I've been trying to learn proper methods for drawing portraits but it's not going so well. I've always just drawn and after a few (or a hundred) corrections ended up with a fairly decent drawing. However, I want to improve by learning a faster more accurate approach. These are my attempts at different approaches this last week. The first one, I know what is wrong but the others (except the last) are so far off its hard to tell where to begin to fix it.
The first was supposed to be a Master copy of Da Vinci's 'Profile of an Old Man'. I used his method of a bisected square for the proportions but I know the ear is way too high.
Then I spent three days trying to draw a copy of Michelangelo's Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi.
First I tried Da Vinci's proportions again but that didn't work. It is no where near a likeness.
Next I tried drawing a center axis and spent three hours measuring everything from that axis multiple times. It's only a little better than the first attempt.
Then I tried combining the divided oval proportions, da Vinci's square proportions and some, but less, measuring from a centerline with the third attempt and tried to salvage it by eyeballing changes. But the likeness isn't there.
Lastly, I got frustrated and just sat down and tried to draw a copy of one of Van Gogh's self portraits the way I normally draw without rules or measures. This is how my portraits usually end up. It's okay but I'm sure you can see why I'm trying to improve. It can be better.
If anyone has any insight as to how to get one of the proper methods to work, or knows a different traditional method that works, please advise. I've been reading everything I can find and watching tutorials but to no avail.
I can't try the grid method because I don't have a hard copy of any examples and no way to print.
Also, I'm not quite sure what exactly can be improved in the last (van Gogh) one.