Mimicry to Mastery: Drawing Portraits from Reference

Cara Ord, Illustrator & Graphic Designer

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9 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

      2:24
    • 2. Warm Up

      3:04
    • 3. Shape Skeleton

      2:30
    • 4. Character From Reference

      3:11
    • 5. Facial Anatomy Mapping

      2:56
    • 6. Measuring the Face

      3:39
    • 7. Drawing Portraits from Reference

      3:41
    • 8. CHALLENGE UNIT - Portraits using Multiple References

      4:19
    • 9. Thank you

      1:01
36 students are watching this class

Project Description

The class project will be in several stages. Each video will have a new mini task leading up to the final project. We will start with the 3 basic steps. Tracing a simple character, tracing the shapes of the character and then trying to replicate them over the top of those shapes, drawing the character by your eye. Then we will move to the intermediate knowledge section; tracing the planes and shapes of a face (in the video I will outline the parts for the students to find), measuring a face. Then we will go into the final part of the project, drawing the face from reference, and an extra challenge, using multiple references to make a unique portrait/figure.

Stage 1

  • pick a character
  • trace the character
  • upload your work in progress and reference

Stage 2

  • use your character (or a new one if you are feeling adventurous)
  • trace the shapes that make up the character
  • upload your work in progress and reference

stage 3 

  • use your character (or a new one if you are feeling adventurous)
  • draw your character using visual reference only. That is right. No tracing allowed in this step.
  • upload a photo of your work and reference

Stage 4

  • pick a face you would like to draw a portrait of, your mom, girlfriend, brother, or even your favourite celebrity.
  • trace the planes and shapes of the face as mentioned in the video.
  • upload a photo of your drawing

Stage 5 

  • use the face and drawing from previous task
  • figure out the measurements of the face (list provided in video)
  • upload a photo or list of measurements to show you have completed the task

Stage 6 

  • use face from the previous task
  • draw your portrait using visual reference only. That is right. No tracing allowed in this step.
  • upload a photo of  your work in progress, the final drawing and reference.

Stage 7 - challenge phase

  • use at least 3 references to create a unique portrait.
  • compile in photoshop or collage by hand, which ever you prefer.
  • draw your portrait using visual reference only.
  • submit a photo of your collage, your illustration work and show us your original references.

I hope you guys have heaps of fun with your projects. Update them as often as you like, I will always be on the other end of the line if you would like feedback, have any questions or just want a good old chat.

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