So, this is kind of a big deal around here. And by "around here," I basically mean for me. I learned how to draw a face correctly, and it's kinda changed my life. Now, if you're not into art, you probably think, "Um, who cares?" But if you are, you know how it feels to accurately represent the human form. Even if you're not into art, think of a time when you were able to do something that was a frustrating struggle before. Now times it by ten, and that's how I suddenly feel about finally being able to draw with confidence!
I have never felt confident in my drawing skills. That has all changed in the past few months, thanks to some awesome online courses. Even though I have drawn many faces in my life, I felt like it was a ton of effort and frustration for only a so-so result. It's amazing when the amount of skill you have clicks and you suddenly enjoy and look forward to something that in the past was scary or intimidating.
I have been filling sketchbook pages with face drawings, and thought it would be fun to show you one step by step.
Step 1: Draw an oval and grid it with eye, mouth and nose horizontal lines, and one vertical line right down the middle. Put a nose on the second intersection of the lines.
Step 2: Add the eyes and lips. I tend to make my eyes almond shaped. After I drew them, I erased my horizontal line. For lips, I drop down from the nose and do the top lip first, then draw in the bottom lip to meet the top. I try to keep both symmetrical (side to side) if I can.
Step 3: Erase guidelines. Add eyebrows. Draw lines for upper and lower eyelids and draw in the iris. The iris isn't a full circle since part is naturally covered up by the lids. If the pupil is totally round, the face will look like she's terrified. :-) Add a little bit of eyelash to the outer corners. (I try not to add too many eyelashes or it looks like a 5 year old did it.) I added the rounded part on either side of the nose, and the little lines between the nose and top lip.
Step 4: Draw in hair. I don't put the hair flat to the skull because it doesn't look right. It has a little volume! I decide to give her short hair because my daughter loves seeing it represented since she has short hair. I draw ears since I can't cover them with the hair, trying really hard to get them even on either side of her head. I draw a line for the nose, although it will kind of disappear since it's only a guide for when I do shading.
Step 5: I lightly sketch in all my darkest shading spots. Basically, recessed areas (Nostrils, under lip, between lips, above eyes, under hair, etc.) will be shaded, while popped out areas (Cheeks, forehead, eyelids, the line from tip of nose to forehead) are light or even white. I also differentiate the pupil/iris areas of the eyes and add a tiny line of shading where the eyelid casts a shadow onto the eye.
Step 6: I use a blending stick to blend all my shadows into the highlight areas, making the transitions look not so garish.
Step 7: I take a kneaded eraser and erase out the lightest places: the forehead, the tip of the nose, the bottom lip, a little hair, and the glint on the pupil/iris. I sign my name. That means she's done!
I'd love to hear if you've had a similar experience (It doesn't have to be art-related). Just anytime you suddenly gained confidence and created something or achieved something you believed to be impossible. Leave me a comment!