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Portrait Drawing Using Correct Proportions. In order to correctly draw the human portrait It is helpful to understand what lies beneath the skin.

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Presentation on theme: "Portrait Drawing Using Correct Proportions. In order to correctly draw the human portrait It is helpful to understand what lies beneath the skin."— Presentation transcript:

1 Portrait Drawing Using Correct Proportions

2 In order to correctly draw the human portrait It is helpful to understand what lies beneath the skin

3 The Basic Underlying Structure

4 facial musculature

5 The Structure of the Neck

6 The Head in Profile

7 Proportions of the Face by Leonardo Da Vinci


9 The face triangle is from the center of each pupil, through the nostrils of the nose to the point between the top front teeth. To me this is an important trait, every bodies triangle is a little different. The smiling mouth lines up under the pupils, the two iris usually equal the maximum smiling width of the mouth.


11 Human beauty is based on the Divine Proportion http://goldennu te.htm

12 Center of pupil : Bottom of teeth : Bottom of chin Outer & inner edge of eye: Center of nose Outer edges of lips : Upper ridges of lips Width of center tooth : Width of second tooth Width of eye : Width of iris

13 Phi defines the dimensions of the human profile

14 The human face is based entirely on Phi

15 The ear reflects the shape of a Fibonacci spiral.

16 The distance between the two eyes is the distance between the 'EYE WHITES'


18 Golden Proportions Between Teeth





23 Drawing the Facial Features

24 Step 1 - The Initial Line Drawing There are two things that you should carefully observe when starting your drawing of an eye: 1 - The difference in shape between the upper and lower eyelids. 2 - How the upper eyelid covers the top of the iris. (mouse over the image to view this effect.) Drawing the Eye

25 Step 2 - The Eyeball There are two main elements to consider when drawing the glassy surface of the eye: 1 - A glint of reflected light should be left unshaded at the start of the tonal drawing. This should become the brightest element in the eye. This reflection is further enhanced by its contrast with the pupil - the darkest element in the eye. 2 - The iris contains a variety of tones and flecks which radiate to the centre of the pupil. It is usually darker around its outside edge and lightens towards its centre creating a translucent effect.

26 Step 3 - The Eye Socket The final step is to render the solidity of the eye socket and surrounding area using graduated tone. The upper eyelid casts a shadow which forms a dark curve across the top of the eyeball. This gradually softens into the shaded areas at each corner of the eye. Graduated shading is used to cover the linear detail and build up the tone of the eyelids and surrounding area. Eyebrows and eyelashes are formed by soft, delicate hairs, so draw these lightly and pay particular attention to the direction of their growth.

27 Step 1 - The Initial Line Drawing The nose is formed by a series of curved planes. This makes it difficult to draw as there are very few lines to help us describe its shape. Start by drawing what you can see, namely the inside and outside edges of the nostrils. Then try to outline the main areas of tone that define the planes of the nose. Draw these lightly as you want them to disappear under your shading at a later stage in the drawing. Drawing the Nose

28 Simplify your shading into three basic tonal areas - dark, medium and light (the white of the paper). Block in each plane of the nose with its appropriate tone. This should begin to render its three-dimensional form. Step 2 – The Initial Tones

29 Step 3 - The Final Tones Carefully refine the strength and subtlety of the tone, softening the lines that join each plane with graduated areas of shading. You must look more closely at this stage to try to discern the faint variations of shading within each area of tone.

30 Drawing the Mouth

31 The mouth is the second most expressive feature of the face. Great care should be taken in drawing its shape as it is a key element in achieving a likeness. Start by drawing the subtle shape of the line that is formed as the lips meet. This will set a natural expression for the mouth. The top lip has its characteristic bow shape which varies considerably from person to person. The bottom lip is usually larger than the top and more creased with vertical stretch lines. Step 1 - The Initial Line Drawing

32 Step 2 - The Initial Tones The upper lip slopes inwards and is normally darker in tone as it is shaded from the light. The lower lip is more fleshy with a stronger muscular structure. It tends to catch the light and is further distinguished by the shadow below its pouting form.

33 Step 3 - The Final Tones In the final stages, tone is used to soften the edges and refine the detail of the mouth. Not only should it highlight the surface texture of the skin, but it should also make you more aware of the muscular structure that lies beneath. There is a subtle softening around the edges of the lips which helps to blend them comfortably into the face. Note how the detail at each corner of the mouth diffuses into a small area of tone.

34 Step 1 - The Initial Line Drawing The ear is a complicated arrangement of ripples and folds of flesh. You need to organise its irregular shape into some basic forms that are easier to outline. You can then use this linear framework to gradually build up its complex form with tone. Drawing the Ear

35 Step 2 - The Initial Tones Simplify the tonal structure into three areas: Areas that are mostly light - Leave these unshaded. Areas that are mostly dark - Shade these with a mid-tone. Areas that are extremely dark - Shade these with a dark tone.

36 Step 3 - The Final Tones Look deeply into each area of tone and try to pick up on the subtle variations that lie within. You may have to darken some of the light areas and lighten some of the dark areas to achieve a balance of tone. Tonal drawing is simply a balancing act between the elements of light and shade. In fact, all drawing is a constant balance between your observation, your concentration, your judgement and your technique.

37 Now that we know the basic proportions of the head, how do we apply these concepts to drawing from life? The trick is to take it a step at a time, and to trust your eyes. Keep proportion and perspective in mind, and remember that what you 'know' about the face may be very different from what you see, depending on the angle. Two of the most common faults are placing the eye too high on the face, and making the skull too short. Drawing the Human Head from Life

38 Observing the subject, begin with a rough ball indicating the main part of the skull. Draw the line from forehead to chin, form the plane of the face, and add the jaw line and main features. Note that the line indicating the nose shows the base of the nose, not the tip. This will help with modeling the nose later. Otis Art instructor video

39 Place the ear, construct the nose (in a frontal view using two lines along the length), draw the jaw line and indicate the brows, forehead and cheeks (depending on the pose). Position the eyes carefully.

40 Erase construction lines. Improve the line work, checking the model constantly, adding detail and correcting shape. Add hair. Note that the drawing of the neck and shoulders must also be accurate. This drawing has been darkened to demonstrate the observed lines. If you wish to shade your drawing, keep the line work light.

41 Tips: Practice drawing the head from many different angles. Observe how the facial muscles change as an expression changes. Try taking your own reference photos. Adults are easier to draw than children, as their features are more sharply defined. Try doing some studies of a skull if you can, (try the local museum, art school or school science department) as this will help you understand the planes of the face.

42 Examples - 19k Charcoal Portrait - How to











53 Title: Ray Artist: Jim Meskimen This drawing was done in Madrid many years ago when I was a young man. I kept it rolled up for about two decades, then brought it out again for the show at the Johnson Art Collection. This was a portrait done from life, of an american guy I lived with in Madrid for a short time. Unfortunately, he became quite psychotic and we parted ways rather poorly. I was grateful to him for some very kind things he did for me before he became so troubled, but it took me rather a long time to be able to appreciate this portrait of him. I like it very much now.

54 Title: Strongman Artist: Jim Meskimen The story is this: I encountered a photo of this man in the obituary pages of the Times; he was a well-known street personality in Montreal, and had died at age 70 weighing over 500 lbs. His name was Antoine Bareckovitch, but he was known as "The Great Antonio". I have asked people from Montreal, and they knew who he was. He would do feats of strength on the streets of that city, often pulling a bus using his long rope of hair (he never cut his hair, apparently) and lifting heavy things for effect. I was attracted to his playful expression, his antique style of dress, and that strange rope of hair, capped with duct tape, that drapes his huge body. He was a real giant, over 7 feet tall; he must have really been a character.



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