Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Using photos of faces for drawing reference WILL make you a better artist. There's no question in my mind! Recently an awesome reference photo was shared in my Facebook group. Seeing this post got me thinking about how GORGEOUS the reference image was, for so many different reasons.
My teacher brain spiraled about all the things I needed to tell you! Hence... the LIVE.
This video is a MUST SEE for you if ...
Here's the post that inspired today's LIVE...
I know, right?!
I'm not watching Yellowstone right now, but clearly I should be ;)
Before we get into how amazing this image is and WHY, you need to download my FREE 4-page cheatsheet packet called the Face Drawing Cheatsheet Bundle. This will help you SO much if you're just learning how to draw a face, or if you want to improve your face drawing skills. The info inside works beautifully whether your'e drawing a man or a woman.
The bundle includes my Face Drawing Guidelines, Shading Guide, my How to Draw Eyelashes Guide, and a Face Base / Face Drawing Template if you feel like you don't want to fuss with drawing proportions and would rather cut something out that can be traced directly into your art journal or sketchbook.
Simply click on the button below and I'll send the packet right over.
After you get your packet downloaded and are ready to practice, you can join me in this live stream video, or feel free to check out this playlist of How to Draw & Shade a Face in 5 Minutes if you feel like this LIVE is a little too advanced for you.
When you're ready, join me back on the live stream because I have some really cool face shading tips to share with you - whether you're drawing faces for beginners, or a more advanced artist!!
Reference photo drawing is super helpful for both whimsical drawing (semi-realistic drawing) and realistic drawing. References make a HUGE impact on your work.
They actually make your job as an artist EASIER because they give your brain a little break (you don't have to think up a zillion details to include in your drawing), and they give you ALL the "answers" your brain needs to observe in order to create something amazing.
To get you started on finding faces for drawing reference, you need to find an image you love! Here is a page right out of my How to Draw & Find Your Style book that talks ALL about reference photo drawing.
While this model is gorgeous, and I totally want to draw her too - if you look closely at all the gray tones in this photo- you'll see they're all basically THE SAME! That means this image really isn't the best choice to use as a face drawing reference.
It's better to choose an image that has ALL the values in the value scale represented from the lightest light, to the darkest dark. Why?
It will make the drawing easier for you to draw, and your drawing will look fantastic because you're using every shade of gray in the value scale.
If you're new to value scale drawing, today's video will help you out. You can also check out this one to learn how to create your own value scale using pencils. This is also an exercise members of the Fun Fab Drawing Club and Mixed Media Society do right from the beginning.
I highly encourage you to create one for yourself!
If you're not sure if a face drawing reference image you've selected will be great for drawing, just print it in black and white with your printer. This is a super easy way to convert a color image to black and white, and it's actually better to draw with anyway! This is especially helpful if you're drawing in graphite, because it's tough to replicate what you see in color using grayscale pencils.
Sometimes, I use reference photos PURELY for the shading information. Today, I'm going to show you how you can even use the face shading information from one photo to create a totally different drawing! It's really kinda magical, and why my face shading guide in this cheatsheet packet is SO VALUABLE! Make sure you grab that download if you haven't yet :)
Then click over to the video to watch how I "steal" the face shading inspiration from Yellowstone dude's photo to guide how I shade the face of a completely different drawing of a woman.
Pretty Cool, right?!!
Thanks for hanging out with me today!!
And in case you're wondering if I did actually draw Jamie from Yellowstone- I totally did, and shared him in our Facebook Group for Awesome Art School ;)
Today's charcoal portrait is inspired by my love of fantasy art and ALL things magical! If you've never worked with charcoal sticks or charcoal pencils before - it's something you HAVE to explore!
I feel like a sculptor whenever I create a charcoal drawing. I think it has something to do with the fact that I use my fingers to blend and shade, so it's like I become one with the medium.
If you've been looking for new charcoal drawing ideas, love female fantasy art, or just feel like watching a relaxing drawing video without any talking - THIS VIDEO is FOR YOU!
The angle of the face in today's drawing video is called 3/4 view. This is actually one of the hardest face drawing angles to do proportionally. If you're struggling with how to draw a three quarter portrait, be sure to download my FREE 3/4 view face drawing guidelines. Simply click on the button below and I'll send them straight over.
After you get your three quarter portrait drawing guidelines downloaded and are ready to practice, you might want to start with this playlist to practice sketching a 3/4 face. It's perfect for beginners and isn't time lapsed like today's video!
If you're new to charcoal drawing, you're might be wondering how to draw with charcoal or how to start a charcoal portrait.
I like to start a charcoal drawing by blocking out a general outline of where I want things to go using a piece of charcoal in an old sock. I KNOW, It sounds totally crazy!! But when you watch today's video, watch how I get started. You can achieve the softest, dreamiest lines with this simple charcoal drawing technique (shown below).
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support.
When I'm happy with my general outline, I use one of my graphite pencils (blackwing drawing pencil) to sketch in more firm outlines, and later darken them using a charcoal stick (below).
Next, I look at my reference image and let my eyes follow the values I see from lightest to darkest, and allow my hand to record them onto my paper. This is where drawing has so much to do with observational skills and in a way, we're like engineers or someone doing data entry.
If you really study your reference image for shades of black, gray and white - instead of focusing on the facial features you think your brain knows how to draw (or is intimated to draw), it makes the whole process of accurately recording what you see SO MUCH EASIER.
After most of the face and hair shading is done, I add detail around the eyes, and some super dramatic eyelashes.
Lots of my students struggle with how to draw eyelashes. If you feel like you need some extra help with eyelash drawing, I've got ya covered with two great videos to help - one on my drawing channel, and one on my mixed media channel.
CLICK HERE to download my FREE How to Draw Eyelashes Cheatsheet.
Today's drawing was inspired by the reference image I found from darkodordevic @ DeviantArt.com.
Press play to watch today's time lapse drawing video!
LOVE FANTASY ART as much as I do?! You might just LOVE the Celtic Collective!! It's an art club I run with my Scottish bestie, Lucy Brydon. We teach drawing and watercolor lessons of all things fairy, fantasy & magic!!Learn more & get notified when enrollment opens again here.
Lucy and I also do a weekly podcast called 1 Scot 1 Not. We don't have an episode specifically on sirens, but this one on the Finfolk is close in case you're interested!
Thanks for hanging out with me today!!
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"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
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Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.