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!!
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!!