Stylized Likenesses: Create Illustrated Portraits | Linda Vuorenvirta | Skillshare

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Stylized Likenesses: Create Illustrated Portraits

teacher avatar Linda Vuorenvirta, Illustrator, Animator, Designer

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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

12 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Choose A Style To Aim For

    • 4. Choose A Medium To Work With

    • 5. Analyze Features

    • 6. Analyze Hair

    • 7. Analyze Details

    • 8. Consider Your Findings

    • 9. Consider Colour

    • 10. Tips & Tricks 1

    • 11. Tips & Tricks 2

    • 12. Conclusion

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About This Class

Do you want to draw portraits like a comic book artist or cartoonist? This is one of my very favourite art subjects, and I would like to help you get started drawing stylized portraits too!

You'll hear about levels of stylization, working mediums, how to analyze distinctive features of a portrait's subject, which features might be best to include in your portrait, considerations about colour, and tips and tricks to add to your arsenal. 


Attributions for photos and illustrations used
(Anything without an attribution below should either be public domain or my own creation. If you notice a mistake I've made in attribution, please let me know and I will correct it!)

Video: Choose A Style To Aim For

Video: Analyze Features

Face shapes




Video: Analyze Details

Video: Consider Your Findings

Video: Consider Colour

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Linda Vuorenvirta

Illustrator, Animator, Designer


I'm a creative type from the Helsinki area of Finland. I illustrate, design, animate, sew, craft, bake, cook, and just generally try to create something every day!

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1. Introduction: Hi and welcome Teoh. Stylized likenesses create Illustrated portrait's I Am Linda, War of Erica and I am an artist and designer who's been drawing human figures and Portrait's for many, many years, and they have since become one of my absolute favorite arts subjects. So I'm really excited to share that with you. And in this class I'll be talking about how to create a stylized portrait. It's that tries to capture the defining details and the intricacies and little quirks that make a portrait look like the person that it is off things that make the person or character look the way that they dio. And you can do this in any kind of style, from something wacky and cartoony and mawr exaggerated to something semi realistic or anywhere in between. And I hope I can give you some tips on how to achieve this in this class, regardless of what style you end up choosing to work in, and I and really glad to see you here. And I hope that you stick around and that you show your project 2. Class Project: Hi. I am so glad to see that you have enrolled in this class, and the project for this class is a stylized self portrait. It's that you will make using the tips and tricks that I'll be going over in the following videos. And I mentioned in the previous video briefly. You can use any style that you want to make this self portrait. There are no style requirements for this class. You might have seen the three self portions that I did in the thumbnail image for this class, and I wanted to show you how one likeness can translate to quite different styles, from a kind of semi realistic one on the left, too. Maybe a comic book style one in the middle to a more Western cartoon style on the right, with exaggerated features. I chose a self portrait for the course project because, well, first of all, you have a very convenient model since its yourself, and therefore you can spend as much time with the model as you want and need and whatever you want. And secondly, self portrait. It's or a really good outlet for communicating something about yourself on a deeper level once you've gotten into the hang of drawing them. So now, without further ado, let's get started 3. Choose A Style To Aim For: here some good examples of self portrait's that I found online, which range from really stylized to more realistic. And it's easy enough, at least in theory, to translate features realistically, that is to say, draw exactly what she see in your life model or in your photograph or in your mirror. But how do you push them into stylized territory? Well, one of the most common things is to exaggerate certain features in terms of size makes them very big or very small. But you can also push things like, for example, angles to be really sharp or make some lines be really curvy and bulgy to emphasize. Um, in cartoony, stylized drawing style, also tend to take pairs of things that we have like eyes and ears, and either make them more mathematically symmetrical than they are in real life. Since all pairs of things that we have in real life on our bodies have some degree of asymmetry, cartoony styles might make them completely symmetrical or go in the other direction, especially if the likeness that you're trying to capture already has some degree of asymmetry in that pair of things. Sometimes they'll be pushed to the limit like made really, really difference to emphasize it. And cartoony styles also often use thicker outlines. Since we don't really have outlines in real life, you sometimes don't see outlined that all and more realistic styles. But if you're going to go cartoony than you can push things like that and you could make it look believable, it's also really important to mention that more cartoony styles do leave out features, or at least details that really sticks styles would keep in and a lot of times cartoon characters are buildup from really simple geometric shapes, and you can still see these simple shapes in the finished products at least much more easily than you can with a more realistic drawing. Although you can break down realistic drawings into simpler shapes, sometimes cartoon style drawings are very obvious and where they have their geometric shapes, you hear in the portrait, it's that I did, and the one on the left is the most realistic. I left in detail in the strength of the hair. I drew both nostrils. I drew the pupils of the eyes, made quite a detailed highlight on the lip. I drew the shirt color so that it The fabric falls with this kind of realistic pipe of fold , and I also did the most shading on this one. And in the middle drawing, I dropped out some of this detail and in the right hand drawing, I dropped out most of this detail and, like to the hair down to minimum detail, exaggerated the size of the whole head in comparison to the neck and the collar and in comparison to the entire body. If I had drawn the entire body here, I made the ears stick out mawr since my years to actually stick out of it. I made my eyes and glasses really huge and left off a lot of detail and facial features. So for this project, you can choose whatever style in the world that you want to aim for whatever you like best or whatever you just feel most comfortable working in. It's good to have a style in mind from the beginning, so you're kind of guided by it, and you don't have to keep going back and constantly changing things as you progress. But definitely don't worry if your vision and your style changes and evolves as you work because it's natural and it's actually a really essential part of learning and starting to develop your own drawing style. 4. Choose A Medium To Work With: Another thing to think about from the very beginning is what medium you wanna work in. You could go completely traditional and use paper and pencils and markers and paints. Or you could go completely digital and use a graphics tablet to drawing photo shop or illustrator or painter or whatever your favourite graphics program is. And another option is to combine these mediums, traditional and digital, which is personally something that I actually prefer really like to dio the self portrait's that I did as examples for this class. They were actually sketched first on paper with pencil and then scanned and traced over and colored and Photoshopped. So that is my preferred process. But this is completely up to you, and there are advantages to both traditional and digital methods. It's, of course, easier to fix mistakes and digital work. Since week. I don't have a controls that in real life, but, you know, maybe you just really love the kind of texture you get from using markers or pencil on paper. And if you really want to use those, then by all means use those is completely up to you. There are no material, um, requirements for the class project. In this course, I just want you to pick something that you feel comfortable working with 5. Analyze Features: So what? Elements of your face are distinctive to your appearance. This is one of the first questions that you have to work on answering when you're trying to depict the likeness in a portrait. So perhaps start off with the shape of the face itself. I have some examples that I found here online, off people who have very different face shapes. And if I turn on the outlines that I made, there we go. I have kind of outlined the basic face shapes that all these people haven't. As you can see, some of them have much more pointed chin. Some of them have very long faces. Some of them have very wide circular faces. Some have, um some have these little dips here caused by the cheek bones. There are and endless variety of tiny details that are face shapes have for your purposes, especially if you are going for something more stylized. Just study the basic shape. Is it very wide or long or narrow? Round? Is there a wide forehead, a pointed chin wide shin, cleft in the chin, things like this, and then look at other features such as eyes here. I have also found some photographs of difference shapes of eyes. Here are my outlines that I've made. Some of them have outer points that point very strongly upwards. Some have outer points that point further downwards, some either narrower. Some eyes are wider. There are surprisingly many different aspects of eyes that make them difference besides things like their color. And while we're on eyes also look at eye brows because they are surprisingly important to likenesses. It's actually really interesting what happens when he changed the shape of your brows. You can look like an entirely different person, and here's some different shapes of brows. I have some female browse on the top row and male browse on the bottom row, and especially if you do shape your eyebrows, then they can be very, very different. Some of them are quite straight. Some of them have a very, um, Deep arch. Yeah, some more, very thick. Some are very thin then noses are, of course, important. There is a really, really huge variety and noses. As you can see, I have once again got some ladies and some men here, and all of their noses are very different. Something. Some note is our have the bridge of the nose, going more or less straight up to form a type of triangle or diamond shape. Some have very curd bridge of the nose, so it makes kind of an hourglass shape, and some noses are very wide at the bottom, where the nostrils are and much more narrow in the bridge of the nose. Some are relatively more uniform, where the bridge of the nose and the bottom of the nose are not so different in size. And sometimes, of course, tip of the nose is more upturn, so you can see the nostrils better. Things like this, you should pay attention to lips are huge, and this is one of the easiest things to recognize differences in Some of us have much thicker lift. Some of us have thinner lips. Some of us have a very deep in dent in our Cupid's bow. Some people have a top lip that's almost straight across. Some people's bottom lips are much larger than their lower lips. For some people's bottom, lips are much larger than their upper lips. Excuse me and some people's lips or almost the same thickness, so these are just some basic observations that you should try to make about facial features that really add quality to a likeness, regardless of what style you're doing it in. 6. Analyze Hair: here is one of the most popular fishers used to make character who looked different from each other. There is so much variety in hair beyond just hair color and basic style, and you can do so many different things with it. So it's something to really pay attention to. And, like I said, besides just looking at color and basic style, if you look at things like the hairline, what shape is it? Is it straight, or is there more of a widow's peak or a curve? How the hair is parted? Is it in the very center? Is it to one side whether the hair is one length or very layered or choppy on the texture of the hair, this is something that really varies. You can have very very stick straight hair, or you can get news curls, very tight curls, very, very fine hair or very thick, glossy hair. Then things like, you know, whether the years are covered. Is there some kind of quirk or distinctive feature in the hair like curls that don't straighten? No matter how hard you try, or a cowlick or things like that? And if you have facial hair off course, pay attention to the shape and texture and thickness of that as well. These are some aspects of hair that you should take into consideration when depicting your likeness, cause it really can add a lot of individuality and character to your portrait. It's 7. Analyze Details: glass. But not least, you should look at little details like your birthmarks or freckles, maybe scars or dimples if you're smiling and off course tattoos, piercings, other body modifications and also, perhaps think about. Is there a accessory or a piece of clothing, which is constantly present that you're always wearing? Maybe that would be something good to act your self portrait, for example. I wear glasses, and I started wearing them because I needed them for my vision. But I've been wearing them for so many years that these days I wear them as much as a accessory as I do to help with my vision. And I always feel that I don't white look like myself without them. So I do tend to include my glasses in 99% of my self portrait. It's and I also include my two colors in my hair. That's another thing that I've been doing for many years, and other people have also started associating got with being my hair style. So I thought that that was something that has become kind of maybe iconic is not the right word, but very distinctive to me. So including things like this That's a good job of communicating that this portrait is me. It is who I am. All of these things go into making me who I am, and that can add another level past, just including your basic features. 8. Consider Your Findings: Once you've decided what features might objectively be beneficial to include, you should also consider them subjectively. That's to say what is important to you. And remember that a self portrait or any portrait which attempts to create a likeness It doesn't have to be precisely what you're seeing in the mirror or in your model, which is something that I started to touch on in the last video, representing what's on the outside correctly is important for making a likeness. But giving some indication off what's on the inside. Meeting your personality, your interests, your little quirks that make you you is really great to do as well. And you don't have to include details, which don't matter much to you or the drawing. For example, if you're wearing a shirt with a pattern on it, and you think this pattern doesn't really contribute anything to the drawing, nor does it communicate anything about my personality. By all means, leave it out. On the other side of that coin you can add in details, which do you help the drawing or do communicate something about you, for example, if maybe you'd really love to have really huge eyelashes, but you can never quite get them realistically, as big as you like. Um, you can go wild with your portrait and exaggerate your eyelashes that make them huge things like that, like try to give your drawing some personality and communicate a more authentic representation off yourself. These are some more examples of Self Fortress that I found online that I thought did a good job of communicating some aspect of the artist's personality or something beyond just what they look like, whether it's you know, what their tools of the trade are, or if they like playing video games in their spare time if they like to travel if they are into butterflies. Uh, just these kind of things that add another layer of personality off authenticity to your portrait there things that you should look for, and I definitely encourage you to go find more examples of self portrait sor any kind of portrait's online and try to figure out what these little details that they're adding in our that are making them so successful. 9. Consider Colour: extending on the last point about it not being necessary to render everything realistically or true the life. You also don't have to stick to local color, meaning colors rendered faithfully f there. As you can see them appearing in nature, you could try some really fun lighting. Or you could exaggerate some colors or just go wild and try a completely new color palette . Color is a huge, wonderful world, and it can really add different emotions. Different different elements of personality it can. It can on a lot to your drawing. And it's really worth it to try to explore pushing the boundaries of color and not just limiting yourself to what color or something actually is. And, of course, if you want to, you could also keep things black and white or gray scale. That is a completely valid option if you would rather focus on different aspects of your drawing other than color. But no matter what you decide, you should know that you don't have to limit yourself. You can push the boundaries of color or lack there of, and the only limit here is really your imagination. 10. Tips & Tricks 1: tip and trick number one. You should try to keep different elements of your drawing, meaning facial features, hair, etcetera, ad approximately the same level of stylization, so realistic or really cartoony or somewhere in between. You should try to keep them at approximately the same level, to avoid having some parts of your drawing feel really disconnected. Or like they don't belong as an example. This is a couple of portrait's that I did. They are all the same character. One of them is done in a bore, realistic style than the other one, and this looks OK. They both looked like a different style of representation of same character. But if we switch your on the eyes, that looks less okay. And of course, there are exceptions to every rule. I am positive that they're artists out there that can really rock this kind of style putting kind of so so called out of place elements unsuited drawings. But for right now it's probably best to focus on keeping everything at about same level of stylization 11. Tips & Tricks 2: tip and trick number two. If you notice that your portrait is looking too young or too old, you should really analyze the facial features and their size, especially the side of the eyes, and also how far apart they are from each other. Really large eyes, especially, can make a character look very young, as can having features very close together on the face, the the further apart, the features are in the face. Generally, the older the character looks and having a really round face also will make a character look quite young and especially on female characters. The presence or absence of really defined lips, meaning like completely outlined, as if they had lip liner on that tends to make characters look much more like a grown woman . So, as an example, I drew. This is actually just one drawing. I started with the drawing on the left and all I did Waas photo shop. Some of this guy's features, too, be a different size, and I pushed them closer together on his faith and made its face rounder. I didn't add or take away anything. I just changed position and sizing, and as you can see, he looks much younger on the right 12. Conclusion: thank you so much for taking this class with me. I really hope I've been able to give you a boost to get started in growing stylized portrait. It's I am super excited to see what kind of projects you all could come up with. If you have any questions or comments, go ahead and leave them in the community section of this class and I will try my best to help you or somebody out from the community can also help you, so there's nothing much more to say except thanks again and have fun drawing.