Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Quick Tips On How to Draw a Realistic Face

Quick Tips On How to Draw a Realistic Face
by: Todd Harris

There are many artists who struggle with drawing a face and having it actually look like the person you are drawing. These tips should help you to achieve a more realistic outcome and have your drawings come to life.

The first tip is probably the most important. When you are drawing, draw from a good source or reference. For instance make sure that your photo is a really high quality. Make sure that the photo is big and clear, and not a lot of different lighting sources. Choose a subject that is interesting to you. If you want, a good idea is to draw something of one of the masters, like Beugereau. If what you are drawing doesn't hold an interest for you, you won't do as good a job on it, you'll have less patience, lose interest and never finish. But again, make sure that your reference is high quality because if it's not, you'll end up with garbage.

Next, begin your drawing with your outline. Different artists use different methods for this. Also, time is a consideration, so whether you use a grid method or do it by eye, make sure you are accurate. Of course, the grid is going to be more accurate but time or environment may not allow for this method. Also, as you gain more experience you may go by the eye more often as well. Block in and remember that you don't want to add in the fine details yet. Don't get caught up in working on an eye and all of the lighting and shapes of the eye at this point. Avoid finer detail till later.

Then you can start to divide the light from the shadows, hitting the core shadow outline hard making a distinct value difference between light and shadow.

Then go over it with a towel or cotton balls. Never let your skin come in contact with the paper because your sin is made of oil and it will cause great ugliness to appear on your drawing! Instead use a piece of paper under your drawing hand to help you avoid this. Some artists use gloves made for drawing as well. Try and hit the shadow hard and then after you have gone over with a towel erase out some highlights and make the core shadow darker.

You can start darkening shadows make sure that you are using your referenc to figure out where these are exactly. You may have to do this several times till you establish the value you are after.

Not all of the shadows are going to be dark. Never forget where your light sources are coming from. This is extremely important. Look for where the shadows are falling in direct relation to where the light source is coming from.

Start adding the finer details to your drawing.

Blend in light spots and identify the highlights in your subjects hair. A very beginner mistake is to draw each and every strand of hair. Hair needs to be treated as a mass. Remember this and your hair will turn out more realistic than ever before.

Once you feel you are done, you are almost done. What? Well when you are working with graphite, it can be extremely messy and you may need to do some major clean up of smudges. Use a kneaded eraser to lift these.

Take your time with your drawings and you will begin to see that these techniques can be really beneficial. Anyone can learn to draw, it takes some patience and willingness.

About The Author
Todd Harris is a master artist who is currently working as a concept art director for a multi-billion dollar corporation. He is trained in the Florence Academy Method. is a resource based website devoted to aspiring artists wishing to master figure drawing. Visit Learning2draw to get tips, tricks, and techniques to master the human form.