Learn how to draw realistic faces with Skillshare instructor and illustrator Morgan Swank.
Learn how to draw realistic faces with Skillshare instructor and illustrator Morgan Swank.

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. 

Image via  Instagram   A traditional charcoal portrait by Oliver Sin. 
Image via Instagram A traditional charcoal portrait by Oliver Sin. 

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. 

Image via  Instagram   A charcoal portrait of a young child by Amanda Juliann.
Image via Instagram A charcoal portrait of a young child by Amanda Juliann.

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.

Image via  Instagram   A portrait of actor Sean Connery by Mr. Broken Brush.
Image via Instagram A portrait of actor Sean Connery by Mr. Broken Brush.

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!

Image via  Instagram   Nabfi Art’s finished portrait of celebrity Kim Kardashian. 
Image via Instagram Nabfi Art’s finished portrait of celebrity Kim Kardashian. 

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.

Image via  Instagram    A beautiful portrait of a woman by illustrator, Aneta Fontner-Dorożyńska.
Image via Instagram A beautiful portrait of a woman by illustrator, Aneta Fontner-Dorożyńska.

Facial Illustrations

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. 

Image via  Instagram   Skillshare students learn to draw facial illustrations like this one and improve their drawing skills. 
Image via Instagram Skillshare students learn to draw facial illustrations like this one and improve their drawing skills. 

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)!

Image via  Instagram   J.D. Knight’s Wonder Woman.
Image via Instagram J.D. Knight’s Wonder Woman.

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. 

Imagee via  Instagram   A simple, yet stunning portrait by Tash Van Der Walt.
Imagee via Instagram A simple, yet stunning portrait by Tash Van Der Walt.

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. 

Image via  Instagram   Selena Gomez by Artistiq.
Image via Instagram Selena Gomez by Artistiq.

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. 

Image via  Instagram   A colored pencil portrait by Morgan Davidson.
Image via Instagram A colored pencil portrait by Morgan Davidson.

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.

A simple fashion face by Emy Eriksson.
A simple fashion face by Emy Eriksson.

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. 

Adding color makes fashion face illustrations even more beautiful!
Adding color makes fashion face illustrations even more beautiful!

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. 

Fashion faces are often more simple, and less details than traditional portraits. 
Fashion faces are often more simple, and less details than traditional portraits. 

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. 

This fun floral-enhanced illustration is a great example of fashion facial artwork. 
This fun floral-enhanced illustration is a great example of fashion facial artwork. 

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. 

Bold lip colors can often be found in fashion facial illustrations. 
Bold lip colors can often be found in fashion facial illustrations. 

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. 

This maine coon has furry eyes and bright, yellow eyes that make them come to life!
This maine coon has furry eyes and bright, yellow eyes that make them come to life!

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. 

Morgan Swank finished her cat portrait by adding details with markers. 
Morgan Swank finished her cat portrait by adding details with markers. 

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. 

Image via  Instagram   Kelly Lahar creates a realistic cat portrait with pencil and watercolor paints. 
Image via Instagram Kelly Lahar creates a realistic cat portrait with pencil and watercolor paints. 

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!

Image via  Instagram   This qualifies as “big cat” face illustration!
Image via Instagram This qualifies as “big cat” face illustration!

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. 

Image via  Instagram   A striking black cat portrait by Robert Bateman
Image via Instagram A striking black cat portrait by Robert Bateman

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