I LOVE teaching how to draw a whimsical face, and have been enjoying creating the whimsical face drawing tutorials in this series! Today's art reference photo features a three quarter view face AND a tricky new head tilt to give us some practice drawing faces at different angles!
Because her head tilt is so unique- none of my cheatsheets will work to help you draw her from scratch...SO I'm teaching you how to create YOUR OWN FACE DRAWING GUIDELINES!!!
I honestly don't know WHERE this gorgeous model is from, but for the sake of our Whimsical Women of the World portrait drawing series, I'm going to pretend she is from the Ukranie!
We've done two, three quarter portraits already in the Whimsical Women of the World series, and I've shown you two different ways to approach drawing faces from this angle here with an Asian model, and here with a Latina model.
Because today's model has her head tilted, we can't use the face drawing guidelines from either of our previous lessons. That's actually one of the reasons I selected this photo- because it presents us with a new challenge to learn from!
Most artists come up with ways to help themselves accurately replicate what they see in a reference on their own paper. Many will use a light table or some form of grid to at least get them started. If you've seen any of my videos before, you know I really like to draw from scratch as much as I can, because I want to continue developing my drawing skills, building muscle memory, etc.
Today I want to teach you how to come up with YOUR OWN guidelines, so you can truly draw faces at any angle!
When I have to create my own guidelines from scratch - my trick is to lay a sheet of trace paper on top of my reference image to sketch in key angles and note specifically where the facial features features should be located in relation to one another.
As you'll see in the video, I traced the outline of the model's face shape and laid my pencil across her face to help me determine the correct angle of her eyes, nose and mouth. This nose is especially tricky because it's upturned. I found the shape to be very much like a triangle, so sketched that in. Additionally I noted approximately how wide the eyes and lips were, as well as the basic hair shape.
When I finished tracing, I laid a sheet of drawing paper to the side of my trace paper and tried to replicate the guidelines I had created for myself on the trace paper.
If at any point, this one feels too hard- try something simpler! I've got two playlists on my YouTube drawing channel for beginners: how to sketch and shade a simple face, and how to draw profiles - all in graphite! If that feels more like your pace- start there and pop back here when you're ready! We're not going anywhere :)
If you want to do this lesson or ANY of the drawing projects from my Whimsical Women of the World series in REAL TIME - with NO timelapses, you can find these projects in the Whimsical Women of the World Classroom over at AwesomeArtSchool.com. If you're already in my Fun Fab Drawing Club- you'll see the Whimsical Women classroom in your library of club courses!
If you haven't been to AwesomeArtSchool.com before, I highly suggest you check it out!!!
I've got so much FUN stuff for you to explore whether you like to draw, paint, do mixed media art - it's all there, and there really is something for everyone!
Back to today's project! When you feel like your drawing is in good shape and you'd like to start shading, go ahead and erase all of your guidelines.
If you are shading in copic markers (or ANY brand of alcohol markers!), be sure you've removed as much as you can of the graphite from your guidelines because the graphite really has a tendancy to smear and get carried away by these juicy markers.
One of my little workarounds to make sure this doesn't happen when I'm using my light skin tone markers, is to use kind of a pouncing motion to lift some of the graphite from the facial features I've drawn, so there is less of a chance I'll drag it across my page with my marker.
If you're new to shading with alcohol markers, I know there are SO many skin tones and SO many brands out there, it can really be overwhelming when you're first getting started, and/or have a limited budget to spend on art supplies.
If you'd like some tips about what skin tone markers go well together, I've recently created a HUGE cheatsheet to help you out!! I say "cheatsheet," but it's really a little book, because this PDF is 12 pages of detailed color swatching!!!
Click the button below and I'll sent that straight to your inbox! You'll find recommendations as to which skin tone markers work well for light, medium, and dark complexions across three different alcohol marker brands (Copic, Ohuhu, and Arteza). It's really quite comprehensive, so even if you're not a total newbie to working with alcohol markers - there are still some gems in here for you that you may not have thought of before!
When I'm coloring with copic markers, I typically shade light to dark, laying down a foundational shade of the lightest skin tone I'll be using to shade the face. Then I slowly work in an additional 2-4 more skin tone markers to help me indicate the range of shadows I see in my reference photo.
Every time I add in another layer of shading in a slightly darker shade, I ONLY shade in the areas where I see shadows on my reference model's face and simply keep darkening smaller sections of the areas I've already shaded. When I have a good four layers of shading down, I will take the lighter skin tones and color the entire face with it - shading in a DIFFERENT direction from my original strokes to try and blend any streaks, color transitions or mistakes.
I feel like this particular step is TRULY MAGICAL!! It takes all my previous layers, re-wets them, and BLENDS them together.
As you'll see in the video, I also use a combination of skin tone famlies. I started out in yellows and beiges, and eventually worked in some pale pink, which adds a layer of sophistication in the complexity of my shading. Don't be afraid to reach for a wide variety of colors, because it's the BLEND of all these tones that really takes your work to the next level!!
When you hit this point of your project, you're about half-way done. Her eyes aren't finished, she hasn't "come alive" yet, and you're in what I lovingly like to call "the ugly phase." Try to be patient and keep working your layers. I promise she WILL come out of it. My biggest advice is DON'T GIVE UP. If you do- the "ugly phase" wins - and you'll never know what your girl could've turned into, SO just KEEP GOING.
Hair can be daunting for a lot of us, but the COOL THING about alcohol markers, is you can really sweep your marker from root to tip fairly quickly to fill the space and create the illusion of volume in no time. I like to use three shades of color in the hair of my girls to break up the space and add depth.
I LOVE outlining my girls, but if you don't - do whatever works for you! This is just an artistic preference for me, and part of my whimsical /illustrative style. I use my fineliner for this job, and look at THAT... she's coming alive, and busting OUT of her ugly phase. LOVE IT!! I told you it would happen!!
Once you're happy with the shading you've done in marker (or whatever art supplies you're using!), it's time to add some colored pencil.
If you need help with this part of the project, you can find it in real time over at AwesomeArtSchool.com in the Whimsical Women of the World classroom. I share tips and techniques like how I hold my pencil, and why, so I get the effects I'm after.
I suggest you don't add MORE alcohol marker layering on top of your colored pencil, because the colored pencil can really have a waxy finish to it, and can fight with your markers.
If you haven't heard, I am writing a book about this series and would love to feature YOUR ARTWORK! Please read the submission requirements and upload your interpretation of this or ANY project from the Whimsical Women series, right here on my website.
I hope you learn as much from this drawing project as I did! Please scroll down for supplies used to create this project, and leave a comment if you have any questions!!
See ya back here next week!!
If you need any new drawing supplies, here are links to all of my favorite supplies that were used in this project! 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!
👉Hammermill Cover Cardstock 100lb 8.5" x 11" (fave to use with markers and best value at 4-8 cents per sheet and 250 sheets!!)
👉This Arteza pencil set is a new find and a GOOD one!!
👉Pentel GraphGear Mechanical Pencil Set (only ones I use)
👉Ohuhu Markers 24 piece skin tone set (Around $1/marker and with the brush nib, the best alternative to Copics in my opinion!)
👉Copic Skin Tone Pack of 6 ($33)
👉Copic B Set (my fave which has the most skin tones) (72 Set for $330)
👉Arteza Everblend Skin Pack of 36 ($36 - insane value!!!)
👉Arteza EverBlend Alcohol Markers (60 Set for $112 - also insane value!!)
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Teaching how to draw a whimsical face is one of my FAVORITE things to share on YouTube, and I'm having SO much fun with the whimsical face drawing tutorials in this series!
Today's reference image features a three quarter view - one of the trickiest to draw! As always, the whimsical drawing portion of today's video is in real time so you can see exactly how I get it done!!
HOT TIP! Because the color version of my reference image is highly saturated, the lighting can make it tricky to see where my shading should go naturally. Whenever you have difficulties with images like this, and color is throwing you off - I HIGHLY recommend you simply print yourself a black and white copy of the image so you can clearly see what is in shadow and where the highlights are.
As a matter of fact, this is the WHOLE REASON I printed my book How to Draw and Find Your Style in black and white instead of color! It's so much easier on artists to replicate the values they see on paper, when working in grayscale - especially when they are just learning to draw faces. Once you master this skill- moving over to color is SO much easier!! Trust me!!
Before we go any further, super quick announcement: All 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 consuner for doing so. I thank you for your support!
People ask me all the time about how to draw faces from different angles. The three quarter view is definitely one of the hardest to conquer! If you were watched episode 4 in this series, our Asian reference was also a three quarter face drawing prompt, and we used my 3/4 Face Drawing Guidelines Cheatsheet (click the link below to download yours for FREE if you haven't grabbed this yet).
Today, I'm using my other favorite method for drawing a 3/4 face. It's slightly different, and from my How to Draw and Find Your Style book. I sketch a rough triangle at the bottom of a circle and add some curved lines across the face to help me position facial features.
Make sure you click over to see me do this in the video because watching it in motion REALLY helps!!
In case you feel like you need them, the art reference photos for this whimsical face drawing tutorial, and ALL of the Whimsical Women of the World tutorials can be found in my YouTube & Cheatsheet Library over at Awesome Art School, as well as in my new Whimsical Women of the World classroom over at Awesome Art School.
Once you have the face shape sketched in, take some time to really study the angle of your reference image. Sometimes I actually draw right on top of my printouts (shown below), because it helps me understand the angles on the model's face.
This can sometimes make me feel a little more comfortable when I put my pencil to paper and try to replicate what I see. Don't worry if you get into your sketch and feel things need to move around or be adjusted - just make alterations as needed. That's what erasers are for!!
I LOVE the eyes on this model. They are SO huge and are going to look awesome when they are all colored in!
When I'm ready to move on to the hair, I sketch in the main shapes that I see, in sections. When you're drawing hair, it extends UP and OVER the the oval of your face shape drawing because it has so much volume. Hair also has TONS to do with directionality - so look to your reference to copy what direction it's flowing from. Be sure to watch the video so you can see how this is done.
Remember to always take a step back from your drawing to pause and really look at it from a distance to reassess the spatial relationships in your drawing vs the art reference photo. It makes a huge difference!
When you're ready to begin shading with your alcohol markers, erase all of your face drawing guidelines and extraneous marks. I often "pounce" the graphite a bit with my vanish eraser as well, to life some of it off the page without fully erasing my lines because I don't want my lightest copic markers to smear the graphite, or pick that up as I'm dragging them across the page.
If you're new to coloring with copic markers, you need to move fairly quickly with them as you lay your color down because they can definitely get streaky. You only have a small window of time while the alcohol is wet, and the pigment from the color is suspended in the alcohol. This is the time when it's easiest to blend shades from multiple markers.
I love drawing hair with the copic markers brush tip because I feel like I can almost paint with it! A cheaper copic marker alternative that I've recently discovered and enjoy working with are my Ohuhu markers. They also have a brush nib, which makes them very easy to work with in a painterly way.
I use the chisel nib on my copics when I want to cover large areas on my paper, and find this can get the job done a little bit faster than the brush nib.
Another thing I LOVE about using my copic markers, is I feel like I can really achieve a lot of personality and variety with them - just by switching nibs or changing the amount of pressure I use when I press the marker to paper.
As you alreayd know if you've been watching this series - copic markers and colored pencils work amazingly together!! Colored pencils are awesome for adding detail, easing transitions between colors, and they create a pretty texture.
As you'll see in today's face drawing tutorial, adding colored pencil on top of the coat (or blanket- or whatever she's wearing!!) helped to create the look of cloth that I couldn't achieve by using copics alone.
SUPER HOT TIP! The ingredients in your art supplies matter greatly. If you're experiencing smearing/bleeding where you've added some black outlines - make sure you're using a WATER BASED black marker/fineliner here, because the alcohol and water IGNORE one another!
There is currently a 40% off coupon running - so be sure to check that out if you are interested in purchasing or gifting the Whimsical Women of the World classroom for the holidays!! Each lesson is about 90 minutes long, contains all the drawing reference photos, and the lessons are in real time (even the shading parts)!
I hope you have fun with this lesson! See ya back here next week!!
Students often ask me how to draw a smile with teeth on a whimsical face!
This totally cracks me up because drawing and shading teeth is actually super detailed! BUT, I aim to please, and love breaking things down so drawing feels EASY, so let's do this!
Grab a sheet of card stock or a paper you love using for copic marker drawings, a pencil, and let's get ready for another Whimsical Women of the World drawing project!!
As you can see in the art reference photo for today's portrait drawing tutorial, the model also has her head tilted at an angle, creating some interesting smile lines and skin folds in her face and neck.
I did that on purpose! These are two other things people have been requesting in my Facebook group quite a bit - if we could work on drawing faces at different angles and how to draw wrinkles.
Needless to say... week 8 of my Whimsical Women of the World series is JAM PACKED with learning opportunities!!
It's not for the faint of heart though... and really not for beginners, so if you've landed here and want something easier- I've got you!!
To start at the beginning of the series, CLICK HERE.
If you're a total beginner and want to learn how to draw a whimsical face that's SUPER EASY, click here.
Everybody else - especially if you are one of the lovely FB peeps who requested all these crazy things....
I love you, but YOU better be drawing WITH ME! You're not gonna learn a thing just by watching 😘
Go get your pencil and let's draw. CLICK HERE to start today's drawing tutorial!
We are beginning this lesson just like we have for ALL of the Whimsical Women of the World drawing projects in my series! Sketch your face shape in, followed by your whimsical face drawing guidelines.
Not sure what I'm talking about? It sounds like you need to download my FREE Face Drawing Guidelines Cheatsheet to help you out! I printed and laminated this because drawing proportions of the face are SO important. They also really are the same no matter what ethnicity you are drawing. I've always got this drawing reference on my art table.
Click the button below, and I'll send a copy straight to your email!
If this angle of the model's head is driving you nuts, one of the easiest ways to get started with how to draw a face at an angle, like this one, is to actually tilt your paper sideways so it's sitting at the same angle as your art reference photo - just like if you were reading a map! Easy fix, right?!
After your paper is tilted, go ahead and sketch in your face drawing guidelines.
While I sketch in my main guidelines, I also rough in what I'm seeing in my art reference photo for the shape of the model's hair, and how it extends up and OVER the head, and does or doesn't touch the sides of the face and ears.
If you've been drawing with me lately, you know we are definitely straying from my whimsical face drawing guidelines today with the huge smile on this model! Be sure to draw along with me so I can walk you through drawing facial features for this girl. I'm not gonna lie - she's a little tricky!
If you feel like you want a copy of my art reference photo for this drawing project, or any of the whimsical women in this series, head on over to Awesome Art School and join my YouTube Collection and Cheatsheet Library.
When you're ready to move on to sketching in her nose and eyes - these facial features are also quite different as a result of the model's smile. There are a lot of laugh lines around both her mouth and her eyes, so watch carefully as you're getting those roughed in.
When you're drawing expressions like the one in today's art reference photo, you really have to pay attention to all the extra wrinkles, skin folds, and angles because these are what create the expression you're trying to replicate, so all these lines have to be in your drawing.
Things get especially busy on the right hand side of her face with the folds in her neck - so this is another area to really watch me carefully on. Again, the entire drawing portion of this video is in real time so you can draw along with me, just like all of the videos in this series.
I don't time lapse the project until it's time to shade because I know a lot of us are shading with a wide variety of art supplies.
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 you are ready to start drawing the teeth in for this lovely model's smile, make sure you have a really great eraser by your side.
If you need a new drawing eraser, I LOVE mine. It's called the Vanish Eraser. It, ever so lightly, removes my graphite from the page without ripping it. I also love it because sometimes I don't want to erase an entire line of graphite- I just want to pick up some of the graphite because of how I'm shading. This eraser is A-MAZ-ING at that! You can get one for about $2 in person at Jerry's Artarama.
When you're drawing teeth, or anything detailed and small, it can also be helpful to also have a teeny eraser. I often use the eraser on the end of my blackwing pencils if I'm drawing with those (they have a refillable erasers!). I also love the tombow mono eraser. It's the bomb at getting into teeny corners, or removing bits of shading to create highlights in pencil drawings.
It's also helpful to use a pencil with a very thin lead if you want to draw a smiling mouth with teeth. I love using mechanical pencils for stuff like this. My favorite is the Pentel Graph Gear Mechanical Pencil Set. For this project I'm using a 0.3 lead because these teeth lines need to be really light.
Before we start drawing teeth in on this girl's smile, it's important to sketch in her gum line so we get the proportions correct, and know exactly where her teeth need to go. When you're ready, just go one by one, tooth by tooth- drawing what ya see until you're done. This part of today's tutorial takes about twenty minutes.
When everything's penciled in, and your drawing guidelines are erased, it's time for the FUN PART!! Coloring!!
I've been doing all of the #WhimsicalWomen in this series in my alcohol markers, but please feel free to use whatever art supply YOU love best! I've seen a ton of gorgeous girls flying around in my Facebook group in watercolor, colored pencil, straight up grayscale pencil - so use whatever supplies you have and love best!
Regardless of what art supply you are using, be sure you swatch your colors so you have a game plan before diving in. I don't know how many times I have reached for a marker based on the cap, only to find it was totally NOT what I expected when I started to shade.
Like I typically do with a lighter skinned art reference photo, I shaded from light to dark with my alcohol markers. As you can see in the above photo, I began by covering the entire face in my lightest skin tone marker. Little by little I took the shading one step darker wherever I saw shadows in my reference.
As you can see in the photo below, the teeth are the white of my paper. In reality, that's not how we look - even if we have SUPER white teeth! Some of our teeth are behind others, or positioned further back in the mouth, so there are shadows all over the place. Before I begin shading her teeth, I work on the gums with some very light pinky/peach tones.
Little by little, I added very pale shades of ivory, and even gray to replicate the shadows I am seeing in my art reference photo. I used a teeny, black copic multiliner to indicate the darkest areas of her smile, behind the teeth.
To shade her hair, I used the same hair drawing technique from last week's episode for my Sweet Scandinavian. Simply drag your marker from root to tip for some of the strands. Wherever you'd like to indicate highlights, drag your marker from the root to a half-way point. Taper your pressure here, and leave some white space. Then pick your marker up and drag your marker up from the tip of that imaginary hair strand to the half-way point. Taper your pressure again, and deliberately leave some white space. This looks SO cool when you get additional layers of color added!!
Definitely check out the video to see how this technique is done!
As with the other lovely ladies in this copic marker drawings series, I added a layer of colored pencil on top to indicate texture, and to help soften the transition lines between marker shades as needed.
I used my favorite pentel pocket brush for the eyelashes, and to do a little doodling throughout. I grabbed my white sharpie (a white posca pen works beautifully too here) to add in some highlights wherever I see them in my art reference photo. There's always some gorgeous eyeshine, a little sparkle on the lips, and I totally added some highlights to the teeth in the middle, front - where they were gleaming most in the model's smile!
I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial and learned a TON!!! I know I sure did (even though I whined!! LOL!!)
NOW YOU KNOW why I tend to always draw my whimsical faces with a closed lip smile!! Haha!! Because I just wanna have fun... and I actually also really love doing drawing projects and mixed media projects that don't take a long time to complete ;)
Stay with me till the end of the video because I give you a sneak peek at my baby girl, Maggie dog!!
Thanks for watching!!
Have so much fun with this lesson! I can't wait to see your work!!
I haven't covered how to draw bangs on a whimsical face yet in this series, so today's the day!
Scandinavian is my best guess at her ethnicity for now, but most importantly- she is giving us a reason to add a bangs drawing to our international mix of beauties.
Whether you are intimidated with how to draw hair, or love drawing hair- today's drawing tutorial is FOR YOU!
Grab a sheet of card stock or a paper you love using for copic marker art, a pencil, and let's sketch in our face drawing guidelines together!
Isn't our model for today gorgeous? They all have been, haven't they?!
We start this beauty out the same way we start every face - with some loose ovals to draw the head shape, followed by our whimsical face drawing guidelines.
If you're not sure what I'm talking about, you HAVE to download my FREE Face Drawing Guidelines Cheatsheet to help you out! I printed and laminated this because drawing proportions of the face are SO important. They also really are the same no matter what ethnicity you are drawing. It's a reference I've ALWAYS got on my art table. Click the button below and I'll send it straight to your email!
This is such a great project because it can show us the VOLUME hair can have. Every hairstyle goes UP and OVER the top of the head.
At this stage, I'm just roughing in the shapes I see with the bangs and the waves hanging down. As I sketch in the lines I'm seeing from the hair along the sides of her face, I make the face a bit more narrow as I go.
When I get to the eyes and start fine tuning those, I notice her tear ducts are "barely there." Typically I see a long, lean tear duct, so this is an interesting difference.
There's something new about every single face we have been drawing in this series!
Another unusual observation about the angle of this photo is our model barely has any nostrils showing. She also has a nose ring though - which I kinda love!
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!
At this point I start erasing all my crazy guidelines with my favorite vanish eraser (because it NEVER eats up my paper). As I was erasing, I decided I wasn't happy with the position of her left eye, so I just started over there.
Easy fix, right? NOT today!!
So many of my students ask me how to draw the other eye after the first one has already been drawn. It's actually really hard to make them match when you draw them one at a time.
I have SUCH an easier time teaching how to draw symmetrical eyes when I build them up at the same time! Oh well! It's good for you to SEE ME STRUGGLE because it shows you just how you can troubleshoot your way out of a pickle too, if you find yourself in one!!
I'm a student myself, EVERY TIME I do one of these new drawings from scratch, and I honestly do learn something new each time I draw!
HOT TIP: Because this particular model is so fair- you need to really go easy on the graphite while you're sketching because you can smear the graphite with your markers when you start shading. If you got a little heavy handed with your pencil and have darker lines at this point- the easy fix is to just work your eraser over your drawing lines lightly to pick some of that graphite up, without losing your lines completely. See below...
The model in our art reference photo is wearing a turtleneck sweater, so I sketch that in as well, and drop my circle template in place to give me a hand with the irises. I add just a few more waves in for the outer shapes of her hair so I've got a little more to work with before I start coloring with my copic markers.
Just as I've talked about in each of our Whimsical Women of the World drawing projects, it's SUPER important to have a game plan with your colors so you know where you're going when you start to shade. As you can see, I was scribbling some possibilities off to the side earlier!
Remember, I don't care at ALL about what art supplies you use to do this project! I just hope you do it and have fun with the process. Use your watercolors, colored pencils- whatever you have! DO NOT feel the need to run out and try to collect the stash I've got.
I don't care what art supplies you have. All I care about is what you can DO with your art supplies!
Regardless of what art supply you're using, you want to step up your skin tones one shade at a time. Typically when I'm shading a Caucasian girl, I start my layering from the lightest shade and work my way darker. With other ethnicities that have darker skin, I often start dark and work my way lighter. I've discovered a great way for blending copic markers is to use the lightest shade (or even one shade lighter than your lightest skin tone) to shade in the opposite stroke direction from what you used initially.
You can also use the "colorless blender" to achieve the same effect.
When it's time to layering in the next shade of hair color, (I'm using the shade I used on the eyebrows), and just add half strokes from the root down, and also from the tip up. Leaving that "white space" exposed in the middle will give you a super cool highlighted look when we're done. This is one of my FAVORITE hair drawing techniques.
If you haven't tried this before- you should! I think you'll love it.
Be sure to watch the video so you see this technique in motion!
Here's another closeup view of that hair drawing technique...
As you'll see me demo in today's copic markers tutorial, I tend to use a sweeping motion while I shade because the brush nib on a copic marker really feel a LOT like a paintbrush. This is one of the big reasons I've invested in so many gorgeous shades of these alcohol markers!
I couldn't afford copics for YEARS, so do not feel bad if these are out of your price range. There are a ton of copic marker alternatives out there that cost MUCH less. I love the skin tone markers set by Ohuhu. Those are great to try (and the 24 pack is MORE than enough!). I also have a lot of Spectrum Noir markers, and have tried ParKoo (these are totally the cheapest and really pretty juicy!!)
No matter how you mix and match your alcohol markers - they will ALL play nicely together. You can mix your cheapies with a couple of expensive ones if you want. Just pick your poison and draw!!
And MOST importantly...have FUN while you're doing it!!
While you're working on the sweater for today's chick, just make sure you're paying attention to the directionality of the lines in the ribbing of her fabric. I added some white highlights and a few marks in blue colored pencil after I finished this section to provide a bit more depth.
Colored pencil is a great way to add texture when you're shading with alcohol markers.
I switch over to my pentel pocket brush to work on her eyelashes and dramatic eye makeup.
I'm also an outliner- I LOVE the look of black outlines throughout to unify a piece. I used my thin, copic multiliner to add a few lines to the more delicate areas of her face in the lips, nose, and eyes.
Then of course I have to pull out my white sharpie and white posca paint pens to add some beautiful highlights - like the eyeshine, and glossy lower lip. I used the same technique for her nose ring stud.
You'll notice as I deepen the shading on her face, I never go to new areas in her face. I just rework tinier subsections of the areas that have already been shaded.
I added a little more depth to her neck and back sections of her hair with one of my darker gray copics.
I liked where this was going and continued adding a few shadow lines around the outer edges of her face and bangs.
And after a few finishing touches with the pentel pocket brush and my white sharpie...
She's done! I hope you love doing this as much as I did!
PLEASE remember to post your work on social with the hashtag #WhimsicalWomen and remember I'm taking submissions for my upcoming book if you'd like to enter your interpretation of any of the Whimsical Women from my portrait drawing series, just head over to GET PUBLISHED, read through the submission requirements and go!
Did you grab your whimsical face drawing guidelines cheatsheet? Here's that link again in case you need it to get started on today's free drawing lesson...
Thanks for watching! I'll see ya back here next week!!
How to DRAW & SHADE a WHIMSICAL Middle Eastern Face with Hijab in Copic Markers (Whimsical Women #6)
I love teaching how to draw a whimsical face, and am having an absolute blast with the portrait drawing tutorials in my Whimsical Women of the World series!
Today's art reference photo is of a GORGEOUS Middle Eastern woman wearing a hijab.
My reference photo for this project didn't have any information attached to her, so unfortunately, I don't know the model's actual ethnicity. I'm guessing she is from somewhere in the Middle East, or at least has roots there.
I called a friend of mine who has helped Syrian refugees for years to see if she could provide a little insight.
She thought possibly Syrian or Turkish? At the moment, that is our best guess.
If YOU have any opinions to share here, I need your help on this one! I'm super curious and would love to identify her background.
I'd also love for YOU to draw along with me, so grab a sheet of cardstock or whatever your favorite paper is for doing alcohol marker art / copic marker art, and let's sketch in our face drawing guidelines.
If you're not sure what I'm talking about, you HAVE to download my FREE Face Drawing Guidelines Cheatsheet to help you out! I printed and laminated this for myself because drawing proportions of the face are so important. They also really are the same no matter what ethnicity you are drawing. It's a reference I've ALWAYS got on my art table.
Click the button below and I'll send it straight to your email ;)
Ok back to our gorgeous girl for THIS week!!
She has stunning cheekbones so I really study my art reference photo to try and capture them!
As I sketch in the placeholders for drawing facial features later - I also rough in the shapes I'm seeing close to her face that are formed by her headscarf.
Slowly, I begin to darken the facial features as I gain a bit more confidence in their placement.
If you're struggling with this - make sure you click over to the video so I can demonstrate for you step by step!!
If the idea of how to draw a hijab, how to draw a headscarf, or how to draw fabric folds stresses you out, I HEAR YOU!!
I was totally intimidated at first, but like anything - you just gotta dive in.
Honestly, it ended up being a LOT like drawing hair! Drawing a hijab may EVEN be easier!!
Now let's get our copic markers out to start shading!!
Remember, if you don't have copics, any alcohol markers will do!
I know copics are super expensive, so I'm constantly looking for alternatives for my students to try. Over the weekend I posted in my Facebook Group about the skin tone pack from Ohuhu. These are actually SUPER juicy and totally worth a try at around $1/marker.
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!
If you're in the market for new skin tone markers, or just love trying new art supplies, click here to grab some on Amazon. I totally think the 24 pack is sufficient for ANY face drawing project you have in mind!!
If you're new to me - you'll soon find out I'm a HUGE FAN of using WHATEVER you have on hand for any and all art projects! For me - art is just about creating and having fun!! You can do both with ANYTHING you already have.
As a teacher, students are always asking me my advice on art supplies, so I'm constantly testing things out. This way you don't have to buy all the things! I'll tell ya what's worth trying whenever I find something good. That way, I can help you save a little of your money so you can spend it on the supplies YOU LOVE!!
There are two ways to shade a face with copic markers. Either start with the lightest shade and work dark, or start dark and work light. I find it's a bit less scary to start light and work dark. It feels WAY less intimidating!
I do my best to "map out" the shadows on her face as we go. As you can see- I'm incorporating gray and even using some purple grays to get my shadows in. This helps to tone down all the peach and pinky "heat" from the warmer skin tones. It evens it all out and makes her look a little more neutral.
Right now you're probably thinking EWWW!!! LOL.
We've just entered what I lovingly refer to as "The Ugly Phase."
Unfortunately, we're stuck in the "ugly phase" for quite a long time when we're working with alcohol markers because we do a lot of layering! When you hit this phase, you've just gotta embrace it! Acknowledge it and KEEP GOING!
Every time I introduce a new color in my shading, I try to pop a little of that color throughout the entire piece. I've found this helps me to unify each piece of art and really stick to a color scheme.
This week I tried a new technique for shading eyebrows. First I used a skin tone color, then I drew individual hairs in a darker brown. I like the way it turned out! This might be a fun technique for you to try, too.
She's starting to look a little more human, isn't she? LOL.
We're slowly working our way out of the ugly phase!
After I've got some good layering going on with my alcohol markers, it's time to pull the transitions together with my colored pencils. I find this helps A TON with copic marker blending and really minimizes the streaks that are bound to happen. There's a lot of magic that happens when the colored pencils come out!!
As you'll see in today's whimsical portrait drawing tutorial, I alternate quite a bit between my copics and my colored pencils. Go ahead and keep doing this until you get what you're looking for in terms of skin tones and blending.
Next, I pull out my "secret weapon" for drawing eyelashes! I am obsessed with my pentel pocket brush and use it for drawing eyelashes on all of my girls- no matter what medium I'm doing. If you struggle with how to draw eyelashes, you have to check out this video, because I did a whole tutorial on it.
I've also got a cheatsheet for that!! This is another awesome reference to keep on your art table. As you'll see - directionality of your lines are SUPER important when it comes to eyelash drawing.
Now she's coming alive, right?! As soon as those pupils get popped in, and the eyelashes are added - she really starts looking human AND beautiful, doesn't she?!
It's only gonna get better from here! Now it's time for the eyeshine...one of my favorite parts!!
I add the eyeshine wherever I see it in my reference photo. I either use a white sharpie or my white posca pen for this. Wherever you add the eyeshine to the first eye, add the same style mark to the second eye, so both eyes match.
Then I continue with my white paint pen highlights -adding a little to her nose and to her lips.
My reference photo for today has a TON of gorgeous shine on her lower lip. Excited to get that in!
Always take a step back and look at your work from a distance.
What do you see? What can be improved?
I decide to add a few more shadows to the outer corners of her forehead - right near where the edges of her hijab are resting. Remember, when you want to add more drama to your shading, always darken a small subsection of an area you've already shaded. Watch the video to see exactly what I mean!
I could seriously keep layering over her gorgeous face ALL DAY!! But I'm sure you're ready to move on...
Just a quick reminder - there is a WHOLE BOOK coming out of this fun Whimsical Women of the World portrait drawing series!! I'd love to feature YOUR interpretation of these drawing projects in my book!
Simply hop over to GET PUBLISHED, read through the submission requirements, and send in a photo of your work. I can't wait to see!!
Now, onto shading her headscarf...
I started out by coloring the entire hijab in one shade of green. I'm using copics here, and my shade is called Acid Green. GORGEOUS!!! If you move quickly with your alcohol marker shading, it helps to reduce the streaking.
Next, I begin layering some shadows with a darker shade called Moss. I simply study my art reference photo and try to replicate exactly what I see.
My second shadow layer is in a dark gray, Copic N7. This is to hit the darkest areas of depth, and the underside areas of her scarf. As you'll notice, these darkest shadows all occur along the edges of the face.
Hijab drawing is really similar to drawing hair, and could even be a little easier! With hair, the strands closest to the face are darkest. I'm seeing the same pattern happening in the folds of fabric closest to her face. These are the darkest darks. Once they are shaded, they REALLY make her face pop forward.
I finished up my hijab girl drawing by adding a few more details with my pentel pocket brush (what I used for drawing her eyelashes!), and she's done!
I hope you enjoy today's FREE 30 minute portrait drawing tutorial, Whimsical Women of the World #6.
Thanks for watching!! See ya Friday.
How to Draw and Shade a Whimsical African American Face with Dreadlocks in Copics (#WhimsicalWomen 5)
Let's kick this week off with another fun FREE art lesson!!
In today's video, I'm going to teach you how to draw dreadlocks on a whimsical African American face, using copic markers and colored pencil. If drawing dreads or copic marker blending have been tricky for you in the past, today's face drawing tutorial is for YOU!
As you can see, today's beauty has lots of exciting challenges in store for our face drawing practice from how to draw dreads to shading with a variety of skin tone markers. If you're not sure how to blend copic markers - you're in luck, because I demo 3 different ideas to help you conquer the streaks that are SUPER common with copics / alcohol markers!
If you've struggled with how to draw curly hair, or if you're feeling intimidated by drawing dreads, don't worry- I was too at first, but it didn't take me long to come up with an EASY drawing / shading technique I liked.
I can't wait to show it to you!!
Ok!! Go grab some art supplies and meet me back here for the tutorial.
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!
I'm working on hammermill cover cardstock because I've found it to be the best value at 4-8 cents per sheet when I get a box of 250 sheets on Amazon. The paper is perfect for working with alcohol markers!
To get this project going, I'm sketching in my whimsical face drawing guidelines, just like I always do. Remember to NEVER skip this part because it makes such a difference when you're trying to get drawing proportions of the face right!
While I sketch in some placeholders for the facial features, I also block in the main shapes I'm seeing in my art reference photo for this model's hair. Hair is a HUGE part of our lesson today ;)
The model in our reference photo today has gorgeous, HUGE eyes. If you're just learning how to draw faces, and struggle with getting your eyes to match - especially after you've got one you like and then don't know how to draw the other eye... I've got you!!
Here's my trick: If you "build" your eyes up at the same time while you're drawing, this can really help to make them even. I start with the tear duct lines and for whatever reason pencil that in on the right side, then do the same on the left. Then I go back to the right to draw in another line and do the same to the left side, until I've got two eyes staring back at me ready for more detail!
Not bad right? They're not a perfect match, but they're close enough for me because I'm just having fun, keeping things light and into teaching you how to draw and shade a WHIMSICAL face!
Once you've got your features all sketched in, go ahead and start erasing all of the guidelines. If you need a new eraser, or have been looking for one that does a super job but doesn't kill your paper, I LOVE my vanish eraser.
I have NO SHAME in using a circle template to draw in the irises and pupils, and neither should you!! Make something a little easier on yourself. We're just having fun :)
Isn't she looking pretty already?!
I LOVE her cat eye makeup and feel like it just needs to be penciled in asap!
I usually do this near the end, but I just can't wait :)
Once all your guidelines are erased, it's time to swatch your skin tone colors and start shading.
I know you may feel tempted to skip this step, but don't! It's super important and will save you! I don't know how many times I've reached for a marker or paint tube based on the cap / packaging - only to find out it looks COMPLETELY different on paper! So do yourself a favor and take the time to make yourself a little cheatsheet of the colors you have on hand for whatever supply you're using! Mine totally isn't fancy and was super quick to do, as you can see in the bottom left.
I'm purposefully NOT calling out the exact names for the marker shades I'm using because I have a MILLION alcohol markers and I don't expect you to and want you to just create with what you have. Don't get caught up in matching your colors to mine. Just work on the PROCESS I'm teaching you ;)
Today we're really focusing on the LAYERING PROCESS with our alcohol markers. More layers help to blend your streaks. I know it can feel like this takes quite a while, but just be patient and your shading will totally come together!
I started with my lightest skin tone today and used that almost everywhere, then slowly started building up my layers going through a variety of colors to catch the medium and eventually darkest of darks that I was seeing in my art reference photo.
Now!! If you have been following this series at all- you know I've been specifically calling out "the ugly phase" every single time it kicks in for me because you HAVE to know how common this is!!
If you look at the pic above- my girl IS IN IT big time!!
The ugly phase starts to kick in when you are about HALF way done. And while it can feel frustrating because she looks SO unfinished and it may feel like you're never gonna pull it all together, you have to be patient. KEEP GOING.
If you give up on your art when you hit this phase, the ugly phase will "win." Just IGNORE it and keep chuggin' full steam ahead!!
If blending your marker streaks is bugging you at this point in your project - remember you can totally use colored pencils on top at the end to help you out. This is going to get better as well - just keep layering. Watch the video and do what I do. Pause as much as you like!
Not sure how to blend copic markers?
When it's time to blend, I choose to work with one shade lighter than the lightest color I've used. Using this lighter marker, I'll lay down both a horizontal and vertical layer to "erase" the streaky marks in the transitional areas. If it's still not blending the way I want it to, I'll take the lightest shade marker I used, or go a shade up to a medium color to cover the entire face, both horizontally and vertically.
For this particular project, I decided to try something new and incorporated one of my favorite products I love for my mixed media portraits when I'm blending the shading and skin tones- my faber castell gelatos!
Even thought these are considered a "craft" product, I LOVE what they do in terms of blending. They're SUPER buttery and honestly did the job quicker and better than my colored pencils for larger face areas. They're super simple to blend with your finger and leave a smooth effect. Check out the upper right corner of the pic below...
You'll notice I also worked some light gray (alcohol marker) into the whites of my girl's eyes, and used a pale peach colored pencil on top of her eyelids to drop in some highlights.
Looking good!!! Remember to always take a step back to hold your drawing from a distance. Your eye will typically see something you want to adjust, and you'll probably also be more than a little amazed at what YOU have just accomplished!!
I feel like my girl's left eyebrow needs a little love, so I quick take care of that, then move on to some white highlights - like the eyeshine (which I think TOTALLY makes my girls "come alive!"). I also add a few taps to her lips and the white highlight down the center of her nose.
Now it's time for HAIR, but I have no idea how to draw dreadlocks!! LOL.
Not a problem! We've got this!!
I decided to get my pencil back out to sketch in the shapes I'm seeing in my reference photo. While I was sketching, I decided to try diving in with my marker using a circular movement, and I ended up LOVING the effect!
It gave me just what I was hoping for. Be sure you watch the video to see how this goes!
To give the appearance of texture, I experimenting with using a lighter colored pencil and did squiggly circles on top.
This is what it looks like up close...
When I pull the camera back, I kinda love the effect and feel like this technique for drawing dreads really helps to indicate the texture I see in the model's hair from my reference photo. Not bad, right?!
If you're not sure how to draw dreads, be sure to watch the video because I'm really happy with the simple technique I made up. I switched up my markers a bit as well and incorporated some black to indicate depth, as you can see below...
I can't wait to see how you do with this week's project!!
Please share your work with us in the Facebook Group or over on Instagram and use the tag #whimsicalwomen!
Remember I'd LOVE to include your interpretation of this project, or any of girls from my Whimsical Women of the World portraits in my upcoming book! Simply head over to GET PUBLISHED, read the submission requirements (they're easy, promise!!), and submit your artwork.
Thanks for hanging out with me! I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did!!
Happy Friday!! Mixed media collage backgrounds with paper napkins are EASY to create and can add a gorgeous pop of color to your mixed media art journal. Today’s video is a FULL LENGTH project, so if you love collage mixed media art & mixed media tutorials - this is for YOU!
I know what you’re thinking about collaging art journal backgrounds with napkins...those WRINKLES!!
Don’t worry - I've got collage techniques that will make your napkins BEHAVE so there is a little texture, and your collage background can PEEK through your mixed media portrait, without taking over your whole art journal page!
Grab your art journal, a beautiful paper napkin, TONS of liquitex matte medium, some gesso, a black stabilo all pencil & come play with me!!
Today I'm working in my favorite Strathmore watercolor journal. These thick, beautiful pages can take anything I throw at them, which today is gonna be a vat of liquitex matte medium!!
If you haven't used paper napkins to create an art journal background - you totally need to give it a try! There are so many beautiful patterns and colors out there! The possibilities are endless. A pretty napkin can also create a no-fail color scheme for your mixed media project if you intend to do a little painting, like I did. Just look to the colors you see in your napkin, find paint shades to match, and BOOM. Solid win!
Napkins can be a bit tricky to work with because they are SO fine. To make matters worse, we need to separate the plys EVEN MORE so we're only working with the ply that has the pattern. If you haven't done this before, just work your nail into the edges of the napkin like I show you in the video, and slowly pull the plies away from each other. Sometimes the pretty napkins are 3-ply, like mine is today. So just watch for this so you isolate only that thin sheet filled with the pattern you love.
When you're ready to glue this down into your journal, I suggest working with liquitex matte medium as your adhesive. I love this stuff because it's super fluid, and WAY LESS gloppy than mod podge for this type of work. Plus, matte medium was CREATED to work with acrylic paint. So if I decide to add a painting layer to this piece, my surface is already prepped and ready to go.
Some people like to try and glue down the whole napkin sheet at once, but I find it's easier to manage and I can control the wrinkles a bit better if I work with smaller sections of my napkin at a time. Your napkin sheet is going to be fragile, so gently tear chunks of it apart.
Now, here is my HUGE SECRET... you need a TON of matte medium to work out the wrinkles that will inevitably pop up while you're gluing. No matter how tiny your ripped pieces of napkin are- you're till gonna get wrinkles!
To combat this, I pour my matte medium directly onto my art journal page and use what many would think is an "uncomfortable amount" of product. If you don't have an uncomfortable amount of it on your page right now- dump some more.
Don't be precious about your matte medium - you want a TON of it both UNDER and OVER your napkin pieces, so they are sopping wet. Any areas that aren't soaking, go back and add more product to. This helps you get rid of any psycho wrinkles trying to creep up!
My SECOND TIP for you to create a wrinkle free surface has to do with your foam brush technique! If you just drag your foam brush around, it's going to be easier for your napkin pieces to tear. Try using a pouncing motion with your brush to tap the napkin chunk onto your paper. This tapping motion will help your under layer of matte medium rise up and soak into the napkin. Watch the video to see what I mean.
After you've pounced a napkin chunk into position, try to systematically smooth the wrinkles out on top. Going slowly will help you not rip the napkin. Trust me! You'll see I rammed through a couple of them too quickly and had to slow myself down. LOL!
As you work around your art journal page, and sections begin to dry - just add more matte medium to edges that try to pop up on you. This will knock them back down.
When I'm done gluing all my napkin pieces down, I use a hair dryer to dry the page instead of a heat gun, because a hair dryer won't get hot enough to ruin my work, and it's faster because of the "blower" part. A heat gun doesn't have that kind of air flow/power so takes longer. And if you know me- you know I'm in a hurry and don't have the patience to watch wet stuff dry!!
I decide to add gesso to the center area of my page because I want to draw a face on top. While the background pattern from my napkin is beautiful, it is too dark and busy to draw anything over. To dial that back a bit, I turn to my gesso.
I have 5 favorite ways I like using to apply gesso and demo them in today's video. My favorite gesso application method for under a face is just using a foam brush or my flat gesso brush. If I want more of an edgy look and want the texture to really pop forward from any wrinkles that do show up in my background, an old credit card is perfect to rake your gesso over the page with.
I also love to pounce the gesso down with a sponge wherever I want it. This is primarily the technique I ended up using today. Then I pulled out my brayer to spread the gesso out a bit further and to draw a little texture into the foreground.
After I hit this with the hair dryer once more, and everything is completely dry- it's time to do a little mixed media drawing! As you'll see in the video, I ALWAYS sketch in my face drawing guidelines. They're too important to skip and will set you up for success.
I start my sketch in regular pencil, then when I'm happy with my lines, switch over to my stabilo to darken my lines.
As you can see, my stabilo lines are actually fairly light. When I hit them with my paintbrush and some water- it's pretty magical, what happens. Look...
Isn't it amazing how easily the stabilo is to activate with water?! It literally melts as soon as my brush touches it, and can be spread around like watercolor. This is one of my FAVORITE mixed media techniques!!
I typically do my stabilo in 2 -3 layers for a drawing like this. After I activate the first layer, I let that dry, then add more dry stabilo marks wherever I feel like there needs to be a little more definition. Sometimes I activate that second layer of stabilo too - it just depends on the look I'm going for!
For the finishing touches, I use my favorite white paint pens- posca and sharpie, along with my pentel pocket brush. Look at how just a few lines of ink from the pocket brush and a couple of dotted white highlights in and around the eyes and on the nose really make her pop!
Look at how the texture of that napkin peaks through, up close! LOVE IT !
In the end, I decided to add some of my Noodler's Ink around the edges in the background to tie into the florals of the napkin together, and I'm LOVING how that looks!!! So fun!
I hope you enjoy this mixed media tutorial / art journal project!!
Thanks for watching!! Stay tuned for Monday's Whimsical Women of the World Portrait Drawing prompt!!
The idea of drawing freckles may SOUND scary, but it's really not!! Trust me! In today's "Whimsical Women of the World" portrait drawing tutorial, I'll teach you how to draw freckles and wavy red hair on an adorable Scottish lass, using copic markers!! Grab a sheet of card stock or a paper you love using for copic marker art, a pencil, & let's sketch in our face drawing guidelines.
By the way, if you haven't heard yet - I'm going to be publishing a book featuring all 12 of the face drawing projects in this series when I'm all done, and I want YOU to join me!!!
All you have to do to participate is jump over to GET PUBLISHED, read through the easy submission requirements, and enter your work. I'll be featuring four student variations of each lesson in the book and hope YOURS is one of them!!
This week...since I can't GO to Scotland except in my mind right now, we're drawing a fiery redhead!!
I'm working on my favorite Hammermill cardstock for copic marker coloring, since that is what I'll be shading with once I'm done sketching in her face.
Typically when I'm drawing a face from scratch, I'll add a guideline that's smack in the middle of my oval to represent an eyeline. Since I'm using a reference with BIG HAIR, I've raised that eyeline a bit to account for this, because that's what I'm seeing in my portrait drawing reference.
The model in this photo has her face tilted to the side a little as well, so my vertical drawing guideline also needs to shift slightly to replicate what I see in the photo. I also check the her face shape carefully as I sketch, because I want to capture the unique contours of this model's bone structure.
Her chin line is bit tricky, so pay attention to this if you're drawing along with me. The right side of her face is really covered by a wave of hair, so I simply penciled a wave in, and recommend you do the same before sketching in the facial features.
Next I rough in those face drawing guidelines to map out where her eyes, nose and mouth will sit. I also sketch in any other shapes I see that are unique to this art reference photo while I'm working. For example, her "lip dip" feels a bit longer to me and her nose is a bit wider at the base.
Be sure to click over to the video to watch this in real time while I go over these features.
Next I sketch in a bit more hair - including her widow's peak and the curly waves around her face. Then I dig right into drawing her eyes. I always "build" both eyes up at the same time. If you struggle with drawing eyes and eyebrows, this is one of my BIGGEST tricks.
Draw one line on the right, replicate it on the left. Go back to the right, add a line, and repeat it on the left, until both eyes are done. Drawing eyes step by step at the same time makes a BIG difference and will totally help if you aren't sure how to draw the other eye so it matches!!
After that - I erase a bunch of my guidelines with my vanish eraser - only to discover her eyes look like they are set way too far apart. Not a problem! Instead of starting over - I just extend her eyes to make them a little wider. This is a perfect solution because it's a whimsical drawing anyway, and who doesn't love BIG EYES?!
If you follow me for drawing, you know I never actually sketch in the bridge of the nose or a full outline of the nose - this comes forward naturally once shading is added. All I ever do is typically draw in the nostrils. But this particular model has a distinct nose shape and HIGHLIGHT I want to replicate when shading.
She also has fairly thin lips, so pay close attention to the shapes you see here as you're copying them.
I'm really glad I picked this art reference photo, because she actually presented me with a few challenges when it came to drawing her facial features!! These are the kinds of things I LOVE about drawing faces, because each of us are SO unique. Shifting our lines slightly creates a totally new person every time we draw!
When it comes to drawing hair - I never draw each individual strand because I seriously don't have time for that!! LOL! Instead, I sketch out the big, main volume lines I see for the hair, then add in little sub-sections. Take whatever artistic license you want to because this is a whimsical drawing!
For the irises and pupils, I feel no shame in grabbing my circle stencils and NEITHER SHOULD YOU!! Why stress about stuff if there is something that can help us with a teeny shortcut so we can move on and start shading?!
When you're ready to shade, pick 3 -5 skin tones in a row and swatch them off to the side. You always want to have a game plan BEFORE you begin laying down your color so there are no surprises!
I see a lot of peach in this particular image, so those are the shades I reach for today.
I see a lot of cool tones in the reference photo as well, so I worked some light gray into the face shading. You'll also see a bit of gray in the whites of her eyes because if you look closely- there are shadows here too! They're not perfectly white. I love adding multiple greens for her eyes too!
I choose 3-5 markers for her fiery red hair, and started with the darkest shade first. I actually got a little more detailed in this piece than I typically do with hair strands, but was in the mood to go there! Plus the brush nibs of my markers were fairly thick, so it didn't take long.
One of my other big tricks - especially if you're not sure how to draw wavy hair, is to start your marker (or whatever you're drawing with!) where the ROOT of the hair is, and extend your lines from there to the tip. Just keep repeating this until you're happy, root to tip.
Now I know freckles can feel a little scary, but don't let these freak you out. They are actually REALLY easy!! All you need to do is hop in there with the tip of your marker, using one skin tone shade slightly darker than your lightest shade, and you'll be fine. If you're still feeling nervous- go ahead and try drawing freckles on paper you don't care about, off to the side on a scrap piece of paper.
When my freckles were done, I felt like my shading needed a little more drama.
Here is another hot tip for how to shade faces - when I'm adding additional layers of shading, I always go back to continue working the shaded areas I already created. Don't go in and start shading in a new place.
The wonderful thing about coloring with alcohol markers is you can slowly add more detail with colored pencil, fix problem areas, blend etc. Just make sure you're NOT using oil based colored pencils for this kind of work. Check out what your colored pencils are made of before you begin. (I *think* polychromos are a no-no here - please confirm that if you plan to use them).
Next, I tackle one of my favorite areas, eyelashes with my pentel pocket brush pen! If you're not sure how to draw eyelashes - I recently did a video ALL about this to help you, and even have a cheatsheet you can download if you want! Be sure to check that out.
When the eyelashes and eye makeup are finished, I added the teensiest bit of black to her nostrils and the crease of her lips. I also added a few black strands of hair just for artistic effect. I wasn't trying to replicate anything I saw in the reference photo here - I just felt I needed to carry the black through a little more to unify the piece. Less is more here though, so if you're doing the same, go slow!
Remember, if you do have any streaky areas remaining from your marker strokes- you can continue blending those out by going over your streaks in the opposite stroke direction with the LIGHTEST shade of marker you were using in that area. Use your colored pencils to knock things up or down a shade, wherever you need it.
When you're happy with how things look, it's time for highlights!! DON'T SHY AWAY from this part!! Even if you're scared... these can make the BIGGEST impact in your piece. I love using my white poscas or sharpies for these. I also took some artistic license here again, because I love drama! I added them on the outer corners of the tear ducts, the tip of the nose, and a teensy bit on and around her lips and chin. This really "turns up the volume" on the dimension and can totally bring your character to life.
In the end, I decided to punch up the freckles as well by peppering in a few more, again one shade darker than I had been working in earlier. Come do the lesson with me, and PLEASE submit your version for publication in my upcoming book!!
Thanks for hanging out with me!! I'll see ya back here on Friday with the latest on my Mixed Media channel, followed by another Whimsical Woman of the World next Monday!!
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!!
I'm super excited to share week 2 of my 12-part portrait drawing series, "Whimsical Women of the World!"
I got so into this series, I've decided it's BOOK WORTHY!!! Even better - I'm inviting YOU to join me in this process!!
Simply draw along with me in any video from the Whimsical Women of the World series, and submit a digital version of your artwork here.
This week we are drawing a woman from India, and I've found another gorgeous art reference photo for us to use!
I've found drawing in a series is fun because it gets me out of my comfort zone! I think it's so easy to fall into a habit of drawing the same whimsical types of faces- but if we take a moment to look at all the different human facial features across our ethnicities around the world, it is just gorgeous! Not to mention all the variations of color in our skin tones... it's beautiful to work with as an artist!
I think you'll love our reference photo today as much as I do!
There are a few things I found really unique about this image. I love the lighting on her face. It's rare to find a photo where a highlight goes exactly down the the center bridge of the nose! That calls for some dramatic shading - which I'm a huge fan of, so this photo really called to me.
I also love how huge her eyelids are. They happen to be basically the same shape I love to draw for my Fun, Fab Faces, so I was thrilled to find this in a photo from real life ;)
As I started to draw, I did find this particular face to be a bit tricky because the top of her head actually extends off the page. This makes sketching in her eyeline a bit more difficult. Watch how I do it in the video, and you'll be fine to do it on your own!!
Don't beat yourself up if it doesn't look like mine, if it doesn't look like the reference photo - it's fine! We're working on learning to draw faces that are well proportioned. That is our main goal!!
And, if you already know me, you know I find drawing realistic faces to be super stressful! I prefer to do whimsical drawings so I can just have fun!! I think whenever you add the word "WHIMSICAL" in front of what you're drawing - it gives you some grace if things don't come out exactly right!
As you'll see, I'm drawing with my blackwing pencils again today because I just LOVE how soft and smooth they are. They also have this great, rectangular eraser that makes it SO easy to erase in tiny areas. If you need an excellent eraser for bigger areas of your paper, the vanish eraser if phenomenal!! Links for both of these are in the description box of today's video if you need any new drawing supplies.
I traced a circle for my irises today. Sometimes this is just easier, so if drawing circles stress you out- use a stencil!!
Our model has some simple earrings, but feel free to look around on Pinterest for more intricate jewelry or hairstyles for your drawing. There are so many gorgeous variations you can do for Indian women. I kept it simple because I didn't want to overwhelm anybody with too much detail.
I tried to replicate the model's beautiful bone structure- which is super subtle, but I felt was a really important aspect of capturing her look. Because both the hair and background on my reference photo are so dark, I had to imagine a bit what her hair looks like, so drew in some little bumps to indicate a low bun.
You'll see I pulled my circle template out again to draw the bindi (this is the small dot on her forehead that indicates she's married in Hindu culture). I wanted that circle to be exact, because this is an actual sticker applied to the face and there is depth to it.
I love how this model has other beautiful facial features that are different from what I typically draw. She has very large, dilated pupils (which I used my circle template for again!). Her nose shape is subtly different as well. It dips down dramatically and even has a nose ring! Her lips are parted slightly as well -showing some teeth - which I normally avoid!! She definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone a bit, but I loved it!! It forced me to really study the image.
I believe 50% of being a good artist is having amazing observational skills! Working with the reference photos in this series will help you develop those skills even more!
Skin tone swatching is KEY if you're shading your drawing in color. If you're doing this in colored pencils, copic markers, etc. - swatch them ahead of time so you're not surprised by anything, and know the colors blend into each other seamlessly.
Whenever I'm shading a dark skinned face- I start with my darkest shade first, and work my way through shades until I reach the lightest color. I know it can be scary to START with the darkest shade - especially if you're working dark to light!! Just take your time and continually check in with your reference photo. I'm always asking myself, where are the darkest shadows? Where are the lightest highlights? Then I do my best to replicate this on my own drawing.
Now onto the "ugly phase!!!" LOL...
I believe there is ALWAYS an ugly phase. That's what stage my drawing is in right here...
If I stop working on my drawing right here and come back to it later- it could make me want to cry because she is unfinished- looks like a weird puzzle of colors, nothing is defined, etc. THIS is the ugly phase!! It's guaranteed. We all have it in our work. PUSH THROUGH IT!!!! It happens in every medium, and if you STOP working at this stage because you think your piece is ugly- you're letting the ugly phase win. KEEP GOING.
TRUST ME on this!!!!
You'll notice as I'm working color into the shading of the eyes, there is barely any white left by the time I'm done, because this is what I see in the reference photo. When you're doing a portrait - If you're shading in color, make sure you've got your GRAYS out because nothing is usually stark white, even the teeth! Look for the shadows here to make your coloring realistic by knocking back that white.
When I'm done with my markers, I layer in colored pencil to help ease the transitions between shades. Sometimes I like seeing the marker lines, and sometimes I don't. If I don't want that look showing up - I take my colored pencil and shade in the opposite direction to try and wipe out those lines.
So if my marker lines were horizontal, I do vertical lines for my colored pencil.
I know a lot of people get discouraged if they outline a face FIRST, and then shade with copics. It can be easy to run into your outlines and end up having the outline bleed. You'll notice today I outlined LAST with my microliner to prevent the bleed from happening. You might want to try the same if you're working with alcohol markers!
When it was time to add in eyelashes, I used my pentel pocket brush, or my "secret weapon!" If you struggle with drawing eyelashes, make sure to check out the recent video from my Mixed Media channel, I give you ALL my secrets for how to draw eyelashes !!
I added twinkle in the eyes with my white paint pen. I typically do a different look with those, but love how this one turned out and will totally do it again! See what happens when you step outside your comfort zone?!
For the nose ring, I just used my pencil because the reference photo showed it as being shiny metal.
I added white colored pencil on top of the markers wherever I noticed highlights occurring in my reference photo. To punch those highlights up a bit more - I used my white gel pen or bright white posca pen. This adds more drama and dimension for me!
If you're nervous to add in highlights -start with your white colored pencil to make sure you like where the highlight is going. The colored pencil is soft, and creates a gentle first layer.
Remember, acrylic paint pen markers are awesome to add on top of anything. So if you're using watercolor or another medium- feel free to STILL use the posca on top of your work for additional highlights drama!
I was excited to discover the eyelashes in this photo have "undersided" highlights, and they look SO cool!! Those marks aren't me just being "creative," that's me reading the reference and adding the detail I see in the photo to my drawing. If you feel like you want or need the reference photo for this drawing project, or the entire series - just go to AwesomeArtSchool.com. You can get all 12 of the reference photos (+ all my cheatsheets!!!!) in the YouTube Library Collection.
Remember to enter a photo of your beautiful drawing when you're done by clicking on this link to GET PUBLISHED!
Come join me in the studio for the 40 minute tutorial! See ya there!!!