Drawing Practice - 4 simple steps to draw a portrait | Tim Balhatchet | Skillshare

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Drawing Practice - 4 simple steps to draw a portrait

teacher avatar Tim Balhatchet, Artist

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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

6 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Step 1 - Shapes

    • 3. Step 2 - Main features and linework

    • 4. Step 3 - Value and tone

    • 5. Step 4 - Detailing

    • 6. Summary

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About This Class

In this class, you'll be taken from a blank page to a finished portrait pencil drawing. I'll be using a photo reference for thisĀ and breaking the process down into a few simple steps. I want this to be as accessible as possible, and help you to feel more confidence wherever you are on your artistic journey.

This is aimed at anyone who wants to have a go, but mostly beginners who want to build their confidence. Most of all, it's about encouraging you to enjoy drawing! Portraits are great fun and with these steps you can create something amazing from any reference in around 30 mins to 1 hour.

To get the most out of this, I would encourage you to draw along with me using your own photo (or copying mine if you want to). All you need is a pencil and some paper, plus a picture of someone you would like to draw.


Throughout this class we will look at the following

  • Some basic facial proportions
  • Creating a light baseline sketch
  • Placing the main features
  • Building up details by adding values
  • Tips and tricks to make your life easier

All music byĀ www.bensound.comĀ 

Meet Your Teacher

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Tim Balhatchet



Self taught artist and continual learner.

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1. Introduction: Hi, My name is Tim. Welcome to my class. On drawing portrayed in pencil In this class, I'm going to show you a simplified approach that I used to draw a realistic face from some kind of reference the topics We're going to look at our some basic facial proportions and how you can build up basic facial structure, basing the key features about the eyes, the nose and the mouth. Now you can accurately place based on your reference, building up shadows and values tone. By doing this, you make your figure but much more realistic. Finally, we're looking details on how you can make key features that face pop out. The idea behind this classes to make drawing a portrait fun, accessible, simple. If you've got a photograph, the news in the steps, he should be up to create a really great looking portrait in 30 Minutes. Run out. The project for this class is also pretty simple. Just join in with the steps and create your own portrait As we go, I'm gonna be using really simple tools, just HB pencil and paper, plus a sharp razor and, of course, photo of someone that I want to drop. Hey, it's everything. He's coming on joining and I'll see you in class 2. Step 1 - Shapes: The first step is about laying down the foundations, sketching out the shapes on the forms. I'm just gonna go some general guidelines for how you can build up a face from scratch. The's arts and proportions not super detailed. So don't worry, but they are really helpful to remember. So let's go. First. We want to try and find the outline of the face. We start with a circle. Then we divide the circle in two and using a measurement for half the height, we can drop down, draw another line to find the bottom of the chin. The rest of the shape of the face could then be drawn in using a couple of straight lines for each side. The bottom of the nose lines up with the bottom of the circle that we've drawn. So we represent this by drawing a rough over next, destroying find where the ice go. It's not what we're into. Vertical lines from the edges of the nose. Then we divide the top circle into thirds horizontally, where the bottom third line meets up with those vertical lines. That's where the corner of the island we can use this reference just represent the Isis to ovals again. We divide the distance between the bottom of the nose and the chin into three in the mouth line sits on this top line here. That's all we're going to do at this stage. Let's give it a go on a real photo here. I got my reference for to set up next door that stop by drawing a circle. Trust free, and it's quite hard, So don't worry about getting perfect here. I'm taking the angle of her eyes using that you respect so into looking back, I could see that this line is a little bit steeper and in reference photo. That doesn't matter too much. I feel a measure here in a realized it's not quite a circle. Then I take a couple of measurements on I drop in the line for the bottom of chin down here . The reason that it's good to have your offense for it, so you're right next to draw in part is you can take references like base, so I'm getting the angles for two lines. Uh, George to the Children. A test run. We're not trying to be perfect here. We're just trying to get some marks down on our paper. Get a rough idea of her nose. That But some of us actually first true. No gonna try and find the amount flight a lot going on in her mouth here because she's smiling. Just draw in a rough indication of middle of the mouth There. Now let's try and find we live again. I'm taking angles between very side of her nose on the corner of the eye. Split 2nd 2/3 And I know you're actually where they're gonna go. Just Ruffin a menace. Couple of ovals. For now, you might notice that this looks nothing like her face, but that's not the idea at the moment. I wanted to be prepared for the drawing to look quite ugly for a little while. But that's fine. This is all about building structure. So we've got a strong foundation for the rest of the drawing. Okay. Next time 3. Step 2 - Main features and linework: Hi. Now we got the basic forms down. It's all about finding those key features and making sure put them accurately on the face. So it's really good. We're gonna build up a nice line work sketch of the whole face now, So I follow along on Let's get started. Let's start by finding those anchor points around which we can build the rest of the drawing. I always start with a nose. Nostrils themselves stand out a lot on most places because they're quite dark on. The shapes are relatively simple because we've drawn this oval. That's a basis and quite simple, to cut away parts of it, too. Get a shapes and nostrils right now. I want to try to find on the bank, appoint ongoing use the inside corner of its eye for that. So I drove a lineup, so taking I'm just gonna commit to this right now, and they choose to believe at that point is right there on that reference line that we draw you that we're now got to clear points on the drawing the corner of the eye on a number of points on the nose. You'll also see me govern a few angles here. I'm not going to try and just draw the i N S N e Any kind of curved line at the moment. I'm just getting the starting angles before that corner of the eye. I'm going to measure the angle between side of the nose. Andi, corner of the eye. I'm actually using the edge of the eyelashes here because they're quite prominent, and there's a definite point of contrast between that and skin. And then I'll take those, my drawing on very faintly drawing a line in. Then I'm gonna do exactly the same for corner of your eye to the same point. Dr. Yang was here. My new line crosses. The one that I just made should be precisely where that puts on the touring is, and then you can see me building up some more angles here as well. Now, another point I want to try and find was the corner off the whites of their eyes because riots is quite big, was quite defined, flat shape. Their If we get the corner of the white stuff arised, then that's another handy reference point on it is once you've got that in, then just a matter of building up the rest of the eye shape. Speed things up a little bit. Now you can see me draw in the other, right? - Uh , now I'm gonna try to find the corner to the mouth. So similarly to before I'm taking angles from my reference picture, finding the angle between inside of the nose on father's right corner of the mouth there and then saying for the other side over here now, I could try and get expeditions, like, often with the eyes. But I'm gonna do something different and that extend most lines all the way down to the jaw line, and then look at my reference photo. Then I can see, but that they're not quite halfway along the line. They're slightly closer than halfway to the nose, so I could do that on both sides. Now I'm just going Teoh, eyeball these angles. You committed a reference again if you want. So that's the bottom of the top lip. And then talk. Let's go. Now. Mouth is basically made up of three lines, top of the middle in the bottom because I'm out soap. And I've also got see, uh, to draw on both sides of both flips, uh, grab a few more angles off here. I know about the mouth in. Let's just take a step back on. Have a look during this whole See, it started to look much more like a face here. There's still a lot of detail missing sticks and more lines, and then we'll talk about it afterwards. - I just resume normal speed here. So I have drawn in those smile lines that go from the side of the nose down the corners, where cheeks have been lifted up on what make her face really come alive with this smile, then also joining the uh, top eyelid line Because I face is turned off to the side a little bit, you can. There's a bit over shaped her cheek. I'm not working on the eyebrows. I triangulated the corners of these and then I'm copying the angles. Just get the outline shapes of them just refining the edge face. We've got a bit more information to work with. Top of faces in circular. It's hemmed in by the hair on the cheek bones, so we're just going to cut bits off a ship Now I'm just starting to stick in some shapes for the hair, keeping it light and loose, using long strokes wherever I can. Hair isn't a block. It's made up of lots of smaller shapes. But we're just defining the main outline here, most adding in some lights to show where neck is what is copied off reference. No knowledge of an ask me needed on, then just finishing touches on this step. Before we go into more detail, I'm just gonna put in the shapes of the iris the second part of your eye. Really. I'm working this out by looking shape with white and just trying to imitate much possible Great on That's about it for this. That always left to do now is Teoh get you a razor. We're gonna rub out all of those construction lines. It's worth pointing out at this stage that most of the work is now done. The Pareto principle states. 80% of the work we do is achieved in 20% of the time in 20% of our efforts, so they spit didn't take that long. With all of these bits and pieces in, it's just a matter of refinement. From here on out. So give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far. Andi, take step back. Your drawing. It looks a bit like a face now, right? Great. Okay. We'll get it cleaned up. Get all those construction lines off on. I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Step 3 - Value and tone: stepping free is my personal favorite. So where we get to see are dry and transform the most. I don't think you want it. Even we're gonna focus on now building up values so I mean by value, is the intensity of the color that we're using. So working in pencil is basically means how dark the grays. Here I'm demonstrating the value range you can achieve of HB pencil without damaging the paper. Different values can be used to give two D drawings the illusion of being free dimensional forms here, we could say on a cube just by giving it a different value on each face. It looks like it's coming out the page by using values to define the darkest areas on the lightest areas of any object we can give it for. This circle turns into a sphere by adding a shadow on by leaving a highlight and then by blending between the two. Okay, so let's get back to our drawing first, I'm going to introduce to you and you talk just some tissue paper. I guarantee you'll have some somewhere in the house. I'm using toilet paper here, so I don't want any white paper showing fruit on her face apart from in the very lightest parts. So it's helped about We're just gonna be brave. We're gonna shade in the whole face right now. I just really like value, but across everything or too much about being needs at the moment. Go so tired in the neck as well at this point. And then we're gonna try Andi, pick out some of the darker areas, so I'm adding a bit more shade round her jaw line there and underneath the hair. Now let's look at the very darkest point, so I'll start with her eyelashes. They're very, very dark. I usually add a little extra layer of shades to the whole eye socket as well. I prowse. You'll notice the steps made really easy, thanks to the line work that we did previously. Just look at the nose and see a shadow on the underside of it there. And then we're laying some tone over top of mouth. You know, I decided to start to make a bit of a difference. Never get our tissue paper and we just much everything that we've just put down Don't press too hard. You don't arbitrate or detail that you've put down with your construction lines in your line work from earlier steps. I really want to make all of the skin smooth as possible. Now what we're doing here is we're laying what's called a total ground. This means that this is the level that we can work from when we want to make things darker or lighter. So I want to make things light, and then we can get out a razor. Increasing high likes and making things, doctor. We just build up more layers. So the edge of a face is still a little bit jagged. I'm gonna smooth off now. I'm not trying to erase the lines. I'm just trying to get smooth a corner on the shade that just put down, okay? And that was just a process of repeating that find the dark spots in the face, a new layer of tone on some of them. And then once you've done that, well, smudge it again. Do this a few times each time adding more details. So I've highlighted the corners of the mouth there because they are very competitive surrounding error and we want to make sure we capture that What? So now? Focusing on the rise again, coloring in the iris, focusing on any of detailed shapes that written, They're just laying down some time. Get your nice and dark again. This is a really exciting part of drawing, or I think it is. Anyway, I love what's in the face. Emerge here, starts to look much more like the picture exactly to start to look like a real face. The nostrils are another area high contrast. We're gonna focus on them here as well. I just really sketchy, not too perfectionist, that shapes and shadows. The challenge here is often finding the down part sometimes, if you if you're not practice, your I and a face can look flat on a photograph. But really, there's all sorts of hidden shadows and layers, all the muscles of the face. Andi. It's just a matter of practice to find them helping to do compete a squint down. So just looking for your own eyelashes. When you look at your reference picture and you can see the darkest powers when you figured out where they are, just put layer of tone down on them building up layer. After that, OKay, I'll just speed up for a little bit here and you could see this process in action. Okay, Just a few more lines down here, Teoh to find her neck little bit. Andi. Okay, We'll stop it there before we move onto the next bit. Let's just look how far we've come in this one step. You can see in just under 10 minutes we've taken our basic line work. They create something that could look like a really nice sketchy portray just by itself. All we've done build up tone value, putting down in layers, blending s we go. Making sure to pick out the darkest areas on leaving the lightest parts of next. We're gonna look at refining some of the details on making the important features pop out. See there. 5. Step 4 - Detailing: step four out before. Must get ended up being quite long. I spent about 30 minutes on this next stage. If you're interested in seeing the whole thing normal speed, then let me know. And I try and make that available to you. I want the focal point of our drawing to be on the eyes. Get good. They could look amazing, but it starts of his demonstration. I'm gonna draw one of the eyes at normal speed until you how I do it. So you can already see that I'm holding my pencil a lot closer to the end. I'm trying to use the point here. Get simply to find lines. I'm gonna stop by darkening up the top file it here. Make quite dark here way. Find that line here. Given a bit of detail, Teoh. Next, the virus is very, very tough. It is not a shade stop from the outside. Just finding out like that. There are just true outside, but highlight definition shade. You're ducting in people. Black spot in the middle of your eye. You can see on the photo just about to make it much redefine. Watch to the eyes and never completely white a shadow of a shadow underneath. Find it just generally shake. I'm just moving around the I know no one point around. Have a look? A whole. I was referring back to the reference trying to imitate shape, so I see that we're not putting in details for the honest just yet. Big dark block. Read Dr Be Honest here. Related. Fine line outside. Get to the substance finish below. It contrasts with one surrounding the doctor's words. A little highlight. You see that from the reference photo? It was slightly nights atoned skin, so we'll leave that in there. I'm now drawing in a line just outlining her lower island because you can see the side of a little bit and it will give us a line from which to draw a lot of eyelashes. You feel I've done too many lines and you can bend it a bit more, just going for again found in the eyelashes. Stand up. Quite look to make sure that dark, very short flicks stuff in the face alteration. You want to go 10 cups, get a little triangles as well. Drawing them in pairs can be a helpful way of thinking about. It's possible. Okay, that's one of my done. Okay. Got to speed it up a bit. Here, I mean, in a piece of paper here so that I can put my hand on Jordan about smudging any. - You'll see me just friending gently over the top of the arms once they're finished. I'm not pressing down hard here, a tool pick up any stray bits of graphite line around. That's often all of the edges that we've got in there now staffed on her lips. First we make those corners really dark. Then we want the bottom off her top lip also stand out. So I'm spending a bit of time to finding that clearly organized dark line tone that a little bit by drawing some lines that match the wrinkles of the lips. I've slowed it down a bit for the bottom lip so you can see what's going on way. Want to emphasize the curvature of it to make it look round the shadow along the top. And then there's a highlight right in the middle draw lines going up and down. Fair to the photos, much as we can to see how makeup it was a case of moving around the face. I think this definition that okay, slow down a bit here just for drawing this. Make sure that you pay attention to the direction of the hair. When you're making these lines. Most of the hairs follow the direction of the eyebrow, the ones in the middle 10 point. So stop with gradually build up. Arrested short, short, confident strikes. - Go slow it down a little bit to show you how I'm doing hair. Yes, it's important with hair when you're drawing it really long strikes. So following the entire length heading, drawing or as much of it can long flowing line here is that she made up off different shapes. Have said earlier. Start with. We're just going to define outlining different locked way. See long they are more You want to be drawing from your shoulder. Okay, And what's the main shapes? Aaron going to spend its time fitting a bit more detail. That's a draw. The individual strands of hair. We want to draw them loosely. Nice, long flowing lines. I want to do it confidently, quickly, almost flicking my wrist here or faking my whole arm just to make sure that I get the lines down smoothly. We do it slowly than they tend to look jagged and crooked. Nice, long flowing lines and draw lots of them close together. We're gonna be blending as well. So whether a dark you could just shaded some of a very dark place. He was seen being quite scribbling Just because I want to make sure those stand out, we're going to start putting in some freckles. Slowed it down a bit here so you can see what I'm doing. Just very faint marks on top of avoid way. Don't depend too much. Okay? Just a little bit of time to darken up the side of her face and they call this finished? 6. Summary: Okay, that's it. That's the end of this court. We have made it all the way through to the end. Congratulations. Hopefully, you have had to go into yourself and try drawing along. If you've just been here for a look, then please feel free to go back and look and take. Take your own time for it. Take it your own pace. I'd really love to see you post something at the end of this. Hopefully, you'll feel like your art skills have improved. Let's just go over what we covered in these lessons. We've learned one way that you could break the face down into a few simple and easy to remember measurements and then build everything up from scratch. How to find key points on the drawing based on points that you already know about. Take angles from the reference story and use these to build up a realistic structure that weaken base arrest, drawing on value how you can use bending tours tone to make something look like it's three dimensional. Finally, we had a look at some of the fine details that you could fill out Well, I really wanted to get out of this is to feel like it's something you could do maybe once or twice a week or even every day. Let's be realistic. Time isn't always on our side, but at least now you've got something that you can cram into an evening or afternoon that happened to find free. If you happen to do more Portrait's and you feel like you're improving, feel free to drop them in the project section of this class and let everyone see how you get it on Thanks and happy drawing.