Portrait of a Princess

Portrait of a Princess - student project

Helga loves attention and adoration, so what better way to give it than to illustrate one of my favorite portraits of her?

I'm new to drawing, and I still struggle with perspective. But this method of building up from basic shapes really helped me capture this princess in a way I'm pleased with!


This picture of her didn't really need editing, as she was already well-lit and prominently placed (I cropped in tight since I wasn't planning on including the background).

I loved the notion of leaving the sketch open, and emphasizing or exaggerating features to make it more cute and stylized. In trying to draw my cats before, I fell into a trap of trying to recreate the photo exactly, and would get overwhelmed and discouraged.

Each new sketch layer I made the eyes slightly larger than the last. This really helped me keep them at the right proportion to each other (something else I've struggled with). I added her tail at this step.

This method of drawing in her stripes with short strokes was a game-changer. I've never gotten them to look quite as good (still room for improvement, but better than anything I've tried on my own). I ended up coloring in the pupils with a darker color on the inking layer because they blended in too much with the eye color later on.

Once I was done with Helga, I hid the reference and background layers and copied and pasted her onto a new blank square canvas. This made it easier to reposition her without having to merge or group layers. I can always go back into the original canvas if I want to edit anything on her.

I decided to draw the ledge that she is sitting on in the photo. Again, I struggled with perspective on it, but I was able to use the distort tool to good effect, and I'm satisfied with the result.

Added color and shading to the ledge.

No drawing of the princess is complete without a crown. Also sparkles and a heart.


This class was great! I already said this in my review, but I would love to see a class on how you draw portraits of people.


- Remy

Instagram: @chaotic_mewtral