Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Whether you already love toned paper drawing, drawing faces, or have never tried either, and are curious - TODAY's VIDEO is FOR YOU! Join me for a face drawing demo in my cute little toned paper sketchbook (that I recently designed) - complete with adorable little flowers in the background! I'll show you how I picked my face drawing reference, and will teach you why drawing on toned paper is actually QUICKER than drawing on white paper.
If you're new to toned paper drawing, I've got an awesome set of FREE cheatsheets for you to download and a Toned Paper Drawing three-part video series for you to help you get started over on my YouTube Drawing Channel.
Click the button below to grab those cheatsheets, and I'll send that straight to your inbox!
This cheatsheet packet includes my face drawing guidelines, plus a drawing reference face photo to help us in video #3, so make sure ya click that button!!
Before we continue - super quick announcement! All product links below 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!
For today's drawing tutorial, I'm working in my new toned paper sketchbook that I actually designed! It's got adorable little flowers in the background, which I love, because those flowers end up peeking through the cheeks of the faces I've been drawing.
The picture below shows a great closeup of how the background flowers look behind a drawing. SOOOOO cute!!!
It's perfect for doing some quick little face drawings in pencil with china markers and white posca pens!
Here is the link for the sketchbook over on Amazon in case you're interested! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!!
Click over to the video and I'll talk you through a few things I think about when I'm looking for faces for drawing reference. Mostly, I just keep it easy. Basically, I just think to my self - do I love this girl and think she's cute? Then I usually give it a try!
As you'll see in the video - I also will look at the face shading. In this particular image, it's really unusual! I felt she had some beautiful highlights on her eyes, nose and lips that I instantly could imagine doing in my white posca pens. Just one more feature that made this face drawing reference an instant YES for me, besides I'm obsessed with absolutely anything done by Loish.
One of the most important things to remember when drawing on toned tan paper or gray toned paper vs drawing on white paper, is that "your job" is just to pop in the darkest darks and lightest lights when it's time to start shading faces.
That's why I think doing toned paper portraits and sketches are SO fast! Half your job has already been done for you because your "skin tone" is the tone of the paper.
As you'll see, I did a lot of the face shading with my blending stump. Since the paper is already gray, I really didn't have to push down very hard to get some beautiful effects. Once I was happy with my shading, I just grabbed my pentel pocket brush to outline everything loosely with a light touch.
I LOVE the lashes in this reference so really enjoyed popping those in with my pentel pocket brush! If you've never used this before - you have to give it a try. Here's a video to help you on my drawing channel, and here's one to help ya on my mixed media channel (because it works amazingly well for mixed media faces too!).
I love using the china markers for highlights here because they sit beautifully on top of my graphite. These marks really add dimension to the drawing and pop those areas forward.
And of course, no whimsical face drawing of mine is complete without some dramatic highlights using my white posca pens!!
I hope you enjoy today's video! Thanks for hanging out with me!!
❤️MY ARTIST BESTIE, LUCY BRYDON & I created a NEW ART MEMBERSHIP together called The Celtic Collective! It's now open for enrollment! Join us before the price increases on August 7.
In today's face sketching video, we're building on what you learned about toned paper drawing over the last 2 weeks, and putting it ALL together to create a QUICK female face drawing!
We'll use my face drawing guidelines and identify the values we see in our face drawing reference photo. Then I'll show you how to shade your drawing + quick ways for drawing shadows and highlights using china markers, a pencil, blending stump and sharpies on toned paper! BEGINNERS WELCOME!!
Grab your supplies & come practice face drawing with me!
First things first, if you haven't grabbed my FREE Toned Paper Packet/cheatsheets- please do that and get them printed out. It's 5 helpful pages to set you up for toned paper drawing success!
You'll recieve my face drawing guidelines, along with a few reference photos for drawing a sphere (last week's exercise), a reference image for today & a list of my fav supplies if you need some!
Simpy click on this button and I'll send the cheatsheets STRAIGHT over to your inbox!
In Part 1 of this toned paper drawing series, we went over concepts and supplies for drawing on toned paper. Last week in Part 2 - we talked about how to draw and shade a sphere on toned paper, as well as the differencecs to keep in mind when working on toned tan paper or toned grey paper vs white paper.
I'm working on toned grey paper today because I think this is a bit easier for beginners who are getting used to value scale drawing.
Before I start drawing, I scribbled some shading with a variety of pencils and marked which pencil helped me achieve which value on a scrap of toned paper, below. If you're new to toned paper drawing- I suggest you do this too so you have a reference for yourself that you can use while you draw.
As we discussed last week, when you're drawing on toned paper- you're "responsible" for adding in ALL the brightest highlights and darkest shadows. The mid-tones are already represented for you by the tone of the paper.
Once you get your Toned Paper Packet downloaded and printed- grab your reference drawing photo for today (shown above), and we'll get started on your free drawing lesson.
The face I'll be drawing isn't going to be super realistic because I typically prefer a lighter style called whimsical drawing. If you're new to my YouTube drawing channel - my goal is to help you become a better artist by keeping things FUN so nothing feels stressful. That means we don't get too hung up on details.
Make sure you click over to the video to do this face drawing lesson in REAL TIME with me because it makes SUCH a difference!! We're starting out with an oval and sketching in our face drawing guidelines - something I NEVER skip -even after all the hundreds of faces I've drawn!!
If you're somewhat familiar with drawing facecs and feel like you'd enjoy learning more about how to draw facial features more realistically, I have another FREE series you might enjoy (which also comes with free drawing worksheets). Make sure you check that out because it's awesome if you like drawing faces as much as I do!
After you get your face shape and guidelines drawn, it's time to lightly sketch in some squished ovals to serve as placeholders for the eyes, nose and mouth.
If you're just learning how to draw eyes, I LOVE using my circle template to draw the irises on my girls when I'm pressed for time, or not in the mood to draw perfect circles from scratch! If this little cheat helps you too - DO IT, and don't feel bad about it. Just move on and keep your drawing project FUN!
Make sure you click over to the video because I'm showng you exactly how to draw a face step by step, and will keeping things EASY for you if this is your first time drawing a face. The face drawing guidelines will help a TON! Trust me ;)
I also bring back my circle template/ stencil for adding pupils into the eyes. Make sure you pop those right into the center of your irises. I see pupils kinda all over the place, and this little tidbit will help make your faces look more sophisticated- especially if you're just learning how to draw eyes!
Once you've gotten all the facial features in position where they need to go - you can erase all of your guidelines.
Follow me in the video to start observing the values depicted in our reference photo. As you'll see in the FREE Toned Paper Packet I've provided- there are some versions of the reference image with polka dots of gray that I've laid down to help you decide which pencil to grab when shading various parts of her face.
I love using my china markers (also called grease pencils) on toned paper because you can get really opaque coverage with them.
The only thing I don't love about my china markers is they don't blend - so just be aware of that as you head in to attack your shadows. If you haven't used a china marker before - here is another video for you. I demo how to sharpen a china marker in that video and in last week's YouTube drawing tutorial.
For today's face shading, l'm starting with my white china marker to pop in the lightest white highlights first - which are really happening in the left side of her face.
When you've finished with the whites- move on to your darkest darks with your black china marker (colored pencils are fine to use for this drawing exercise too).
Now when you take a step back to view your work a little from a distance, I don't want you to freak out if you're new to face drawing!
This girl is in what I lovingly refer to as "the ugly phase." It means she probably looks really unfinished and might have you second guessing if you should toss her into the trash because you feel like she is so ugly.
DON'T DO IT. This is normal!
EVERY face drawing has an ugly phase. Just accept it, know your project is about halfway done and KEEP GOING. Don't let the "ugly phase" win!
Now that I've got a good base of my highlights and darkest shadows down, I'm going to work some graphite pencil in, and start moving some of the graphite around with my blending stump.
Remember, china markers don't blend, but you can ease some of your shading transitions by adding some pencil and a little graphite blending with a blending stump.
I pulled out my sharpies and pentel pocket brush to add some hair and a few details into her face. She's starting to come to life and working her way out of the ugly phase.
See?! I told you! You've just gotta keep going!! She'll snap out of it!
A word of caution about the pentel pocket brush- it doesn't want to work that well over the china marker, but I'm doing it anyway because I LOVE it for drawing eyelashes.
If eyelash drawing is a struggle for you, or you're just not sure how to draw eyelashes - download my cheatsheet with tips on how to draw eyelashes. I also have two videos on eyelash drawing - one on my YouTube drawing channel, and one on my mixed media YouTube channel.
Once eyelashes are popped in, I step back a little to compare my drawing to my drawing reference. I'm not looking for perfection. Remember this is totally for fun and just a quick drawing lesson to help you get started with working on toned paper!
What do you see when you compare the two? Focus on lights and darks. Where can we add more drama to make her pop even more? Zero in on the lightest lights and darkest darks.
Get aggressive! Don't be afraid to dive in and make the black areas blacker. Do a second pass with your china marker, or pull out your pencil and darken what needs to be so you can move the graphite around with a blending stick to ease the shading transitions from light to dark.
Remember, you can vary the amount of pressure you use when you're coloring with china markers. This is another way to soften shading transitions since you can't blend china markers with a blending stump.
See how she's coming even more to life now that I've added additional shading? This extra layering makes ALL the difference.
Once I've finished with my darkest shadows, I pull out my white sharpie to help accentuate the brightest whites. Take a look at this!!
Just adding ONE dot to each pupil for some eye shine takes the whole drawing to another level of fun and makes her look more sophisticated. We could actually call her done at this point! Those two dots did THAT much!
If you follow me, you KNOW I love some dramatic face shading on my girls so I'm not calling her done yet... adding white paint pen is my favorite part and hasn't been done yet!
Because I'm doing a whimsical drawing, I look to my face drawing reference photo for inspiration about where to add my shadows and highlights. However, I absolutely feel comfortable stretching that a step further and adding a few marks where I know highlights naturally occur on the human face.
Watch the video to see that in action when I'm drawing highlights on the chin, cheekbones, eyebrow ridge etc.
A really great trick for helping you understand where to pop in face shading is to pick up a foam head from your local craft store. Then just play with a light source - either a lamp, the flashlight on your phone - whatever! Shine the light directly on the foam head -forcing a variety of shadows and highlights you can follow.
Alternatively, I've got a video taking a closer look at this concept to help you out.
Need that link again for the toned paper packet to get started on this entire tone paper drawing series on YouTube?
Click the button above, and I'll drop my toned paper packet straight to your email. (Includes my face drawing guidelines & today's face drawing reference image!)
Thanks for hanging out with me today!
❤️ Did you miss my Gnome Workshop with guest artist Sarah Turner of Tenderfoot Village? CLICK HERE to enroll for $27 at Awesome Art School (if you're in the Mixed Media Society - you got free access to this but NEED a coupon - if you don't see it in your email, please email me!)
❤️Did you miss my Fun Fab Fairies Workshop? NO worries!! You can STILL sign up and enjoy each of these lessons on your own time at your own pace in this stand alone classroom at Awesome Art School! CLICK HERE to REGISTER.
❤️Did you know I've started a FUN new podcast with my Scottish, artsy bestie, Lucy, ALL ABOUT SCOTLAND & the mythical goodness I can't get enough of about this magical place?! YES - we talk about everything including ARE Fairies Real?! (You know I think they are!!)
The podcast is called 1 Scot, 1 Not! Check us out on YouTube and here's our podcast website!
❤️EVEN BETTER - LUCY & I are creating a NEW ART MEMBERSHIP together called The Celtic Collective!! Learn More & add your name to the waitlist here.
❤️Want FREE, immediate access to my Fun Fab Drawing Club and/or Mixed Media Society plus discounts on all my art books, sneak peek at YouTube videos and new book content, behind-the-scenes fun and MORE? Join me over on Patreon today and get HUGE PERKS in return for a small monthly donation.
❤️ CHECK OUT ALL my art books on AMAZON (available in both Kindle and Paperback)
❤️ SIGNED COPIES of my art books on ETSY
❤️ MY FAVORITE ART SUPPLIES on AMAZON
❤️ MY BELOVED FACEBOOK GROUP
❤️ FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM
Drawing eyelashes is something SO many people struggle with!! In today's real time eyelash drawing tutorial, I'm sharing 3 QUICK TIPS to make eyelash drawing easier, and will demo how to draw eyelashes using a mechanical pencil, an 8B pencil, two kinds of sharpies, & my super SECRET weapon for lashes drawing across all mediums!!
Let's get to it!!
I love to use drawing references to inspire me as I create because I feel it helps inform my decisions when I'm drawing, and my work will look more realistic- even if I'm doing a whimsical face drawing!!
Using a face drawing reference is SO much easier than trying to dream up ideas in my own head for the faces I want to create in my art journals and canvases.
I've got two eyelash drawing references in my EYELASH DRAWING CHEATSHEET for you, along with 3 QUICK TIPS on how to make drawing eyelashes easier :)
Click the button below and I'll email it right over!
I hope you find this helpful!!
Once you've got your eyelashes cheatsheet printed, let's pull out a piece of paper or your sketchbook and get started.
The easiest way to draw an eye is to start with a squished oval, then do some fine tuning. If you need help with drawing eyes (or drawing ANY facial feature!) - please download my 5 in 5 Practice Packet and be sure to watch the video series because it will really help you zero in on the nuances for how to draw eyes and ALL of the facial features.
For today's purposes- I'm not adding any detail there- we're headed straight for the lashes.
As you'll see in today's video - eyelashes have a definited DIRECTIONALITY to them on every human eyeball. I like to think of them as parentheses. You will switch the direction of your parentheses at the mid point of whatever eyeball you're drawing. Watch the video and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about!!
Lots of time I will see students drawing stick straight lashes like in the pic below at the right.
These tend to end up looking more like SPIDER legs than eyelashes, so make sure you ALWAYS keep in mind my second quick tip for drawing eyelashes - PRESSURE.
There is a flicking motion I use when I'm drawing eyelashes- no matter what medium I'm drawing in. Be sure you check out the video to see what I'm talking about. It's WAY easier to understand if you SEE it.
Tons of people have trouble with how to draw bottom eyelashes. I have a super weird analogy that helps me with this!
I think of eyelashes kinda like shark teeth! When you think about shark teeth - they have multiple rows, right? We have the SAME thing going on with eyelashes!
Take a look at my cheatsheet's eyelash drawing reference pictured above. When I zoom in on that (or if you print it at home), you'll see there are actually multiple rows of teensy hairs!
Taking point #3 into account, let's put this into practice...
As you can see from the photo above, these lashes aren't finished.
That's because I don't have ENOUGH eyelash LAYERS layers going on in my top row. This is a mistake I see happen all the time. There's an easy trick to it though! Just add MORE!!!
You can also make some of your lashes THICKER at the root. If you're drawing a large scale eye (like the above pic), as I'm doing in today's video - the lashes look like they're missing something, don't they? They're missing volume! See how it changes when I add a little more thickness below? It's starting to look better, right?
All of this was done using my mechanical pencil. It can take FOREVER to draw eyelashes with a mechanical pencil, even though you can get some beautiful effects!!
If you're a little less patient (like me!!), using a really soft pencil (like an 8B), can be very helpful to vary your lines more quickly.
Then take into consideration, my 3 QUICK TIPS of Directionality, Pressure, and Varying Lengths. When you watch the video, you'll see how quickly I was able to knock all three out using my 8B pencil.
Add in a blending stump, and you'll achieve even more QUICK results!
If you decide to draw eyelashes with a thin sharpie, you'll find this is very similar to working with a mechanical pencil. It can be a little difficult to vary your thickness in the strokes, but can also be very precise if that's what you're going for.
It helps to use a DOUBLE LINE when working with a thinner lead or marker nib like this.
Another trick I use if I feel like my eyelashes are looking a little wonky or if I want to make it look like the girl I'm drawing is wearing eyeliner, is to thicken that lid line. Then that line takes a bit more center stage and people might not notice the wonky eyelashes as much :)
When I'm doing my mixed media faces, eyelashes are typically the LAST thing I add to my girls! Sometimes if I'm having issues with how the lashes are coming out, a great cheat is to turn whatever you've done into cat eye makeup! Then you can cover up whatever mistakes you've made and make it look intentional, like this was the look you meant to do all along!!
Another trick that works AMAZINGLY for mixed media faces is to just simplify the lash line completely and turn it into cat eye makeup without additional lashes on the top or bottom. It looks really cool, is super fast and you're done!! Pretty fail safe!!
You can always add in a few thinner lashes if you feel like you want to - but you totally don't have to.
Using a brush pen is another AWESOME way for drawing eyelashes! It doesn't matter which medium - I've felt my pental pocket brush pen is amazing for drawing eyelashes because it has such a sensitive nib. It takes no effort to vary the pressure, and I feel like the eyelashes I draw here look SO much more realistic because of the varying pressure.
I use this pen across both mixed media and drawing. It does take a bit of practice- so if you just dive in with this product at the end of a project that you're in love with - you have to be careful.
I highly recommend practicing with it off to the side until you get the feel of how it works and what kind of pressure you need to use to get the line weights you're looking for.
Be sure to watch the video to see how the various effects and line variation you can achieve from this amazing tool!!
I hope you found this video helpful!!
Thanks SO much for hanging out with me today!! I'll see you back here NEXT Monday!! Have a wonderful week!!!
❤️ Want FREE, immediate access to my Fun Fab Drawing Club and/or Mixed Media Society plus discounts on all my art books, sneak peek at YouTube videos and new book content, behind-the-scenes fun and MORE? Join me over on Patreon today and get HUGE PERKS in return for a small monthly donation.
❤️ CHECK OUT ALL my art books on AMAZON (available in both Kindle and Paperback)
❤️ SIGNED COPIES of my art books on ETSY
❤️ MY FAVORITE ART SUPPLIES on AMAZON
❤️ MY BELOVED FACEBOOK GROUP
❤️ FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM
❤️ FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK
"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.
What Fans Are Saying
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.