Drawing Portraits: from start to finish | Sharon Mapuvire | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Drawing Portraits: from start to finish

teacher avatar Sharon Mapuvire, Anything Is Possible

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Drawing portraits from start to finish

    • 2. First the eyes

    • 3. Now...the lips

    • 4. Then the nose

    • 5. Filling in the face

    • 6. How to draw hair

    • 7. Finishing off

  • --
  • 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


Easy to follow breakdown of how to draw and shade a portrait in pencil. I will show you how to shade each feature from the eyes, to the nose, lips and hair. You can do a feature a day or all in one sitting, all you will need is paper and pencils.

What You Will Learn :

  • How to draw facial features
  • The technique of shading in as you blend to create a 3D effect
  • The layered process of drawing hair.

What You Will Need :

  • One blank of paper
  • 3 types of pencil if possible: a mechanical 0.3mm pencil; an HB pencil and a 2B pencil. Or you can just use an HB pencil for the whole portrait.
  • A portrait picture to trace, I am drawing this picture for the class.You can print and trace your picture using a lightbox, or the window.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sharon Mapuvire

Anything Is Possible


Hello everyone, my name is Sharon Mapuvire and I'm a freelance fashion designer based in Harare, Zimbabwe. The Skillshare team invited me to be a part of the teaching community and I felt it would be a great platform to share my skills and talent because I have developed easy ways of painting and drawing portraits. Making it possible for anyone to start painting portraits today. 

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.

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. Drawing portraits from start to finish : Hi, guys. My name is Sharon, and I'm gonna teach you how to draw a portrait from start to finish. Portrays. Sketching is something that you can do to relax if you want. Just started out. And I think and you could do it pretty much anywhere at home, in front of the TV on the bus on. I have bean drawing Portrait's for quite a while now and come up with a few techniques to make the whole process easier. Faster, different legal son. I have broken down Class T how to draw the eyes, nose, mouth, feel in the face and how to draw the hair. All you need is a sheet of paper and a few pencils. And even if you just have just one pencil still enough, so let's begin. 2. First the eyes : I traced my picture on the links below. When you join an eye, it resembles a son. You have the race and then you have pupil and then you have the lights area in between and with every idea is a dark ring around it. This is very visible. Specially colored eyes like blue eyes and green eyes You and make sure that you get the dark friend Always have you dark pupil. And then the race had come out and you want to leave two circles unshaded for the lights underneath the eyelashes, eyelashes cast a shadow like 1/2 moon Just below See you on a shape. That section in So the areas with the shadows is the ring around the eye pupil with this race coming out and just below the eyelashes and then you leave two circles unshaded the two small white circles which will look like lights reflecting off your eye. The light areas just make that light shadow for the inside the white. If your eye in the corners is a shadow that comes in, imagine you're pouring shadowed into the white. Off your I see one of Poland that in I'm using normal tissue paper to blend the pencil because it has to look very blended and not like. And then you get a lying on the bottom of your eyes. This is especially good if you do make up. If you do make you understand and amusement chemical pencil to get those lashes under these and I'm gonna go in with the standard pencil Teoh, get that death Just build but in so dark and goes lighter as you go up the lashes and also the caller off your eye. Everybody has a little part with soft pink. Just make sure you just line those little lines right by the corner and then make sure there is enough light coming through. And if you make a mistake, you just raise just to get the more light coming through. And underneath the eye, I usually have one really dark, lying kind, like a boat underneath. And then you just planned going up and again. Just don't go to dark, keep it really lights so that if you want to make a dog, you make a doctor from mistakes could just easily just rub it out. I'm just gonna work a little bit more on quarters. And then now we're gonna do the island crease and I would increase Has shadows moving from the top if it's from the top going down towards the I. So you just want to shade that right around and follow the shadows that you're seeing on your picture. That really is the key. And make sure that the weather is light in the picture leaving light so you can see the differentiations between the shadow with shot was shaded away isn't appreciated. So the shadow on the lights I'm gonna go over that more just to find a bit more going in. And as I said before, if you do make up your definitely you understand the process. Here it is about building and sculpting, and you wanna highlights which one of highlights and put shadow you I wanna put shadow. And for me, what really works well is the technique of blending cause later are you see at the end how important how the sickening really helps your pictures. It will make everything look so sculpted and even more three d. Now for the eyebrow I'm using my mechanical pencil just to get those tiny hairs was very clear. And then I go in with a standard pencil, just a normal HB just to get the death. But you definitely want to be able to see the hairs in your eyebrow when you're drawing it out. So use a very thin pencil. My mechanical pencils about 0.3 millimeters. I've listed below different pencils that I used. So when you shading it out, like if the shadows look hard news strokes. If the shadows on the face looks smooth, then you blend it out and you'll get us smoothie effects. And don't forget the corner off your eye. I just planted out. So usually it would be like dark. And then it just goes lighter and lighter with shadows. And as you can see, an eye is forming. And if you have difficulty drawing eyes, I'll just say practice practice severally makes it better just everyday. Just draw and I, and you'll get so much will get easier, so much easier. And that's the I know. We're gonna move on to the nose 3. Now...the lips: I don't. Before I stop my lips, I want to just finish off just below the nose. Smith Sure the shading was right. Make that a little bit lighter. I'm just following my pictures. So it's 12 my sketch to follow the picture that I am drawing. Okay, that's starting to lip someone to stop by lining it out. And with the left, the top lip. If you pay attention to it, it's basically tiny little letter use right at the bottom, off your top lip and then in between the use their space, which is the lights, the place with a light box soft. So I'm just gonna draw those in they curved lines. So it kind of looks like a you, you and you. And then you shade around you and you leave space in between An onion top flip is usually light just right around on the top. And then just below, there's a shadow. See, Control, sort of like a second look just under neat of shadows. I'm gonna blend that in and just fill in my little lines The little use making the place to start co weight is darker, and I'm just dropping out in between to keep that light in and the corners off. You left your top lip usually shaded in, so that makes it just a bit more easier. So you have a lot off shadow on the corners and on the top off your just below the edge of your top lip. You just make sure the bottle it has a sort of dark to find lying, so the shadow moves from below. Going up now for the bottom bottom. Lip hat will have, like tiny little curved lines all over, and then you just shade around those little lines. So, just like the curved line space curved line space curve like space. And then you shade underneath and between with lions right around the lithe, basically just shading in the lip and leaving the light in between the lines, curved lines and in the middle there's always a lying is always light that is running across the lower lip from one end to the next. Okay, be careful not to go too dark. Just always build it, build up on its bad, make it look more three D 4. Then the nose: now we're gonna do the nose and you start from the outside of the nose going in from the sides. And as I said before, I traced my picture. And you can use a light box to trace a picture. If you don't have a light box, you could just put against the window. It's the same thing with the picture behind it, and it helps you so that you know where to place your shadows and you don't have any problems. And it's a much faster process. So we gonna start by placing the shadows on the sides off the nose. I was going to light strokes and, as you can see, is like the strokes are in an angular direction, sort of diagonal from the bottom, going downwards. So you have a T create a movement off the shadows. Another nostrils. The nostrils is sort of like a C, so you just place a shadow around the sea, and then you keep the inside and shaded to show off the lights. And the thing about knows is that the more shadow you have, the easier it is. Unless shadow you have, the harder it can be. So if you want to use the same pictures I've using using a different picture just and you're a beginner at this I was just that. She picked a picture that has a lot of shadow on the nose. So you can distinctly see with the nostrils are where the bridges with lights falls because it can be really sticky if the shadows are nuts clearly marked. I'm just gonna go around the bottom and you just create a shape. And, like I said before, always start light and then built. You can always go back and make a darker but always start lighter so that if you make any mistakes, it's easy to just from it out and at the bottom. Here, you can see that I placed a little shadow at the bottom of the tip of the nose. Usually, you notice that people like a little shadow right there, so make sure you definitely get that in. And, like before, just blend you shadows in to create a smooth movement of the shadow, and you can see it's starting to form and we can see clearly enough of the other side, and you have to remember that both sides are not identical. So just watch out for that and make sure that your placing the right amount of shadow on the right side you create this angle, the strokes and they were blended out. And just imagine when you're placing your shadows did you are literally sculpting a nose? Okay. And then, as you see, I'm not gonna shed in the middle because that's what light folds. I'm gonna leave the middle clear of any shading or any pencil, And now we're gonna move on to the bottom off the nose for that shadow that is cast by the lows. So do these Angela strokes from the nose going outwards, and then you blend at the ends off the of strokes. So you make these angel strokes going from the nose coming out to create this movement off the shadow. When you blend at the ends, it has the smooth ingredients effects. So good moves from like darkness to light. A ladder lighter, shadow blended. Don't put too much shadow underneath the nose. And yet that's a 5. Filling in the face: No way we're going to stop by feeling in our face just above our chin and below our mouth And you make these curved strokes to form a shadow just below the mouth And you got a blend that in. And when you're blending in around here to create, to show what the chin is gonna place shadowed above the chin below the chin and on the sides and then you leave the middle off it empty of any shading. So just blend that in and work it in and take the time and make really light like really lights Struck's seeking easily Rub out and blended blended in and we're trying to We're gonna have a shadow, though Usually the shadow will start from the chin going away up to a year So that is the shadow that you are trying to creates a way up and you blended in later to create a cheap and the shadows a mostly dog around you cheek. So just shade around to the other cheekbone Angula strokes and then you just go down. You can create that she and then you blended in. It's really light. Start off really light and then just below on the jaw, the jawline and the chin. We're gonna form that. No. And until forget sides on the temple, off your of your face, See you adding shadow all around your face to create that shape. Oh, and as you can see, I already did the other I but I think I'm gonna I'm gonna definitely redo this I because it's way bigger than I wanted it to be. So later on, in the end, I will redo it. And sometimes it's definitely happens often when you're drawing a face we've traced. If you just traced it out, draw one I when you for the other I realized that Is it different sizes? So it's definitely much easier to fix such mistakes when you finish the whole picture. So don't worry. If something looks a bit out off proportion, sometimes it's just best to just leave it as it is, finished the picture and then go back and fix it. I was gonna likely shade over here, so it starts off really dark by where the hair is. That's a really dark shadow. And then you just go slider lighter, lighter. Some stood for the hairline and the hairlines pretty dark, taken distinctly See a difference between the face and here Shape in and you know how you have, like baby hairs and times on the hairline You can also like at that time was like tiny little strokes. Just to show that you would definitely want to make sure that it's very clear with the hair starts in with with face starts, it looks pretty good. And so now we're going to move on to doing our hair. 6. How to draw hair : no to do the hair. I'm first gonna drawer kerf strands. I'm just following the direction off the hair, do these lines and then I am going to shaded in with a to B pencil. Just any direction. It doesn't matter. I'm just shading in. And when you look at the hair, there's some light parts and some dark parts. So just with light Leavitt unshaded and into shape and everything else so you just shading and then you go over it with, um, pen soldiers, more defined lines, destroying lines, following the direction off your hair. And don't worry about how it looks. Now it's just just a base we're gonna build on. But I'm gonna blend that in, said it looks like there's a lot of depth to the hair blended in and the shading and again just to create your base. So you see, this is step one shaded in haphazardly, however direction, whatever direction want to do it and just shade all over using the to be pencil and then you go over it again, using an HB pencil with curved lines just to show the strands. And it doesn't matter if it's needed. I just create those trends where it's dark, make a docker all the way around. Follow your picture. How does the hair look? So Step one is a base just shooting and stuff to other lions to show the stress and the step three is blending in. So I blended in and I was gonna go over again with more lines because you hear it has a lot of strength. You just want to build on that. So you shade dreidel strands and you blend. He shared again, draw strands and blend, build and build and bolstered. Really looks like which I know create the illusion off thousands and thousands of strands underneath and then later on will define it more, and you can actually go darker here. You can use my doctors. Pencil is to be You could actually use a six feet to get really dark. It was dark areas, and the reason why I placed a piece of paper to cover the other side is because your hand was much as you're drawing to be very, very careful with that, and the enemy is gonna go over the whole picture again because it's always just a bit of smudging see place a piece of bleep. This place is the paper page over the side that you've already drawn on. Can you move with the page as you shaded in to minimize the amount of smudging that will happen? But like I said at the end of the picture, you gonna go over the dark shaving, just draw over everything just a little bit gorgeous to make sure that it's more defined. Me. Just keep drawing in the strands. Keep building on building our names. You can see it's starting to look like he's a lot of here underneath and in here I'm using erase a very sharp razor to just race through, creating these curved lines to show like strands that are lighter. C. Can you just cut off a little piece from your rubber three razor and then you just raise out these tiny type trends that are curved. We share by the year. You have some loose little strands that you have destroy those in so with the hair is really important to remember that it's about building, building and building and building. Arnie, start off with the basic and then you just add an ad and at and head 7. Finishing off : Okay, let's finish off by the ear. And I'm not making it to defined because of my pictures, Not that defined little hearing. So I'm just gonna smudge around there and then color and then with the rest of the pictures, sometimes with porters depending a style but not everything in your pictures to be defined like the only difference clear defined thing could be a face and everything also under sort of blurred out and still have that really great effect. So it's really up to you how much definition you want to put in every thing like clothes that you models wearing. I was using the technique of like you just shade lightly, and then you plans just to show that it's a light apart, some just shooting in the edges to create a shape, a subtle shape, not really doing much, because there's already so much detail in her face. So it's. This also helps bring focus to her face if you don't put a lot of focus under clothes. But you know, if you want to, you can and then for the neck, the neck pretty much very have a lot of shadow all over so It's really about making. They're just really dark and then it gets lighter as you go in. But it's pretty much shaded in. So in the middleweight slider you blend, it can really see the bottom. But here you go. It's clear. When was you'll see? Then how did everything in the other ear let us show you be and results. And here it ISS This is the sketch Feli finished. And I hope you guys enjoy this class. And I hope you have the same success with your sketch. And if you don't? Don't be dismayed, asshole about practice. Just practice, practice, practice every day, just one eye or nose or just lips and you get there. Thank you so much for being a part of the class. Thanks. Re supports.