Drawing a Realistic Nose with Graphite | Matheus Macedo | Skillshare

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Drawing a Realistic Nose with Graphite

teacher avatar Matheus Macedo, Realistic Drawing 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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Intro to Sketching


    • 4.

      Front nose


    • 5.

      Three-quarter View


    • 6.

      Profile View


    • 7.

      Upward Three-quarter View


    • 8.

      Intro to Final Project


    • 9.

      Realistic Nose A


    • 10.

      Realistic Nose B


    • 11.



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About This Class

Welcome to Drawing a Realistic Nose with Graphite! This class is split in two different sections: in the first part we are going to learn how to sketch noses free hand in four different views in dynamic exercises; in the second part we will focus on how to draw two realistic noses from start to finish using only graphite and blending tools. 

This class doesn’t require prior knowledge, because there are secrets that make realistic drawing accessible to anyone. Of course, different artists will have different results depending on their experience, but if you are a totally beginner, this is the opportunity to take your first steps :) 

In this class you will learn:

  • All the materials used for realistic drawings in graphite;
  • How to sketch noses in different views;
  • How to draw realistic noses from scratch.

By learning how to approach this theme, you will be able to draw noses for your portraits using only graphite.

For this class you will need basically paper, graphite pencils and other tools presented in the Materials video and the attached pdf list file.

About me

My name is Matheus Macedo and I'm fascinated by making realistic drawings, especially portraits. I firmly believe everyone is able to draw as I do, so my goal is to help you achieve your full potential as an artist.

Join us in this jorney and follow me on Skillshare to be uptaded about all my classes :)

Meet Your Teacher

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Matheus Macedo

Realistic Drawing Artist



Hello, everyone! My name is Matheus and I am focused on realistic drawing using graphite, charcoal and colored pencil. I have been doing realistic drawings for years, always pushing myself toward improving my skills in order to become better and better.

Through the years I had the opportunity to study with many great art teachers around the world, and each one gave me a different perspective on art. Some of them are able to tackle an entire project in a few hours, whereas others would spend days to go through a drawing from beginning to end, all of that depending on how detailed they wanted their pieces to be, or what materials they use and so on. After all I was able to develop my own approach for black and white and colored drawing... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Intro: Hi, my name is [inaudible] and I'm a realistic [inaudible] artist. I have been teaching drawing for years and my favorite mediums are graphite, charcoal, and colored pencil. This class is designed for everyone who wants to get better at drawing noses, and it's split into different sections. The first one is focused on sketching the structure, I'll be showing you a method to simplify the process of drawing noses in different views. These videos are short, right to the point, and you'll have a chance to practice sketching the outline and learning a simpler shading method. The second section is dedicated to the final project, which is aimed to show you in depth how to do a realistic shading. I have plenty of tips and tricks to share with you to make your drawing stand out. You'll be introduced to all the materials I recommend using and you'll have access to other resources to make the most of the videos. You don't need prior knowledge or experience to take this class. Just enroll to it and let's learn how to draw noses. 2. Materials: Let's take a look on all the materials I used for this class. If you don't have all of them, it's okay. Do your best with the tools you have at hand. I will be using a common paper for the first part of the class. It's known as offset or breeding paper, cheap and easy to be found. The final projects will be drawn on a piece of Lana Bristol paper, but any smooth thick paper will do. There are papers in different colors, they may be white or yellowish. You choose the color according to your taste. When it comes to the surface, for realistic drawings I prefer to work with smooth papers. I would recommend picking out a paper with medium to high thickness. It's weight should be at least 150 grams per square meter. All the drawings are going to be quite small, so you don't need papers bigger than A4 size. For the final project I chose Lana Bristol paper. Some other group papers are Fabriano 4L, Strathmore 300 series Bristol Smooth, Hahnemuhle Nostalgie, and Canson XL Bristol. There are different grades for graphite pencils and you don't need a complete set to take this class. I'm going to use only an HB, a B, a 2B, and 4B. This is the starter of Mars Lumograph, which is my favorite brand. For these sketches I will be using the Faber Castell 9000 series, but you don't need to use different brands in this class, guys. I use also a 0.5 millimeter mechanical pencil with 4B graphite lead. When it comes to sharpening, you can use a pencil sharpener, but you can also sharpen your pencils using a utility knife if you prefer. A kneaded eraser will be used in this class. This is the Tombow mono zero 2.3 millimeters stick eraser, and I use a utility knife to chamfer the razor, it increases its accuracy. Eventually a common thicker stick eraser might be handy too. A pencil eraser can be a cheap alternative if you don't have a stick eraser. These are blend stumps also known as tortillons. I have it only two in different sizes, number 1 and number 3. Get a piece of toilet paper or tissue, fold it in triangles three times to have more control over it and fold one of its tips to be able to see what you are blending. I use also some brushes for blending. They are all flat and I trim one of them to have a firmer brush which helps to make the graphite grip onto the paper, and the others are more delicate and helpful for shading as well. A soft long-haired brush for cleaning your drawings is handy and it's better to use it than blowing the dust and crumbs from the paper. It prevents you from speeding and ruining your drawing and that's it. 3. Intro to Sketching: Now we are going to go through a series of videos on how to draw noses in different views. These videos, you put more emphasis on the structure, on how to simplify the shape, and determine the size and placement of the noses on the paper. I will also show you how to shade your drawings in a fast way. The realistic approach will be covered in the second part of the class, okay? Let's learn how to sketch noses in different views. 4. Front nose: Hi guys. Let's start now with the nose sketches in different views. Here, in the frontal view, we are going to establish a step-by-step method. We are also following the other views if they are necessary in adaptations. I always start by drawing structural lines using a lighter pencil like the HB, which is what I'm using here. My initial goal is to place the figure in the paper marking the extreme points of the drawing. Mark the highest and lowest point of your drawing on the paper. Then mark the leftmost point and the rightmost point. Pay attention, from the moment you define the height of the drawing, the width must be proportional to it and vice versa. That stated, compare the dimensions with a ruler, or even using the pencil itself as I did here. Now, we can trace the figure from the outside. I suggest doing this step always using straight lines because they are simpler and easier to do. Remember, these are structural lines. This contour will serve as a reference later. To find the angles of these lines, I suggest making small tests on the paper itself. Laying the pencil over the drawing and comparing it with what you're seeing in the reference. You can also lay the pencil vertically or horizontally and compare the angle. This is an observation exercise you improve by practicing. Here, I insert a line that marks where there is a transition between upper and lower planes, it is where the nose turns around. Pay attention to the angle in relation to the horizontal axis. On the tip of the nose, there is a ball. Specifically, in the front view, it will be in the middle of the horizontal axis. Mark the center of the circle if you want. These markings will help us to work the volume of the nose later. The tip of the nose down also mark your wings. Three lines are enough for each wing. Finally, let's do the so-called bridge of the nose. It may seem that this region is completely straight, but I would divide the line around the bridge into three segments. This will become clear when we look at the nose in other views, especially in the profile view. When sketching, guys, it is normal to make some mistakes. Here, I realized that my bridge was too narrow compared to the reference, so I erased one of the lines and corrected it. On this step, take some time to observe your outline carefully to make any corrections if necessary. Now, it's the best time to do this. Later, when you have started shading the drawing, any correction becomes more difficult and you risk messing up your drawing. Now, the structural lines are done and the time to draw the organic lines has come. By organic lines, I mean the lines that actually look like the shapes we see in the reference. They are more natural lines, fluid, not straight, that will turn your drawing more real. I'll give you some extra tips on how to make these lines in the following videos. From now on, we need an eraser. We will erase the lines that won't be necessary for shading and lighting those that will be useful. After all, I don't want most of these lines to appear in the final product, but only those that will help me to shade. That's why, guys, I trace these lines very lightly with the HB pencil. They may not appear that clearly in the video, that's the reason they are marked in the reference here in the left side of the screen. Here, we'll finally start with the shading. As it's not the focus of this video, this part is accelerated, but it's possible to apprehend the process from the footage. For shading, I usually start off by [inaudible] the darker areas of the drawing because they will serve as a reference for the subsequent intermediate tones. Here, I use the 4B pencil for this and the darkest regions are the openings of the nostrils. After that, I take the B pencil to make the shading little by little and successive layers covering the drawing in all areas except those where there is a more intense light. Observing the movement of the pencil, I work with the pencil lying it down, using the side of the lead, not forcing much, drawing parallel diagonal lines. I repeat this process in the following layers, switching from B to 2B and finally to 4B pencil. That's it. Here, we had the chance to see how to draw a nose in the front view and how to shade it in a simple way. In the next videos, I will be giving tips for sketching and shading in other views. 5. Three-quarter View: Now, let's draw the nose in three-quarter view. We'll have the chance to review the process as seen in the previous video. We start off by marking the extreme point of the drawing, both vertically and horizontally. To mark the lowest point, use the vertical axis as reference. The margin of the paper can assist you in this task since the vertical and horizontal axis are parallel to the respective sides of the paper. Do some tests when drawing the diagonals. You may not get the angles right at once. This is the stage of testing and making mistakes. It's part of the process. The shorter lines tends to be easier, but the longer ones are the most important for the drawing as a whole. Pay attention to those longer lines. Comparing the position of the points on the bottom with those in the top to have a good reference when placing them. Here we draw the line which separates the brains from the nose. This line may not seem very useful, but in my opinion, it helps to better understand the inclination of the nose, especially in cases like this, where the nose is not outlined with the horizontal axis. Now, the tip of the nose. Notice that the center of this circle is not on the line we have just drawn but above it. It's also not exactly a circle because the nose is turned to the side in a three-quarter position. Here we mark the wings. The wings on the left side is barely visible, which can lead to [inaudible]. Some would draw it too small others too big. Observe it carefully to draw within the correct size. Now, the bridge. As I said before, each side of the bridge can be subdivided into three smaller segments. Although this division is quite subtle and difficult to notice, it's almost a single straight line, but observe carefully and you'll notice the subtleties of this region of the nose. Here, I spotted an error. I found that the area on the right of my trial was too large due to the wrong inclination of one of the segments of that initial contour. We have reached the stage of adding their organic lines to the drawing. I'm still using the HB pencil. You can use a darker pencil if you want. When drawing the nose through openings, notice that they are simple ups segments in does field. Limit yourself to doing what you're seeing in the reference. This is the key to a good observation drawing. Now, let's erase the redundant lines and writing the others so that we move on to the shading. In the shading, this nose does not show a great contrast between light and shadow, so I decided to exaggerate these values a little to make the drawing more interesting. Anyway, the intermediate tones will prevail, and I usually do them using [inaudible] the pencils. These always depend on the reference we are drawing. Each case is different. 6. Profile View: In this video, we will focus on the profile view. Guys, the procedure is similar to the previous ones, which is good for reviewing what we've already seen. We will mark the extreme points of the drawing. What I find most challenging here is to adjust the position of the tip of the nose in relation to the face, so as not to make it too big or too small. Then when marking the points on the sides, observe carefully to check if this points are well positioned. It may not be easy to evaluate this now, but only at the end of this step right before shading. We'll come back to this topic when it's time. Anyway, it's possible the profile view is the easiest view to do. Let's insert the line that places the lower plane of the nose. Notice that each reference has its specificities. The nose tip, which is the segment of a novel here. Nose ring, which I always do with three straight segments. In the nose bridge in the profile view, depending on their nose, it's easy to better understand its anatomical subdivisions. Most noses show these parts of the bridge in a very subtle way. So our drawing must be to look life-like. As often happens, I had to make some corrections while sketching. As I said, this is part of the process. You will probably also have to make minor adjustments when drawing your reference freehand. Now adding more organic lines to turn the drawing more natural which can be done with the HB pencil or with a darker one if you prefer. Once again, the nostrils. Notice that it's never simple oval shape or a simple hole, its shape is more complex. Here I'm already erasing the lines that aren't of any use anymore and make the less adjustments to the sketch before shading. Here the shading, starting with the 4B pencil to set the darkest values and then switching to B pencil to make a base layer for the entire nose. The B and 2B pencils are the ones I use more to establish the intermediate tones, but sometimes I feel that the 4B pencil is also handy to add more volume to my drawings. I hope this video helped you to simplify the process of drawing noses in profile. In the next one we'll use steadier view that is perhaps a little more challenging, but then I hope to make it easier with the tips I'll give you. See you there. 7. Upward Three-quarter View: Now, this noses turning to a different angle upwards, but we will see that the process for drawing it doesn't change much, being quite similar to what we have seen so far. As usual, let us draw the general outline of the nose, which will give you several reference to draw its structure. When marking the counterpoints, compare with the vertical and horizontal axis as much as you want, using the paper margins as references. Reference is the keyword here. Lay the pencil on the paper to check the angles if it helps. Anyway, we've done this before, haven't we? In fact, we shouldn't say that one drawing is easier to draw than another, but I'd say one is more laborious than another. In theory, all drawings have the same level of difficulty to be made, since everything can be reduced to simple shapes and everyone can draw simple geometric shapes. When sketching, the challenge is to adjust the angles and draw lines proportional to each other, which we improve through deliberate practice. Practice constantly, if possible a little bit every day, always looking for eventual mistakes or points to improve and work on them. Now, to delimit the lower plane of the nose, I found it necessary to make this separation with three straight segments. You can do this with an arch if you find it easier. A single line here isn't enough to delimit the lower plane in this view. Notice how I did it. Here the tip of the nose is also marked by a [inaudible] because of the angle of this view. Now, the wing of the nose that we can see, and the bridge of the nose with all its subtlety. Because of the angle of this view, this area ends up getting a little shorter, but it cannot be neglected obviously. Here, we come to the nostrils openings. Observe well how they are so that it will draw the shapes that you are actually seeing, not what you imagine. A common mistake is to draw these openings as a circular or oval shapes, which makes the result look like a big nose, especially when it's an upward view. Observe how these openings usually shows a gradient, bend over in the inner part and get slighter outward. This is for the moment of shading the nose in the final stage. For now, I'm more concerned about the reference contours. That done, we add the natural shapes of the nose and then erase the lines that we don't want to see in the finished drawing. Let's finish this drawing. In this reference, I wanted to do a little shading also outside the nose because it has very delicate contours in the photo. Take a look at the upper left-most part of that nose. What makes it leap forward is the contrast of light and shadow, not a line that separates the nose from the background. For this reason, in this case, I decided to shade around the left side as well so that it would gain more prominence. This shadow is not so dark, so use B or even 2B pencils, but avoid putting too much pressure on your hand. The other areas can be done with B and 2B pencils. The openings of the nostrils are done with the 4B pencil, and the same 4B will be useful to give depth in darker areas such as the lower plane and the right side. Always observe where the light is coming from so that the shading you are going to perform will make sense. 8. Intro to Final Project: We have covered the first part of the class focusing on sketching the structure. Now we move on to our final project. In the second part of this class, I'm showing you how to shade two different noses with a more realistic approach. The step-by-step method is similar for both, but I wanted to give you the chance to practice with different skin textures. For both drawings, our blending tools will be handy, not to mention the eraser. But if you eventually don't have it all, do your best with the tools available to you. If possible, watch the following videos twice. First, you only watch, pay attention to the entire process to have an overview, and later you watch them again while drawing along with me. The realistic shading will require from you more patience since it takes more time to be concluded, so don't rush on this step and you'll be successful. Since we have already seen some examples on how to repair this sketch free hand, now we're going to start from the shading. Have fun. 9. Realistic Nose A: Now let's focus on the process of doing a realistic nose shading guys. The outline is already prepared, we can start now. I will mark the darkest value of this piece using the 0.5 millimeter mechanical pencil with 4B graphing lead. This can be done either with a mechanical pencil or a normal pencil. On the one hand, the mechanical pencil fills a smaller area, but on the other hand it's more accurate. I am using it to trace the counter on the lower part of the nose. Do this step with the pencil. If you don't have the mechanical pencil, no problem with that. At this stage, I'm still more concerned about defining the areas of light and shadow. If I were to summarize what the general drawing values are, I would say that they all have the zones of light, shadow, and intermediate tones. Take a look on the reference to identify where these zones are and mark them on your drawing. I do this using a lighter pencil such as a B. You can mark these areas by shading them slightly. Here, for example, it's a narrow with more intense shadows, so I will make it evident now. I'm still using the B pencil. Moving the hand loosely, I'm now marking the intermediate tone areas. It's some more general shading that will serve as a base as a first layer. Now I'm going to start darkening the intense shadows using the 4B pencil. There is no need to put so much pressure on your hand to achieve darker tones guys. We will build up the values of this drawing by working layer by layer little by little. Observe the movement of the pencil. I draw parallel lines, shading the area uniformly. To finish the first general layer of graphite in the drawing, it's time to wrap the tissue to blend the graphite doing circular motions with our hand most of their time. Rub the tissue gently, do not put too much pressure so as not to smudge the drawing. The paper will when do a little what has been done so far. I usually use more at the beginning of the process on the first layer. Later on, we'll use the brush and a blending stump to blend the graphite. Now we go to the next layer of graphite to reinforce the shadows until we reached that reference values. I'm using the 4B pencil. Where the shadows are stronger, I work with the pencil in a more concentrated way. In other lighter areas, the lines are looser. When using the tissue, spread the graphite over the lighter areas as well, making a base layer even though it spread the graphite more over the darker areas. Then the eraser will be used for the highlights. The mechanical pencil with 4B lead darkens more than the 4B pencil. Sometimes I choose the former. The mechanical pencil draws on a smaller area, but it's more accurate and darker. I keep going with the 4B pencil reinforcing and doing a bit of texture with small circular motions. This texture will be complemented using the brush and blending stumps, which softens its appearance. Here, continuing with the textures in the same process, now we've circular motions more restrained, and then blending the graphite with the brush so that it penetrates better into the turf of the paper. For areas that require more definition, use a harder pencil such as B and 2B pencils. With the same pencil, I will continue with the layers of graphite to get it darker. I shade with straight lines. Conversely, I did a texture with circular motions, always using a brush afterwards. A common issue is to overdo the textures to exaggerate them. Only experience will teach you to have more control over to the stump so that you better understand when you should continue or not with the texture in a certain area. The only way to learn it's by practicing. Now, I am shifting the pencils using the 2B until I go to the 4B again to achieve the desired values. Here again with the 4B to adjust the drawing. Many texture effects can be done using just a tip of the blending stump with a bit of graphite. You can add small spots, which is desirable depending on the effect. The blending stump also helps to smooth some transitions between areas of light and shadow. The 4B mechanical pencil adds more intense shadow points to the texture. At this point, some adjustments to the overall values may still be necessary. If there are more subtle, these adjustments can be made with B or 2B pencil depending on the pressure you put on. I prefer to use the B pencil with a very light hand. Now the highlights which are done with the 2.3 millimeter Tombow mono zero stick eraser. This eraser is excellent for a more intense light effect. Then if that light gets too intense or looks too rough, we use the brush to soften the effect. This light is more intense on the tip of the nose and decreases its intensity on the bridge upwards. With that done, it's time to make the final adjustments to finish this drawing. At the end of the process, I use a kneaded eraser to clean the area around the drawing. Thanks for watching this tutorial till the end. I hope you enjoyed it. See you in the next video. 10. Realistic Nose B: Okay guys, let's draw this nose to practice a little more. Let's start with the mechanical pencil with 4B graphite lead, marking the darkest points of the drawing. These markings serve as a reference for all the shading that will be done as it determines one of the extreme values that is missing, which is the black. The white tone that will serve as reference is the white of the paper itself. I chose to start the base layer using the B pencil. As usual, I do strokes parallel to each other, aiming a homogeneous effect. Then the tissue will help to make this base layer even more uniform. Now we move on to a second shading layer. Still using the B pencil, I did the shading, but also trying to emulate the skin texture for the first time. I'm already doing this because the skin has a more marked texture. It isn't that's smooth. The 4B pencil will be needed here later, but I like to prepare a previous layer with a harder pencil. At this stage, it's good that we better define which areas are the darkest, making them different from the areas of intermediate and light tones. I compliment the work using the blending stump, which helps to create spots in more concentrated areas in a more controlled way. The stump is great for making blemishes on the skin. Moving on with the shading as the general values aren't well-established yet. According to the reference, the dark values are more intense and this increases the contrast and adds volume to the composition. I am using the 4B pencil for this. When you want to darken your drawing moderately, use an intermediate pencil. Here I'm using the 2B to work on the immediate tones. To avoid undoing what you have done so far for the texture, blend the graphite using the brush. I keep on using the 4B pencil. I am shading and working on the textures at the same time. The choice of the pencil depends on our perception and the way we draw, that is, if we put more pressure or not on the hand when shading. It also depends on the brand of the pencil on the surface we are working on. Some papers absorb graphite more easily than others, especially those with more tooth. The smooth papers differently demand more time to get dark. As my case here, I'm using Lana Bristol paper and it requires successive layers until I reach the values I want. I am doing the texture with the 2B pencil. Then I use the thinner blending stump to make the spots. Most of the time, I prefer harder pencils to work on the textures since they are more accurate. These pencils can be 2B, B, or even HB. Here I am using the mechanical pencil with 4B graphite lead and 4B pencil for darker stains of the texture and then the brush to smooth it. Now let's do the highlights with the eraser. The eraser only works if you have managed to prepare a graphite layer underneath. After all, the highlights pop due to the contrast between the gray of the skin and the white of the paper brought by the eraser. In this case too, we see a more intense light on the tip of the nose. On the upper area, the bridge area we'll decrease the white values using the brush. Finally, we add some details using the B pencil, then let's do the last touches. At the end of the process, I use the kneaded eraser to clean the area around the drawing. Thank you so much for watching this class until the end. I hope you had a great time and learned a lot. See you. 11. Conclusion: Here we are at the end of this class. I hope the videos were insightful and you will be applying in your drawings what you saw here. Don't forget to share with us your drawings and get feedback from me. Maybe I can give you some tips for your improvement. I want to thank you for watching the videos and if you liked them, please leave a review for this class. It will help encourage me a lot to keep on recording new video tutorials. Thank you so much and see you in the next classes. Bye.