Madrid Academy Of Art

How to Draw Best Portraits? A Quick Guide


Every face has its unique features; some show tenderness or strength. There are illustrators and graphic designers skilled at capturing all these emotions in outstanding portraits. They use basic principles to draw stunning images with the help of photographs. 

They learn the use of light and shadows to capture detailed facial expressions, features, and personalities. 

Start looking at subjects surrounding yourself and see how shapes can be used to draw any object by different shading techniques. Mod portrait contests are conducted where students show their skills, display their expressive portraits, and get appreciated. Then learn a few tricks, and I hope you’ll find them helpful. 

Access to Portrait Drawing Tools: You should choose a good quality paper for drawing portraits. The paper should be acid-free, more resistant, and thicker than other papers to last longer. Secondly, use different drawing pencils for different results, such as B pencil, charcoal, graphite lead, pastel, wax pencils, mechanical pencils, etc. Thirdly, use kneaded erasers to save your drawing’s life and slightly tap the area where you want to lighten up the tone. 


1. Use of Geometric Shapes

Start with using geometric shapes such as circles, triangles, and squares to draw the subject’s faces and bodies. Print out the photograph of a person with whom you will do a portrait sketch. Make sure you are working on geometric shapes and continue until you get the basic structure of your portrait to cover it with layers—for example, use circles for cheeks, triangles for a nose, and processes for hair. 


2. Use of Vertical or Diagonal Lines

Vertical or diagonal lines are one of the building blocks of the photograph. These elements play an essential role in drawings to give your photos depth. A vertical line is a point that continues and implies motion. Such sequences are open and lead the viewer’s eye into the image or to an exciting end of the portrait. Use these delicate lines to make the relationship between all the features and to note the alignments of the features.


3. Get a Skill on Shading Techniques

People make the biggest mistakes when using their fingers to rub the shading in drawings. Usually, kids use this method in art class at the junior level. Control the exact degree of light and dark patterns to create a different tone in your portrait. Instead of build-up layers, use smooth pencil shading to draw fur, hair, and skin. Make lines in the opposite direction to increase the darkness for deep shadows. 


4. Play Around with Different Mediums

Get creative and try out different mediums like pastels or charcoals in your abstract art piece. Paint over it and come out the way you wanted it to. Take a deep breath, grab your pencil and start to make your portrait flow. The first time, if it’s not come up with the perfect results, do it again and continue until you get the exact results you wanted it to. 


If you follow these tips, your way of understanding the portrait and thus being able to draw better portraits will be much easier. Are you in?


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