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Drawing Forum and Art Community • View topic - First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)
Page 1 of 1

First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:43 am
by Compaq
For many years, I've said "I wish I could draw". So, a little less than a month ago, I loaned a book from the library by Barrington Barber, which introduces many aspects of drawing.

I've practiced drawing from reference photos. I drew my brother maybe two weeks ago, and my 2.5 years old niece said "Uncle ......! In that way, I believe I've actually come somewhere already haha :) She has also recognised other drawings of family members I've done. I've never done anything like this before I started about a month ago, so I somehow feel I'm doing much more advanced drawings that what I'm "ready" for. It's portraits I want to do, though. Being able to notice what "makes people stand out", being able to exaggerate on those to make caricatures.
I do have a strong hobby in photography, mainly landscaping. That means I'm always aware of the light, and have a decent understanding of how shadows create an illusion of depth, depending on the angle from which it's coming from.
I'm Anders, a 21 years old Norwegian, who is starting his third year in his education. I study chemistry, and love it.

Enough about me. I'll post two drawings here (too many and it's hard to critique). I would like to improve. At this point I strive to make the persons look like who they are, and practice syncing my hand to my brain's observations.

Googled "old man". Drew.
Image


Myself. Too wide chin, a little long face. Too much space between nose/mouth and mouth/chin. Recognisable, though.
Image


I hope I can get good advice at this site, and appreciate tips and critique in this thread! :)
Regards,
Anders

Re: First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:05 pm
by Russ
Like the first piece Anders..contemporary modern..second drawing..lose the hard outlines!

Re: First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:51 am
by Compaq
Thanks!

I've read about drawing greytones to define edges, and not use harsh outlines. I find it really hard, though. Here is another drawing where I thought about this. Look at the collar of his shirt. May not be perfect, but I think it's better.

Also, hair is something I find hard. Did this in maybe 15 minutes, which isn't good, hehe. I read on a tut on this site that I should use as much time with the hair as I do with the face.


Image

Re: First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:48 pm
by Tanner05
This may sound stupid, but I found it helps to think about the texture of the hair when you're drawing it.
Actually think about touching it and then shade and draw to that ideal.

Re: First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:06 pm
by Compaq
Thank you for the advice. I will keep that in mind on my next drawing.

Okay, so I have practiced not using hard lines. I feel this is better than the last one I posted. Also did the hair fairly quick here.

I'm happy with the watch, though that's a minor detail of the drawing. Didn't bother to spend much time on the shirt, it's the face I'm working on atm. Ears I need to practice on, hehe!

Image

Re: First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:04 pm
by Russ
You need to look at detail if you want to progress,take a small part of a picture and replicate it..hone your eyes to see detail,copy what you see!

Re: First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:37 pm
by Tanner05
So these drawings are taking you about 15 minutes? The drawings you see on this site will take the artist anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete.
That is you issue right now. Slow down, take your time with one portrait. Blend your tones and work on it slowly.
When you get tired of drawing, don't hurry so you can get it finished, set it aside and look at it later. Its not good to finish a drawing in one setting.
Come back a few hours later or the next day with a fresh eye so you can see what needs work.

I think you have potential, it just takes some patience. :)

Re: First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:33 am
by adrianwells
Yes Anders, welcome to the forum first of all.
I'll stress what Russ and Tanner said in their last post...you need to take your time when drawing if you want to create anything "realistic". Some people take upto 100 hours to finish a drawing. Like Russ said, take sections of a reference picture and draw every little detail that you can see in that picture, focusing on the shading (dark or light), texture (blending in, rough, smooth, speckled etc), and most importantly proportions. Try to use the grid method of initially getting your proportions right in a drawing. Also get to learn the different pencils (9B - 9H) ie which ones are soft and dark, and which ones are hard and light.
Good luck...will be watching

Adrian

Re: First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:54 am
by Compaq
No, not 15 minutes. 1,5 hours is more correct. 15 minutes on the hair.

I'm not familiar with the grid method. When I do my outline, I've found it easier to place the apprx position to the eyes before the outline. I do the outline freehand. I've been drawing these with a B pencil. I saw a set at the mall, but it cost $40, which I don't have atm.

I want to give that old man another try, keeping in mind that I should pay attention to every detail, and spend much more time on it.

I truly appreciate the advice I'm getting. Normally I can get quite good at whatever I want to learn, but this takes practice! Maybe I should sit down and draw a really big eye, big ear, bit mouth and be familiar with the common traits of those body parts. Also, I'd like to have gone to a course.

Re: First post, I want to learn to draw portraits! :)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:25 pm
by felipumz
Hello, Just wanted to put in my 2 cents...The grid method is an excellent way to do the outline for a portrait. If you're not familiar with the grid method, you draw (or place a grid from a clear plastic) over your reference picture and draw the same amount of lines on your paper (do this very lightly, you'll want to erase these as you go along). Either scale it up by making each line wider to make your drawing bigger, or replicate the picture by making the same sized grid on your paper. That's your grid....now copy over square by square exactly as you see in your picture.

I'd post a ling to a website, but I'm not sure if links are allowed here.

Good luck and don't give up. It takes a lot of time and patience.

oh...$40 for a set of pencils? That's too much, a good set of 12 +/- pencils should only cost about $10-$15. About $1 per pencil.