Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
This mixed media portrait tutorial was filmed BEFORE I'd even identified the steps in my signature mixed media layering process, let alone named it "The Hamburger System!"
When I watch this full-length tutorial now, I can see many of the Hamburger steps I was using, even then. This fun his and hers art journal spread was painted into an altered book art journal I upcycled from my local thrift shop. To this day that art journal is STILL one of my favorites.
If you're new to mixed media, or struggling with how to layer your art supplies so you create a MASTERPIECE instead of a mess - you need to download my FREE Cheatsheet outlining my signature mixed media layering process, called the Hamburger System.
Simply click the button below, and I'll send it straight to your inbox!
In many of my mixed media canvas and art journal pages, I often love to start with a collage layer, as I explain in my FREE YouTube series breaking down each layer of the Hamburger System. After this - the cheatsheet I HOPE you just downloaded, will make complete sense!!
With today's mixed media project, I felt the need to start with face drawings, instead of collage. I think I was just too excited to dig into this face drawing reference image (below), that I'd found on Pinterest.
I wish I could credit the artist here, but I couldn't find one for this image.
I felt the need to use a dramatic color scheme, so I selected teal, red, yellow and black.
Since I'm working in my altered book, I need to prep my pages with a thin coat of gesso. This will knock back the opacity of the book's original illustrations and make it so I can paint or draw over them more easily.
Once the gesso is dry, I started this face drawing as I do ALL of them - by sketching in my face drawing guidelines. Even if I'm doing stylized, whimsical drawing (not realism), it's still important to sketch in guidelines so the facial features look more proportional.
Do you love drawing and shading faces too? Or maybe you're just learning how to draw faces? CLICK HERE to download my FREE whimsical face drawing guidelines. They're super easy to follow, and will help you draw a simple and proportional forward facing face.
If you're a total beginner with face drawing, you might want to check out this playlist over on my YouTube Drawing channel to practice your face drawing guidelines with me step by step before trying out today's project. The face drawing tutorials in this series are are short, sweet, and perfect for beginners. Here's one of the faces you'll learn how to draw...
Real quick, 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.
After my initial sketch for today's project is done, I pull an old flat paint brush out and add a little more gesso along the outer cheekbones and jawline to correct my proportions since I'm working with a pencil that doesn't erase.
Gesso is a bit magical like that in the world of mixed media art! It can give you a fresh start and work like an eraser to hide any little mistake you want.
Be sure whenever you use gesso that you're using an old paint brush because it will totally destroy your brush. I have one that I've designated for myself to use only for gesso. I highly recommend you do the same.
In this particular project, I added an additional thin layer of gesso over my subject's cheeks, nose, forehead and neck to knock back some of the background that was still peeking through from the book's original illustrations.
Next, I applied some acrylic craft paint in ivory as a base skin tone layer all over her face and neck. Since this piece is purely for my own enjoyment in my own personal art journal, and I'm not selling it, etc. - craft grade acrylics are fine for this application.
When I started adding red acrylic paint into the background behind my face drawings, I decided to scrape some onto my journal page for an edgier look using an old credit card! This is a really fast way to cover a lot of ground with your acrylics.
At the time this project was created, I'd just published my How to Draw Fun Fab Fellas book, so you'll also see me working on a guy's face in this mixed media tutorial.
If you're interested in drawing male faces, one of the things you need to watch out for is to go easy on the lips. If you're not careful, these can turn feminine real quick! You also want to be sure to keep the lines in male faces very angular, except for the eyeballs- these are really the only true curves you should see in a male face drawing.
Next, I decided to add some detail work in with my black stabilo all pencil, before I sealed both pages with clear, matte mod podge.
Usually I LOVE how water soluble the black stabilo all pencil is (even though I know it totally freaks some of my students out!!), but today, it muddied the skin tone of my female portrait because I had doodled in stabilo on top of the eyebrows. This was just too dark and dissolved everywhere once the mod podge hit it.
If you're new to my world, you'll quickly learn how relaxed I am about "mixed media mistakes." I think everything is fixable, and encourage my students to ALWAYS keep pushing through on a project.
I ended up adding gesso, more acrylic craft paint (ceramacoat) to save her face, and blending some gelato skin tones on top to do some face shading, and tying things together with my pitt pens and posca pens- "Hamburger" style.
If you've never used creamy gelatos to help you "paint" a variety of skin tones into your face shading, they're amazing and something you've got to try.
This chick totally gave me a run for my money, but I had a blast and am happy with the end result. Be sure you click over to the video to see her unfold in real time.
Thanks for hanging out with me today!
Don't forget to grab my FREE HAMBURGER SYSTEM CHEATSHEET. Once you print it out, join me on YouTube for my Hamburger System Series, and I'll explain everything you need to know about mixed media art supplies, and my simple mixed media layering process!
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Using photos of faces for drawing reference WILL make you a better artist. There's no question in my mind! Recently an awesome reference photo was shared in my Facebook group. Seeing this post got me thinking about how GORGEOUS the reference image was, for so many different reasons.
My teacher brain spiraled about all the things I needed to tell you! Hence... the LIVE.
This video is a MUST SEE for you if ...
Here's the post that inspired today's LIVE...
I know, right?!
I'm not watching Yellowstone right now, but clearly I should be ;)
Before we get into how amazing this image is and WHY, you need to download my FREE 4-page cheatsheet packet called the Face Drawing Cheatsheet Bundle. This will help you SO much if you're just learning how to draw a face, or if you want to improve your face drawing skills. The info inside works beautifully whether your'e drawing a man or a woman.
The bundle includes my Face Drawing Guidelines, Shading Guide, my How to Draw Eyelashes Guide, and a Face Base / Face Drawing Template if you feel like you don't want to fuss with drawing proportions and would rather cut something out that can be traced directly into your art journal or sketchbook.
Simply click on the button below and I'll send the packet right over.
After you get your packet downloaded and are ready to practice, you can join me in this live stream video, or feel free to check out this playlist of How to Draw & Shade a Face in 5 Minutes if you feel like this LIVE is a little too advanced for you.
When you're ready, join me back on the live stream because I have some really cool face shading tips to share with you - whether you're drawing faces for beginners, or a more advanced artist!!
Reference photo drawing is super helpful for both whimsical drawing (semi-realistic drawing) and realistic drawing. References make a HUGE impact on your work.
They actually make your job as an artist EASIER because they give your brain a little break (you don't have to think up a zillion details to include in your drawing), and they give you ALL the "answers" your brain needs to observe in order to create something amazing.
To get you started on finding faces for drawing reference, you need to find an image you love! Here is a page right out of my How to Draw & Find Your Style book that talks ALL about reference photo drawing.
While this model is gorgeous, and I totally want to draw her too - if you look closely at all the gray tones in this photo- you'll see they're all basically THE SAME! That means this image really isn't the best choice to use as a face drawing reference.
It's better to choose an image that has ALL the values in the value scale represented from the lightest light, to the darkest dark. Why?
It will make the drawing easier for you to draw, and your drawing will look fantastic because you're using every shade of gray in the value scale.
If you're new to value scale drawing, today's video will help you out. You can also check out this one to learn how to create your own value scale using pencils. This is also an exercise members of the Fun Fab Drawing Club and Mixed Media Society do right from the beginning.
I highly encourage you to create one for yourself!
If you're not sure if a face drawing reference image you've selected will be great for drawing, just print it in black and white with your printer. This is a super easy way to convert a color image to black and white, and it's actually better to draw with anyway! This is especially helpful if you're drawing in graphite, because it's tough to replicate what you see in color using grayscale pencils.
Sometimes, I use reference photos PURELY for the shading information. Today, I'm going to show you how you can even use the face shading information from one photo to create a totally different drawing! It's really kinda magical, and why my face shading guide in this cheatsheet packet is SO VALUABLE! Make sure you grab that download if you haven't yet :)
Then click over to the video to watch how I "steal" the face shading inspiration from Yellowstone dude's photo to guide how I shade the face of a completely different drawing of a woman.
Pretty Cool, right?!!
Thanks for hanging out with me today!!
And in case you're wondering if I did actually draw Jamie from Yellowstone- I totally did, and shared him in our Facebook Group for Awesome Art School ;)
How have I NEVER tried pan pastels before in any of my mixed media portraits?! I KNOW!! I just purchased a pan pastel set of 80, and am super excited to PLAY with them for the FIRST TIME. Will my pan pastels portrait fail on yupo paper? Is layering pan pastels easy or hard? What art supplies "play nicely" with them? NO CLUE!
Today's mixed media art supply demo is all about letting go & discovering the answers on my own as I play. It is in this space of experimentation where we can truly be FREE as artists!
If you're new to pan pastel art like me, need a little push to TRY something new, or curious if you should add some pan pastel colors to your own art supply stash - THIS VIDEO is FOR YOU!
I don't about you, but I like to dive in "blind" whenever I experiment with a new art supply! I think it's fun to not know how things are gonna work, how they'll react together, and figure it all out by myself first!
Then I love to dive into research LATER if things went wrong, because for me - my experience helps me to craft my knowledge.
My hope for you with today's video is that you feel empowered to try anything and everything you want to all by yourself. You can learn SO much by doing this!!
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 found an awesome face shading reference photo on DeviantArt that inspired today's project. He's a side profile drawing in 3/4 view.
If you'd like to try drawing a 3/4 portrait, and need a little help, click the button below to download my FREE 3/4 view Face Drawing Guidelines! I'll email them right over to you.
The paper I'm using today is called Yupo paper. It's 100% non-pourous, and basically plastic! When you draw on it - you'll experience a really slippery sensation, like 80x slippier than bristol!
As you'll see in the video- it doesn't matter how many times I've drawn a face, I ALWAYS go back to basics and sketch in my face drawing guidelines first. This helps me ensure the face I'm drawing will come out with facical features that are proportionate.
If you need help getting the proportions of the 3/4 portrait correct, CLICK HERE to download my free cheatsheet.
If you're interested in learning more about how to draw male faces check out my book - How to Draw Fun Fab Fellas. I don't draw guys nearly enough, honestly! And they're really fun because the angles in their faces are SO different from women.
As I was drawing this particular guy, I really felt like he was turning into a young Van Gough!
Since I'm totally doing this project from the perspective of a pan pastels beginner... and also new to working on Yupo paper- I have no idea how my first layer of pan pastels is going to stick to the paper, because it literally has zero texture and feels like a skating rink.
If you don't have any pan pastel sets yet, I recommend trying the set of 20, or the skin tones set of 7.
I used one of the pan pastel Sofft tools (they came with my pan pastels set of 80), to apply some color to the background, and it was seriously done in under a minute. If you need some applicators, try this little set of 12 mini sponges, and/or this set Craft Ink Blending Brushes.
I experimented with trying combining my pan pastels and Prismacolor colored pencils, but wasn't patient enough to work with that for a long period of time. It was great for adding some detail in the beard (above), but I needed something bolder and faster to work with.
I discovered using my Neocolor IIs by Caran d'Ache really worked well and helped me to achieve the depth I was struggling to get out of the pan pastels alone.
I had heard pan pastels are eraseable, but they didn't erase well with my beloved vanish eraser. I also tried using the eraser on my Blackwing pencil, and had much better luck. I love chiseling highlights out of the face shading I do, so enjoyed playing with this fun pan pastels technique!
If you know me and my work at all, you know I'm a HUGE FAN of outlining. And you may know that as soon as I pull out my pentel pocket brush, the project is basically over! LOL.
I hope you have fun with this demo, and enjoy working with pan pastels on your own as much as I did!
Today I want to show you how to draw a whimsical MALE face just to mix things up a bit with the whimsical face drawing tutorials in this series- especially because I often get requests to draw guys, and I'm a boy mom of 3- so here ya go!!
In today's face drawing lesson, I'll also cover how to draw Asian eyes (forward facing), and have an awesome new Skin Tone Marker cheatsheet just waiting FOR YOU if you didn't grab that last week!
To draw this cutie, we start with an oval like always, then we're gonna MAN-ify the facial features!
In general, keep in mind that men have more STRAIGHT lines when it comes to drawing.
When you're ready to darken the face shape for this dude, start by straightening the lines on the sides of his face (like shown above).
Then, as you work your way down toward a chin area, you can imagine we're attaching a triangle to the bottom of his face - just cutting off the pointy part and leaving a straight line. It's probably easier to see this in action, so check out the tutorial over on my YouTube drawing channel.
The next main difference when drawing male faces (even whimsically), is to change the width of the neck. The male neck is MUCH wider than a female's.
Now it's time to sketch in our face drawing guidelines!
I find this fact kind of amazing ... the face drawing guidelines for drawing men and women are identical! Crazy, right? No matter WHAT our ethnicity or gender are - we all start out with the same basical human face shape, and our faces naturally follow the same basic face drawing guidelines to make us look proportionally correct!
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 mine because drawing proportions of the face are SO important. 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 ;)
Back to our drawing!!
The biggest difference when you're drawing asian eyes vs. any other ethnicity, is often the absense of a dramatic upper eyelid. That's it! Pretty simple adjustment, right? Watch the video to see how this looks in real time, step by step.
Male hair, like hair for women -also has volume that extends above and outside the face shape oval we've drawn in, so make sure you block in the general shape you see for hair. This will make it much easier later when it's time to shade.
If you're drawing along with me (and I HOPE you are, because you'll learn SO much MORE by doing this than just watching me!!), I think you'll find that drawing eyes on a male face is actually QUITE easier, because there is no makeup to worry about!
If you'd like a copy of this reference, or any reference from this series, I've popped them into TWO convenient locations for you over at Awesome Art School! The stand alone, Whimsical Women of the World classroom - where everything (even the color shading part of each lesson) is in real time, step by step has references, as well as my YouTube Cheatsheet & Video Library.
If you're a member of the Fun Fab Drawing Club or Mixed Media Society- you've already been given free access to the Whimsical Women of the World classroom.
As you'll see in today's whimsical portrait drawing tutorial, when you get to the lips, you have to be careful about not letting them get girly. Watch the shapes carefully here. Even if your model has very full lips, you don't want to draw the lines in super dark, because the more you define them and darken these lines, the girlier your dude will start to look!
If you get to a point in this drawing (or ANY drawing!), and you feel like something looks a little off and needs to move - don't be too precious about what you've already drawn in. Go ahead and erase whatever is bugging you and draw it again!
You drew it once, you can TOTALLY draw it again. And that adjustement might make your drawing look SO much better! I drew this guy's left eye THREE times before I was happy. Then when I pulled my markers out, I drew BOTH of them over again - I think TWICE!! Don't worry about it. Just do what feels right to YOU.
The lighting effect is the main reason I selected this particular image for today's free drawing lesson. I think you're gonna enjoy it when you're ready to shade because it's unique.
You'll see the nose bridge is actually in SHADOW today (instead of highlighted as it typically is), because there are TWO light sources for this particular photo. One on either side of his face!
Check out the video to see how I show this to you in action. It's super interesting, and if you've been drawing any of the projects from my Whimsical Women series, it's honestly the opposite from what we normally see in terms of light source.
I've been using alcohol markers to do all the shading for my Whimsical Women of the World face drawing projects, but PLEASE use whatever art supply YOU LOVE best!!
If you are using alcohol markers too - please don't worry if you don't have copic markers. I know they are SO expensive, and I've been collecting them over a long period of time. I totally love the Ohuhu brand as well and they are way cheaper. Arteza also has some good markers for even less. If you're new to shading with alcohol markers, or need some tips on which skin tone markers go nicely together for a variety of ethnicities, I recently created a FREE 12-Page cheatsheet ALL about this to help ya out!!
I organized it by color family for skin tones that are light, medium, or dark, and have marker swatches from each brand (Copic, Ohuhu, Arteza) that will work well. This should REALLY save you some swatching and trial/error time!
Click the button below and I'll send it straight to your inbox.
This was actually the first time I used my Skin Tone Marker Guide to help me shade a face in this series and I was thrilled with how easy it made things go! Usually I am swatching like a mad woman off to the side and fly by the seat of my pants, but this really organized my thoughts and totally saved me some time. I really hope it does the same for YOU!
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All prouct 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 interested in how to draw a male face, and are new to me and my channel, you'll find a few here and there, but I know my audience is most interested in drawing female faces, so that is primarily what you'll see.
I do, however, have a book dedicated to drawing guys in a whimsical style called How to Draw Fun Fab Fellas that I created for my own boys when they were younger. It's available on Amazon if you're interested! It covers how to draw a male face from all the main angles- forward facing, profile and 3/4 view.
Full transparency here - I'm not in love with the way this project turned out - just being totally honest.
I think the model is SUPER CUTE, but sometimes this just happens, and you've got to be honest with yourself.
I want to make sure you know how I feel about my own work, so you can own your feelings, and not obsess over them for too long if something you were excited to do, didn't turn out how you'd envisioned.
It's ok, and happens to ALL of us! Art is supposed to be FUN. If something doesn't go as planned, change what you can. If the project is done- move on and do something else! It's as SIMPLE as that.
I've got 3 more whimsical face drawing projects coming up for you in this series, including a more mature woman with wrinkles and an up-turned face, so keep your eyes peeled for those!!
I hope you have fun with this project if you choose to draw along with me!!
See ya back here next Monday for more!!
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.