look three-dimensional. He suggests the hair surrounding the ear and begins to model the cheek and jaw. Notice the tiny pool of shadow where the lobe attaches to the jaw.

Step 4. The pools of shadow within the ear are darkened with heavy strokes. Small parallel strokes strengthen the tones around the edge of the car; then an eraser brightens the lighted areas. The car casts a shadow downward on the back of the neck. The artist completes the surrounding hair, making the rounded forms of the ear stand out more boldly.

Nostril Shapes

Step 1. When the sitter faces you, you see much less of the ear. The shape grows slender. The artist begins by drawing the slanted line of the jaw and cheek, to which the ear attaches. He draws the outer shape of the ear with just a few straight lines and curves, and then draws the inner shape with shorter lines, He indicates the hair that surrounds the ear.

Step 2. Step I is a highly simplified version of the earT of course. Now the artist goes back over these sketchy lines to define the shapes more precisely. He draws the intricate curves and angles over the guidelines—which he then erases.

Step Step Drawing Portrait Lesson

Step 3, With the side of the pencil, the artist blocks in a big pool of shadow at the center of the ear, plus the slender shadow that starts at the top and travels down along the inside of the rim. He begins to model the lobe and the portion of the ear that attaches to the side of the head. The tone of the hair is blocked in to make the lighted edge of the ear stand out.

Step 4. The side of the pencil deepens the inner tones of the ear. Then an eraser lightens the lower half of the big pool of shadow. A few additional touches of tone appear on the rim and lobe of the ear. The tone of the hair is carried carefully around the ear and helps to define its shape. In this view, we see a minimum of detail; the ear is drawn very simply.


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