Drawing Portraits

  • So I would love to better learn how to draw portraits; photorealistic and caricature drawing alike. I watched Dave Malan's video on SVS, but was disappointed as there is basically no instruction whatsoever. While watching him draw, and seeing his process was really cool, I would love if it another class was added that focused on the anatomy/proportions of the face/head. Anyone else share my thoughts?

  • @Jordan-Peterson

    I support you. Why not? 🙂

  • I have learned alot from proko on youtube. He breaks down every part of the face and body. Hope this helps.

  • SVS OG

    In college I took a "head painting" class that was amazing--one of my favorite classes. One of the best things we did in that class were master copies. Ever since that class I've kept a pinterest board of head paintings I like and want to do copies of... I've only done a couple since then, but I have one in progress, so thats something! The board is here if you're interested: https://www.pinterest.com/sarahluann/use-your-head/

    When we started the class we didn't use any color. We used a white gessoed surface and only used burnt umber and turpentine. We focused on accuracy only, without getting distracted by colors and details. Personally painting is easier for me than drawing because you lay down shapes instead of lines--I found it easiest to quickly lay down major shapes and push and pull the edges until they were in the right spot.

    Then, we added white paint, again focusing on accuracy and value first and foremost. Then we did a Zorn palette--Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna (for red), Paynes Grey (for blue) and White. Finally we introduced other colors, but the teacher would have us just choose two colors plus white and use those to create a limited palette portrait. Finally we used all the colors available.

    Digital painting is its own beast, but I think a similar approach would be beneficial. Find artists who did it well (Sargent!) and copy their work. Focus first on drawing and value before worrying about color.

  • If you've never tried this exercise, turn a photograph upside down, and only copy the shapes you see, and not worry about a likeness. Keep the reference upside down, do not turn it or your piece until you're done. You'll find by concentrating only on the shapes, you get a very tight likeness. So the trick is to repeat the same thing right side up, see shapes and not elements of a face, ears, nose, eyes, mouth.

    As to a caricature it is the exact opposite, concentrate on what makes the person's face unique. A larger than perfect nose. A crooked smile. Eyes that are large or small. Juxtapose that exaggeration with other normal proportions, or exaggerate 2-3 and keep the rest normal.

    Good luck, if you want videos, I can hunt some down for you... but am feeling a little tired tonight, so will edit this as soon as I find you some.

  • All great suggestions! I had started trolling the interwebs/youtube for stuff to copy and for tutorials. No harm in doing things the old fashioned way. @LeeHolland Proko is great! I love his videos.

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