Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
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.
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!!
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.