Though it is undoubtedly beautiful, face illustration is one of the most challenging types of art because each subject is so unique and nuanced. If you’re learning how to draw a face or need some face reference materials for your work, read on for a list of gorgeous facial illustrations and talented artists.
20 Face Illustrations and Artists That’ll Inspire You
Facial Illustration Artists
Facial illustration artists, often referred to as portrait artists, are widely sought after due to the challenge of how to draw faces. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the most talented portrait artists of our time.
1. Oliver Sin
Sin, who is a professor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, is known for pencil studies and charcoal portraits.
2. Amanda Juliann
Juliann, a graphic artist who also works in traditional pencil and charcoal illustration, is heralded for the realistic nature of her finished works. She often uses color to enhance her line drawings.
3. Mr. Broken Brush
Leo D, an artist known only as “Mr. Broken Brush,” is famous for face illustration. He works with charcoal and pastel, draws portraits of both children and adults, and has a knack for capturing the quirks and personality of each of his subjects.
4. Nabfi Art
This artist, who goes by Nabfi Art, is a portrait and fashion illustrator. Many of her commissions are digital illustrations, but she’s also made a name for herself with her expressive, colorful line drawing portraits. You’ll likely recognize many of her subjects!
5. Aneta Fontner-Dorożyńska
Fontner-Dorożyńska, a Polish illustrator, creates her renowned portraits from pencil, oil paint, brush pen, watercolor, and Photoshop. She is talented in both classical portrait drawing and character stylization and is able to create shadow, texture, and expression with very few lines.
If you’re more apt to find inspiration in individual works, rather than considering an artists’ full portfolio, keep scrolling for a few of our favorite face illustrations from professional artists and Skillshare students alike.
6. Line Drawing Portrait by Mario Reyes
Skillshare student Mario Reyes created this pencil drawn illustration face for the course Portrait Art: How to Draw Faces. The shading and realistic detail, especially, are the highlights of this portrait.
7. Wonder Woman by J.D. Knight
Professional illustrator J.D. Knight’s traditional greyscale portrait of Wonder Woman is a beautiful example of what can be created with simple pencil and paper (and a face reference image, of course)!
8. Face Illustration by Tash Van Der Walt
This beautiful portrait, drawn in pencil by Skillshare student Tash Van Der Walt, was created for the course Start Drawing: Techniques for Pencil Portraits. Van Der Walt used shading and blending to ensure that the clear, bright eyes of her subject are the focal point of this drawing.
9. Celebrity Portrait by Artistiq
This portrait of singer Selena Gomez was created by a face illustration artist called Artistiq. The line work and detail are incredibly impressive, and Gomez’s fans will recognize her right away due to the realistic nature of this pencil portrait.
10. Colored Pencil Portrait by Morgan Davidson
Morgan Davidson is one of the most popular colored pencil artists, and it’s easy to see why. Davidson’s mastery of line drawn illustration faces married with vibrant colors and details are on full display within this fun, summery portrait.
Fashion Face Illustrations
Fashion face illustration is a bit different from traditional portrait work. The face drawings are meant to complement the clothing that’s highlighted within fashion illustrations, so they’re often more minimal in line and design. If you’re just learning how to draw a face, this can be a fun genre with which to start!
11. Minimalist Fashion Face Illustration by Emy Eriksson
This fashion portrait created by Skillshare student Emy Eriksson is part of her work within the course Fashion Illustration: Create a Minimalist Fashion Portrait. As you’ll see, the portrait is simplistic in design and includes only one color, a bright red, to highlight the subject’s lips and to elevate the illustration toward fashion-based art.
12. Fashion Portrait with Watercolor by Elena Fay
This portrait created by Skillshare instructor Elena Fay was drawn with pencil and enhanced with watercolor, Fay’s illustration medium of choice. In this piece, she’s brightened the subject’s eyes with detail and color that match her subtle pink dress.
13. Pen and Paint Fashion Face Illustration by Elisabetta Furcht
This fashion portrait by Skillshare student Elisabetta Furcht is a creative take on traditional fashion illustration. Furcht has kept the face simple to help highlight the subject’s dress. Her drawing, which was originally outlined in pen, has been enhanced with a light touch of watercolor.
14. Colorful Fashion Illustration Face by Celia Carro
Skillshare instructor Celia Carro has created a beautiful, colorful face. She built the facial features and designs around the fashion focus—the head wrap—and included fun details such as piercings, loud lip color, and oversized flowers.
15. Simple Fashion Face Illustration by Christine Park
Skillshare student Christine Park has created a beautiful example of simplistic fashion portrait design. The subject’s earrings, which are the focus of the piece, hold the most detail—the face is drawn simply to complement them.
Cat Face Illustrations
Prefer to draw animal faces versus human faces? The next few examples of cat face illustrations are for you! Animal face illustration follows the same general process as traditional human illustration face work, but you obviously end up with a slightly different end result.
16. Maine Coon Illustration by Sabine Loeschner
In this piece, Skillshare student Sabine Loeschner has drawn her maine coon cat using line art technique. She enhanced her cat’s face by creating big, colorful eyes.
17. Marker Drawn Cat Portrait by Morgan Swank
For this beautiful cat illustration, Skillshare student Morgan Swank kept the colors minimal and finished her pencil drawing with markers. The pen linework is still very present in details like the cat’s fur, whiskers, and facial features.
18. Crow the Cat by Kelly Lahar
Kelly Lahar, a pet portrait artist, created this face illustration using drawing pencils and colored pencils and finished the piece with a bit of watercolor detailing.
19. Tiger Portrait by Paul Miller
Paul Miller is a wildlife artist famous for pieces like this realistic cat face illustration. He’s carefully drawn each detail of the tiger’s face—it almost looks like a photograph!
20. Charcoal Cat Portrait by Robert Bateman
Here, charcoal and graphite artist Robert Bateman has drawn his cat and finished the sketch with a little acrylic paint. The cat’s eyes, especially, are incredibly detailed and realistic.
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