View Full Version : Accurate Portrait Drawing
03-04-2000, 06:46 PM
I am a grade 13 student in Toronto, Canada. I have just recently started working on portraits and I have gone over all the tutorials on portrait drawing in the site. I have drawn about 5 portraits so far. My main problem is that no matter what I try, do, change, I never seem to get the portrait look lifelike or similar to the photo or picture that I am trying to draw from. So I was wondering if anyone could tell me about any tutorials online or let me know about some very important points that I should look into more deeply or take a note of when drawing a portrait in order to make it look more like the picture I am drawing from. I would really, really, really appreciate your help in this. Thanking you for your time.
03-04-2000, 07:02 PM
Here is my standard tip...
Get the book "Drawing a Likeness" by Douglas R. Graves. ISBN 0-8230-1358-8.
03-09-2000, 07:54 AM
The Graves book is a good start...
I've found that the thing that helps the most is practice, practice, practice --- from LIFE not a photo.
Draw your relatives and friends whenever they will sit still long enough (like while they are watching TV). Get into a portraiture class with a model or a life drawing studio. You will see significant improvement once you start working from life...
It takes time - there's no tip that can get you past thousands of hours of necessary practice.
So keep drawing!!! Get out that sketch book and get to work! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
P.S. Student unions and libraries are also great places to sketch people from life.
"What if imagination and art are not, as many of us might think, the frosting on life, but the fountainhead of human experience?" - Rollo May from The Courage to Create
03-10-2000, 08:23 PM
The most significant part of any portrait, as with any drawing, is the foundation! If the proportion is shot then NO amount of clever rendering in the world will hide it or distract the viewer from it! My advice, as a portrait artist, is do not proceed with finishing work until the layout is nailed!
Thanks for listening,
Drew Johnson http://www.geocities.com/soho/nook/6183
05-17-2006, 10:07 PM
I have a portrait tutorial that is different from most. If you would like to see it go to my group at :
go to "messages" then "art theory" then "a simple connect the dot portrait tutorial"
05-18-2006, 05:27 AM
Try Betty Edward's "Drawing on the Right side of the Brain."
Drawing likeness is like drawing anything else. You need to observe shape relationships, both of form and value, then accurately make them into a 2 dimensional image.
If you're working from a photo, why not try using a grid to help with this? If you're working from life, try using your pencil to sight distances between features. I think knowing the basics of facial structure is important too, so you don't fall into the common mistakes made by people drawing faces. (eyes too large or high, face unbalanced, hairline too far from eyebrow, nose drawn with line only, too small, ears too close to front of face...the list goes on. )
My students are just finishing their self-portraits. With few exceptions, they got likenesses. We worked from photos we gridded. (I like to do this particular project using a 2 dimensional translation from a small ref to a larger drawing. I eliminate the difficulty of making a further step from 3 dimensional to two dimensional this way.)
But, the real answer is to practice practice, practice. Sometimes it helpw to look at your work, even draw it, upside down so you see shape more clearly.
Best of luck to you!
Take a look at this site:
It's dedicated to drawing portraits and has many useful tips.
The foundation of an accurate portrait is an accurate sketch. One sure way to get an accurate sketch is using a grid. Have you tried that?
vBulletin® v3.5.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.