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HOW to DRAW & SHADE a WHIMSICAL African Face & Head Wrap in Copic Markers (Whimsical Women #11)
Teaching you how to draw a whimsical face is one of my FAVORITE things to do! I'm having SO much fun with the whimsical face drawing tutorials in the Whimsical Women of the World series!
Not only does today's STUNNING model help us study profile drawing, we'll cover how to draw an African head wrap (including how to draw the fabric folds within it), how to draw a closed eye, and how to draw a face looking up!
As always, the whimsical drawing portion of today's video is in real time so you can see exactly how I get it done!!
To get us started off on the right track, I'm doing a mini review of the value scale to help you understand how important this is whenever you're drawing and hoping to take your artwork to the next level.
If you incorporate the lightest light ALLLLLL the way to the darkest dark, and everything inbetween... your art will be so much more sophisticated!!
Real quick, before we go any further: 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 talked about how to shade skin tones in graphite (or black and white variations of the value scale), a lot in my How to Draw & Find Your Style book because it's easiest for beginners to learn about value scale drawing in black and white first.
Graduating from shading in graphite / black and white to color can be tough and trip some artists up, but it's exactly the SAME concept as grayscale- you're just essentially working in browns!
HOT TIP! Be sure to create a value scale of skin tones for yourself that looks something like this before you start shading. I recommend you also write the name of the marker color next to the shade so you know exactly which one to pick up when the time comes!
One of the reasons I have loved doing this Whimsical Women of the World portrait drawing series is because I could push myself to explore all the variations of skin tones represented in countries around the world. If you've watched me before, you know I LOVE dramatic highlights and shadows, which today's reference photo is FULL of!!
If you'd like a copy of my reference photo, hop over to AwesomeArtSchool.com and click into either my YouTube & Cheatsheet Library, or the Whimsical Women of the World classroom to download the reference image from today's lesson, or any lesson from this series!
If you are a member of the Fun Fab Drawing Club over at Awesome Art School, the Whimsical Women of the World classroom has already been made available to you within the club!! If you're not a member of the club, but are interested, please sign up for the waitlist, and you'll receive an email from me when the membership is open for enrollment again in the spring!
Today's portrait drawing tutorial is a profile. Instead of teaching you my "Fun Fab" approach for side profile drawing- I'm showing you a little more advanced method from my book. It's a bit more realistic.
If you start watching today's tutorial and begin feeling like this is a little too advanced for you- don't worry!! The drawing projects in the Whimsical Women series ARE more advanced. But I work hard to break them down for you to keep things simple, so when you do feel ready, you can dive right in!!!
If this looks fun for you but feels a little out of reach at the moment, I've got an awesome 6-part video profile drawing series on YouTube that teaches you my Fun Fab method for drawing whimsical profiles (it's more directed at beginners)!! If you'd rather start with a front facing face (most do!!) - here is the 5-part series for absolute beginners!
Profiles can feel extremely tricky to draw because of all the angle variations that make us who we are as individuals.
For example, in the photo above - I've highlighted the angle of the nose to the chin to show you just how much this changes from face to face. Some faces have a pronounced angle here, some have a more subtle one, and others have barely any angle presentat all - as in the case of today's beautiful model.
I find using a sheet of trace paper helps me to understand the spatial relationships on a face before I draw it. You might find this to be a helpful trick as well! It's kinda like a practice round to warm up my hand.
If you're not sure how to draw a closed eye, how to draw open lips, or how to draw fabric folds on a headscarf /african head wrap- be sure to click over and actually watch the portrait drawing tutorial so you can follow me in real time.
For drawing fabric folds on our model's head scarf, I try to break the overall head scarf down into chunks / shapes that I can clearly see, then replicate on my paper.
Since I'm doing a whimsical drawing, instead of a realistic drawing, I'm able to give myself a little grace here if things aren't perfect. Doesn't THAT feel good?! No need for perfection when you pull out your "whimsy" card!!
When everything is sketched in, go ahead and start erasing all your guidelines. My favorite eraser is the vanish eraser - which you can pick up for about $2 at Jerry's Artarama, or on Amazon for a bit more.
If you're not using alcohol markers to color in your drawing like I am, just be sure you have a nice gradation of skin tone shades swatched out before you begin so you know what to reach for when you're ready to start incorporating each shade! We want the WHOLE value scale represented in your work, because this adds dimension and sophistication!!
You have two choices when you're shading- either shading from light to dark or from dark to light. I've chosen to shade light to dark today- hitting the highlighted areas of her nose and chin first.
As you'll see in my work, and in your own (if you're using copic markers or another brand of alcohol markers), these can be very streaky. To reduce the streaks, it helps to lay your color down quickly so the shades blend into one another a bit when the ink is wet.
You can also choose one color to shade over transitional lines to attempt to soften these lines, or add colored pencil shading over the top of your marker layers. When you're blending copic markers, you can also try shading one solid color in strokes running the opposite direction from how you originally laid down color. I often use the lightest or a medium skin tone marker when doing this to my face drawings.
Be sure to watch the tutorial because I demo this today and in many of the videos from this series.
When I selected marker shades for the headscarf, I used the exact same strategy as I did for choosing skin tone markers to work with for this project. You want to choose 3-5 shades that transition nicely and can blend into one another to represent various stages of the value scale from lightest to darkest.
If you're intimidated by the head wrap or not sure how to draw folds in fabric- this really is easier than it looks! I find it to be similar to drawing hair. Follow me, and I'll break it down for you.
The farther I get into my project, the more layers I continue to build up on her face to eliminate some of the streakiness in my transitions. But I also discover, the model in my reference image really is much darker than I have portrayed, and I need to continue darkening the shadows and blending skin tones to do a better job replicating what I see.
Be sure to take your time here. Start slowly, and gradually build up those values. Honestly, the more layers you have, the more realistsic the skin will look- because we're all made up of many colors!! So just keep working and blending until you feel like you're at a good place and happy with what you've got.
I used my pentel pocket brush for my outlining - including the detail work on her eyelashes, just as I have used it in the previous lessons. I actually had to recently change the ink cartridge on this pen and sadly, it hasn't been working the same for me as it used to!!
As I was working the finishing touches on today's drawing, I decided to add just a bit more shading in and around the ear, because something about it was just bothering me! I ended up adding some black and it made all the difference in the world!! Now there is really some deep, gorgeous contrast!
If there is anything I've learned during this series it's you can't have too many layers!! This amazing Hammermill paper I work on can seriously take a beating with my alcohol markers and I love it!!! The paper you work on is EQUALLY important as any other art supply you invest in.
I hope you enjoyed this portrait drawing lesson in copics!!! I learned a ton, and hope you did too!!!
When I discover an EASIER way to draw something, I immediately create drawing guidelines for my students so they can HAVE MORE FUN in their sketchbooks!! In today's sketching tutorial, I'll lead you through 2 EASY WAYS for sketching heads in the tricky, but sophisticated 3/4 view.
Like usual, I'm gonna show you how to draw this tricky view from the WHIMSICAL drawing perspective FIRST, because it TOTALLY takes the pressure off!
We are using a page from my drawing book, How to Draw MORE Fun Fab Faces as our cheatsheet to help us today, because these are PERFECT for beginners ;) If you'd like a copy of my cheatsheet, please make sure you request one in the comments of today's video and I'll get that RIGHT OVER!!
Before we start drawing, I'm going to show you with a reference photo and sheet of trace paper just how my drawing guidelines look on top of a real face so you have a strong point of reference before we begin. I'm a visual learner and assume you probably are too if you've found your way over here to learn about how to draw faces!!
Using references is INSANELY helpful while you're drawing, even if you aren't doing a realistic style drawing. These photos can help us add greater detail to every aspect of our drawings from the features of the face to hair, and eventually shading.
The second way I teach how to draw a 3/4 face is from my book, How to Draw and Find Your Style. In this approach, we don't really use the grid guidelines, we kind of approximate with a circle to indicate the top portion of the head, and swoop in with a soft V off to the bottom left of that for the chin.
I hope you enjoy today's lesson and find these approaches to the 3/4 face helpful for your drawing practice!!
After you draw a 3/4 face with me, make sure you head over to Awesome Art School to sign up for my TWO SUPER FUN challenges that begin NEXT MONDAY, September 21st!! Here are the links ....
✅ CLICK HERE to SIGN UP for my DRAWING CHALLENGE
✅ CLICK HERE to SIGN UP for my MIXED MEDIA CHALLENGE
Each challenge is going to run for 5 days and kicks off open enrollment for The Fun Fab Drawing Club & Mixed Media Society! SOOOOOO .... if you've been waiting for these clubs to open up - your wait is almost over!!
We're having a blast and hope you come join us!!!!
❓ NEW to Face Drawing? I got you!! Start here https://youtu.be/pthkYGBpssU
See ya next week!
While we've been working through how to draw profiles this month on my drawing channel, I've shared with you what a STRUGGLE I used to have with these!! I hope they're getting easier FOR YOU with all the tips and resources I've been sharing to help you figure this out FASTER than I did ;)
When you are comfortable with profile face drawing, shading, and adding in a FUN assortment of hairstyles, you can try jazzing up your sketchbook by adding some EXPRESSIONS.
Using a photo for inspiration (reference drawing) will make this process SO much easier than dreaming up an expression from scratch! A photographic reference has tons of information we can try to replicate in our drawings from angles to shading to make our drawings look SO much better!!
And... if you haven't done this before, as always, I've GOT YOU! And... I'm gonna teach you to do this step by step in today's drawing tutorial!
To get started, you're gonna need a sheet of trace paper, a sheet of drawing paper, a pencil, eraser, and the reference photo for today's project (just request that in the comments of today's video if you'd like a copy!).
The first step today is to is to sketch a circle, followed by our profile drawing guidelines. Not sure what these are or how to do it? Go ahead and start this Profile Drawing Series from the beginning and work your way up to the expressions video!
Next, we need to replicate the angle of this reference photo's nose to chin (follow that red line I've drawn up above!) to get the drawing proportions of the face just right.
As you'll see in the drawing video, I also want you to pay special attention to the black, negative space around this woman's profile in the background. That gives us TONS of info for our drawing so we can make it match the reference photo accurately (even if you're not doing a realistic drawing!).
In the photo above, you'll see I actually took the time to NUMBER the parts of the mouth on the reference photo that I needed to include in my own drawing to accurately replicate this profile expression. This is a SUPER HELPFUL tip that can make all the difference to help you break a drawing down step by step. One of the biggest challenges in drawing more realistic faces is remembering to include all the components from your reference photo in your own drawing.
Another huge tip when you're using a reference photo like this, is to lay a sheet of trace paper on top of your reference to physically trace some major guidelines for yourself. Then you can lay the trace paper you've drawn on over your own drawing to double check angles. It will help you see if something needs to be adjusted before moving forward with your drawing.
When I'm doing a drawing in graphite, I often will print my reference photo in black and white (see below!), because it TOTALLY helps me see where I need to throw in shading when I've finished my sketch. This makes is SO MUCH EASIER to find the shadows and replicate them in grayscale, like I did below...
See how the shadows are easier to spot now? I pointed out a million spots to get ya started on your shading!!
Blending out some of the graphite in your shading with a blending stump (that's what is in my hand in the pic below), will also soften your shading and turn your piece into a more 3 dimensional drawing that looks more realistic!
Don't stress if you don't have a blending stump. Tons of artists will use a finger! You can also use a q tip, or even a tissue as well. If you DO have a blending stump - let it get dirty!!! The dirtier the better ;)
I hope you enjoy today's drawing project and mini lesson!! Have FUN with it!!!
Stay tuned for next Monday's profile episode- we'll be putting everything we've learned into action and using copic markers to SHADE a PROFILE in COLOR!!
See ya then!!
I used to STRUGGLE with my profile face drawings because they ALL LOOKED LIKE ALIENS ...
OR...had FISH LIPS!!!
If you're ready to toss your sketchbook because you don't know how to draw a face that looks "right" as a side view drawing... You're in the right place!
HELP IS HERE!!!
As you may know, I'm a mixed media artist, but I REALLY value the skill of drawing because it makes my mixed media foregrounds look SO much more interesting and beautiful if they are based on accurate drawing proportions of the face.
It wasn't until I wrote my second book, How to Draw MORE Fun, Fab Faces, that I really held myself accountable to finally figure out how to draw 3/4 portraits and profiles in a CLEAR, step by step way!
In today's drawing tutorial I'm pulling out ALL MY TIPS for face drawing, and I'm gonna walk you through profile drawing STEP BY STEP so it's easy for you to replicate on your own at home!
ALL you need to do this project right along with me is a piece of paper and a pencil - ANY pencil with an eraser will do!
When you're working on a profile sketch, there are little tweaks you can make to help your faces look more realistic. Even if you're doing a a stylized whimsical drawing (like mine!), paying attention to angles of the face and the placement of facial features will give your drawing greater sophistication.
Download a copy of my FREE Profile Face Drawing Guidelines here.
After you grab your guidelines, let's get started. Don't worry- this is an EASY drawing for beginners!!!
The first step is to simply draw a circle. Don't stress over it - just grab something near you that has a circular shape and trace around it. DONE!
Before we sketch in your guidelines, there is something I need to show you.
The angle from nose to chin varies a TON from face to face in real life. The pix below are from my book, How to Draw and Find Your Style. Look at that pink arrow focusing on the angle from nose to chin. See how it differs from the photo on the left? They are COMPLETELY different!
SUPER INTERESTING right?!! This is an example of one of the little nuances that trip us up as artists when we try to draw profiles! The angles are seriously tricky!!!! But we're NOT gonna let them get the better of us.
How do we draw this in an easy way without having issues? CLICK HERE and I'll demonstrate for you step by step.
When you sketch in these simple guidelines, it will help you focus on drawing proportions of the face- which is just a fancy way of saying YOUR girls won't look like aliens the way mine did ;)
One of the biggest rules to remember about profiles is the lips should NEVER stick out beyond the nose. See how that first set of double circles (above) looks just under my rough nose sketch? Those will soon become lips ... see below!
The more you work on your face drawing practice - the more these guidelines will become second nature to you.
You’ll know how to draw facial proportions for your side view face sketches correctly & will have drawings in your sketchbook you can be SUPER PROUD OF!! I PROMISE!!!
EVEN BETTER - it doesn't have to be hard anymore when you're armed with my Profile Face Guidelines Cheatsheet.
I HOPE you have FUN with this video and find the guidelines helpful. Make sure you're drawing right along with me because that is how you will learn best- with practice!!!
STAY TUNED for next week's video, because I'm gonna teach you HOW TO SHADE today's profile (see below!).
And YES, of course I gave her elf ears / fairy ears because I LOVE (and DO BELIEVE in) fairies!!!
See ya over on YouTube!!!
❤️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!
Founder of Awesome Art School. Mixed Media Artist. Author of 18 Instructional Art Books!
"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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