In this article, I reveal the steps and the secret knowledge that you absolutely must have in order to succeed in drawing a beautiful realistic portrait like this!
The first knowledge that will allow you to draw your portrait is to have a good knowledge of the proportions of the face . To learn the proportions of the face, there's nothing like a portrait class that will allow you to be able to put your eyes, nose and mouth in the right place in no time!
When drawing a portrait, it is essential to use a good reference because it will help you stay close to reality. It is indeed very difficult for an artist to have all this information in mind! For example, we don't always necessarily know where each of the wrinkles on a face are located precisely, or what the person looks like in every detail. This is why an excellent reference will be very important when trying to achieve a high level of realism!
Once you have the right reference, you have to be able to put your lines in the right place, which is a matter of observation . This is something that you will develop as you practice! And yes, the more drawings you make, the more easily you will have this ability to observe and become more comfortable with your pencil! To sharpen your sense of observation, it is important to take a lot of time to look at your reference and your drawing, then come and compare them to make sure that everything is similar. Again, this all comes with experience and with practice.
Now it's time to render! This is the step where we will draw all the shades of gray in the face, and this is what will give the impression of volume. There are two things you need when rendering: the first is an understanding of light and shadow ! Indeed, light is hidden by objects or is reflected on surfaces, we see that everywhere around us! In the face, for example, the places that are more downwards, like the bottom of the nose, will be darker, while the top, which reflects the light, will be paler. We're going to try to represent that in pencil, and it's our ability to make gradients between shadows that are very dark to very pale that will give an impression of volume!
The second thing you need to do good renders is good drawing technique . The drawing technique is your ability to make good lines, to choose the right pencils, to use the stump in the right way, to have good manual agility, or to make the right movement with the right pressure. It's a side that is obviously very technical and not necessarily related to portraits, animals or the kind of drawing you want to do, it's just the ability to be good with the tools of the designer! If you want to know 5 essential techniques in drawing, I tell you about them in this article .
The rendering step is quite long as it is an iterative process that can take a long time. There are so many different areas in the face and it can take a while to cover the whole portrait.
The last step after rendering is finishing ! It's about adding all the little details like wrinkles, last hairs or small age spots. In short, little things that will give texture to the skin, and that's what will make us very close to realism, and the level of realism that you will achieve will depend on the level of finish and details that you will add to your drawing!
Finally, keep expectations that are realistic ! Making a realistic portrait can take up to several hours. We often think that we can start this on the corner of a table and that it will be done in half an hour, but that takes a lot of time! If you are aware of this, you will immediately be much more tolerant with yourself!
It may seem insurmountable, but know that by taking it step by step, you will see that it is quite possible to achieve impressive results in much less time than you imagine!
See you soon!