How to draw a face ? A step by step guide

Wondering how to draw a face ? This article is a step by step guide, which may give you an idea of how to methodically do a portrait drawing and finish it.
We all had a habit of playing with colors in our childhood. Many say that they have done well in the past. With our day to day life difficulties and exterior pressure we allocate time only for the activities where there is a possibility of getting revenue. I always had a thought of not leaving my hobby at any point of time, but I also need a revenue by that time, so I started to do both. Initially I struggled like anyone of the amateur artist but I learnt from my mistakes and learnt to monetize my talent in the later stages. I am getting the fruits for my work now.

Let us see how to go about a drawing

How to draw a face – Step 1 – How important is getting shape of the face right ?

While drawing a person, shape of the face should be the primal importance. We all have an artist within us, try to bring it out, trust your instincts. We would have analyzed the face shape of people around us and would have come to a conclusion like it is oval, square, triangular and so on, try to put the same on canvas. Even if you fail initially you will get succeed in future. If you are interested in realism, you might be interested in realistic face drawing.
How to draw a face – Step 2 – Placement of features based on visual measurement

Vertical measurements play a vital role while portraying a human’s face, but how can I do that without physically measuring them with tape or any measuring devices. Always remember that ‘Practice makes a man perfect’. We all would have passed comments on random people with our friends like his nose resembles a parrot’s nose, she has an eye of eagle and so on. Use such comments to make the vertical measurement. For placing the features perfectly on a portrait it is necessary to make such comments on your own within yourself. People get complimented often for their unique features.

How to draw a face – Step 3 – The first layer of value for our reference

By selecting a mid-tone which is usually my first layer of reference, I build the other layers. Skin is not only a skin in terms of painting but it is a combination of veins, blood and flesh. Darkest values and highlight in the skin brings a perfect balance in painting. Wherever required darkening is also important. Same principle applies to portrait drawings. Patience is the key to get a perfect drawing, so I do not run because if I do so it may ruin the painting.

How to draw a face – Step 4 – Value augmentation & hair perfection

While drawing a portrait do it slow, because when you start developing the values you will get a feel that you are arriving closer to your desired subject. If you rush you would make a mistake, so always keep it steady and slow. Even if a mistake is done, if you were slow there are wide chances of correcting it.  30-40% of your portrait can be achieved perfectly by concentrating in the hair part. Each and every person’s hair has a unique pattern, try to observe it. Select a mid-tone and start developing from that. Use a kneading eraser to capture the randomness in hair section.

How to draw a face – Step 5 – Add soul to your portrait with a highlight

A perfect portrait is one in which the highlights are placed in right areas, in fact highlights complete a portrait. Some highlight has to be merged within the skin while some needs to stand out. The nature of the skin allows it to reflect light and it can do it very well. So guys hear it from me, if you were once an artist you would always be. The only thing which you have to start do is to allocate some time and start practicing again.
If you are new to portrait study, you might be interested in the article portrait drawing for beginners article.

Output of the portrait drawing

How to draw a portrait

I hope this article have lit a spark within and initiate you to work towards to start drawing again.

Ramya Sadasivam has been practicing art since 2006. She so loves to portray Indian culture, customs, day to day chores of the hard working laborers, happy village life and life of women.

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