How to Draw a Woman’s Portrait



This portrait drawing demonstration is primarily based on a picture by Teslariu Mihai from Unsplash, an on the net source for copyright-no cost images. Obtain the reference image.

Reference Photo

This portrait drawing demonstration is dependent on a photo by Teslariu Mihai from Unsplash, an online source for copyright-no cost photos.



  • 9 x11-inch sheet of Rives BFK cotton rag paper
  • Really hard (2B) and smooth (6B) charcoal pencils
  • Vine charcoal
  • White charcoal adhere or pastel pencil
  • Mixing stump
  • Paper towel or smooth rag
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Rubber eraser

Move-by-Phase Demo

1- Gesture

Portrait Drawing Demonstration: Step 1

Working with vine charcoal, I initially set down a gesture for the portrait. To do this, I centered principally on huge shapes of light and dark. Squinting your eyes to blur your vision at this stage can enable you eradicate the particulars and see the large benefit shapes. Be expecting these initial marks to be inaccurate and basically get the job done to create rough lines and designs on your paper.

2- Evaluate

Portrait Drawing Demonstration: Step 2 (Measure)

I carefully wiped down the preliminary gesture to soften the charcoal. I then identified the big angles in the portrait working with angle-sighting, approximating the placement of features through comparative measuring. To find the central axis for the eyes, for illustration, divide the head in fifty percent.

Employing brief, straight, angular marks, I ongoing to outline the options. The vine charcoal is smooth and uncomplicated to alter, so take your time in this stage. Use plumb strains (undeviating vertical lines) and horizontal guides to make guaranteed the important components are appropriately aligned with one particular another.

Tip: Concentration on the adverse house involving features to help detect the dimensions and placements.

3- Refine Shapes

Portrait Drawing Demonstration: Step 3 (Refine)

I used the more challenging 2B charcoal pencil to refine the larger shapes, shelling out close attention to the edges and determining wherever there really should be sharp edges as very well as sleek gradations. Discover, for case in point, the sharper edge of the hair and ear form as opposed to the smooth edge amongst the light facet and shadow condition along the cheek.

Use your charcoal pencil to effortlessly blend price transitions in the background as very well, creating several mild levels. I wiped the charcoal softly with a paper towel periodically to smoothly blend. I utilised a mixing stump to even more define the shapes of the functions, retaining them gentle but obvious.

Study Far more: Most effective Mixing Instruments for Drawing

4- Finish the Facial Functions

Portrait Drawing Demonstration: Step 4 (Facial Features)

Starting up with the 2B charcoal pencil, I refined the facial capabilities, applying a blending stump to smooth transitions. A sharpened rubber eraser is handy for lifting sharp highlights and edges in the eyes and nose. Discover the tender edges close to the lips.

I applied the softer, 6B charcoal pencil to produce far more depth in the dark areas, and alternated involving the two pencils as desired to refine and soften the gradation in between the gentle and shadow sides. Notice that the highlights are brighter on the forehead and nose, and slightly darker on the mouth and chin.

Tip: Uncover the line of termination to enable create an correct transition between the light-weight aspect of the facial area and shadow facet.

5- Last Specifics

Portrait Drawing Demonstration: Step 5 (Final)

End the drawing with as significantly or as small detail in the remaining portions as you like. On the proper aspect, I darkened and refined the hair, shadow, and ear using the 2B charcoal pencil. Then I employed the 6B charcoal pencil to incorporate higher depth to all those places. I completed drawing the hand and sweater, utilizing mostly the 2B charcoal pencil.

Make certain your darkest darks remain in the attributes and head. Mild, good lines can be made use of to sharpen and outline regions of the head, which will bring these areas a lot more into concentrate.

Idea: Use the aspect of the pencil instead than the idea to produce the wonderful traces in the hair. Use a sharpened rubber eraser to carry good light aspects in the hair and sweater.

Fulfill the Artist

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Scott Maier

Scott Maier is an artist, video clip producer, material creator, and writer. As host and creator of the preferred Artists Network display Drawing Together, he introduced hundreds of artists alongside one another each week to observe drawing. Maier is also the author of See, Imagine, Draw (July 2022), an educational drawing reserve with 30+ exercise routines and lessons.

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