Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
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!!
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!!!
I hear ALL the time from my students at Awesome Art School about how challenging it can be for many of them, not only to draw hairstyles, but how to come up with fun hairstyle ideas to draw in the first place! Since we've been working on drawing and shading a profile face over the last couple of weeks on YouTube, I thought we'd spend some time drawing profile hairstyles to make this part a little easier!
As you'll see in this hair drawing tutorial, one of my best tips for drawing hair (& to stay inspired!!) is to LOOK AT PHOTOS!!!
When I was learning how to draw, I didn't like using photographs for my references because they made me feel pressured. I just wanted to learn how to do whimsical drawing, and not be bothered by all the details in a photo since I wasn't drawing realistically!
Now I know there is SO MUCH you can learn from a photo that can inspire you while you're drawing!!
To help you get you started, I made you a 4-page reference you can print out with 12 unique profile hairstyles. There is also space below each style to practice drawing the hairstyle above it.
The first thing you need to remember about how to draw hair on a face from any angle, is that hair has volume.
Hair will always extend out and above the head shape you've drawn - whether that head shape is an oval for a forward facing face, or a circle for a profile face. Even if the hairstyle you are drawing is a ponytail or braid that has been pulled back super tight, there will still be volume that extends above and outside of the head shape you've drawn.
The next things that will help you with drawing hairstyles are to add in a neck and the profile face drawing guidelines. Then you will begin to see where the hair should naturally sit.
Once your guidelines are in place, really look at the photo you're using as a reference for this drawing. Begin sketching your hairstyle at the root (see above), and extend your line back, away from the face - just as if you were brushing your own hair with a hairbrush. If you imagine your pencil as a hairbrush - it will help you draw your hairstyles realistically from root to tip.
It can also be helpful to draw the outline shape of a hairstyle first - almost like you're drawing a helmet, then start adding in your detail, strand by strand.
Feel free to draw right on top of the profile hairstyles PDF I'm giving out as a resource to accompany today's video - then see if you can recreate those same lines on the circle below.
Using a photo as a reference point for drawing hair really eliminates the pressure of dreaming hairstyles up on your own from scratch (unless you want to). Find a photo of a style you like, then see if you can replicate it on your whimsical or realistic face drawings!
Let me know in the comments section of today's video if you'd like a copy of my 4-page cheatsheet so you can draw along with me!
HAVE FUN drawing your profile hairstyles!!!
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
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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.