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Drawing Step by Step: Portrait Drawing.
Let's go over how to do a drawing step by step. For this example, I'm going to use a portrait.
This lesson is based on the portrait video from the video section.
Here is what our finished drawing will look like:
Our main goal for this step in our drawing step by step guide is getting everything placed on the page. We need to make sure that we have enough room for everything and that we are not distorting anything to "make it fit."
Here is the first example.
As you can see, all you really need is a rough outline. Try to avoid hard lines that will be hard to erase. I recommend a HB, B, or 2B pencil for this step. Actually, you can use those pencils for the whole thing if you wish.
Now, let's add some detail.
Still working loosely, just go in and add details as you see them. Stick with drawing "dominant" features. As you can see, I have not drawn any "small" details like the eyes or nose. Adding those in too soon can mean having to erase them. I want to make sure the overall figure is correct before I do any detail work.
As we continue this drawing step by step guide, we will be going back over the drawing again and again. This will ensure the greatest accuracy.
I have merely adding in lines for reference in the facial features. You can place these lines either on the bottom of the facial features or in the middle. For the nose, using a line at the bottom works well. For the eyes, you may wish to put it either at the bottom or right in the middle of the eyes. For the mouth, the middle usually works best.
The next technique in this drawing step by step guide will be about refining details and fixing mistakes.
Go back and erase anything that looks messy with your kneaded eraser. We want a "clean" drawing to work with. Just leave enough detail so you can tell where everything is. You will be going over it again soon, and you will fix any mistakes along the way.
Now you can start adding in darker, hard lines as you can see to the left of the face. We still haven't gotten into any details yet. The patience will pay off however.
As you can see in the picture above, I am just going around the portrait looking for details and shapes. The rough outline we did will serve as a useful guide for this step. You don't have to trace your old lines. Most likely, you will find that your new lines are more accurate. Remember, the rough outline we did before was just a "guide." You will always be more accurate as you can back over it again (as long as you are paying attention).
This step in our drawing step by step guide might take a while. So take your time. Correct placement is key.
I went all the way around the face. You can still see my faint reference lines for the facial features. You really need to pay attention to proportions as you do this step. If it helps, you can draw the facial features in as you do this. Just remember that it is easy to misplace them which will result in having to redo it.
Now, go in and add details to the face. Feel free to draw wrinkles, shadows, or anything you see. They will help you with overall placement of the facial features. Keep it light. We will refine them in a second. We need to get them placed first so we can see if our drawing looks okay or not.
At this step, you should be able to see if your drawing is accurate or not. It will be hard to see, but generally it should look somewhat correct. You will be able to see it better as we go.
Keep going until you have all the facial features drawn in. Do not worry about the small features like eyeballs or pupils, until you get the larger outlines done.
You can keep going back over your line drawing now to fix anything or refine details.
The next step in this drawing step by step guide is shading.
With our line drawing done for the most part, we can begin to put in the shading. Start out light. If you go too dark, it will be hard to erase. We need to figure out where our darkest darks and lightest lights will be before we get carried away. So, start out with only light shading.
Now we can go in and darken our lines. Don't get carried away though. Leaving some lines lighter and some darker can give our drawing more expression.
Finally, our drawing is starting to look like something. We haven't work on making our shading look realistic yet. That is what we will do in the next step. For now, get some shading all over so you can see how it looks.
Also, now you can go back and refine the details in the face like the eyes and nose. You should have enough down by now so that you can get them to look right.
The next step in our drawing step by step guide is to finish everything up. That includes both shading and details.
Go back in and add in your darks. Look for where the darkest values are. Don't make everything dark though. Leave some room for midtones.
Try to shade the whole thing so you can get an overall idea of how it looks. Of course, you want to try to keep your hand off of it or it will smudge the shading. Put your hand on something like a piece of plastic to keep it off the paper.
Notice that I am keeping my lines expressive. You can be more refined if you wish. I like adding a bit of style though. Pay attention to the direction of your strokes.
Finish shading the face. Look at where the light is hitting it. Look for the highlights. Use your kneaded eraser to lighten areas.
If you hold the pencil back a little bit on the handle, you might be able to rest your hand on the edge of the paper or right beside it. This is great for areas that don't require precision shading.
Here is the finished drawing again for reference.
I hope you enjoyed this drawing step by step demo. Don't forget that you can watch the first part of this video here.
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