How To Shade A Face: Ultimate Tutorial
*This is an exclusive tutorial*
Im sure youll agree with me when I say this:
Shading is so damn hard!
Ive been drawing for most of my life and it still gets to me sometimes.
Shading is what makes a drawing look realistic and triggers that WOW reaction. Its also a tedious process, and thats why its so difficult to teach.
So in this monster of a tutorial I will show you how to shade a face with pencil from beginning to end using a ton of images, explanations and tips.
This tutorial is so long that its the equivalent of a 40 page book!
If you havent read the in-depth shading guide, please before you continue on. Im not going to talk a lot about shading techniques in this post because its already covered there.
How To Draw A Face
In this drawing lesson, we will show you how to draw a face. This is probably one of the most important tutorials on the pages of Drawingforall.net.
So what does it take to learn how to draw a face? First of all, we advise you to get acquainted with the anatomy of the skull and the anatomy of the head muscles in general terms. This will help you understand the structure of the head in more detail and draw a face more consciously.
Next, you should familiarize yourself with the rules of light and shadow and the rules of linear perspective and aerial perspective. It will help you learn how to create compelling objects, face parts, and details on a piece of paper.
So, if you have studied all this, then lets proceed to the tutorial on how to draw a face.
How To Draw A Face From The Front
We’ll first discuss Loomis’ approach, which is more complex, but more accurate. If you find that this approach is a bit difficult for you, you can skip to the simpler approach further down the page. Remember, either way, the goal is to create a convincing drawing of a face so either approach you take is fine.
Read Also: Skull Side View Drawing
Fill In The Facial Features
Within the eye ovals, draw two circles with darker shading on either side. This will make your eyes stand out from your drawing. Youll also want to start adding some light shading on the inner corners of the eyes, up the sides of the nose, and down both cheeks.
Light pencil strokes are the best way to keep your face drawings simple.
How To Draw A Realistic Face For Portrait Artists
I will demonstrate step-by-step how to draw a realistic face with the necessary knowledge of human anatomy.
First, I mark the outmost top and bottom and left and right edges of the head. This is to ensure that the scale of the portrait will be similar to the previous drawing.
I mark an ellipse, which is the base of the neck. It is, in fact, has a circular shape, but in perspective, it appears as an ellipse.
The base of the neck coincides with the first pair of ribs, which is not horizontal, but tilted at about 15-degree angle. That is why this ellipse is also has a downward slope.
The outline of the back of the neck follows the trapezium muscle .
The deltoid muscle gives us the outline of the shoulder. Below this muscle, the outline follows the triceps brachii.
The collarbone spans horizontally from the pit of the neck to the acromion of the shoulder blade. This bone is an important landmark in our portrait.
From the pit of the neck, I mark a vertical virtual line in the middle of the chest. The abdominal portion of the chest muscle travels upward while the collarbone portion of the chest muscle is pointing downward. The cross between portions of the chest muscle happens near the armpit.
Here is one important proportion you need to remember when drawing a chest. The height of the breastbone is equal to the length of the collarbone, which, in turn, is equal to the height of the face.
Measuring the length of this muscle, we can define the bottom edge of the ear.
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How To Draw Portraits With Step By Step Realistic Drawing Tutorials
Portraits are probably some of the most well-known forms of making art. Weve been doing this through our entire history. The face expression is very important in any portrait and the idea behind them is to display the mood, the personality of a person at that particular moment of time.
In order to draw the human figure artists, need to practice a lot. Portraits are a good way to spot how an artists uses his style to create it. Bringing a person to life by just a pencil and a piece of paper is truly magic. If you dont have enough experience, this should not stop you from being able to try. Learning how to draw portraits is a choice.
There are different types of portraits that can be done. Frontal, three-quarter view portraits or profile are the ones that are mostly used by artists. They can include only the head or head and shoulders or even the entire body.
Draw The Face Outline
When you want to learn how to draw a face step by step, its common to start with a head-on view. But drawing a face from the side, also known as a profile, is another great skill to master.
To get started, sketch a circle freehand with a vertical line from about one-third of the way towards the bottom of the circle and down. It doesnt matter how long this line is as youll only be using it as a guide.
As with face-forward pictures, the profile starts with a simple circle and line approach.
Along the right side of the circle, draw a vertical line down as far as youd like. Depending on how long you would like your face to be, pick a point on this vertical line and draw a slightly curved line up to the bottom edge of the circle where the middle vertical line meets the edge. Lightly sketch a horizontal line through the middle of the circle at the top of the middle vertical line to form a T shape. On the left side of the middle vertical line, draw a curve from the middle horizontal line down to the vertical line for the side-view of the ear.
Adding in curved lines as you go helps you to see where different facial features will be.
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How To Draw Human Faces
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Since the earliest times, humans have spent a great deal of time trying to capture the essence of the human face. This can be enjoyable, but it’s better if you know how. While our bodies add dynamism to artworks, the face is filled with expressionthe very soul of our being. Learning to bring that out starts with learning how to draw a basic human face. Where you take it next will be in your charcoal- or paint-stained fingers.
Mark Guidelines And Start Drawing The Eyes
Across the middle horizontal line, draw five light rectangles. Inside the second and fourth rectangles, draw an oval that overlaps the middle line. Within each oval, draw a big circle and a small circle for the eyeballs, and a slightly curved line over each for the top of the eye. At the top of the guideline rectangles, draw in the eyebrows as curved rectangle shapes. Along the bottom of the guiding rectangles, sketch in curved lines to outline the nose with the tip of the nose resting on the bottom of the guideline.
Guidelines in the middle of the face help you to map out the eyes, nose, and mouth.
When youre learning how to draw a face, getting the eyes right is one of the most crucial elements in making your drawing more realistic. Start by going over the circle of the eyeballs in a darker pencil to frame them before adding lighter shading on the inside. Once youve shaded the whole eyeball, erase a couple of small spots around the pupil to give the eyes a slightly glassy look. Add in light shading to the corners of the eyes to start building out a more three-dimensional appearance.
Shading the eyes first will help you to see where you need darker and lighter elements.Shading around the eyes can be time-consuming, but enjoy the process of seeing your art come to life!Short pencil strokes will help you create realistic eyebrows.
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Discover Online Classes In Drawing
Character Illustration, sketching tips, ink drawing, pencil portraits, and more.
When youre starting out as an artist, drawing a face is likely one of the skills youre looking to master. There are plenty of options for how to do this, from cartoon and graphic novel styles to realistic portrait styles used to draw your favorite celebrities or your family and friends.
Tired Of Reading Shallow And Confusing Tutorials
Do you have trouble following shading tutorials online because they usually skip from step A all the way to step G with little to no explanation? Do you have difficulties making your drawings pop or look realistic, eventually giving up in frustration?
For this tutorial, I recorded the full drawing process by scanning 213 high quality images which took over 35 hours in total just to scan! From that, I carefully selected a group of images for each step which clearly shows the intricate stages and layers of my shading process. Each step is backed up by clear explanations, shading tips and techniques.
You can immediately apply these techniques to your own artwork and watch your portraits come to life.
Each step is packed with a ton of image examples. Most steps contain a clickable slideshow of 3-9 images so you can view them at your own pace, and easily observe the subtle changes from one image to the next. You can also zoom in and out of each slideshow image to analyze the details further.
The GIF below is a preview of only a few images you can expect to see in this tutorial.
It doesnt matter if youre a beginner or intermediate if you have the patience and dedication to sit through this entire tutorial, I PROMISE you will walk away with a handful of value.
From step 3 onward, each step is broken down to multiple sub-steps so you can easily follow along with what Im doing.
Recommended Reading: How To Draw A Person On Their Knees
Drawing Noses And Eyes Together
Once you learn the anatomy of the eye and how to draw it realistically, it is important to understand how to put two of them together along with other facial features like the nose. Here are some guidelines to remember:
- The space between the eyes is one eye width.
- Both eyes should be directly across from each other.
- If you draw a vertical line down from the corner of the eye, it will line up with the edge of the nose.
- Both eyes must be looking in the same direction. The pupil and iris must be the same in both.
- Place the catch light in the same place on both eyes .
1. Create a Line Drawing
Use the grid method and a mechanical pencil to create a line drawing of a nose and eyes together. Notice how the vertical line drawn down from the corner of the eyes lines up with the edge of the nose. Place the eyes directly across from one another.
2. Apply Dark Tones, Fill in the Shadow Areas and Eyebrows
When you are sure of your accuracy, carefully remove the grid lines with a kneaded eraser. Apply the darkest tones with a pencil.
The pupils of the eyes are the darkest areas. Fill in the tones of the shadow areas and the eyebrows. The eyebrows should be shaded in as a shape first, before the hairs are applied.
3. Blend and Apply Highlights
Blend with a stump or tortillion. Very little of the paper should be left white, even in the whites of the eyes. Use a kneaded eraser for the small highlights seen in the brows and patterns within the pupils.
Where To Place The Eyes
Well, we have a tendency to think the eyes are closer to the top of the head than the bottom because they are the highest facial feature. But thats not really the case.
As you can see, the eyes are just about halfway between the bottom of the jaw and the top of the head. There is a lot of head above the eyes, as any of us with a receding hairline know. But I skipped a step here how far apart should the eyes be? How big should they be?
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Tips For Drawing Portraits
The best way to draw a portrait fast is by capturing the values, the lights and darks. Light and dark values define the planes that our forehead and temples create together with the bridge and sides of the nose, the eye sockets, cheekbones and so on.
Getting somebody that will pose for you might be tricky but for sure you will find somebody that wants to do that and that is you. The trick is to use large mirrors and keep a correct posture when you draw yourself.
Draw only parts of a face. It helps a lot to practice individual drawings of the eyes, nose, mouth or ears. By doing so it means you understand each time better how to do it and your portrait drawings will get much better.
Play around with the light. Try out different light, diffuse, misty, morning or evening light or even the strong one in the afternoon. See how it impacts the way you are drawing a face.
Practice the drawing of clothing. Artists that learn how to draw portraits need to also be aware of how to draw clothing. This is an element that usually shows up in a lot of portraits so why not getting it right?
The desire to draw a realistic face means that sometimes artist might get obsessive about the details. This can result in losing creativity and not being connected anymore to the personality of the person you are trying to get in the portrait.
If you enjoyed reading this article on how to draw portraits, you should read these as well:
This Month Im Only Using Pencil And Paper
While technology-aided art still should probably count as art , this month, Im committed to creating using only the tools shown below: 9 black pencils, 1 white pencil, a few different erasers, and a gray piece of paper .
Its going to be hard, but thats the point.
Today, I spent 2.5 hours starting the course and beginning my first portrait.
Read Also: How To Draw A Face 3 4 View
Experiment With Drawing Different Types Of Faces
As always, you dont need to stick to the exact guidelines above. Learn how to draw heads using the basic guidelines and then mix and match facial features and face proportions.
Take a look at the different faces I made below using rough measurements!
Learn to draw unique faces by experimenting with various eye shapes, eyebrow angles, nose lengths/widths, etc Grab a piece of paper and draw as many faces as possible!
Through this fun exercise, you will be able to draw faces faster with little effort, identify proportional errors when you revisit old drawings, identify what makes certain faces look more realistic than others, be able to draw cartoons, caricatures and more.
I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial on how to draw a face for beginners and found it easy to follow. If you have any questions or requests, leave it in the comments below and Ill get back to you as soon as I can.
Add The Ears And Hairline
Draw the upper portion of a circle inside the original curve at the top of your page. This will create a hairline for you to work from later on. From here, draw a light dotted line about a third of the way up from the middle horizontal line to mark a guideline for the tops of the ears.
Drawing additional guidelines helps to make sure your features are in the right places.
Take a curved line down each side of the face until approximately halfway down the lower half of the drawing . Inside each of the ears, draw a few ovals and lines to create the inner portion of the ear.
Skillshare teacher Jasmina Susak shows us how to add in the first features on the face.
Read Also: How To Draw Eyes From The Side
Complete The Skin Shading
Start from the left side of the face and work from the outside to the center. This will help to keep the shadow effect that youve already started on the left side of the nose. Shade with your darkest pencil along the outside edge of the face, moving lighter as you approach the underside of the center of the eye. Keep the shading light here until you start to reach the dark shading thats already in place next to the nose.
Adding darker shading on the side helps to mirror the shadow effect across that side of the face.
Working up to the forehead, keep your shading light as you move up the outside edge above the left eyebrow. As you shade towards the hairline at the top center of the face, keep your pencil as light as possible. The middle and right of the forehead should be some of your lightest shading to highlight the shadow coming down the left side of the face.
As you shade, think about where light would naturally hit the face and lighten your touch accordingly.
Continue to shade lightly across the right side of the face, adding in slightly darker shading directly underneath the center of the lower lip. As you move onto the neck, shade from left to right, keeping the dark shading for around three-quarters of the neck with a small triangle of lighter shading on the right side. Finally, shade the inside of the ears on both sides in both light and dark patterns to reflect where light would naturally fall.
Fill in some of the finer details as you go.