Relaxed Realism: A Direct Approach to Drawing Portraits | Rachel Fia | Skillshare

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Relaxed Realism: A Direct Approach to Drawing Portraits

teacher avatar Rachel Fia, Artist & Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

15 Lessons (1h 7m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. The Project

    • 3. Supplies

    • 4. Proportions & Symmetry Overview

    • 5. Proportions

    • 6. Symmetry

    • 7. Deconstructing Face

    • 8. Eyes: The Foundation

    • 9. Eyes: The Details

    • 10. Drawing the Nose

    • 11. Drawing the Mouth

    • 12. Portrait: Basic Layout

    • 13. Portrait: Adding Details

    • 14. Portrait: Finishing Touches

    • 15. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Learn to draw natural looking portraits using a straight-forward approach with easy-to-learn steps. This class is for all skill levels, and particularly for artists that avoid drawing the face and want to draw it better. 

This method uses proportion and symmetry as a foundation for the face. The techniques are based on observational life drawing instead of geometrical shapes. Plus you will learn to draw the eyes, nose, and mouth in detail. Then you will learn to layout the features of the face in real-time. Once the face is sketched, the features will be rendered with shading techniques to complete the portrait. The style is relaxed realism of an adult face.  


This course will prepare you every step of the way to draw any type of portrait. Throughout the lessons, you will learn universal techniques that apply to different types of faces, styles and positions.

3 Step Process:

  1. Learn proportions and symmetry of a real face.
  2. Deconstruct the face: drawing the eyes, nose and mouth.
  3. Draw a portrait from a reference photo of your choice. 

By the end of this course you will be able to strategically place all of the features on the face, and draw them in detail. Once you learn the basic principles of the face, you will have a foundation for all types of mediums, from graphite to digital to painting, to draw any type of face. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Rachel Fia

Artist & Illustrator


Hello! I'm Rachel Fia and I'm an artist and illustrator.  I have many years practical experience with drawing as a pastime, plus 10+ years of going to live figure drawing sessions. After I rekindled my creativity and love of art, I attended Eckerd College later in life for a double major in Visual Arts and Spanish language. 

I lost touch with my artist for some time again, and decided to go back to my roots of drawing.  It was then that I began using a neater form of art: colored pencils.  I've decided to focus my recent attention on children's illustrations. I spent a few years drawing children and picked out the best ones to create a line of inspirational greeting cards and art prints from the illustrations. 

I've taken some classes o... See full profile

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1. Intro: Are you a person that avoids drawing the face? I hear you because I've tried some methods. And when they start with the oval and the square and the geometrical shapes, I'm so lost because it is too abstract. So if you're looking for a less stressful way to draw the face, I will show you a straightforward process that is based off a natural life drawing. And I think you'll find it a lot easier to follow. I'm Rachel Fia, I'm an artist and illustrator and my style is relaxed realism. I developed this approach because I prefer a more natural process when I drew from live models. And to stay in practice, I like to keep a sketchbook of graphite portraits. My philosophy for art is that I'm not a photocopier. I'm a liaison between what I see and what I communicate. I'm not just replicating an image. I am depicting a person with personality, emotion, and energy. They become an inspiration. A natural face is asymmetrical yet harmonious. I have developed a unique process for drawing the face that is based off symmetry and proportion. These techniques will help you to create an alignment guide that will show you where and how to place the features on the face. This class is for all skill levels. It will be broken into three mini sessions where I will show you step-by-step how to draw the eyes, nose, and mouth. These components will be put together to draw a final portrait, which will be your project. This course will give you a clear method of approach for drawing the face in a direct way. By the end of this course, you will be able to strategically place all of the features of the face and to draw them in detail. Once you learn these principles, you can apply them to drawing any type of face in any medium. So let's get started. 2. The Project: Your final project will be to draw a portrait of a face from a reference photo. This course will prepare you every step of the way. Once you choose a reference photo of a forward facing person, you will use the knowledge from the proportion and symmetry lessons to create an alignment guide that you'll use when drawing the portrait. I will show you how to layout the features of a face on a blank head and you will draw with me in real time. You will follow along as I measure and sketch the basic shape of the head. And then when I place the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hair on the head, you will take the skills you learned in the three mini lessons on drawing the features and apply those to your portrait. Then you will follow along with me as I develop the details and shading of the features and also revisit the techniques used to bring the features alive. Once you've finished rendering the face and all of its features, then you'll have drawn a complete portrait. This is a community environment and sharing your work is a great way to connect with fellow artists. There's a project area on the page and you can add your photos and text with your artwork. So please post your final project of your portrait. And I look forward to seeing it. 3. Supplies: For supplies, you mostly just need a pencil paper eraser and a straight edge, or you can draw digitally. I recommend a softer pencil, such as to-be C3b or four b, plus a foamy eraser or a gummy kneadable eraser. Optional tools are an index card, a clear ruler, a drafting compass, and a wordless pencil or compressed graphite stick. When we do the facial proportions, you can use different colored pencils or markers if you would like. And we'll make the lines with a ruler. I'll provide reference photos plus practice worksheets for you to use during the course. So grab your materials unless good drawing. 4. Proportions & Symmetry Overview: Before we get started, I'll give you a quick overview and the definitions of proportion and symmetry and how we will be using them in this course. We will now focus on proportion and symmetry. So proportion as the relationship of size, right? The, the features on the face between the parts to the whole. And symmetry is relationship of position. That's where are these parts are in relationship to the hole. Now I'll symmetry does not mean symmetrical in this sense we are using the definition of harmony. So the harmony of the features of the face, not a mirror image, which most people do not have a symmetrical face. We will be using a reference photo. So pick out one. I have several on the project that you can download or you can find one on your own. Just look for a front view. You want to see at least part of the ear and what the mouth closed and something you can see the whole face of. Okay, let's get started. Now that you're familiar with proportion and symmetry, we will create diagrams of real faces in the next two lessons. 5. Proportions: In this first lesson, we will study the proportions of the face. You can use one reference photo or you can use them all if you want to see how the proportions line up on different types of faces. So first we're going to start with something very basic for the proportion of the face. You can turn your reference photo sideways if that helps, we're going to draw a horizontal line through the eyes. So first look for the pupils. That's the little dark circle in the center of the eye, as best as you can. And if you're using a marker, move the ruler up a little to account for the thickness of the marker. We're just going to draw a straight line across the eyes. Okay? Now that should be about halfway point for the actual head. So you can use your fingers like a compass and say, well, this is about halfway. And with her low hairline, that's about where her head is under her hair. You can also use an index card, which is something I use a lot when I'm referencing. So you could say here and you can even label it chin and then see if that is the halfway point and it works out somewhere up there. Or if you want to get fancy, you can use a compass and measure the halfway point of the head and see where that falls. And again, it'll be right up here. You can see my line. So this is about half of the head and the hair will always be a little bit taller. Next we will draw a few more horizontal lines. And we'll look under the nose if you want to draw a line across like that. And then also top of the ears. Now if you notice her ears aren't quite the same height, you can get somewhere in between. That's the thing with the photos. Maybe the the head is tilted a little. The camera sometimes distorts the perspective. You can already see a few relationships that the eyebrows match approximately where the top of the ears are. And between the eyes and the nose, there is the cheek area right there. Next we'll do several vertical lines. So if you want to switch colors, I'm just going to use blue here so that I can see the difference and show you that as well. So take the inside of the eye and we're going to draw straight line down. I'm going to skip the lips and then keep going underneath. And then we're gonna go on the other eye, corner of the eye, straight line down past the lips to the chin. You can already see a relationship there that the distance between the eyes is approximately the distance between the nose, at least on her, and different people have different proportions. But these are just general guidelines. So let's keep going and look at that pupil. And then we'll draw a vertical line down. Other side, vertical line down. And you can already notice that these are not hitting the same spot. You know, her jaw here, is much more defined and this side is a little more rounded and could be the way her head is tilted because of the ears we don't see or it could just be the nature of her face. The last line by the eye will go on the outside area. I'm going to draw a line straight down, outside corner, straight down to the jaw. The other vertical line, we will come from the nose and it goes, It goes straight to the tips of the lips and people have a very defined lip, some do not. But if they do, you should hit around there. Her nose is not symmetrical at all either. It could be slightly twisted or again it could be the positioning of her face. Keep this page of proportions and we will use it in the next lesson where we study symmetry of the face. 6. Symmetry: Now we will continue our diagram with symmetry. We will look at the symmetry of a real phase and even compare that to cartoon runs and caricatures. Okay, The next step we will do is the symmetry cemetery has to do with the harmony of the face. And it is the position of the features in relation to each other. So we're going to make a red X in the center of her face. We're going to start with this corner of one of the eyes you choose and the non-sterile. And then we're going to hit were this pupil hits the chin. So we're going to cut through there. And then we're going to do the same on the other side. So we've got the corner of the eye. We're going to go through the nostril and then down to where that chin is. And you can already see the symmetry of the face you'll see typically goes to the edges of the mouth and it hits where the angle of the jaw starts. It's more obvious on this side. This side is a little on proportion, but this is more classic right here. You can see also where her chin is in-between these two places. And then where the x crosses, that is the center of the face. So if you were to divide the face in half, that is exactly the center. This is what holds the face together. And we can look at several different reference photos. You will see this man, his nose. There's a little bit wider and that's kinda what makes him look unique. He has a very defined chin and jaw line and you can see the edges hit those sharp angles. And also the center of his eyes are coming to the edges of his mouth. And then the inside eyes are coming right down to the edges of his chin, which is very prominent, and his head is slightly tilted. And you'll see that the IRS go across the eyebrows. But still you have the half and half of the face where the center of the eye. And we're gonna do one more stuff where we look at the positioning of the eye. So if we take our little handy compass, we will see that there is an I here. And there's almost exactly a space of an eye in-between. And this is more of the golden proportion standard. And sometimes fits typical. There will be Eyes on the edge, but again, her head is tilted slightly. It's not always exact, but at least the center part is Ivan did myself for fun. I'm not the most symmetrical if you see that my eyes are about correct in the center. But they, my face is narrower on the sides, much narrower. So it's interesting you can do yourself. And even if you see someone that is has extremely large eyes, very striking. But if you look closely, they're actually very proportion eyes. So there's his eye and in the center is the shape of another eye. So he has a little bit asymmetrical face. You can see the lip is heavier on this side and kinda tildes up. But again, he's got the same features where you go the end to the inside of the eye, to the crack of the mouth, to the edges of the chin. And between the ear, the top of the ear, the bottom, the arrows for the cheekbone is, and it usually hits the bottom of the nose, is in line with the bottom of the ear. This even works in cartoon characters. So this cartoon character has three eyes across and they kept the proportion of the ears. They exaggerated the shininess of the nose, but you still see the symmetry in the center. And the cheeks are exaggerated. And you can even look at a caricature where they exaggerated the proportions but kept the symmetry. So if you look from the eyes to the nostrils, to the edge of the job. But the ears and nose a little bit exaggerated, but very close to proportions. So these are meant to be used as a guide. When you're drawing your eye or nose feels off. You can kinda use this as a guideline. It is not a rule, it is just a guide to help you with the placement of the features. Hang on to the diagram you drew with symmetry and proportion. And we'll use that for the final project where you draw a full portrait. 7. Deconstructing Face: Before we get started, I'll give you a quick overview of deconstructing the face and also the aspects of the features of the face. In this next lesson, we will break down the features of the face. One thing to keep in mind when you're looking at the face as that all the main features, the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, they are all actually openings. So the eyeball is underneath the eyelids. And when you keep this in mind, it helps you to draw that three-dimensional perspective, as well as the nostrils, they're openings on the face, the nose is probably the most difficult to draw because you're looking at it straight on. And so you have foreshortening, and the mouth is an opening with teeth behind it. So depending on the positioning of the teeth that can change the way the mouth looks, and the ears. In this view, you won't see much of the opening, but some people you will see a lot depending on the shape of their ear and some you will see very little. And next we will break these down into three parts. We'll draw the eyes, nose, and mouth, and I'll give you tips that will make it a lot easier to draw them. Now that you have a good idea of what we'll be doing, you're ready to start the next lesson where we will be drawing the basics of the eye. 8. Eyes: The Foundation: The next two lessons are all about eyes. Eyes are what will give your face life and expression. We will break it out into two parts. The first step is the foundation, drawing the basics of the eye. And in the second part, we will get into more details. In this lesson, we will draw the eye, we will deconstruct it into a few key parts and make your drawing a lot easier. I'll be using this reference photo today and I will also go through and draw some of the other reference photos later so that you can see how those come out. Okay, So you'll just need a couple of pencils or one pencil, I'm using two of the same 3B, but one's a little sharper than the other. And then my favorite is the kneadable or gummy eraser. You can use whatever tools you have. We're going to start out with drawing the opening of the eye. I said that the features are openings on the face. So the actual eyeball is behind the lid. So you want to keep that in mind when you're drawing it. So we will start out with drawing a leaf shape, a very simple leaf shape. Now, each person's eye is going to be a little bit different. And you'll want to start with a loose soft sketch like that so that you can erase it easily. So with holding the pencil kind of loosely in your hand, it's easier to start with the arc of the eye. And you can make adjustments as you go along. If you find that, that's not really the shape you're looking at. So we'll start with the arc of the eye. And then the bottom, if you notice on her eye it kind of dips down a little on this side. Right? And then also leave a little spot here for the inner opening of the eye. Now, some people, you can see this inner eyelid here. So there's like a little ledge of the inner eyelid is very visible on her. It might not always be. For example, in this man, you can barely see that inner eyelid. If you can see it, go ahead and draw it. It'll probably taper up towards the inside of the eye. And then it will join to the top opening. The next part of the eye we will draw will be the main part, which is the colored iris. So you will never see the top part of the iris, the white around the iris, unless someone's making an extreme face with a surprised look or exaggerated features, usually the eyelid will be hanging over the iris and covering part of it. So you won't see a full circle. So we're going to start by drawing two curves, like C's or parentheses, however you want to think of it. And that's how we're going to get the eye shape. So if you notice the white of her eye is a little bit longer and it has to do with the placement of her eye or the camera angle. I'm going to draw this much larger so that you can see what I'm doing. So you will see usually the round part of the bottom, right, so I can see that full curve there. But as I go up, I can't see this top part of the circle because the eyelid is covering it. So that's why it's a little bit easier to draw with this because if you draw a full circle, part of the eyelid is covering that. So the next part we're going to draw is the pupil, which is the dark part inside, now that is a full circle. But because part of the eyelid is covering the iris, this'll be a little higher up than you think. So if you imagine that this was a full circle, depending on how low the person's eye lid is hanging. You're going to put the [pupil] where the center would be. Now it is a perfect little round circle. This is the pupil, I think I called it the iris. So now we have a pupil. Now if you notice there is a splash of light or a glint of light in the eye, and that is what makes the eye come alive. So you really want to make sure that you have that in your eye. And one easy way to do that is to draw a little box and that is my place holder. Sometimes there's a couple in the eye like her other eye has a couple pieces of white in it. So this way when I shade around it, I know not to color in that little box that I'm going to keep. So inside of the pupil, I'm going to draw a little box. You can draw a couple boxes or curve it, however your reference photo looks. Then I'll color real darkly around that little box that is my pupil. And remember a pupil is solid black, dark as you can go. Now that you've got the basics down of the eye, hang onto your drawing and in the next section, we will go over the eyebrow, the eyelid and shading techniques. 9. Eyes: The Details: In this next lesson, we'll go over the details of the eye. We will color in the iris. We will add the eyebrows, the eyelids, and shading techniques for around the eye. So let's keep going. Okay, so we've got the main parts of the eye now. The eye usually is not a solid color and the iris, there's variegation, there's dark spots, light spots. So the way I do that quickly, is I make a starburst shape around the eye. I'm going to go around like this very quickly. So pick a spot if you want to try this. We're gonna make a little zigzaggy starburst. That's going to help me with the different tones inside of the eye. Then I'm going to shade it lightly because her eyes aren't that dark. If they're dark brown, you can go darker. Usually no one's eye is black, even in the photo, if it looks black, you know that it's going to be a little bit lighter than that pupil. Okay. So there's also little flecks in her eye. Here and there are little dark spots. You can add those. If you get too dark or you want some highlight. You can use this gummy eraser and it'll just pull up part of it. It won't erase it completely. The other part is that edge of the iris, no matter what color it is, usually has a dark ring around it. So if you were using colored pencils or markers, you could really bring out those colors. Now, notice I'm using the side of my pencil, I'm going to get a softer, instead of a scratchy, hard look to it. So if you can learn to adjust your pencil in different ways, it'll help you're drawing. There's also the lid is causing a little bit of shadow at the top. All right. Her eyes are coming to life a little bit now. If you notice her eyelashes, you can barely see them. They don't look like sticks. They're not like a cartoon. There are kind of growing straight down like that, and that right here where it looks like almost like eyeliner. So that darkness is her eyelashes. And then you can kind of see them here. So you want to give an illusion of eyelash. And on the bottom, this dark line that we see is actually small little lashes creating an illusion of eyeliner. You can go ahead and draw this little piece inside the inner eye. I want to get that started. And then I'm just darkening the inner part of the lid. Next we're going to work on is the eyebrow. And notice that it comes straight up. This is where a ruler or a card comes in handy. You can see the alignment is a little bit outside of this part. Not too high up, hers is a little bit low. And then it's going to angle up a little past the edge of her eye. So may want to lightly draw the shape of the eyebrow first. Just so you know where you're going as you start drawing it. Now the hairs of the eyebrow grow up in the beginning. So they're moving up and then as they reach the arc, they're curving inward. And then they start to grow straight out or downward towards the end. And you don't need to draw every single eyebrow. But if you draw a few dark ones and then shade it in a little, now you've got the suggestion that those are hairs growing in the correct shape. So we haven't done the eyelid or the shadows. So if you notice the eyelid starts, it starts skinny here. And then it's going to get bigger on the edge. It doesn't connect though. So follow the curve. And then it's going to kind of come out here a little. Then the next part is the we talked about the eye being round. So if, if you have ball, usually if you want to convince me those three-dimensional, you're, you're going to shade the edges of it, right? Because it's not flat. You're trying to convey that this is a round object. So same with the eyeball. It is round. So if you notice a little bit of shadow is going to be on the inside of the eye when both corners. So now you're, you're trying to show that this object is curved. And again, it's underneath the eyelid. So there might be a little shading under the eyelid. And you can soften that up with a smudge tool or use your finger. And then the shadows on the lid are behind it. Right. So the eye is coming towards you and then the shadows are behind it. You want to keep this lighter, the lid lighter. So we're going to work the shading around it. And then usually there's some shading on the outer edge too. If you're having trouble, you can step away from it, look at it from far away or just squint your eyes. So that looks a little blurry. In my case. I just need to take off my glasses. haha Okay. And then under the eyelid, there's often a little bit of shading. Now this is a way to draw the negative space. So now this white part, I didn't really put a line under it. It's starting to come out a little more. Okay. How did you do? You can make little adjustments as you go. But for the most part we're done. Who knew the drawing the eye could take so long? Well, this was probably the most detailed part of the course. So you're doing great. And if you're up for more practice, there is a worksheet in the project area with five eyes. If you want to take the challenge and draw those, that would be great to get more practice in and go ahead and post those to the project area of the group. And I would love to see your progress so far. 10. Drawing the Nose: And now we'll draw the most difficult feature on the face, which is the nose. But don't worry, I will show you the tricks for getting the proportions right and also teach you step-by-step ways to make the nose a lot easier to draw. We will now work on the nose by itself. So the nose is probably one of the most difficult things to draw, as I've said before, because of the foreshortening. Foreshortening is where you are trying to create the illusion of an object that's coming towards you when you can only see the tips of it. And you're creating an illusion of depth and distance. And so the nose is coming off of the face, somewhat of a distance and that's why it is so challenging. So I want you to think of a nose as an outcropping or a boulder or a rock that's sitting on the face. And there are all types of sizes and shapes of rocks. But the one thing that they have in common is they create shadows. So if you were to see an outcropping on a ledge, it would create shadows. So think of this nose in the same way that you're going to look at the shadows mostly. And that's what's going to create the illusion that is coming forward. The first part we will look at is the width of the nose. Though I want to take a measurement of the width of my reference photo first because I'm going to draw it larger. Now this works if you draw something larger or smaller, you can get the proportion and ratio of the width to the length. So this is the width of my nose. And I want to see how many widths are in the length. So from the tip of the nose, I've got about one here. And then where her bridge of her nose stops is about here. So I'm looking at about two-thirds of the second length on there. So my width is one, and then the length is one and two-thirds, which is like 0.6 Okay, we'll keep this when we start drawing. Okay, the next thing we want to look at is the shape of the base of the nose. And that is where you want to start drawing it. And a lot of people start with a nostrils with us going to make it very difficult. So usually there's like an M shape, like the letter M. So we'll start with the center of it. And if you notice that the nose is about in thirds, so here's the center, and then there's the side, and then the other side piece. But these sides come up a little higher than the tip. So I'm just going to mark some guidelines for myself. So this is my center. And then this is about the edges of the nose. Now if I want to know how long the nose is going to be. Remember we said it was 1 and 2/3 length of the width. So this is my nose. I drew just a random size. You may draw a larger or smaller. So this is the width of my drawing. So now I'm going to go 1 and then I'm going to go 2/3 of that width. So that's going to be about the bridge of the nose for the size that I am drawing. Then I also want to look at the angle. So you can see the angle that's going into the edge of the bridge right here. If I want to slide this part over like that, I can get a guideline for that angle. And I can do the same thing on this side. So I'm looking at about the bridge and then the edge of the nose. So that's my trick to getting the shape of the note. So I know where I'm going to stop and I know the edges approximately that I'm going to work with. So let's go back to the base of it. So we want to try to see the curve here. And then now the nostril is curving in to the tip of the nose. And then we'll look on this side. Here. Notice is not symmetrical at all. Now I can only see a little piece of that nostril. And then the curve of the nose is actually very close to it. Then on this side, you've got the nostril. A lot of times you can see where the bottom of the nose goes into the nostril. So the little ledge like that, is going inward. And that's what'll make the nose come alive a little more when you show that. So the nostrils are the darkest part, they are black. But they're just a little tiny shape. It's not the whole area is not completely black, just part of it. That's going to be the starting point of our grayscale. That will be the darkest point on the face of the nose. Okay, so now we've got the basic shapes, the nostrils in place. And then this will be the bottom of the nostril where it starts to come inward like that. And then we will follow along. So the bridge of the nose tends to be where the shadows are. So I'm just going to mark it in lightly and this is where it starts to curve. So that is the shading around the nose. Now nobody's faces completely white. So the next lightest part is... the darkest part is the nostrils. So the lightest part is like that little highlight on her nose and then there's like a little highlight here. So just like we did on the eye, we're leaving a little place holder. Then I'm going to give her just a light tone. This is going to be her skin tone in grayscale that we're creating. You can use your finger or a Kleenex, or blending stick. And then with your eraser, you can pull up were the highlight would be. This is the shading on the outside of the nose. And then we'll do shading on the nose. Now, the nose itself has shadows. So underneath where the nostril is, there is a light shading here. And then the tip of the nostril as shading on it as well. And then there's shading to show the tip of the nose. Usually no matter what shape, is a little bit rounded. So we're going to show that there's a rounded shape. And then the bridge of the nose has its own shadow. So you'll just want to keep fine tuning it and adding shading. I'm ignoring her freckles for now. You can put those in or you can just focus on the shape. You can blend it with your fingers some more, smooth it out, soften it out, and show underneath where the lip is a little. Okay, So that is a quick nose sketch. And there is a good example of that. This was a very challenging nose. So kudos to you for going ahead and doing this one. Congrats on drawing the nose. It should get a lot easier to draw the face from here out. But if you're up for the challenge, you know it, there is a worksheet with five noses that you can draw and practice and you can post those in the project area. I would love to see how you are doing so far in the course. And if you have any questions or comments, let me now, I'd love to hear from you. 11. Drawing the Mouth: In this lesson, we will draw the mouth. It won't just be about the lips, it'll be about the entire mouth area. But it will definitely be the easiest feature of the face that we have drawn so far. Now we will draw the mouth. Remember that the mouth is an opening on the face. So it's not just the lips. It is the actual line across. That is where the mouth opens up. And that will be the first thing that we will draw. Try to see the shape of that line where it goes up and down. And we'll do a loose sketch of that. So here is our loose sketch of the line. And that will be the beginning part of the mouth. Now to get the proportions right between the mouth and the lips, we're going to use the card again and measure all the way from where the line starts and stops, and that's the width of the mouth. Now, to see the lips, the tallest part, the lip is about here, which is about halfway, a little less than halfway to the length of the mouth. And then this is the difference between the top and the bottom lip. So the bottom lip is a little longer or a little wider than the top. So when I look at my measurement, here is, here's mine. A little bit less than half will be the top of the lip, which will be somewhere around here. With the bottom being a little lower. So this is going to be the line and then the top and the bottom of the lip. So I'm going to mark that on both sides. And now I've given myself some guidelines, approximate guidelines that will help me as I draw. So this will be the points on her lips. And if you notice the lip starts a little after the opening, dips down here. And then we're going to look at the next point. And that kind of on this side curves outward a little to that opening. Same with the bottom. It starts after the line begins and then comes back up before the line. She has a very large bottom lip in proportion to the top one. Now typically the top lip is always darker because you have the shadow from the nose and also less lighting if it is flat, but hers is very full and curved. Now the darkest point on the mouth is the opening line. So I'm going go in very dark. And that's going to be the darkest point on my Grayscale. When I'm shading. Then I'm going to start working upwards from that to get the shadows that I need. And then if you notice there's a little bit of a highlight on the lips, I'm going to give a little place holder like we did for the eye. Some highlights and there's a little bit of light on the top of the lip because it is so rounded and full. I'll go ahead and shade most of it. And it gets darker from the center and lighter as it comes outward. And then with the bottom, the same thing. It is darker in the center where the opening is in the lighter as the lip curves outward. And then it's darker on the bottom where there's less light as well. And then the lips usually have some type of lines, very fine lines in them. We can add those with a sharp pencil and then shade over them to blend them in. And then the corners of the mouth, they start to taper inward. And there's a little bit of a shadow around that because the cheeks are round, so there will be a little bit of shadow near the opening. You can keep working on it. You can show some of these shadows underneath and even above. If you want to add to it. Okay, There is a quick mouth sketch. See, I told you it would get easier. Now I know you're fully capable of doing the practice worksheet with the five mouths. Go ahead and give that a try and post that in the project area. I'm also really excited to say that The next lesson is the final project. And that's where we pull together all of these skills that you just learned. And we will draw a full portrait. 12. Portrait: Basic Layout: You are now well prepared for the final project of drawing a full portrait. Now that you have all the basic skills of proportion and symmetry, as well as drawing the eyes, nose, and mouth in detail. And now we're going to bring that all together and draw a final portrait. So go ahead and get out your reference photo and also the diagram you made with the proportion and symmetry lines. I'm going to start with the diagram. The first thing I wanna do is get a feel for the shape of the head. And so if you want to air trace it or trace on the actual diagram that you made, try to see if you can get a feel for the shape. It'll probably be a little higher than the hairline so we can get the full head. I'm noticing that the top is kind of squared and then it curves out a little where the cheekbones are. And then there's an angle for the jaw line and it starts to taper in with a rounded chin. So I'm going to draw loosely over here just to get that basic shape of her head, which is pretty much an oval shape with some angles. So I have a very soft pencil. It is 3B lead. I'm going to use it very lightly in my hand so that I can erase it. What we'll do is make several loose lines to try to imitate that shape that you felt while you were tracing your image. So I've got the top part of the head which is a little bit squared. The sides are somewhat straight, comes out a little for the cheekbones, starts to angle for the jaw line, and then tapers in for a rounded chin. So you can be very loose with this. Draw a lot of lines and then we'll clean it up in a minute. Choose an eraser. I like the gummy eraser, as I've said before. It is nice because it doesn't smear. You can start getting rid of the lines that are not the shape that you're looking for and keeping the ones that feel more in line with the shape of the head. Now the main step for laying out the features is to find the center of the head. So the half and half point. Now the easiest way to do that, to just guess. So I'm going to take a look at it and say, I think the halfway point is about here. Now, there are several ways we can check. We learned for proportions. You can use your fingers like a compass and get the size. And I think it's probably going to be a little higher than what I originally drew. And if I want to double-check that, I can use an index card or a piece of paper. We're going to mark where the line is in the center to the chin. And that should be about half and half of the face. If you have a handy-dandy compass, you can use that as well. Find the center point, and then mark the top. If you want to be exact or mathematical, you can use a ruler and measure the length of the head that you drew. So if I look at about 7 inches, which is maybe the highest point of my sketches, I know that 3.5 inches is the center point. So this is about right from my other estimates. It's good to have a strong foundation because then you're not erasing a lot and you know where all your features are and you've got the shape of the head correctly. So what we'll do next is lay out the features. We'll start with the eye. Since that is on the center line, she has about four eyes total across, traditional size is five, but we learned that does not always accurate on some people's faces. So I know there should be one eye in the center of the face and we already know where that is. So if I'd guesstimate and eye shape because I know I'm going to need about four total. I can put it here. And then we can check and say, if I had an eye on this side. And then one more, Is that the same proportion as hers? And you can see that's about right for the edge of her face. And on this other side. So we have another eye and then that extra eye. You can see this one comes in a little further. So maybe I'm going to narrow her face a little on this side. So you can go ahead and clean it up once you get the proportion of the eyes as far as the width of the face and keep the two main eyes. They may change in shape as we go through this exercise. The next thing we will draw is the nose. If you only look at the bottom half of the face, you will see that the nose is somewhere in the halfway point, maybe a slight bit lower. So if I take my drawing on this side and I have the halfway point and I say, what's half of that half? I'm going to guess that the nose is around here and I can double-check that my put it a little bit lower. So try to find the placement of your nose. And we'll mark that in. Now. The next feature is the mouth. And so if you look at the bottom half of the face where you just have under the nose to the chin, halfway into that point would be the mouth. And we know from earlier that the points of the lips comes straight down from the nostrils. So we can put a little place holder here for the mouth. So now we've got the eyes, nose and mouth. We will add the ears next. We know that the ears are just a little bit higher on her than the nose. Some people, if their head is perfectly straight, it'll line up. It depends on your reference photo and how the head is tilted. So looking at the reference photo, the bottom of the ear is a little bit higher than the nose. And I know that the top of the ear is a little bit higher than the eyeline. And for a basic ear shape, I just like to curve it in and bring it back out for the ear lobe on the bottom. So you can make a real basic ear shape just for now. The next feature that we will add will be the eyebrows. Now that we have the ears, we can see that the top of the ear is very close in alignment with the eyebrows. So we'll see some of the arch on top of the line and maybe a little bit below. So now we have a basic sketch of the features of the face. 13. Portrait: Adding Details: Before we get started, let's go ahead and check everything to make sure it's in the right spot. If you remember, we did the outside corner. The eye was in line with where the jaw starts curving into the chin. The center of the I came straight down to the outer edge of the chin. So I know that I will put the iris approximately here and probably made the eyelid a little smaller. And then on the inside of the eye. We know that should come down to the outside of the nose and part of the mouth. So in her case, the lip line goes a little further out. Let's check this side. The inner eye should come to the edge of the nose and then a little bit on the inside of her the edge of her mouth and then down where the chin curves. So this is looking good so far. And the center of the eye should come down toward the jaw starts curving. Now her jaw was a little asymmetrical. So now I know approximately where the iris should go. And again, the lid will probably come down over it some more. We'll check the outside of the eye that should come down to where the jaw starts to angle. So I may not have the exact shape of the jaw. I'm going to adjust that a little. Next we will double-check the horizontal lines. So the first-line was the center of the eye with the ear coming up above that. And then the eyebrow line was a little bit higher than the ear. And then under the nose was a little bit lower than the ear on her. The last thing that we will check is the symmetry, which was the X through the face. So we want to double-check the corner of the eye through the nostril on the opposite side. And then this point down here were the pupil hits the chin. And then the same on the other side, the corner of the eye, the nostril. And here were the pupil hits the chin. So now I have the center of my face and this looks pretty good. And it also looks similar to the photo. So go ahead and clean up these guidelines. We won't need these anymore. Now that you've cleaned up your drawing a little, we can go ahead and block in the hair. I'm going to use woodless pencil. I don't know if you've ever seen these, they are real smooth and it's just plastic on the outside so you can peel it off if you want to use the side of it. But I'm just going to block in her hair. This is part of why I chose this model. Her hair is probably easier to draw than some others. So if this is my headline here, she has a little bit of a poof on the top of her hair. And then it's going to come around the ear, right close to the jaw line. Just a loose sketch. So as we're drawing, it looks closer to the reference photo. When you're doing hair, try to look at the overall shape of it. So look at the negative space around it. What type of shape is around the face and draw that first and that'll make it a lot easier. We'll go back and do some detail later on the hair. But now we will render the face. So what is rendering? Rendering is any type of shading or coloring or hash marks to fill in the face and the features and give it depth and dimension. So that's why it's important to have a really good foundation first so that we're not erasing and moving around the features. Now we can enjoy the fun part which is coloring in the face. When I do the features of the face, I don't draw just one eye and then the other. I draw a little piece of each eye at the same time. This will help you to have a consistent look and also to remember what you did for each of the features. So the eye as many parts as you remember. And if I'm going to draw the top lid on this one, I'm gonna come over here and darken in the top-left. So now they are very consistent. And if I draw some of the iris, I will come over here and draw some of the iris is easier to develop them both at the same time. So they have a similar look. I do see some artists that can draw a complete beautiful eye and then start another one and then work on the nose. It's not how I work. I tend to work more consistently. So it looks like a sketch everywhere and then slowly developed everywhere. So if you use the skills we learned in the eye part and the other features, you can start building out the features of the eye. Remember to leave a little space for the inside of the eye. And then also show that little ledge on the inner part of the eye and the pupil is in the center as a round circle is completely black. And remember how we did a little place holder of light. That'll give the eye some life when you have the little light inside of it. Now before I get too realistic with the eyes, I'm going to work on the nose a little. So I want this to be consistent. So if I start with one nostril, get the shape of the nose, bring that into the other one. And then remember that piece on the outside that goes under the nostril gives him more life and definition. And then the lip, remember the darkest part was the line. And try to see where hers kind of goes up in the center. And it's a little bit longer than the lips. Remember that the top lip is usually darker. And you can leave a little place holder for the highlight on the lip as well. I'm going to work back up to the eyebrows again. Remember the eyebrows grow up over and then out and down. And back to the eyes. The outer ring of the iris is a little darker. And we used a starburst to give the iris different tones. 14. Portrait: Finishing Touches: Now this is the awkward stage where it's past a sketch, but it's not quite fully rendered. This is where a lot of artists will say, "I don't like it, I'm giving up." But this is the pivotal moment where things will shift if you keep working on it. This is the moment to push through and keep shading. And eventually you will see something happen and all of a sudden it comes to life. So don't be discouraged if it doesn't look great. Yet. Once you add some of the deeper shading into the facial features, it'll start to come alive. I'm going to work on the eyes a little more now. Try and remember some of the shading techniques we used where we shaded behind the eyelid, around the edges and then drew the little eyelashes under the eye. The center of the lip was darker as it curves outward. One other thing to look at when you're drawing in grayscale as to try to find the darkest points. So we know that the nostril is the darkest point on her face and the pupils are the black darkest point. And then this little crack in her mouth, as well as very dark. And then we can start looking at the ears now. And then you want to work up from that darker shade and look for the mid-tones. And you're going to just put some of the major areas such as the shading of the nose, a little bit under her lip, bottom of the nose. Remember there were little fine lines in the lips. The opening of the mouth curves out a little. And we'll shading under the lip. And remember you can use your finger or a blending stick and soften it and smooth it out. The cheekbones will be between the eyes in the ear, the bottom of the ear, or the ear and you can keep them very simple. The ears will be a little darker since they're further back. At this point, you may want to switch to the original reference photo so that you can see the features more clearly. It's up to you how far you want to go with this. I'm going to say let's go ahead and do the hair. If you have a very thick or dark pencil or a compressed charcoal, this is a quick way to do the hair. We have the basic shape. And it is usually darker as it's closer to the scalp. And then it kind of comes in a little of the temples. And she has somewhat of a little sideburn there. In front of the ear. There's some hair. It will get lighter as it goes outward. Like the eyebrows and eyelashes, you don't need to draw every single hair. You just want to get the general shape. And one tip is to leave a little opening for the part so that you can see a tiny bit of the scalp. It makes it look a little more natural and less like a wig. And then the bottom is a little jagged. So it looks more natural. Try to focus on the main sections of the hair like where this part goes over the side. You can put a few dark lines for the hair. For the most part it'll be a shape. For the hairline. I'm going to go in with a finer pencil and draw some of the hairs. If you can draw them in the direction that they grow. I can't really turn my paper while I'm filming. The other thing you can do is use your eraser to add some highlights where you see the lighter portions of the hair. If you want to go in and clean it up, erases around the edges. Make a few more defining lines. Remember that we shaded the eyes a little to give it some roundness. At this point, I think we're past the awkward stage, although it could use a little work here and there. If you want to add some more details, you can try adding some freckles with a soft lead that's not very sharp. Give some character to the drawing and maybe smudge them and a little softened. Okay, I went in and added some freckles. And then you can also use your eraser to draw some of the highlights that you see on the face. And that will give it a little more dimension to have the light point like the glint on her nose and on the bridge. Sometimes right under the eyebrow. There's some light right there. Okay. We're pretty much done. How did you do? I'd love to see your portraits and how they came out. 15. Final Thoughts: Congratulations on finishing the course and drawing a full portrait! For some it may just be a practice, but for others it may be a first. And no matter where you are on your art journey, keep growing. You are taking a timeout to learn and grow by taking courses like this. And that is so vital for a creative person. Also, I would love to see how your final portrait came out. So be sure to post that in the project areas so I can take a look. And if you have any questions or comments, just let me know. Also, thanks so much for taking this course. And no matter what you do, keep drawing.