Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
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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I’ll be honest - Asian eye drawing - especially using a reference photo with a model in ¾ view, made me a little nervous at first, but I’m SO glad I chose this photo for our face drawing practice together!!!
I learned so much about drawing Asian eyes while studying the features on this gorgeous model, and hope I can make this easier for you if you haven’t known how to draw Asian eyes, and have been looking for a simple drawing tutorial to break this down for you step by step.
I'm excited that this reference photo is in black and white. I really love to teaching in black and white because it really drills down the concept of value scale drawing.
As you can see, this model's face is in 3/4 view. People also refer to this as a three quarter portrait, 3/4 face, three quarter profile, three quarter view, they all mean the same thing.
Make sure you've got my cheatsheet on these face drawing guidelines before you begin drawing with me, because they really make a difference when you're trying to get the drawing proportions of the face correct.
If you don't have this cheatsheet, - simply request it in the comments of today's video, and we'll email it to ya!
While I'm sketching in the model's face shape, I add a few lines to indicate where the hair is going to go. It's important to remember that hair has volume, and stretches up and over the head, extending beyond the oval of the face you're drawing. It often falls within the oval as well!
When you're feeling more confident about where your lines should be , start darkening the main hairline, the swoop of the jaw, etc. Take extra time getting the shape and angularity right for the eyes. For some reason the first one didn't give me problems but this second one really did. I did a lot of checking and re-checking on my reference photo because I wanted to make sure I got these right. (I love the eraser on the top of my blackwing pencils or my vanish eraser -depending on how much erasing needs to be done!)
Using a circle template helped me confirm my irises were the same size (take help where you can get it! NO SHAME here!!). I also studied the shadow shapes around the model's eyes and drew some of those in as well to help me define their shape and remember these areas later when I was ready to shade.
Really take your time on the mouth, because it also is a unique shape. It's tiny, but her lips are lush!
After I got all my lines sketched in, I erased my guidelines and swatched my grayscale copic markers out to compare these to my photo. When I found a good match for the lightest shade of her face, I used that marker to lay down my first layer of color -all over her face and neck.
Then I moved up my copic swatch / value scale and selected the next shade up based on the shadows I saw in my reference photo. It's just a tad darker, and I add this in wherever I see slight shadows happening - along the hairline, eyes, nose, mouth and neck.
Each time I begin adding a slightly darker shade, I place the nib of my marker into the shadows I've already shaded to make them get darker and deeper. These shadows also become a bit narrower, wherever the darkest darks go.
You'll see when you watch today's drawing tutorial, at this point of my drawing, I grabbed what I THOUGHT was an N3 marker. I had actually pulled the N6, and didn't even realize it until I had already touched her eyelid with it!! AHH!
I could freak out, but it's important for you to know that this kind of stuff happens to ALL of us, no matter what our experience level is!! And we just have to roll with it. If you're drawing along with me and struggling with anything here- just keep pushing through. What I've learned over the years with art, is most things are fixable and they come together if you keep working at it and don't give up.
I decided to move on to the hair, knowing I'd figure something out later to try and fix her eye.
When you're drawing hair- make sure you're drawing the strands from root to tip every time. Imagine how you would brush your own hair. What direction would you brush it in? Root to tip! This is the same way you need to draw in strands of hair if you want them to look more realistic.
When I'm happy with my girl's hair, I decide to work on blending out some of those marker streaks in her face. My trick for this is to take the LIGHTEST shade of marker used in this area, and to drag it along the streaky areas in the opposite direction from the original strokes.
For this girl, since her skin is so light, I actually pulled a super light gray that was 2 shades lighter than what I'd already used for her lightest skin tone, and kinda love the effect!!
I used my fineliner to get some of the details marked around her eyes, eyebrows, nostrils, mouth, and eyelashes. I even added some wispy strands of hair that I was seeing in my reference photo - near her ear, at the top of the forehead, etc.
I used my pentel pocket brush to add some darker and thicker streaks to her hair, then pulled out my white colored pencil and added some highlighted streaks on top of that.
I added some black colored pencil in the thicker block sections of her hair, as well as to the teeny wisps around her ears and forehead. I also grabbed one of my light gray colored pencils to blend and soften some of the harsher shading marks in her face out.
I pulled my posca paint pen out at the end, because I just can't resist punching the highlights up!
Remember I'm taking submissions of YOUR artwork for my upcoming book! Simply go to GET PUBLISHED, read the submission requirements and submit whatever pieces you did from the Whimsical Women of the World Portrait Drawing series!
If you're posting your work on instagram, use #WhimsicalWomen with your post so we can see what you've done!!
I hope you enjoy today's drawing tutorial on YouTube!! See you soon!!!
When I discover an EASIER way to draw something, I immediately create drawing guidelines for my students so they can HAVE MORE FUN in their sketchbooks!! In today's sketching tutorial, I'll lead you through 2 EASY WAYS for sketching heads in the tricky, but sophisticated 3/4 view.
Like usual, I'm gonna show you how to draw this tricky view from the WHIMSICAL drawing perspective FIRST, because it TOTALLY takes the pressure off!
We are using a page from my drawing book, How to Draw MORE Fun Fab Faces as our cheatsheet to help us today, because these are PERFECT for beginners ;) If you'd like a copy of my cheatsheet, please make sure you request one in the comments of today's video and I'll get that RIGHT OVER!!
Before we start drawing, I'm going to show you with a reference photo and sheet of trace paper just how my drawing guidelines look on top of a real face so you have a strong point of reference before we begin. I'm a visual learner and assume you probably are too if you've found your way over here to learn about how to draw faces!!
Using references is INSANELY helpful while you're drawing, even if you aren't doing a realistic style drawing. These photos can help us add greater detail to every aspect of our drawings from the features of the face to hair, and eventually shading.
The second way I teach how to draw a 3/4 face is from my book, How to Draw and Find Your Style. In this approach, we don't really use the grid guidelines, we kind of approximate with a circle to indicate the top portion of the head, and swoop in with a soft V off to the bottom left of that for the chin.
I hope you enjoy today's lesson and find these approaches to the 3/4 face helpful for your drawing practice!!
After you draw a 3/4 face with me, make sure you head over to Awesome Art School to sign up for my TWO SUPER FUN challenges that begin NEXT MONDAY, September 21st!! Here are the links ....
✅ CLICK HERE to SIGN UP for my DRAWING CHALLENGE
✅ CLICK HERE to SIGN UP for my MIXED MEDIA CHALLENGE
Each challenge is going to run for 5 days and kicks off open enrollment for The Fun Fab Drawing Club & Mixed Media Society! SOOOOOO .... if you've been waiting for these clubs to open up - your wait is almost over!!
We're having a blast and hope you come join us!!!!
❓ NEW to Face Drawing? I got you!! Start here https://youtu.be/pthkYGBpssU
See ya next week!
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.