Drawing Portraits: The Layout | Emily Armstrong | Skillshare

Drawing Portraits: The Layout

Emily Armstrong, The Pencil Room

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7 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Introduction To The Class

    • 2. How I Teach And Why

    • 3. Project: Take A Selfie And Draw Your Own Face Layout

    • 4. Explaining The Structure of the Face

    • 5. Exercise: Drawing A Generic Face

    • 6. Drawing the Layout of Your Own Face

    • 7. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

In this class you will learn about the general guidelines and proportion for drawing a portrait from a front-on position. The human face typically follows a general pattern in the way the different features of the eyes, nose, mouth are laid out. We will sketch the layout for a generic face together and then take a look at the layout of our own faces for the project.

This lesson is about the technical framework for starting a portrait and goes right back to basics, so we wont be completing a finished portrait but you will gain useful information and experience for applying to your own work. 

Ive attached a free guide to the general layout of the face in the Class Project section. Draw along with me in real time to process the information and to practice as you learn!

This class is suitable for complete beginners or artists wanting to improve their portraiture.



1. Introduction To The Class: Hi, I'm Emily. And welcome to the pencil room. In the season, I will teach you about the general layout off the face enduring portrait. It's I'll show you how to start a portrait during and teach you about positioning and measuring the different features of the face. We'll look at how the eyes, nose in mouth positioned in the majority generic face together. After that, I'll take you through drawing the layout of your own face so we'll make a start on the South portrait. No, this class is about understanding in building the framework for during a face so we won't be creating a Finnish portrait here. Instead, you can take what you learn in the Seton and apply it to your own work. Or you could build on what we do today by taking my follow on classes in portraiture. So grab a pencil and a piece of paper or a sketchbook, and we can get started 2. How I Teach And Why: So I just wanted to talk a little bit about how I teach drawing in why I'm gonna be teaching that way in this particular class. And I hope you'll take a few minutes to listen cause I think it's quite important. So we're going to be talking about the layout of the face and obviously, evil ones. Faces are really different to each other, but there is an underlying structure off the scale that follow some basic general rules. So we'll be looking for those markers. And even if those markers aren't exactly the same on the face that you're during, you can use those as guidelines to see how the face that you're drawing differs in relation to those Marcus Now aim is to get an accurate likeness of a face. Even though we're starting with just a plan today, the underlying plan is really important to that. There's nothing worse than doing an amazing drawing, sketching in the eye, sketching in the nose and the mouth and then realizing that they took far apart or too close together, and it just doesn't look like the person. Now you could get a really good likeness using something like the grid method, which is where you take a photograph or a photocopy over person and you gritted up into even Squyres. And then you take your piece of paper and you grow dead up into even squares, and you look at each square in the photo and new drawer that into the same square in your piece of paper and isn't absolutely nothing wrong with it. I prefer to teach from the essence off how you see something, and then how you direct rather than using some of the shortcuts that can be limited in the use. And I do you short cats all the time in my own work, if I can, you know we use it, but I kind of feel like if you're going to take the time to grid up something, you may as well make a photocopy, enlarge the photocopy and Tracy on a lightbox, and use that as your frame wick. And like I said, that's completely fine. But it's limited to that one particular process at one particular photo. So instead I want you to understand how the different parts of the face fit together and how you can then apply that to any face that you're drawing, whether it's in real life or whether it's from a photograph, and then perhaps you can even take the same techniques and apply them to other things that you're drawing objects or landscapes as well. 3. Project: Take A Selfie And Draw Your Own Face Layout: so for the project for this Listen, I thought it would be called for use. Our own faces is a subject matter, and we're just going to be drawing the layout off a portrait. So we need a really simple front on facing photograph off ourselves. I've got a few tips said I'd like you to follow when you take yourself it. The 1st 1 is that make sure you have from the top of your head to the top of your shoulders in the frame. Make sure there's nothing around your neck. Got no big dangly earrings or necklace on. If you're a woman or man, make sure that your ears can be seen at least at least one of them, so we can see where they line up with other parts of the face, so you might want to attack your here behind your ears. And when you're looking at your phone, I'm assuming most people use a phone to take a selfie. If you look just above the top of your phone rather than looking at yourself on the screen , and that's because we want your eyes to be nice and open, and if you're looking a little bit about the screen. There will be able to see the full shape off your I know. When I did this for myself, it was a little bit confronting. We're not used to seeing ourselves straight on, not posing. It's a very plain photograph of ourselves, and you can have a little smile in your photograph. If you like, It might make it a little bit Lee scary looking, but no teeth so, you know, just a little gentle smile was fine. But do try to think of this as subject matter, and the other thing is, you're not going to be showing your photograph in your project at all, so you don't need to worry about what it looks like so much. We just need a really basic photograph off a face to follow the instructions, and you also see how your face matches against these markets. I think will be quite interesting when she have yourself. You might want to crop it, so that is nothing too distracting in the background and so that your face is in the center . Off the photograph 4. Explaining The Structure of the Face: to start with. I want to talk you through the genial and allying structure of a face four portrait drawing . So just relax for a few minutes and watch, and then after that, we will have a go it drawing a general face layout to give up. The first thing to notice is the excess of the face, which, because we're drawing a portrait facing straight towards us, it's an even cross. The line of the eyes is halfway between the top of the heat in the kitchen. Often we have this idea that the eyes are quite high up in the face. But if we're talking from the very top of the skull to the bottom of the chin in the eyes are actually halfway between those two points, and you can check this on your own face. Now just using your finger and your thumb to measure from your chin to your eyes in the move. That measurement you've taken so that your thumb is in line with your eyes in your finger should now line up with the top of your skull, the width of the faces. Generally, 3/4 of the links, and it's a pretty broad generalization, but we can use it to draw in EEG shape that's a little bit longer than it is wide across the island, you can usually fit five I links, so the to actualize Indian and I length between the eyes and then I length on either side. Off the eyes. The top of the eyebrows is about one eye height above the actual eyes, and once it's drawn and we can divide space between the eyebrow line in the bottom of the chin in half, and that's where the bottom of the no sets the forehead is also the same. Size is one of these sections. Next, the section between the bottom of the nose in the chin is divided into foods, and that gives us the middle of the lips and also the recess off the chin. Each side edge of the nose usually lines up with the inner corner of each eye. But this is something that can very quite a bit, depending on the shape of the nose. When the mouth is in a neutral position, the corners of the mouth usually line up with the peoples of the eyes, the bottom of the ears air in line with the bottom of the nose in the tops of the years are in line with the tops of the eyes. Again, the ears are a feature that can vary quite a bit, so anything that is made of cartilage, like the ears in the nose, can be quite a bit bigger than the general guideline. 5. Exercise: Drawing A Generic Face: So before we get to drawing the layout of our own face, we're going to draw a generic face layout. And then after that, you could work on your project along with me while I draw my own face from my selfie so you can see how to apply the principles of what we learn in the generic face layout. So I'm just using a to be prince or so you can see it. If we were starting an actual portrait, we'd be working really, really light, so using it to H pencil so that you can't see any of this underlying work. First thing we're going to do in the first thing I would always do in studying a portrait is to draw in excess. So in excess is just across. It's going to be the length off the face, and then this is going to be across the width of the face. And this is for a person who's facing straight on. Now this line here is going to be the line of the eyes, and the eyes are halfway between the top of the skull in the base of the chin. So this distance in this distance should be the same. I'm gonna make a Mac here and here you can adjust that mark so that these two sections air except you exactly the same. And the width of the faces generally 3/4 of this height, this length of the face. So if I wanted to, I could take a measurement of 3/4 off the length, and then I could try and placed it in the center. And it's so wide, my face is gonna bay here just here. I'm just going to sketch very loosely kind of Aneke shape, so it's a bit wider at the top. That's the top of the scale. And then it's narrowed down the Boston where the chin would be so across this eyeliner across the face, you can usually fit five i lengths. So I'm going to just take a case thinking about where the actualize will go in between the two eyes. This should be the same. Distance is across one of the eyes, so that distance that distance this distance in the distances to the size of the face should be the same. I think that's about right. If I wanted to, I could take my point so and I could just chick that each one's the same, and I'm going to sketch some arm and eyes. And when we look at the features of the face in the next video, we're definitely not going to be doing this. It's just for a placeholder, so you can see with the eyes go in this video just to raise the section. I made that side of the face a little bit too wide. So once we've got the eyes and the next thing we're going to do is we're gonna put a brow line and in the brow line, the eyebrow line. The top of the eyebrows is usually the same height as one of the eyes I keep saying, usually because these are just guidelines in often you'll find when you're drawing face that these don't quite match up. But these give us something to look for so we would look and chick how high above the eye that eyebrow is in this kitchen. Some eyebrows there. So it's the top with the eyebrow. This line no, between this brow line that reported in the chin halfway is were the nose force, the bottom of the nose cheap. It the sections are the same. Just bring this down a little bit. This is where the nose is going to go in the edges of the nose usually line up with the in I the corner of that in I I'm sketching a general nose shape there. So between the nose line in the chin weaken divide that up into thirds might not quite have those. Right, Let me have a look. This one down the bottoms a little bit big, so I'm gonna move everything down just a little bit in those lines there. Give us the middle of the lips and the like. The dimple of the chin or the recess with the chin starts to go in and the width of the mouth we can usually determined by lining the corners of the mouth up with the people of each eye. I'm going to sketch in a mouth shape so good out eyes and nose and mouth. We need to put our years. And so the years usually line up with the bottom of the nose in the top of the I. And of course, anything That's cartilage, which is not part of the actual scale could be quite different. They could. You know how some people have big ears? Some people have small ears, Some people with a big nose and some of you have small nose, so they could be quite a bitch higher. It could be a little bit lower in the top of the high. The other thing we need to put in is the here line in the section that we made before, between the brow line in the nose in the nose and the chin that is usually the same size as the forehead from here to here, here to you. So this is all here, usually nous that someone who's bold and then the here would also come a little bit higher than Skull and come out a little bit wider than the face. So that's the generic face. What we can do now is we can rub out these guidelines, and you can see that even though it's very simple and it looks a little bit freaky, a little bit expressionless, like a police sketch or something like that, that's quite a realistic looking face, and that's because we've got this proportions in the right place So if you've been drawing along with me is I do this. It's a really good idea to actually do something rather than just watch and listen, especially when you're learning art techniques by actually doing this. It just instills the concepts more permanently in your mind. I think so. If you haven't drawn this, you might want to go back into Just watch the video again, listen to it and quickly do this exercise so you get a really clear sense of where all those features fit. 6. Drawing the Layout of Your Own Face: So here's the fun part where we get to draw the layout off our own face. So here is my very simple selfie. Hopefully, this isn't going to be too traumatic for anyone having to steer their own face for a little bit. But you want to see what was up like this in drawer along with me. I'm gonna go through it step by step the same way that we did with the generic portrayed. But I'm going to be looking for areas where my face might be different to the general guideline, and obviously your face is going to be different to mine as well. Make sure you're phone. It's set up so that it doesn't keep the screen saver doesn't keep going on. It's kind of annoying. The first thing going to do is draw across. This is going to be the long excess of my face, and this is going to be the width of my face across the eyes. What I want to do first is chick that my eyes do indeed for in the middle between the top of my head in the bottom of my chin, and you could try and measure it with your Penis, So I'm going to do it a little bit by I'm imagining where the top of my Scala's. And then I'm just going to draw down to my eyes and I'm gonna draw down to mention do that a few times. Think my eyes might be slightly higher up my chin? Could be a little bit lower down. Do you have a fairly broad chin? And then I'm going to think about the width off my face. Is it 3/4 the height of my face? I'm just gonna take my pencil major across the eyes or the cheekbones. The widest point, and I'd say, Yeah, that's pretty accurate that the width of my face is 3/4 off the height of my face so I can just check that the white paint so as well. And I'm going to draw and very loosely the sides of my face. I have a chin. It's a little bit broader than and each shape, but this is really about getting that layout practice and learning the guidelines, so don't worry about trying to get an exact likeness at the moment. The next step is to put in the eyes and generally the eyes foot five times across. If I have a look at mine and you have a look at yours at the same time, got one eye links, I would say I do have when I links between the eyes. But between the outside of the I end the side of the face, I would only hit probably 3/4 of a NY with our links. Sorry. So I'm going to sketch out five segments, three of which are the same, the middle three and then the two on the outside. I want to be slightly shorter. So he's one I and he is Thea Other. I mr about a few of those extra max that I made in the I'm keeping it very generic, and then I can add a bit more shape if I want to. But I don't want you to get caught up in that, because that's what we will cover it in another video. Another listen. Next thing is to put in a brow line, and usually the brow line is when I height above the eyes. I need to check that on my own face when I height and then Yet there's another one up to the top of the brow. So I'd say that's pretty accurate once we've got that brow line in and you could draw a line across here if you want to, we can divide the section between the brow line and the chin and half, and that should give us and those. But again, that's where we go to Chick Aw, now earned face from the brow line to the nose in the nose to the chin and yet would say the very bottom of my nose that points under Nace is halfway between here and here. Got a little bit hard. Yeah, that that should be the same. Once we've got the line of the bottom of the nose weaken, divide between there and the chin into foods. So in a generic portrait, those thirds even. But I want to check on my face if those sections that even so from the bottom of my nose to murder with my lips but of my lips to the middle with the recess of much in and then recess of the turn to the bottom of my chin and what I've found us between the middle of my lips and recess of the chin is actually shorter than the other 2/3 so I need to make sure that's reflected in my plan. So instead of having these three foods, even that's when I got a little bit. I I've made sure that this middle one is just a little bit shorter than these other to these other two are exactly the same as each other. So this is my lip middle of my lips. This is the receipts of mention. Next step is the width of the nose. So I'm going to find the outside of my nostrils, and I'm going to draw a vertical line up and see where that lines up with my eyes. And it's just inside in a corner of the eye, cheap both sides, because sometimes noses are a little bit wonky, so that is weird. The outer corner of my nose hits corners of the mouth usually line up with the people off the I. So if I check that my people was in the middle of my eye and it is, but it's slightly higher cause I'm looking up a little bit, so just made that up a bit. The corner of my mouth should line up with each pupil. Let me check that. Yeah, it does. Next thing is the years, and I've just got one year showing here, but I can see that the bottom of my ear is actually slightly above where my nose line is. Usually it would line up with that reminder actually slightly higher of small years in the top. Off my ear lines up with the top of my eye, I'm gonna assume that my years are the same on both sides. So the forehead upto were the Here, Linus is usually the same. Is that section between the brow line in the bottom of the nose in the bottom of the nose to the chin. So I'm going to check this What? I've noticed a brow line, brow line to hear line. And I'm pretty sure that's the same. So that that it's kitchen. The general shape of my here line comes a little bit in front of the is I've got a part on one side, so that's gonna go in there. It comes in a little bit over the side of the face on the side. You can actually see my year on that side, something that she go interrupt that one out. Remember, this was a top of the skull, but they here, actually, if you have here goes above the skull usually rises up a little bit. It's going to tidy up the shape of the face, so that might be all you do. This is really an exercise in laying out the beginning of a portrait, so I don't want you to get too worried about whether it actually looks like you are not because that all comes when we start to look at the specific shape of the features. And we'll do that in a future video. And also the shading shadings really important because that's what gives it a sim sense of dips that gives your features your nose, your lips, a sense of volume and helps you to get that likeness I'm going to go through just very quickly in Skitch. In a few more details, looking at the shape of my lips shape of my eyes. You can do that too, if you want, but just very loosely and again. If it doesn't look exactly like you, that's not the point of this exercise. I promise we will get onto the fun stuff very soon, so check out my next videos 7. Final Thoughts: I hope it's giving you a better understanding of how to start a portrait during how to create an accurate framework or layout before you, then build the drawing. On top of that, make sure you download the free guide that I've got for you of how to lay out a poor traits and remember that it is just a guide. So, for instance, you might be drawing a person whose nose is actually wider than the inner corners of the eye. But the guide is there to help you figure those things out so we can actually use. It is a way to find out how the person that you're drawing defers to the general guideline . I hope you'll join me soon for some more classes on portraiture, we were looking at how to accurately draw a likeness in the mouth, the nose in the eyes, and that will include sketching, plus shading as well to get some dips. Some form in those features. But thanks for joining me today and, as always, happy drawing