Draw A Self-Portrait in Graphite | Selina Shapland | Skillshare
Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
10 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Self Portrait Intro 1

    • 2. Self Portrait Art Supplies 2

    • 3. Face Proportions 3

    • 4. Sketching the face 4

    • 5. Shading Eyes 5

    • 6. Shading Nose & Mouth 6

    • 7. 2B Shadows Face & Hair 7

    • 8. 6B Shadows Face & Hair 8

    • 9. Finishing the Self Portrait 9

    • 10. SP Wrap up and Project 10

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Take a photo of yourself and learn to draw a self-portrait using graphite pencils. 

This class will show you how I have approached drawing my own self-portrait and the way I approach using light and shade to build up the features of the face. In this class you will learn:

  • The to see the line that the eyes sit on
  • The skull, hair line, nose and mouth approximate areas
  • How to build up eyes that look realistic by using shading and leaving white space for highlights and no longer relying on lines to define the lower eyes
  • How to see light and shadow on the face so you can draw your own self-portrait
  • Have fun following along (if you want to use my photo) or be inspired to draw and shade you own self-portrait without worrying about achieving an exact likeness.

I encourage you to take a face front photo in good sunlight that will give you a sense of light and shadow on your features.

If you're too shy to do your own portrait, then ask a friend to be your model. Choose a friend who doesn't mind if you do not get an exact likeness as this class is all about developing the skill of seeing what is in front of you and rendering it on paper. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Selina Shapland

Art, Writing, Creativity Coaching


Hello and welcome to my profile page. I'm Selina.

I draw, paint, play and be creative. I write paranormal fiction stories and I coach people to achieve their creative aspirations and goals. 

Keep reading to find out a little more about me and my work.

On Writing
I love fiction writing. It's a passion ... or maybe an obsession for me. I write paranormal speculative fiction with romance, wonder and horror beats. I'm an avid reader of genre fiction. Some of my favourite authors include Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Marian Keyes, Kelley Armstrong, Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb and Stephen King (of course!).

On Art

I'm also an artist who is always learning and growing as an eternal student. I've been drawing and painting on and off mo... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Self Portrait Intro 1: I'm welcome to my class on doing a self portrait or portrait of your cheesing from a reference photo. I thought we might do the class by stone ourselves, as it's one of the easiest reference photos that we can get. We can take a photo of her own face and draw it. This class is for beginners or for those who have had some experience with drawing and want to improve their portraiture skills. I hope you'll come along and do the class with me a little bit about May on Selena Shop Land and I have a blood called the Creative Life. I blogged about writing and about art and just living a creative life and my Aryan creative Jenny. I am a student off creativity. I am constantly learning and growing and applying what I'm learning to my creativity each and every day. This class is about teaching you to see light and shadow as well as figure out some of the proportion anchors on the face. We're going to use a reference photo a B, your own photo of yourself, preferably a high resolution photo, which you have taken over yourself in good sunlight. So it's got a bit of light and shadow on your fights. If you feel that you don't want to do a self portrait, you wanted to a portrait of someone else, please our separation and seek out somebody. He is okay with you not getting a likeness, because portraiture is quite a skill to develop. And capturing a likeness takes time. And there's a sense off wanting. Teoh beat ourselves up sometimes for not being perfect. So we have to leave the critic at the door and say, Thanks very much. But today I'm going to play, and I'm going to learn to do these just one little step at a time and take it in progression and just keep growing towards that level off portraiture skill that you want to achieve. So the important thing is to have that the photograph, the light in shadow and also Teoh be kind to yourself. A little bit of gentle care is important when we come to draw and big creative because it's too much comparison Isis out there, So do your best. He laid that at the front door or back to the other Thing is, you might want to do a photo where the person or yourself is not smiling because take her a little bit more challenging. So I would recommend just a sort of ah frontal fais fight, Ari, and just something that might give you the Aedes if if you feel like you want to be challenged, because we will be all do feather where I have my ease visible. But a 3/4 shot is a little bit more challenging and a profile is in a little bit more, challenging said Today we're just gonna freaks on the front of the vice. 2. Self Portrait Art Supplies 2: So talk about the reference photo, and now I'm going to talk about the talking materials that I'm going to use to sketch out my own self portrait. I have a Ford this'll. One is made of Masonite, but you can get a plastic one. It's actually really good tea Have it's a surface to put your his paper one and hard surfaces better, because I want to use graphite pencils and get some strong lines and some strong shadow and light contrast in the piece of work that we're going to do. I just my pace of Piper Teoh the and I'm using a kind of creamy colored white piper. It's a Mont Mart paper for a sketching door. 30 is an acid free 110 GSM kind of paper, and it's really good for sketching and pencil, charcoal, pastels, pencils and pens. Sorry, whatever medium you choose to use, probably not watercolor. We can do that on watercolor paper, but this one white hold water the way that what color people will do. So the other thing that I'm going Teoh use is a sit off graphite pitchers, and we'll be sketching the facial features out of an H bait. I will. He's on to be to get some of the day tiles and then I suspect that I will probably be drawn Teoh a six day to get a lot of the darker shadows. OK, sorry. That's it. So you need pencils. You need a good board or visual diary if you don't want to use it. The board. But the clipboard really helps get the surface to give the depth to the shadows so you can go with harder on that surface. And of course, a good sketching his pipe up. Sorry, let's jumping. 3. Face Proportions 3: This is my face, obviously, and, uh, well, I'm going to start looking at is the line of the eyes and the area between around the on the occipital bone area where the eyeball sits. And then I shading the areas for the Norris and we've got a line for the lips here, say the eyes of roughly halfway between the top of the skull and the bottom of the jaw, and the hairline doesn't seats part way down the skull. Say the actual skull is much higher, so unity put in enough volume. Teoh, Give the head some around us. There's a little bit of the E here. These are the landmarks that I'll be looking for. The eyes, The eyes are on the line, the Nori's and I look at the distance between where the under the eyes and the thought of the Norris to get a bit of a reference point. It's a landmark, and here this is a landmark between the bottom of the noise and the Cupid's bow for the lips and then from underneath the lips is this little shaded spot and TV actual chin. The face is kind of over, but it's it has straight areas on on the side of the face, so we're not completely ground. Balls with me have face dumbing a portrait. I'm also looking for dark shading and lights. There's a lot of light around the noise, a lot of light underneath the eye on a lot of light around the top of the forehead and a little bit of light around the top of the. And if you'll see that the light hits the the bottom lip more than top leap and you'll see that light comes down this way across the eyes that this one's in a lot of shadow. This one has a lot of shadow here, but the underneath the eyes and halfway of the eyeball has a lot of light as well. So those sorts of things I'll be looking to sketch, let's let's do this 4. Sketching the face 4: on my piece of paper. I'm going to start about halfway looking for the eyes, very light line to give me a reference for the eyes. When I'm drawing this, I'm actually blowing the picture up a lot so I can see the shape of the eyes. They're not fully round, so you need to look at the actual shape of the eyes that you see. And then there's the only and it's very much in shadow. And I've got a long eyelashes, and there's a bit of a general reference of one I between the two eyes, so the next one will start roughly around right side. Another way to make it easy to do that. It's been a rough circle in the center, and that would be one tooth three and nets you three eyes across the side, across the face. So here he's only got a lot of our eyelashes, and why I lead is coming up on around. There's a lot of shadow here, roughly on looking between the top, where the Chris in the ice I upper eyes and the eyebrows kind of get a sense of where my eyebrows on the face and this will not be an exact ripple is a representation of what I look like, but hopefully it will be close enough. So again, there's only about that much distance between my eyes, eyebrows and my I've ball got a couple of wrinkles here, say, then the eye isn't like the eye corner of the eye doesn't go directly to this corner of the side of the noise. It's actually eaten a bit further from its, um, eighties, and I'm gonna do quite straight down and then I'm gonna look to save. I got enough space between where the corner of the IAEA's and where the Nori's starts. That's roughly about that distance and sunny in rough. I used to have a lot of trouble during noises until I started to see Shadow. And should I really helps with getting Nori's proportions? Are you still baby? How do you actually doing? Mori's? It's really quite challenging underneath the eye. You can see where my eye sits in I've got the eyeball. So this is the eyeball in here, miss. A bit of shadow under and kind of here is well, now you'll see in the photo that there's a lot of lot. He So I'm gonna just, like, do a rough sketch around where that is a rough sketch. And Norris is really just a bowl. So don't think of it as a nice think of it as a bowl, and that will give you the roughness of weather. So I don't know my disease. I just I really looking at what's actually there rather than what you think. Is they? So here it was a little line spice. He has a little light. Here is the hay line up here. It's got some shadow from that way just under the eyes. Don't don't do a full line under the eyes just dotted across because the eyes have lighted the bottom off. Um so dying Do a line. It wont be realistic. My hair is actually coming on down past more on have actually drawn a bit too much. Their sides of the noise got re ominous. You get there and you know the thing is you can always correct sorry. Down here there's a shadow coming off my nor is this way it's going across the down in Iran now That's cool. Shadow there and then he are se roughly here and here. It's way more Keep its Bowie's And the sides of my lives are on par with where the middle of my I would bay. So just looking that so think about drawing even faces is to draw from general to specific and not to worry about getting a likeness. I used to really fret about getting a likeness. And what if you worry about that, you won't get it. So my advice is don't worry about likeness. For the moment, just allow yourself to say, Lord and Shed are you say down here underneath the leaves. So these are the lips here. This is little little sections. We're light hits, little pots and night lives. This and then the face kind of comes down that way to the chin chin to is a ball sort of like a chain, depending on the face that you draw and then to the sides. I've actually got a lot of shadow happening around here, So I'm gonna block that in a zoo, A shape, no gonna worry about it being exact. And I ve here on the side, I've got a few wrinkles, so I'm gonna put them in and then I'm gonna put the ear. And now the EEA, but to spring psyche the seats around the top of the easy. It's around where the irises so and then you don't see the bottom of the East. So we're only gonna draw that. So the arms bound thing, just all we're gonna look at his shadow. So that part there is all shadow. And then the head Connor comes around that So my face comes there. That might not be exactly. It'll be cuisine. There's a lot of shit underneath in the throat. You don't have to do with three if you don't want to. Nick is not nearly as thin as we like to think it is, Guy. It's company Hugh. So it's just a matter of course. Correcting course. Correcting course, correcting away. Three. If I just get the top here, you'll see. And you might just need to take a bit of creative license to because if the photo doesn't show you enough, then that will be what happens. There just need Teoh be a little bit creative from them. OK, so the inside the eyes there's a distance. But between the iris on the side of the eyes, and that's a negative Spice and I would be looking at that negative spice and there's a little bit of white underneath the bottom of my arts. So I'm gonna draw that in and around, then going t close. Mike eyes in shadow, at least the top part of my allies in shed. Are they gonna leave that the white? That is? No, but he only saw it. It's actually a lot of darkness. You might need to expand your fryer a little bit to get a really good look. Which is why it's important to get a very good quality, high quality fighter work from and again on, measuring the distance between the corner of the eye and the iris on by thought. It's just a general guests to see where what the negative spaces like. And I've given myself a little bit of light there, even boy in the photo. It doesn't show it. There is light on May fail, and there's a little line coming here underneath my fiber. I need my people is what I'm trying to say. What? Okay, I said that front day is a really generous rough sketch off this photo a very rough sketch . So just getting the most basic lines in this and I will remove some of these sketch lines, they some artist stuff. I don't want you to use any erases. But if you do, I think in a double a riser is actually quite good, because you can Mike appointing, Get into the spices. The idea is to draw his lightning, as it possibly can, in the first instance, to get get by 16. 5. Shading Eyes 5: for the oil. I should sit a little bit higher than the actual line off the You know, I say it could be careful that we don't. I would do it, and it's usually good to sort of make them a bit triangular. But, you know, you go by the reference fighter underneath the eye. I'm one eyelashes and the inside the eye is quite dark. Just Keith. No, Kate blending it in. But making sure you keeping an eye on your reference fighting and drawing only what you see . Now I'm avoiding putting a line at the bottom of the eye because one of my teachers taught me that you may eyes don't have that. Like we don't have harsh lines under our eyes. I'm just gonna look so under the eye. There's a shadow under the eye. It's these shadows. So I'm gonna capture that now, going off in this situation and you can use cross hatching or shading and however you like to do it, I do a bit of a cross between cross hatching and just shading you with the pencil and then under lock. Got some wrinkles here kind of lining in the wrinkles and then blending it. Can you? Just the bottom of oil I and then the Lorries. And still quite a bit a shut eye A with the noise. And this eye has hates of darkness in it. So we need Teoh come and go a little bit dot com across the top in particular, because the light is coming down. We're seeing light at the bottom of the I. Okay, so that will do for the morning on that one. Let's move across the other side. You need to be careful that you gonna smudge the thing so you can put up his paper over the top of it to stop the smudging, but some to use Hey, like, quick, it's on this. I is quantity of darkness, Just feeling the arts. I just need to take a bit of that out, actually. So Thean inside of the white of the eyes are never what they got. All sorts of levels of shading just depends on what you see as t How much you put in this one Quite there. Insides corner of the eye. No eyelashes, lots of eyelashes, very willing to be the eyelashes. You see how I'm not putting them at the very edge today. But I am gonna shading here on noi that same silly off just put eyelashes. You think you want to say it, but for eternity tells me it's shaded. So that's what I'm doing. Sorry. There is a lot of shader, and I'm trying t follow the contours off the lines for life. The area of the vice. Look at the eyebrows a little bit more now because the eyebrows will give you your me time , will you, Doc? Italian, depending on how a lot of doc your subject is or how Doc, you're I know I've Raza. I can't say under the goy like it, Doc around here in areas shaving just underneath the eyelashes. No worrying about face lawn Hell, Lyman, I shouldn't have put alive. You get Kayson gonna let up in this way, the eyes content, like come around and they sort of shell all my shape a lot of light on the side so she wouldn't be putting too much shading then. So this once so important to have a look at light and shadow, the media has quite a bit a shadow. No, I've actually drawn out a little bit too tool. A little bit cool, do you? Little bit General Scheiding to get down to the night we were at. Sorry. Far too on someone done and you can switch between the two of them. That's it'll be shut a corner around the edges, Just a little bit of wrinkle. Wicky probably didn't have enough spicy between here and here. But, you know, as I said, it's not an exact likeness. And this is just the way guys with doing portrait. It's You just keep learning and growing is an artist, and the mighty important thing is to focus on the directions of the fais like the shapes looking, looking at negative space and positive spice. And looking at sherry Shadow in particular will hope. Define the face more than anything else. Safe. It's leaving the line areas launch and leaving the dock areas. Doc, Case of sides of the Nice. Come on. That way, Saad, This way t that line. But not over crossing that line from even. Is that why it was a long shadow? Any side died. I even d the wrinkles in the otherwise. You enough. Making the place look really all that and you don't want to do that 6. Shading Nose & Mouth 6: as long as you can, allowing yourself to see I only see the shadows, you see, looking at shadows all the time and blending them, me and the noise. The night is from the darkness. Okay, He is that shadow that I was talking about with the bottom of the face. So I'm just gonna block it in lightly fist going across the top of the upper lip on a little bit across the bottom with their When I saw the Nice is moving of a shed. I hear it's coming around and around the slot of the NYSE on up here on the NYSE. These shadow here. So you just fully the way I'm doing it in that you'll see I'm moving around the contours off the nori's. I'm not trying to define the nose by making it into any particular shape. It's such he was going a little darkness since shadow here and around the bottom of the noise is how you make the nori's become partly Parfitt to pop up, make it three dimensional on the face, but all save the more shadows that you blend into it. From what you see, more reality, more real. It becomes on the face, living around the lot there that I'm saying. So this is different Grading of gray, some nice actually has. Yeah, looking for the darker sports and making them more prominent, while still say not over doing it and allowing it to sort of come together of its own accord. The Nori's Connor is rounded states trying to capture that shape as well, while still say keeping the line they now if you do it, I just didn t putting too much darkness. You can always use Urinate herbal a razor to take a little bit down. But some tea now lips. Can I have this heart shaped going on here? That's a good singer. Leave, I mean, is a lot a lot coming on the bottom of the lips. Make some tea. It's quite fun to do your own portrait. I think in that you get see yourself in a new light so up a leaps always know he always more dark than lower lips, and the reason is that the line comes down on the face. It takes a while to grasp Law and darkness shed are that sort of stuff, but you get it that some shading get back human with various under the disease. Control is feisty, say bottom lips. A lot more light coming on them can still shade it in. Just know that the Coloma life it's like he's got a lot more darkness. Just keep persisting with shadowing. Okay, so let's see. How are we going? I'm guy get 7. 2B Shadows Face & Hair 7: still with baby, I'm continuing to get shut out. It's only sort of the face here. There's a shadow and on the bottom of the Chine as a shadow. And under here is a little shadow someone, a client, catchable of those shadow. It's all of these shed Aries, and they should raise, and they should is he will be more. I got a bit of coming this way. He's my strikes for me. You don't have to do on strikes, but that's kind of like I like to fill in the space as quickly as I possibly can and stop looking Teoh defined out of people. Do you see here on leading a lot of life? It's because the actual photo has a lot of lightning around with no good cooperative but a shadow underneath lips. Actually, maybe around it's nice little guidelines really helped to bring you back to focus on where the shadow and the light is. That's no no, every artist does that, but that's what works for me. So that's why I put him in so I can continue to see where the light shed, always from my very first drawing. Really. Kate the Shadow causes a bit of shadow. There's also some light 108 chin, too. So you need to be careful that we don't shave betting t much quite around the hairline following the contours of the vice. Even Tory is a lot of light on this side of the face. I'm still using a little bit of shadow t convey the roundness my cheeks got round kicks wrinkle around my neck. Well, don't. So, yeah, there's a lot going twice, and my face is actually casting a show. But the important part is that I during these have a like a line at the bottom, which is light and I can see off. Quite got my five shape, right? See, I'm not going to the absolute edge. They are allowing the line to stay. That's what's important here, because that's what I see in the photo re always referring back to what's in the fighter and doing my best to get a sense of what where the line should always in the foot, always remembering it's not gonna be an exact like a lightness fun. Before I could get a like, it's a kind of likeness will be pretty happy. That's my coming down. Okay? My, my Hey, fools much to after that. Quite young. Say, hey, uh, just pick a couple of strands to define and dying. Beachy fussed with an exact likeness of that either. Just see that there's a lot of light at the top of the head, a little less like of the size e g sunny. Give that. It's actually really dark patch. He off chronic guys with this show. When I shade that a little bit more, I don't often do my pencil one sides. But this much is coal from bigger area to be shaded because my hair is actually lighter than the shed. A From underneath mine face, it's I'm gonna make it very, very, very bowling in time. Thank you would be not really spending too much time on making that really find data with here, But it's up to you. How much, If you want to put into him 8. 6B Shadows Face & Hair 8: Okay, so just gonna get back over this for the six. B. My six, baby. I'm not gonna just go back and define some of the docket. Airy's just going over areas that the choir a lot more shadow lunch from a shadow in the around the eyes and I initially put and even up here it's much DACA light and shadow is brilliant. It really does Mike on image. It's one of the things I love. My so battering is saying the shed eyes come together. Even on that, you got too much light. Just a suggestion. Competing with Mr I really like to blend much more. Don't miss it. Okay? No. Yeah, it will be four shed I coming across the top of the forehead. Not going to put in that lovely wrinkle across this. Not as much as I could. Took a bit for me to work out How much darkness is a laughing and going to work without ruining the pace. And I think it really does just I mean, you need to experiment just bay playful with a deputy precious. Allow yourself to make mistakes when you do that right. What really starts to come to life, I think, - keep blending 9. Finishing the Self Portrait 9: This is the almost complete portrait I need to fix the I because I've noticed that it looks like the eyes jumping outside of my hair. So that's because there's actually a lot more shadow here and PR gaze across. Why six baby? Much more shed of in the My simple fix. There is a lot of shadow in both of the eyes, a little bit harder to mike. It really, truly stand out. Yeah, this way is not to go right up to the actual wrinkle area, but to allowed to have a bit of light on either side of it. And it will give you some volume in the eye. I only saw it, too. Needs a vehicle. The good thing is, you know you can always keep practicing and just like me, learning and developing and growing as an artist. We deport Chuck and by applying new and interesting techniques that you'll learn from many different teaches and school share in other areas of the oddest areas, there's plenty workshops out there and classes to help you to continue to develop it. The other thing is, portraiture really is about observation, and the more you observe and catch light and shadow the bidder. You become a actually rendering a pace that looks similar to the person that you actually draw more Shadow up comes. It's amazing the more you look, the more you say. I think I've given myself a bit of a double gin he But you know, that's life. I guess I have it. Just keep looking, not gone a few years at the top of my head. That sticking up and no in eras tamed is I would have liked them to pay. Sometimes the best way to see whether you've got a likeness is due to take a photo of what you've actually drawn for Teoh and put it in front of a mirror and see what is not quite right, because after a while we can't see what's happening because we've got too much with being with it for too long. We haven't really kind of got the I saw it for it anymore. So it's it's really a good idea. T do that as well, because you'll you'll see where the things aren't quite right, and then you can go on correct. Um, mean with its pencil. It's just you gave a lot of corrections, but the other thing is just to be happy with what you've done is well, just allow it to be where you're at. In a reflection of where at a zone artist Onda, continue Teoh, develop the skills t to draw enough on. Just learn how far you can actually push if you're pencils and you mediums t give you what it is that you wanna shave on the page. Just keep looking for the darkest spots. Really. Just focus on the docket sports, I mean and allow that to Gaggi to make things a really good portrait of yourself. Four. If you have somebody else's game, let them be you the passing to He was always there, not She fussed about it being an exact likeness because he sees about learning entities about having a bit of fun and just applying skills that you've learned. No. Is it 10. SP Wrap up and Project 10: thanks for joining me to learn how to draw your or in self portrait or portrait of someone else. He doesn't mind you having a guard and just getting is somewhat of a likeness or even not getting the exact likeness. But getting a sense of what it's like to do a portrait on the page, I really hope that you've enjoyed it. I hope you've done a lot. Either done my face or done your are you Norden are actually drawing a face that by somebody else. That's a latitude that haven't been concerned about on exact likeness. So I haven't got an exact likeness of my foreign fights. I'll probably look a bit older. The page of the night hopefully look on camera. But you know, it's about practice and giving it a guard and having some fun and capturing light and shadow. So what I think is really important is compare yourself to somebody else. He's doing Porch chan. Just no way you're at and allow yourself to continue to develop your skills. I am a student, too, and I'm learning. So I'm just passing on some of the things that I've learned and that I hope it helps you to develop your portrait to skills. Please. Do you put up a photo of your progress of your self portrait. All your other portrait. Please put up. Let me say it in the class projects. I would love to say that I would love to give you fade back on it and to cheer you on because practices where it's really at when it comes to developing the art off, saying people and drawing people on the page. So remember to practice to play, be playful and have lots of fun as you're doing this. And also Teoh, just don't be critical of yourself. Allow it, Teoh. Just be what it is on the day because you come back another day and you will do another guard and it'll be that much better. So that's the important part. Just focus on progress, not perfection. So it thanks for doing the Kant's. I would really appreciate it if you would leave me a positive review. Let me nori, how you've gone with the class and what you enjoyed, and also it helps other people find my classes to. So I really hope that they that you will do that for me that you put your project in the project section and allow me to be a part of that journey with you and until next time, happy creating portrait. It's bye for now.