How to Easily Draw a Portrait | Understanding Features & Proportions Part VI | Messer Creations | Skillshare

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How to Easily Draw a Portrait | Understanding Features & Proportions Part VI

teacher avatar Messer Creations, Artist | Author | YouTuber

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Step (1) Drawing out your Loomis Head


    • 3.

      Step (2) Drawing your Eyes and Placing Nose


    • 4.

      Step (3) Drawing your Hair


    • 5.

      Step (4) Drawing your Nose & Mouth


    • 6.

      Step (5) Hatching your Underlying Form


    • 7.

      Step (6) Final Thoughts & Details


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About This Class

In this class, we will be going through the initial steps and drawing out a portrait using the  Loomis method based on reference. I will be taking you through each step in real-time so that you thoroughly understand what the entire process looks like. REMEMBER this is (6) of a (7) part series where I will be taking you through and sketching out a portrait based on (7) different references. I hope you upload your PROJECT and leave a REVIEW of the class :) 

You won't need much to draw along with me and ALL of the tools are listed down below under Amazon Affiliate links. 

Happy drawing my fellow artist :) Here are ALL the TOOLS you will NEED to draw along with me!

Reference photo via Google Docs: 

Mix media paper -

Compass set -

Sketchbook -

Colored Pencils -

I hope it helps and happy drawing! :)

Meet Your Teacher

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Messer Creations

Artist | Author | YouTuber

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hey guys, welcome back to another one. My name is Braden messenger. I'm an artist, YouTuber, and I make content for the Internet of things. I'll be your instructor for this one. Yeah, This is number six out of seven series set where I am taking you through and I'm showing you how you can use seven different reference photos. However, you can still use the same approach to drawing all seven of them, basically using the luminous method. That's the whole point of this series. This is your first-class. Definitely start at the beginning and then come all the way through being sure to leave projects and reviews for every single class in the series, that would be much appreciated. Now, what to expect in this one? I'm gonna be taking you through and showing you how you can draw a perfect circle with a compass. Then implementing your oval, which of course, the side plane of your subject. Drawing in your vertical and horizontal axis. From there, pulling over your hairline, your brow line, and the bottom of your nose, and then drawing the center line of the face so that you can identify the bottom of the chin. Attaching the bottom of the chin to the vertical axis, and then punching in your cheek plane. That is pretty much it as far as the structure of Loomis head. Once you have that established, the rest is actually very easy. I'm gonna be showing you how an exactly where you want to punch in your eyes and the beginnings of your nose. I'm gonna be showing you how you hatch with the colored pencil and cross hatch a little bit here and there to build up lower values. We're gonna be talking about the value scale and building that underlying form, which of course is the illusion of that third dimension on paper, which is two-dimensional space. We're gonna be talking a little bit about the Renaissance. We're gonna be talking about are general. And yeah. So that's it. That's what to expect in this one. I hope you learn one or two or maybe even three things. And see you in class. 2. Step (1) Drawing out your Loomis Head: Okay, so we have our compass and I think we're going to sketch this one out and read. Why not? Why not? Okay, So we're gonna take our compass, we're going to set it to a two. I'm going to place it right smack dab in the middle of the paper, which can do a nice light circle here. Circle. And then from there, once we have that established, we're going to refer to a reference photo. We're going to look and see where the eyes go. And right about here. Just like this, we're going to punch in our site plane. We're going to place our vertical axis and then this is our horizontal axis here. This is our temporal plane, right over from the top polar hairline, over from our horizontal axis, that is our paraboloid. And then from here the bottom is our nose line. This right here is called the center line of the face. So I'm going to pull that down and then nice equal pole. This chin on this subject here is a little shorter. We're going to pull up like this. And then we're going to pull down from a vertical axis and then over that, the bottom of the chin line. And then of course we have this plane here which signifies the bottom of the chin. And that just given the nature of the angle that we're working with with our reference photo. Then we have our neck line here. And then that's pretty much that. Now we have our Loomis had established. So we're going to punch in our cheek plane and we're going to move on to listen to. 3. Step (2) Drawing your Eyes and Placing Nose: Lesson two. Now, in this lesson we're going to be punching in the eyes. Okay? So just pay attention to how we do that. Now. Here what I like to do is I like to focus on the I that is the farthest away from us. So in this case it's the subjects left eye in the reference photo. So nice and light. We're going to begin by hatching with our colored pencil here. And we're just going to put a nice defined line. And we want to define the edge of the nose. Once we have the edge of the nose established, then we can start to use the edge of the nose as a reference point for exactly where that subjects left eye. It's placed. I like to put defined lines into basically establish the basic shape of the eyeball itself. And then of course, because this is a statue, we can then put in the eyelid. Right? Then once we have the established, we can basically outline that side of our subject's face, nice and light. You don't have to press hard at all. What we're doing in this series, as well as in this specific class, is I am teaching you the basics of hatching. Hatching, as we currently understand it today, was derived during the Middle Ages, um, some attributed to the Italian Renaissance, is which of course is the time of Michelangelo and Da Vinci and other artists. But it started off as hatching, which is this technique right here, which is basically where we just pull our pencil across the paper one way. The method known as cross hatching was derived sometime later to basically build up our values and speak to a more pronounced basic form on paper. But this is all we're doing here. We're just hatching right now. Now of course, when it comes to establishing that second, I, what I like to do is this right here, okay, Don't overthink it to use that brown line as the basis for the top of the eye socket, right? If you think about approaching sketches such as this, as the Renaissance artists did, what they did is they built their portraits based off of a subjects inherent skeletal structure. Then from there they put on tissue and muscle and then of course, skin and the finer details. But for here what we're doing is this is more or less just a basic shape exercise. That's one of the reasons why we're hatching and we're not actually doing this series and charcoal. I want you to sketch this out. So much of what an artist is is the habituation of their practice. They draw things out and they practice. Practice makes perfect. There's a reason why they say that. When you think about professional athletes, Olympians, NFL players, soccer players, what have you. Half of their time spent is not necessarily in front of the cameras on the channels that you watch them, but it's actually in the arena, the practice arena. And that is what we're doing here. We're just practicing. But one of the things that you can do is once you establish your line work, like I just did here, writer, you can build up those line qualities. Line quality by definition. If this is your first-class, I will tell you is the relative fitness or thickness of a line. Lightweight has a correlation to that. By definition, line weight is the relative darkness or lightness of a line. So by varying these different qualities and these different weights, we can introduce basic form. Alright, moving on to lesson three. 4. Step (3) Drawing your Hair: Okay, so in this lesson, what I'm going to be going over is we're going to be drawing the basic shape of our subjects. Hair. Shape by its very definition is two-dimensional. So I'm going to be using the fine lines as opposed to implied lines to bring out that shape onto paper. For those of you that are new, I will explain very quickly that defined lines are basically when you put your pencil on the paper and you pull that line, or you push it right in one way and you do not break it. Defined lines are important especially for putting something in front of another. Or when you think about a landscape, defined lines will be very prominent in an object that is closer to you, the foreground versus background. Now, Leonardo da Vinci, back in the 1800s, was very, very popular for his use of implied lines. In fact, Da Vinci and his paintings hardly ever used to find lines. In fact, he was famous for not using defined lines because when it comes to the principles of optics, he was a very big advocate for not using a defined lines. And in this case, up until the time of Da Vinci, many artists, such as Dell of Rocchio and others were huge into using define lines and their paintings as far as manipulating the perception of depth of field in their drawings and their paintings. However, Da Vinci noticed that, especially when it comes to paintings and trying to really bring out the realism that you see as far as three-dimensional space is concerned. On a 2D canvas, that defined lines are not prominent. In reality. The human eye does not perceive to fine lines on the implied lines. And that's something to be aware of when it comes to understanding multiple mediums, right? Line definition applies differently to painting. Say that it does charcoal or graphite. I have found that you can use them in tandem with sketches because contrast is very limited when it comes to using, say, black and white tones. So line quality variation is extremely important to help convey form and just overall depth. Now when it comes to colored pencil, all of a sudden we have hues that we can play with. Line work is still very much the same as the black and white scale. It's simple tricks like this that will make your work stand out from your contemporaries onward to listen for. 5. Step (4) Drawing your Nose & Mouth: Now, what we're going to be doing is we're going to be building out the features of this face. So the nose and the mouth. When it comes to the nose, Don't overthink it. Stick to the nose line. When it comes to your little miss head. Those proportions splitting the head into three equal sections. Mathematically. That is how a face is divvied up. So stick to it and just focus on trying to bring out that underlying form. Once you have the bottom of your nose established, it becomes very easy for you then to identify exactly where the mouth itself is placed. In this specific image, I would recommend drawing out the bottom of the upper lip. When it comes to the bottom lip, especially on these sculptures, guys don't worry about defining anything. It's going to be more or less a play of value, right? So the more you sketch out, the lower that value will become, the lighter you sketch out, the higher that value will be. And you can use varying pressure control to manipulate what that value it looks like. So say for example here, I'm gonna go ahead and I'm going to put a nice light layer of hatching on the bottom of his chin here. And this is going to start giving us form. Also when you are looking at your reference photo, this is what I really want you guys to practice, and this is what I want you to come away with, is I want you to look even in tight areas such as this right here, right above the upper loop, Tynan to the bottom of the nose. I want you guys to start to understand the flow, right? I've called it underlying form in other classes. But essentially what it is is the way right down to the way you pull that pencil across the paper. That will convey a certain underlying form as far as how it flows to your viewer. When it comes to optics. Da Vinci touched on this in his work hundreds of years ago. But you can make a certain aspect of your drawing very crisp, very fine line. And when you do that, the viewers eye will actually spend more time in the area of your drawing where it's very crisp. It's very sharp, It's very focused if you want to think of it that way. Subconsciously, when your viewer looks at your drawing, if there are any areas in that drawing, or maybe it's not as detailed. Maybe it's fuzzy, right? Maybe you used a very thick line quality for a portion of the hair and then you used it very, very thin line quality for other parts of their, the viewer's eye will go to that crisper, sharper image because we like to look at things that are in-focus, right? Not things that are out-of-focus. So with that in mind, let's move on to less than five. 6. Step (5) Hatching your Underlying Form : Okay, so let's have some fun. Now. This is where hatching really shines as a drawing technique for you. Because you can move very quickly. And then all of a sudden, you can take that flat very blatant two-dimensional drawing and you can make it pop, jump off the paper. But that illusion of that third dimension. So just like this, just like this, we're going very light using a very light pressure controllers doing a nice pole, pulling out one way. Always pull your line up from that jaw line to the top of the line associated with the top of your cheek plane. Okay. Nice and light. And also you can take your pencil and then you can put it pretty much on its side. Because if you use the tip of your pencil, you're going to have a very, very thin quality line that you pull, right? If you put it on its side, that quality is going to thicken up drastically. And then of course, when you do this right, nice and light, you go over hatching with hatching that you've already done because it's still hatching, attaching on top of hatching because we're pulling with the exact same way. It's not crosshatching until you actually cross it, right. Viewer also be very, very aware when you look at the reference photo that you don't hatch over the top of areas of the face, such as the top of the cheekbones, where light is striking completely. Because what you can do is you will get maximum contrast between your values if you go complete white to complete dark, right? That is what they call accentuating the value scale to its fullest potential because there's complete white, there's complete black, and then of course, all the tonal variations in between. So by doing just this, going over the same area over and over again, you can actually lower that value. So let's move on to the last lesson. We'll finish this one. 7. Step (6) Final Thoughts & Details: Okay, So this is the last lesson we're gonna be going over final thoughts and just final details. So right here, what I'm doing is I'm just pulling one way. I'm pushing a little harder than I did before something because when you look at the reference photo, this is a much lower value and the right, that light source is coming from the top of our subject and it's casting down across the face. So beneath the nose, beneath the lower lip, the eye sockets right directly beneath the brow of the subject. Those are all much lower values. So in order to bring out that contrast, really make this sketch pop, we are using the proper pressure control to really expand our value scale right? Now, notice as your pencil tip will grind down on one side because you're hatching over and over and over again. You can use that to your benefits. So the sharper edge, you can flip the pencil around and here you can punch in the defined lines that you need for the rope that is draped over the subject shoulder. And then of course you can flip it back around and you can use it to really bring in those sharper definitions that you see cross value, right? But just like this, this is one of the beautiful things about hatching guys. This is one of the reasons why it became so prominent During the Florentine Renaissance is because you can draw so quickly and you can convey certain artistic principles within a given work. Whether you're rendering for a painting or you're simply just sketching, trying to get an idea for something. Don't be afraid to go through your guises, hair on your projects and really bring out those defined lines. I really want you guys to play with your line weights in this one, hatching, Yes, it's wonderful, but I want you to mess with your flowers. Alright, let's see if we can't get those flowers to really pop jump off the paper. Um, I also want you guys to mess with your underlying form. Okay, I cannot wait to see your projects. Please post them. Stay happy, stay healthy. And remember, never stopped drawing.