Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
If you are just getting to know me... it won't take you long to discover I'm obsessed with all things Scotland, and fairies!! I love drawing their adorable, pointy ears and teaching students how to draw fairy ears.
This is one of my art journal spreads from my Scotland art retreat last year. She's watercolor and ink!
Since I can't go back to Scotland for a while, I'm amusing myself at home in my studio whenever I can with cute fairy projects. The other day I posted one as a new lesson for The Fun Fab Drawing Club!
Club members are welcome to join at ANY stage of drawing experience to work on building new skills to really take their work to the next level. And of course, because this is my club - it's never stuffy or boring! I LOVE teaching students how to draw faces in a whimsical style to keep things light and enjoyable, without any pressure!!
Fun Fab Drawing Club members who consider themselves beginners learn the basics of line weight and do a bit of zentangling to get them used to having fun making marks on paper.
This month, I've added a cute new fairy drawing lesson for my Pixies - or anyone else who'd like to keep things easy, simple, colorful and FUN!! IF you're ALREADY a Fun Fab Drawing Club member, I've dropped this lesson into the Fantasy Classroom.
If you're not a member of The Fun Fab Drawing Club, and want to learn more about it and get your name on the waitlist to be notified when enrollment opens in the spring, just hop over to Awesome Art School!
One of my favorite things to see on Facebook after a new lesson has posted, are all the amazing artists who share their interpretations!! Each one is special. I'm SO PROUD OF ALL MY STUDENTS!!!
I need to brag on two of the first who shared their beautiful work...
How CUTE is that?! She's precious, Paula!! I LOVE how she used watercolor instead of copics to mix things up!
Debbie shared this one...
SO cute, Debbie!!! She is adorable!! Awesome highlights, girl!! Don't you wonder what she's looking at???
Thank you both for sharing and for letting me RE-SHARE your gorgeous artwork :)
If YOU are interested in learning more about The Fun Fab Drawing Club - please pop your name on the waitlist over at Awesome Art School so I can send ya a quick note when enrollment opens. We'd love to have you there!!
If you need a little drawing inspiration right now - please feel free to jump on over to my Drawing Channel on YouTube. I've got tons of fun projects for you to try - including my new Whimsical Women of the World Drawing Series!! We are having a blast with that, and would LOVE to have you join us!
All of these lessons are free on YouTube and are being posted once/week on Mondays. We'll have 12 Whimsical Women's faces when we're done.
See ya there!!
This is part two of my 3/4 face drawing series on my Drawing Channel over on YouTube! If you missed the first episode, go ahead and start here so you can draw this girlie along with me!
Today we're doing some EASY pencil shading techniques to add drama to our three quarter portrait face drawing! I used the same photo reference as I did to sketch my drawing. Even though this is a whimsical face, I feel it makes a HUGE difference in my work if I use a reference photo to tell me where I should add in shadows, and how dark they should be.
One of the fun things about drawing in a whimsical style, is I can mix and match reference photos for my work and use them in different ways. For example, I really LOVE the dramatic shadows and highlights in this image (below). If I'm shading a face in pencil, I feel like it's super helpful to use a black and white shading reference like this one...
In my How to Draw and Find Your Style book, I talk in depth about how to take advantage of the value scale when you are shading. because it adds so much more depth and dimension to your drawings and sketches. The more tones you incorporate into your drawing from the value scale like bright white highlights, and dark black shadows, the more sophisticated your work will be.
In today's shading tutorial I'm using one of my Blackwing pencils (TOTALLY unnecessary, but I SO LOVE THEM!!!). This one is equivalent to about a 4B, but you can absolutely use a simple #2 school pencil, so don't stress about your supplies! I start applying graphite by looking at my reference photo for the darkest areas first. When I'm shading, I often use the side of my pencil to begin. My initial layer of shading is very light and almost scribbly.
After I have a light layer of shading down, I use my blending stump to "moosh" the graphite around. In this particular reference photo, the model is very light skinned, so I actually use the cleaner side of my blending stump to work my shading in and around the face. If I lay down too much, I simply pick a bit of that graphite back up with my eraser and moosh some more! For the darkest areas, I use the super dirty side of my blending stump.
When you're starting out with drawing and shading, I think it's SOOOOO much easier to practice in a whimsical drawing style. It just takes the pressure off and keeps things light and fun! And if you're having fun...you'll practice more, and if you practice... your skills will only grow and improve!!
When my first layer of shading is done, I go back for a second layer of shading to really punch up my details that could have been lost while "mooshing" my graphite around with my blending stump. This is where the drama starts to come in!! Sometimes it can also help you to look at a reference photo with squinted eyes. It may sound funny, but doing this can often help you see darks and lights a bit more.
The objective of shading for me is to use the WHOLE value scale. So you'll see me use a black colored pencil for the darkest darks - found in the crease of her lips and in her pupils. Additionally, for my brightest white highlights, I will typically carve out some of the graphite I already put down with an eraser.
I hope you have fun with this face shading practice!! Please stay tuned for next week's video. I'll be shading another 3/4 portrait using copic markers.
Have a great week!!!!
I've been a full-time working artist for 15 years! If you've been wondering how to become an artist, how to become a better artist, or if it's too late to start your own art journey, you NEED to watch today's YouTube video on my Mixed Media channel, because that is EXACTLY what I'll be talking about!!
Would it surprise you to know that I don't sell ONE SINGLE PIECE of my art? I don't!!
So WHY do I make art and spend all of my time and energy on TEACHING art with a team of people behind me? Because I know the way art makes us FEEL. It can have a HUGE impact on our own lives and the lives of others.
You might find it interesting to know that becoming an artist was NEVER even on my to do list when I was growing up!!
Not for one second did I even consider becoming an artist! I grew up thinking art was a hobby - no more, no less.
So how did I get where I am today- with two YouTube channels, an online art school, and 12 art books already under my belt?!
I got into art later in life because I got addicted to the way it made me feel when I spent time being creative. If I was having a bad day, stuck home when my kids were little and I was changing diapers and wanted to cry, the minute that I sat down to draw, sketch or paint, all of those feelings melted away. It was like a drug. There was a transformation that happened inside of me - in my brain, in my soul, in my heart...and it made everything ok again.
Art gave me ALL the FEELS inside, and was something I craved because this goodness washed over me every single time I sat down to create.
These amazing feelings are what I hope ALL my students can experience, and they're WHY I spend SO much time coming up with cheatsheets and shortcuts and break things down step by step for my online art classes - because I want my students to get to their happy place TOO, and to get there even faster than I did!!
I became a good artist by default.
Because ALL the chasing of those good "happy place feelings" lead to practice, and all of that practice lead to really great results. Why does that matter? Because I grew up believing people who made art were BORN with talent. I didn't even entertain the thought that I could make art because I didn't think I was born with that talent.
Yet here I am, a successful working artist impacting students who are now making masterpieces of their own. So how does that happen?!
This is my philosophy on what happened... if I CAN LEARN to be a good artist... so can anyone!!!
SO CAN YOU!!!!!
After you watch today's video, make sure you sign up to join one or both of the art challenges I'm running next week. They start on MONDAY!!!
✅ SIGN UP for my MIXED MEDIA CHALLENGE
✅ SIGN UP for my DRAWING CHALLENGE
Now press play already for today's video so I can show you how YOU can become an awesome artist too ;)
I can't wait to show you!!!!
While we've been working through how to draw profiles this month on my drawing channel, I've shared with you what a STRUGGLE I used to have with these!! I hope they're getting easier FOR YOU with all the tips and resources I've been sharing to help you figure this out FASTER than I did ;)
When you are comfortable with profile face drawing, shading, and adding in a FUN assortment of hairstyles, you can try jazzing up your sketchbook by adding some EXPRESSIONS.
Using a photo for inspiration (reference drawing) will make this process SO much easier than dreaming up an expression from scratch! A photographic reference has tons of information we can try to replicate in our drawings from angles to shading to make our drawings look SO much better!!
And... if you haven't done this before, as always, I've GOT YOU! And... I'm gonna teach you to do this step by step in today's drawing tutorial!
To get started, you're gonna need a sheet of trace paper, a sheet of drawing paper, a pencil, eraser, and the reference photo for today's project (just request that in the comments of today's video if you'd like a copy!).
The first step today is to is to sketch a circle, followed by our profile drawing guidelines. Not sure what these are or how to do it? Go ahead and start this Profile Drawing Series from the beginning and work your way up to the expressions video!
Next, we need to replicate the angle of this reference photo's nose to chin (follow that red line I've drawn up above!) to get the drawing proportions of the face just right.
As you'll see in the drawing video, I also want you to pay special attention to the black, negative space around this woman's profile in the background. That gives us TONS of info for our drawing so we can make it match the reference photo accurately (even if you're not doing a realistic drawing!).
In the photo above, you'll see I actually took the time to NUMBER the parts of the mouth on the reference photo that I needed to include in my own drawing to accurately replicate this profile expression. This is a SUPER HELPFUL tip that can make all the difference to help you break a drawing down step by step. One of the biggest challenges in drawing more realistic faces is remembering to include all the components from your reference photo in your own drawing.
Another huge tip when you're using a reference photo like this, is to lay a sheet of trace paper on top of your reference to physically trace some major guidelines for yourself. Then you can lay the trace paper you've drawn on over your own drawing to double check angles. It will help you see if something needs to be adjusted before moving forward with your drawing.
When I'm doing a drawing in graphite, I often will print my reference photo in black and white (see below!), because it TOTALLY helps me see where I need to throw in shading when I've finished my sketch. This makes is SO MUCH EASIER to find the shadows and replicate them in grayscale, like I did below...
See how the shadows are easier to spot now? I pointed out a million spots to get ya started on your shading!!
Blending out some of the graphite in your shading with a blending stump (that's what is in my hand in the pic below), will also soften your shading and turn your piece into a more 3 dimensional drawing that looks more realistic!
Don't stress if you don't have a blending stump. Tons of artists will use a finger! You can also use a q tip, or even a tissue as well. If you DO have a blending stump - let it get dirty!!! The dirtier the better ;)
I hope you enjoy today's drawing project and mini lesson!! Have FUN with it!!!
Stay tuned for next Monday's profile episode- we'll be putting everything we've learned into action and using copic markers to SHADE a PROFILE in COLOR!!
See ya then!!
I've been drawing since FOREVER.
But when I first started, it was SERIOUSLY hard to figure out where to put shadows and highlights on a face drawing to make it look 3 dimensional- like a more sophisticated drawing. I found this to be ESPECIALLY HARD whenever I would draw faces from different angles.
Today's FULL LENGTH, real time drawing lesson on YouTube is going to help you skip of the hard parts of wondering where to drop in the shading or highlights on a profile face, so you can create some profile drawings you are SUPER PROUD of!!!
My first shading trick is to REALLY LOOK at the art you admire from other artists!
Focus on the areas of that artwork that show light and dark in the face.
Here's an example of a piece I LOVE and used as a REFERENCE to inform me where lights and darks could go in my own drawing. This is called reference drawing! It's a thing, and can definitely help you grow as an artist.
Isn't this beautiful?? So dramatic!!
This piece was done by a Dutch digital artist I adore, Loish (Lois Van Baarle). I absolutely LOVE her work!
If you look closely at the the piece below, you'll see that I tried to replicate the light source and technique Loish used around the eyes of her girl when I created my own...
One of my favorite ways to demonstrate to students how light source affects the faces we draw, is using a foam head from the craft store and simply shining a flashlight on it. When you move the flashlight around, you can see exactly where the shadows and highlights are. This is exactly what you need to look for and imagine in your own drawings to add realistic shading to your face drawings - whatever angle you're drawing from!
Sound confusing? CLICK HERE to watch my demo.
Now- don't worry, I'm not telling you to go get a foam head in order to draw realistic shadows!
If you're drawing a profile in pencil and want to add some shading, the EASIEST thing you can do is pull up a black and white profile photo on your phone. If you look closely, the photo will show you exactly where the lights and darks need to go for your drawing.
That's it!!! It REALLY is THAT simple!!!
Take a look at this image. REALLY look closely to see where the shadows are falling. If you need to- squint your eyes a bit!
For this particular profile photo, the shadows are showing up primarily under the chin and neck- extending up to her earlobe. See what I mean?
That wasn't too hard was it? You're totally gonna be looking at photos differently from now on, aren't you?!
AWESOME!!! It's going to make you a better artist!!!
OK!! On to today's project... we are shading the profile face we drew in last week's episode.
If you missed that episode, CLICK HERE to draw the simple profile with me in real time.
Shading a profile (or a face from any angle) is really much easier than you think! All you need to do is lay down a little graphite from your pencil and SMOOOOOSH it around with your blending stump (that's what I'm holding in the pic above!). If you don't have a blending stump- just use your finger, a cutip, or even a tissue to move graphite around on your paper....
Be as DRAMATIC as you want to with your shading!!! YOU are the CREATOR!!!
A little realistic shading on a whimsical face REALLY punches it up, and takes your art to the next level!!
Personally, I LOVE me some DRAMA in my artwork, so of course you're gonna see super DARK shadows and bright white highlights in my work. That's part of what makes my work, mine- it's my style.
YOU do YOU!!!
Remember - a reference photo is just that- a reference. Don't feel like you have to match things exactly.
AND you don't even have to use a reference photo EVER. This is just an example of one way to help you get started.
Have SO much FUN with today's YouTube lesson!!! CLICK HERE or press the play button below to watch.
See ya next week!!!
I used to STRUGGLE with my profile face drawings because they ALL LOOKED LIKE ALIENS ...
OR...had FISH LIPS!!!
If you're ready to toss your sketchbook because you don't know how to draw a face that looks "right" as a side view drawing... You're in the right place!
HELP IS HERE!!!
As you may know, I'm a mixed media artist, but I REALLY value the skill of drawing because it makes my mixed media foregrounds look SO much more interesting and beautiful if they are based on accurate drawing proportions of the face.
It wasn't until I wrote my second book, How to Draw MORE Fun, Fab Faces, that I really held myself accountable to finally figure out how to draw 3/4 portraits and profiles in a CLEAR, step by step way!
In today's drawing tutorial I'm pulling out ALL MY TIPS for face drawing, and I'm gonna walk you through profile drawing STEP BY STEP so it's easy for you to replicate on your own at home!
ALL you need to do this project right along with me is a piece of paper and a pencil - ANY pencil with an eraser will do!
When you're working on a profile sketch, there are little tweaks you can make to help your faces look more realistic. Even if you're doing a a stylized whimsical drawing (like mine!), paying attention to angles of the face and the placement of facial features will give your drawing greater sophistication.
Download a copy of my FREE Profile Face Drawing Guidelines here.
After you grab your guidelines, let's get started. Don't worry- this is an EASY drawing for beginners!!!
The first step is to simply draw a circle. Don't stress over it - just grab something near you that has a circular shape and trace around it. DONE!
Before we sketch in your guidelines, there is something I need to show you.
The angle from nose to chin varies a TON from face to face in real life. The pix below are from my book, How to Draw and Find Your Style. Look at that pink arrow focusing on the angle from nose to chin. See how it differs from the photo on the left? They are COMPLETELY different!
SUPER INTERESTING right?!! This is an example of one of the little nuances that trip us up as artists when we try to draw profiles! The angles are seriously tricky!!!! But we're NOT gonna let them get the better of us.
How do we draw this in an easy way without having issues? CLICK HERE and I'll demonstrate for you step by step.
When you sketch in these simple guidelines, it will help you focus on drawing proportions of the face- which is just a fancy way of saying YOUR girls won't look like aliens the way mine did ;)
One of the biggest rules to remember about profiles is the lips should NEVER stick out beyond the nose. See how that first set of double circles (above) looks just under my rough nose sketch? Those will soon become lips ... see below!
The more you work on your face drawing practice - the more these guidelines will become second nature to you.
You’ll know how to draw facial proportions for your side view face sketches correctly & will have drawings in your sketchbook you can be SUPER PROUD OF!! I PROMISE!!!
EVEN BETTER - it doesn't have to be hard anymore when you're armed with my Profile Face Guidelines Cheatsheet.
I HOPE you have FUN with this video and find the guidelines helpful. Make sure you're drawing right along with me because that is how you will learn best- with practice!!!
STAY TUNED for next week's video, because I'm gonna teach you HOW TO SHADE today's profile (see below!).
And YES, of course I gave her elf ears / fairy ears because I LOVE (and DO BELIEVE in) fairies!!!
See ya over on YouTube!!!
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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.