Portrait Drawing Tutorials & Articles

Scroll down for a list of portrait drawing tutorials and articles!

While a portrait is a fascinating subject, drawing one can be very intimidating both for the beginner and the more advanced student. And why not? It is very true that there is much to learn in order to draw a face that's not awkward-looking. And that is saying nothing about using portraiture to express an emotion, or reveal something about the sitter to the audience!

There is so much more to portraiture than just being able to draw a technically accurate face. But, one step at a time. Before you delve into the many possibilities of portraiture, you need to have a good understanding of value, light and form, how to construct a head and its features, and much more. (Why not take my free mini-course to learn the essential drawing concepts you'll need to draw anything, including portraits, convincingly!)

Everything that you have ever learned about drawing comes together to draw an accurate and compelling face and figure.

Portrait drawing by John William Waterhouse


There is no one way to draw a head (or anything, for that matter!). Because no two drawing scenarios are the same, there can be no “'formula'” for drawing. However, there are plenty of strategies to draw portraits. You may choose to rely on head construction to block-in your portrait. Or maybe you see shapes particularly well, and will rely on those.

Interestingly, whatever you feel is the most comfortable and effective drawing strategy for you at the moment, I can guarantee that your drawing will improve immensely if you also study the method that is most challenging for you. If you learn various strategies, you will be able to combine them to problem-solve whatever drawing scenario” you have before you, and getting “stuck” will become a thing of the past.

In the free drawing tutorials and lectures on this page, I present various strategies for drawing the portrait and its features.



Portrait Drawing Tutorials and Articles

Portrait Drawing Tutorial, Page 1
Blocking in the Portrait

Learn how to create a block-in: a detailed line drawing of the face that maps out the information you need to complete your drawing.

Learn about drawing concepts such as negative shapes and rhythms, which will help you create a more accurate, yet natural-looking looking.

Portrait Drawing Tutorial, Page 2
Shading the Portrait

On this second page of the tutorial, I pick up where I left off with my completed block-in, and begin applying values to my drawing.

Learn how to render the portrait: from massing in the general shapes of the face to shading the more detailed features.

How to Draw Realistic Eyes

The eyes are one of the most captivating aspects of a portrait drawing! In this tutorial, I demonstrate the process of drawing a realistic eye, and illuminate the knowledge and skills that one must acquire to draw this compelling subject matter convincingly.

How to Draw Eyebrows

Eyebrows come in all shapes and sizes. Fortunately, there are a few simple guidelines we can follow to learn how to draw eyebrows convincingly and realistically!

6 Most Common Eye Drawing Mistakes

... and how to avoid them!

You might say that the eyes are the soul of your portrait. Learn to draw them convincingly by avoiding these 6 most common eye drawing mistakes.

How to Draw Lips Step by Step

Though eyes are usually considered to be the most expressive facial feature, I would argue that the lips are a close second! Learn how to draw realistic lips in this step by step tutorial.

How to Draw an Ear on Toned Paper

Don't be one of those artists who ignore ears in portrait drawings! Take the intimidation out of this subject by learning how to draw a realistic ear in this step by step drawing tutorial.

5 Proportions of the Face
to Use During Your Next Portrait Drawing

Each person's individual proportions make them look distinctly like themselves. This can create quite the challenge for us when drawing!

Here are five proportions to pay attention to in order to draw a better likeness of your sitter.


How to Draw a Realistic Braid Step by Step

A hairstyle can be the finishing touch of a portrait drawing, or its focal point. Learn how to draw a realistic braid in this step by step tutorial!

How to Draw Hair:
A Step by Step Tutorial

Learn how to simplify such a complicated subject as hair, draw hair that looks like your model's without obsessing over every detail, draw realistic and dimensional locks, and much more in this step by step tutorial!



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