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#1 17 Apr, 2013 5:21 pm

How can i improve my portraits?

Hello everyone:)
Sorry I post so many forums but i'd just like to ask for some tips and  suggestions on how to draw portraits?
I got bored earlier so I decided to draw Cara Delevinge, she's a famous model if you didn't know. I know i'm not the best at drawing but i'd say I was quite good for my age (13).
   So i'd finished the drawing of her a I was really proud despite the slight wrong placement of the facial features and lack of shading. Picture that I drew:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … mp;theater
(sorry for the links by the way, I've forgotten how to place a picture on the forum post)
Then I saw the same picture someone else had drawn and it made my art work look absolutely rubbishTT_TT
The other drawing:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … mp;theater
Now mine looks bad right-.-?
I thought I could never get that good but I don't want to give up, so hoiw could I improve in my shading etc? What guidelines is there to help me. I don't think I need much help with the shape of the features.
Reference image
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LGZBRnyBGaI/U … rwin-3.jpg
Thank you!


my profile picture is nicki minaj okayy xD so don't ask please it's my drawing.

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#2 18 Apr, 2013 11:17 am

Re: How can i improve my portraits?

You have decent structure, you just need more work toward full value, and away from line art, not an easy task with the lighting on this photo which is fairly flat.  The other artist has used some of the lighting tricks to beef up the 3D effect not present, or barely seen in the photo, making the drawing more dimensional than the original.

Your drawing has plenty of shadow, but you need to beef up the highlight and reflected lights in order to fine tune the features.  Go find your favorite artists(online, in museums, wherever), and analyze how they use lighting.  Practice trying to use their style.  This is the most efficient way as there are so many ways of achieving what you want.  Just keep practicing and observing.


If you can't beat 'em, send 'em to their room

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#3 18 Apr, 2013 2:31 pm

Re: How can i improve my portraits?

agyla wrote:

You have decent structure, you just need more work toward full value, and away from line art, not an easy task with the lighting on this photo which is fairly flat.  The other artist has used some of the lighting tricks to beef up the 3D effect not present, or barely seen in the photo, making the drawing more dimensional than the original.

Your drawing has plenty of shadow, but you need to beef up the highlight and reflected lights in order to fine tune the features.  Go find your favorite artists(online, in museums, wherever), and analyze how they use lighting.  Practice trying to use their style.  This is the most efficient way as there are so many ways of achieving what you want.  Just keep practicing and observing.

Thank you, that explanation helped a lot to be honest ^^


my profile picture is nicki minaj okayy xD so don't ask please it's my drawing.

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#4 18 Apr, 2013 2:52 pm

Re: How can i improve my portraits?

This is basically what my art teacher would say:

Try to use a lot of values, so it's handy to have a grayscale handy. You don't want everything to be too dark or one shaded so there should be more variation in the shading. Also, try to color along with the shape of the object lightly building up to shade it better. There should be a lot of contrast between the highlights and shadows. Since in that reference picture doesn't already have a lot of contrast, try to emphasize the highlight and shadows like that artist. Your picture is already really good with all the features but add more different values.

Yeyy for random blurb lol c:

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#5 18 Apr, 2013 3:12 pm

Re: How can i improve my portraits?

When looking at drawings, try to work out how it was made.


A sharp eraser was used for the light parts of her hair.

Probably several different pencils were used, one pencil being very dark for strong contrast and tone.

Smudging was used sparingly.

Loads and loads of practice is the only way to develop drawing skills. You may need to do something hundreds of times before it trains your eye to see, or your brain to remember, so don't expect to get it with one or even ten tries.

Practice with a goal. Draw 100 noses, 100 ears, 100 heads of hair, etc.. using reference.

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