Portrait Drawing

BY WENDON BLAKE/DRAWINGS BY JOHN LAWN

WATSON-GUPTILL PUBLICATIONS/NEW YORK

Copyright © 1981 by Billboard Ltd

Published 1981 in the United Slates by Watson-Guptili Publications, a division of VNU Business Media, lncJf 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 www.watsonguptilLcorn

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Blake, Wendon. Portrait drawing.

{The artist's painting library) Originally published as pt. 3 of the author's The drawing book.

Portrait drawing—Technique, t. Lawn, John. II. Blake. Wendon, Drawing book. Title, IV. Series: Blake, Wendon. Artist's paintfng library. NC773 B57 1981 743'.42 81-11533 ISBN 0-8230-4094-1 AACR2

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means—graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems—without written permission of the publisher.

Manufactured in U.S.A.

First Printing, 1981

16 17/04 03 02

Introduction 4 Getting Started 5 Equipment 6 Form and Proportion 8 Drawing the Eye; Front View 10 Drawing the Eye: Three-quarter View 11 Drawing the Eye: Side View J2 Drawing the Eye; Tilted View 13 Drawing the Mouth: Front View 14 Drawing the Mouth; Three-quarter View 16 Drawing the Mouth: Side View IS Drawing the Mouth: Tilted View 19 Drawing the Nose: Front View 20 Drawing the Nose: Three-quarter View 21 Drawing the Nose: Side View 22 Drawing the Nose: Tilted View 23 Drawing the Ear: Side View 24 Drawing the Ear; Front View 25 Drawing the Head: Front View 26 Drawing the Head: Three-quarter View 30 Pencil Drawing 34 Demonstration 1. Blond Woman 36 Demonstration 2. Brown-Haired Man 40 Demonstration 3+ Black Man 44 Demonstration 4, Dark-Haired Woman 48 Chalk Drawing 52

Demonstration 5. Dark-Haired Man 54 Demonstration 6. Blond Man 58 Demonstration 7, Oriental Woman 62 Charcoal Drawing 66 Demonstration 8. Brown-Haired Woman 68 Demonstration 9. Black Woman 72 Demonstration 10. Gray-Hatred Man 76 Lighting 80

Portrait Drawing. The human face is so endlessly fascinating, so infinitely diverse, so expressive of the most delicate emotional nuances that many artists have devoted their lives to portraiture. Every sitter is differ-cm, presenting a new and fascinating challenge to the artist who must capture not only the form and detail of the sitter's face, but also the unique flavor of the sitter's personality. The same face can change radically with a slight turn of the head or a slight difference in the direction of the light, And as the si tier s mood changes, the emotional content of the portrait changes too. Thus, the expressive possibilities of portraiture are so great that drawing the human head can become an obsession— one of life's most delightful obsessions—and you may find this subject so absorbing that other subjects seem tame. Like so many artists throughout the centuries, you may discover that there's nothing more exciting than watching a real human being come to life on paper. For the artist who's fascinated by people, the human face is the ultimate subject.

Form and Proportion. In the drawings of the great Renaissance masters, the complex form of the human head is often visualized very simply—as an egg shape with guidelines that wrap around the egg to define the placement of the features. In the first few pages of Portrait Drawing* you'll learn how to put this elementary diagram of the head to work. You'll learn to draw the egg shape in line and then make it three-dimensional by adding light and shade. You'll learn how to convert that "Renaissance egg" into a variety of male and female heads, seen from various angles: front view, side view, three-quarter view, and finally, a view of the head tilted downward. It's important to memorize this egg shape— and the placement of its guidelines—so that you can then adapt it, with subtle changes in proportion, to any head you may draw.

Drawing the Features* One of the best ways to learn to draw is to look over the shoulder of a skilled professional as he draws, then try it yourself. You'll watch noted artist John Lawn draw each facial feature, step by step, from a variety of angles. You'll see him draw male and female eyes—front, three-quarter, and side views, as well as tilted downward. I n the same way, you'll learn to draw the male and female nose and mouth as seen in these same four views. And finally, you'll learn how to draw the ear as seen from the front and side of the head,

Drawing the Complete Head. Having mastered the basic form of the head and learned how to draw the fea tures, you'll then watch John Lawn put all this information together into demonstration drawings of complete male and female heads. You'll watch him build the overall form of the head and the forms of the individual features, from the first sketchy guidelines to the final drawing, fully realized in light and shade. The step-by-step demonstrations of the features and the complete head all show four fundamental stages in executing a successful drawing; blocking in the forms with simple guidelines: refining the contours: blocking in the tones in broad masses: and completing the drawing by relin-ing the lines and tones and then adding the last touches of detail.

Complete Portrait Demonstrations. After demonstrating the fundamentals. Lawn goes on to demonstrate, step by step, how to draw ten complete portraits of different types of sitters, including various hair and skin tones, ages, racial and ethnic types. The demonstrations also show how to render diverse lighting effects that accentuate the character, beauty, and expressiveness of the individual head. The demonstrations are grouped according to drawing medium. There are pencil drawings of a blond woman, a brown-haired man, a black man, and a dark-haired woman. Chalk drawings include a dark-haired man, a blond man, and an oriental woman. Finally, there are charcoal drawings of a brown-haired woman, a black woman, and a gray-haired man. Each of these step-by-step demonstrations shows every drawing operation, from the first stroke on the paper to the last. The demonstration section concludes with a brief review of four different types of lighting that are particularly effective in drawing portraits: each type is illustrated with a drawing that explains how the specific method of lighting affects the character of the head.

Drawing Media, Each step-by-step portrait demonstration presents a different method of rendering form, texture, and light and shade in pencil, chalk, and charcoal. You'll sec how form is rendered entirely with lines and strokes: how tone can be created by blending, so that pencil, chalk, and charcoal handle like paint: and finally, how lines * strokes, and blending can be combined. The demonstrations arc executed on a variety of drawing papers to show you how the drawing surface influences the tone and texture of the portrait. These various techniques, drawing tools, and papers are dramatically illustrated by close-ups of sections of finished drawings, reproduced actual size.

Keep It Simple, The best way to start drawing is to get yourself just two things: a pencil and a pad of white drawing paper about twice the size of the page you're now reading. An ordinary office pencil will do—but test it to make sure that you can make a pale gray line by gliding it lightly over the paper, and a rich black line by pressing a bit harder. If you'd like to buy something at the art-supply store, ask for an HB pencil, which is a good all-purpose drawing tool, plus a thicker, darker pencil for bolder work, usually marked 4B, 5B, or 6B. Your drawing pad should contain sturdy white paper with a very slight texture—not as smooth as typing paper. (Ask tor cartridge paper in Britain.) To get started with chalk drawing, all you need is a black pastel pencil or a Conté pencil. And just two charcoal pencils will give you a good taste of charcoal drawing: get one marked "medium" and another marked "soft/' You can use all these different types of pencils on the same drawing pad.

Pencils. When we talk about pencil drawing, we usually mean graphite pencil. This is usually a cylindrical stick of black, slightly slippery graphite surrounded by a thicker cylinder of wood. Artists' pencils are divided roughly into two groupings: soft and hard, A soft pencil will make a darker line than a hard pencil. Soft pencils are usually marked B, plus a number to indicate the degree of softness—3B is softer and blacker than 2B> Hard pcncils arc marked H and the numbers work the same way—3H is harder and makes a paler line than 2H. HB is considered an all-purpose pencil because it falls midway between hard and soft. Most artists use more soft pencils than hard pcncils. When you're ready to experiment with a variety of pencils, buy a full range uf soft ones from HB to 6B. You can also buy cylindrical graphite sticks in various thicknesses to fit into metal or plastic holders, And if you'd like to work writh broad strokes, you can get rectangular graphite sticks about as long as your index finger.

Chalk. A black pastel pcncil or Conté pencil is just a cylindrical stick of black chalk and, like the graphite pencil, it's surrounded by a cylinder of wood. But once you've tried chalk in pencil form, you should also get a rectangular black stick of hard paste! or Conté crayon. You may also want to buy cylindrical sticks of black chalk that fit into metal or plastic holders.

Charcoal. Charcoal pencils usually come in two forms, One form is a thin stick of charcoal surrounded by wood, like a graphite pencil. Another form is a stick of charcoal surrounded by a cylinder of paper that you can peel off in a narrow strip to expose fresh charcoal as the point wears down. When you want a complete "pal ette" of charcoal pencils, get just three of them, marked "hard/1 "medium/' and "soft." (Some manufacturers grade charcoal pencils HB through 6B, like graphite pencils; HB is the hardest and 6B is the softest.) You should also buy a few sticks of natural charcoal, You can get charcoal "leads" to lit into metal or plastic holders like those used for graphite and chalk.

Paper, You could easily spend your life doing wonderful drawings on ordinary white drawing paper, but you should try other kinds. Charcoal paper has a delicate, ribbed iexture and a very hard surface that makes your stroke look rough and allows you to blend your strokes to create velvety tones. And you should try some really rough paper with a ragged, irregular "tooth" that makes your strokes look bold and granular. Ask your art-supply dealer to show you his roughest drawing papers. Buy a few sheets and try them out.

Erasers (Rubbers). For pencil drawing, the usual eraser is soft rubber, generally pink or white, which you can buy in a rectangular shape about the size of your thumb or in the form of a pencil, surrounded by a peel-off paper cylinder like a charcoal pencil. For chalk and charcoal drawing, the best eraser is kneaded rubber (or putty rubber), a gray square of very soft rubber that you can squeeze like clay to make any shape that's convenient. A thick, blocky soap eraser is useful for cleaning up the white areas of the drawing.

Odds and Ends, You also need a wooden drawing board to support your drawing pad—or perhaps a sheet of soft fiberboard to which you can tack loose sheets of paper. Get some single-edge razor blades or a sharp knife (preferably with a safe, retractable blade) for sharpening your drawing tools; a sandpaper pad (like a tittle book of sandpaper) for shaping your drawing tools; some pushpins or thumbtacks (drawing pins in Britain); a paper cylinder (as thick as your thumb) called a stomp, for blending tones; and a spray can of fixative, which is a very thin, virtually invisible varnish to keep your drawings from smudging.

Work Area. When you sit down to work, make sure that the light comes from your left if you're right-handed, and from your right if you're left-handed, so your hand won't cast a shadow on your drawing paper. A jar is a good place to store pencils, sharpened end up to protect the points. Store sticks of chalk or charcoal in a shallow box or in a plastic silverware tray with convenient compartments—which can be good for storing pencils too. To keep your erasers clean, store them apart from your drawing tools—in a separate little box or in a compartment of that plastic tray.

Portrait Sketching Tools

Pencils. The common graphite pencil comes in many forms. Looking from right to left, you see the all-purpose HB pencil; a thicker, softer pencil that makes a broader, blacker mark; a metal holder that grips a slender, cylindrical lead; a plastic holder that grips a thick lead; and finally a rectangular stick of graphite that makes a broad, bold mark on the paper. It's worthwhile to buy some pencils as weil as two or three different types of holders to see which ones feel most comfortable in your hand.

How Charcoal Draw Portrait Lesson

Charcoal, This versatile drawing medium comes in many forms. Looking up from the bottom of this photo, you see a cylindrical stick of natural charcoal; a rectangular stick of the same material; a charcoal pencil; another charcoal pencil—with paper that you gradually tear away as you wear down the point; and a cylindrical stick of charcoal in a metal holder. Natural charcoal smudges and erases easily, and so it's good for broad tonal effects. A charcoal pencil will make firm lines and strokes, but the strokes don't blend as easily.

Tear Away Charcoal Pencil

Chalk, Shown here are four kinds of chalk. Looking from the lower right to the upper left, you see the small, rectangular Conte crayon; a larger, rectangular stick of hard pastel; hard pastel in the form of a pencil that's convenient for linear drawing; and a cylindrical stick of chalk in a metal holder. All these drawing tools are relatively inexpensive, so it's a good idea to try each one to see which you like best.

Charcoal Sketches Wedges

Erasers (Rubbers). From left to right, you see the common soap eraser, best for cleaning broad areas of bare paper; a harder, pink eraser in pencil form for making precise corrections in small areas of graphite-pcncil drawings; a bigger pink eraser with wedge-shaped ends for making broader corrections; and a square of kneaded rubber {putty rubber) that's best for chalk and charcoal drawing. Kneaded rubber squashes like clay (as you see in the upper right) and can take any shape you want. Press the kneaded rubber down on the paper and pull away; scrub only when necessary.

Drawing Board and Pad, Drawing paper generally comes in pads that are bound on one edge like a book. Most convenient is a spiral binding like the one you see here, since each page folds behind the others when you've finished a drawing. The pad won't be stiff enough to give you proper support by itself, so get a wooden drawing board from your art-supply store—or buy a piece of plywood or fibcrboard. if you buy your drawing paper in sheds, rather than pads, buy a piece of soft fiberboard to which you can tack your paper.

Knife and Sandpaper Pad. The pcncil at the right has been shaped to a point with a mechanical pcncil sharpener. The other pencil has been shaped to a broader point with a knife and sandpaper. The knife is used to cut away the wood without cutting away much of the lead. Then the pencil point is rubbed on the sandpaper to give it a broad, flat tip. Buy a knife with a retractable blade that's safe to carry. To the right of the knife you see a sandpaper pad that you can buy in most art-supply stores; it's like a small book, bound at one end so you can tear off the graphite-coated pages.

Charcoal Portrait Drawing

Storage. Store your pencils, sticks of chalk, and sticks of charcoal with care—don't just toss them into a drawer where they'll rattle around and break. The compartments of a silverware container (usually made of plastic) provide good protection and allow you to organize your drawing tools into groups. Or you can simply collect long, shallow cardboard boxes—the kind that small gifts often come in.

Bound Tightly Drawings

Stomps and Cleansing Tissue, To blend charcoal and push the blended tones into tight comers, you can buy stomps of various sizes in any good art-supply store. A stomp is made of tightly rolled paper with a tapered end and a sharp point. Use the tapered part for blending broad areas and the tip for blending smaller areas, A crumpled cleansing tissue can be used to dust off unsatisfactory areas of a drawing in natural charcoal, (It's harder, however, to dust off the mark of a charcoal pencil.) You can also use the tissue to spread soft tones over large areas.

Light And Shade The Head

Egg Shape. Seen from the front, the head is shaped like an egg. Many artists actually begin by drawing an egg shape, as you see here. Drawing a vertical center line helps you to place the features symmetrically. It also helps if you draw horizontal guidelines to locate the features on either side of the vertical center line.

Head Shape. The tones on the head follow the same sequence as the tones on the egg. Looking from left to right, you can see four tonal areas that flow smoothly together: light; halftone (or middletone), where the shape begins to curve away from the light; shadow; and reflected light, where the shadow turns paler. The chin casts a shadow on the neck.

Side View Portrait Pencil Drawings

Egg Shapes. When you draw a side view, visualize the head as two overlapping eggs; one vertical and one horizontal, with both tilting a bit. Once again, looking from left to right, you can see the tonal gradations of light, halftone {or middletone), shadow, and reflected light. There's a similar gradation on the right side of the cylindrical neck.

Head Shape. Obviously, the forms of the head are more complex than the egg shape and cylinder, but the gradation of tones is essentially the same. You can see the light, halftone, shadow, and reflected light most clearly on the big shapes of the skull, cheek, and jaw. They also appear in more subtle form on the eye sockett nose, and neck.

Wendon Blake Portrait Drawing

Egg Shapes. The head turns until it's midway between a front and side view. This is called a three-quarter view. You still see two overlapping eggs. The vertical egg is obvious, but you see a bit less of the horizontal egg. The gradation of four tones remains essentially the same.

Egg Shapes. When the head tilts downward—or when you're looking at the head from above—you still see the two overlapping egg shapes, but an important change takes place in the guidelines. Note how they curve: the horizontal guidelines wrap around the head in parallel rings. Although the alignment of the features may change, the gradation of four tones remains essentially the same.

Head Shape. On the egg and on the head, the light comes from the right, and so the gradation of light, halftone, shadow, and reflected light moves from right to left. You can see the gradation most clearly on the shadow side of the face. It's also obvious on the chin and jaw. The nose casts a shadow on the upper lip, while (he earlobe casts a shadow behind the jaw.

Drawing Portrait Light From Upper Left

Head Shape. Looking from left to right on the egg and on the real head, you can still see the four interlocking tones: light, halftone, shadow, and reflected light, plus the cast shadow on the neck. The gradation is most apparent on the forehead, cheek, and jaw. You can also see it on the eye sockets and nose. The light comes from the upper left, and so the nose casts a shadow to the right.

Step 1. The artist begins to draw the eye by indicating its basic contours with a few casual but carefully placed lines. He suggests the complete upper and lower lids, as well as the eyebrow and the corner of the eye socket at the side of the nose. At this stage the iris is just a circle. Study the contours of the inner edges of the lids. Starting from the outer corner, the top lid follows a long, flattened curve and turns down a bit at the inside corner. The lower lid does just the opposite, starting from the inside corner as a long» flattened curve and then turning upward at the outside corner.

Step 2. Pressing harder on the point of his pencil, the artist moves back over the casual guidelines of Step I to refine the contours. The rather angular lines of Step I become rounder and more rhythmic. They eye begins to look more lifelike. The shapes of the lids are more clearly delined. It's particularly important to remember that the upper lid always overlaps the iris, cutting off part of the circle. The lower lid touches the iris but doesn't overlap it quite so much.

Eyes Sketch

Step 3. Having drawn the contours more accurately, the artist now begins to block in the tones with broad, spontaneous strokes. The tones are actually clusters of parallel strokes, which you can see most clearly in the tone ot the iris and the shadow inside the eye socket. The artist suggests the dark spot of the pupil, and he carefully draws the shadow that the upper lid casts across the iris and over the white of the eye. He indicates the shadows at the corners of the lids and on the underside of the lower lid.

Step 4. In the final stage, the artist strengthens his tones and adds the final details. He darkens the shadowy lines around the eyelids and deepens the shadow cast over the eye by the upper lid, He darkens the iris and the pupiL picking out the highlight on the iris with a quick touch of an eraser. More clusters of parallel lines darken the corner of the eye socket alongside the nose. Scribbly, erratic lines suggest the eyebrow. And using the sharp point of a pencil, he carefully retraces the contours of the upper lid and the tear ducts at the corner of the eye.

Step 1. When the head turns from a front view to a three-quarter view, the eye turns too, of course, and its shape changes. If the sitter is looking straight at youT the iris moves to the side, as you see here. Once again, the artist begins with quick, casual lines. He draws the main contours of the eyelids, iris, and eyebrow, with a slight suggestion of the eye socket along the side of the nose. Have you noticed the straight, horizontal line that crosses the eye? That's the guideline that the artist has drawn across the egg-shaped head to locate the eyes.

Shadowy Head Portrait

Step 3. The artist begins to suggest the distribution of tones with clusters of parallel strokes. These broad strokes are made with the side of the pencil lead^ rather than with the sharp tip. Notice how the strokes tend to curve around the contours of the eye sockets. The shadowy edges of the lids are drawn carefully. Once again, the artist indicates the shadow that's cast across the eye by the upper lid. The pupil is darkened. The eyebrow is darkened slightly, but the strongest darks are saved for the final step,

Shadow Test

Step 2. The artist goes over the lines of Step l with darker, more precise lines. The curves of the eyelids are defined more carefullyT the disc shape of the iris is drawn more precisely, and the pupil is added. In the three-quarter view, the eye doesn't seem quite as wide as it does in the front view. But the curving shapes of the lids are essentially the same. From the outer corner, the top lid begins as a long, flattened curve and then turns steeply downward at the inside corner. Conversely, the lower lid starts from the inside corner as a long, flattened curve and then turns sharply upward at the outside corner.

Josh Clare Artist Pencil

Step 4. The artist blackens the pupil, darkens the iris, and strengthens the shadowy edges of the eyelids. More groups of parallel strokes—made by the side of the lead—curve around the eye socket to darken the tones and make its shape look rounder. On the white of the eye, a touch of shadow is added at the corner. Long, graceful lines suggest the hairs of the eyebrow, while short, curving lines suggest eyelashes. An eraser picks out highlights on the pupil. Compare the soft, rounded character of this female eye with the more angular male eye on the preceding page.

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Responses

  • Odetta
    How to charcoal draw portrait lesson?
    7 years ago
  • aatifa
    What are material for drawing portrait?
    7 years ago
  • theodoric
    How to draw details in charcoal?
    7 years ago
  • michael
    How to draw graphite and charcoal portraits?
    6 years ago
  • raakel
    Can i use 2b pencil to shade half tone?
    4 years ago
  • Felix
    How to drawing shading portrait?
    3 years ago
  • eino
    How drawing one sided portrait?
    3 years ago
  • cora
    How to start portrait sturdy pencil?
    3 years ago
  • lucrezia piccio
    How to draw shadow in a portrait?
    3 years ago

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