Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
I LOVE teaching how to draw a whimsical face, and have been enjoying creating the whimsical face drawing tutorials in this series SO much! Today's art reference photo features a request I get all the time- how to draw wrinkles. When I saw this beautiful Padaung woman and began to study her features, I felt a deep connection with her and knew she needed to be a part of this series. I hope you enjoy today's whimsical face drawing tutorial!
If you've been hanging out with me for the Whimsical Women of the World portrait drawing series on YouTube, you know how we start out each and every face we draw! No matter the ethnicity or gender - our human faces all follow the same basic face drawing guidelines.
If you're not sure what I'm talking about, you NEED to download my Whimsical Face Drawing Guidelines for your art table! These guidelines are EVERYTHING, and will help your face drawings look more proportional! Click the button below and I'll send the cheatsheet directly to your inbox!
The woman in today's reference photo presents us with quite a few unique drawing challenges!
If you're drawing along with me (AND I HOPE YOU ARE!!!!), you'll notice this woman's head is tilted slightly and her nose is actually quite short, so it will feel like her facial features are a bit off from our face drawing guidelines. It's ok! Sketch in your guidelines like we always do, then study the reference photo and adjust accordingly. As you'll see in the video, I had to do a lot of checking, rechecking and erasing to get things the way I wanted them.
AND full transparency - I had ZERO idea how to draw the brass rings around her neck! So while I sketched in her facial features, I tried to do a little problem solving in my mind about how I would attack that area of the drawing, and later - how I might want to approach the coloring portion of the project.
In case you're wondering where this particular model is from - she's from the Padaung tribe in Burma- where the cultural tradition for Padaung women of wearing brass rings around the neck is still practiced by some today. Some say this is rooted in religion, some say it was and still is a defense against tiger attacks (which apparantly happen at the throat). Others have said the rings ward off men from other tribes because it makes these women "unattractive" and less appealing to kidnap and turn into slaves. Girls typically begin wearing the rings around age five.
These women have been called "giraffe women," because of their stretched necks, but their necks actually haven't been stretched at all. It's an illusion. The pressure and weight of the rings press down on their collarbones and actually shift the rib cage's position so this area of the body becomes deformed, giving the appearnace of an elongated neck.
OUCH, that sounds painful!! I can't even imagine...
If this is drawing project is feeling too advanced for you - hang in there. She's tough. If you need something simpler, start at the beginning of the series and work up to this one. If you're completely new to face drawing- this short playlist will be more your speed and will teach you how to draw and shade a very simple whimsical face in pencil.
One of the main facial features that attracted me to this reference photo is based on a drawing lesson request I get all the time - how to draw wrinkles, or an older mature face...
The trick to drawing wrinkles is to just DRAW THEM! That's it. They're kind of like their own independent facial feature that you have to observe and try replicating on your paper. Study your reference photo to look for the extra lines, and draw what you see.
What can make drawing wrinkles extra challenging, is that every wrinkle has a highlight AND a shadow that goes with it! So the tricky part is not only getting them drawn in - but shading them realistically as well! This is an excellent example of where drawing becomes an art of observation.
If you feel like you want a copy or the real time lesson for this or any of the projects in the Whimsical Women of the World series, the stand alone classroom is available at Awesome Art School. If you'd just like the reference photo and do not need the real time drawing lesson, you can find them in my YouTube & Cheatsheet Library. Feel free to use MY drawing here and in the video as your reference as well.
I know this project, and many of the drawing projects in this series feel much more realistic and not how I typically define my "whimsical style." But I kept the word in this series on purpose because it serves as a reminder that each and every drawing project doesn't have to be perfect! It removes some of the pressure that drawing realistically can impose on us. You don't have to be a perfectionist, you can approximate things and take artistic liberties if you call your piece "whimsical" versus "realistic."
EMBRACE the freedom of NOT being perfect. Try your best to replicate what you see, but don't get into a tizzy if it doesn't work out. Do your best, HAVE FUN with it, and move on.
As I mentioned, every wrinkle has it's own highlight and shadow going on. If you're trying to add more realism to your shading, you really need to pay attention to where the shadows lie. Are they on the right or left side of the wrinkles you're observing? That's where your darker shading needs to go- in every intricate crease. These details will give your work more depth.
If you're new to shading with alcohol markers, I know there are SO many skin tones and SO many brands out there, it can really be overwhelming when you're first getting started, and/or have a limited budget to spend on art supplies.
Personally, I love shading with copic markers because of their juicy, brush nib. It feels like a paintbrush to me! But at around $9/marker, they're totally out of reach for most of us. I've been collecting them little by little for a LONG TIME! A really great copic marker alternative brand is Ohuhu. Their markers are surprisingly juicy for the cost and have a brush nib very similar to the one I'm in love with from my Copics.
If you'd like some tips about what skin tone markers go well together, I've recently created a HUGE cheatsheet to help you out!! I say "cheatsheet," but it's really a little book, because this PDF is 12 pages of detailed color swatching!!!
Click the button below and I'll sent that straight to your inbox! You'll find recommendations as to which skin tone markers work well for light, medium, and dark complexions across three different alcohol marker brands (Copic, Ohuhu, and Arteza). It's really quite comprehensive, so even if you're not a total newbie to working with alcohol markers - there are still some gems in here for you that you may not have thought of before!
As you'll see in the video, there are so many layers of shading happening in the face with my alcohol markers. For these projects, my shading is about 95% alcohol markers, with a bit of colored pencil and white paint pen on top to help bring each drawing to life.
HOT TIP: I found a really sharp tip to be helpful for wrinkle definition when I got to the colored pencil portion of this project.
Make sure you watch the video to really get a feel for where both the shadows and highlights go to help the wrinkles pop.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I can get inside my own head with a project too much. For this one, there were some shadow shapes that weren't making sense to me and I had to just tell myself to quiet these thoughts and JUST DRAW. It doesn't have to make sense. Just draw what you see and turn that critical side of your brain off for a bit. This can be a really powerful mindset shift, and it will show in your work.
Even when I started shading the brass rings, I still had no idea how I was going to capture them because I've never drawn anything like this in my whole life. I had no idea how the piece was all going to come together, but I just started shading, and kept pushing forward- trying to quiet the doubts in my mind while I tried a variety of techniques to help me replicate what I was seeing in the reference.
Don't think just because I'm a teacher, I always have a plan and know what I'm doing. I don't! I'm always learning, always trying new things, and doing a series like this pushes me to try even more! I hope it pushes you too!!
If you need any new drawing supplies, here are links to all of my favorite supplies that were used in this project! 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!
👉Hammermill Cover Cardstock 100lb 8.5" x 11" (fave to use with markers and best value at 4-8 cents per sheet and 250 sheets!!)
👉This Arteza pencil set is a new find and a GOOD one!!
👉Pentel GraphGear Mechanical Pencil Set (only ones I use)
👉Ohuhu Markers 24 piece skin tone set (Around $1/marker and with the brush nib, the best alternative to Copics in my opinion!)
👉Copic Skin Tone Pack of 6 ($33)
👉Copic B Set (my fave which has the most skin tones) (72 Set for $330)
👉Arteza Everblend Skin Pack of 36 ($36 - insane value!!!)
👉Arteza EverBlend Alcohol Markers (60 Set for $112 - also insane value!!)
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Today I want to show you how to draw a whimsical MALE face just to mix things up a bit with the whimsical face drawing tutorials in this series- especially because I often get requests to draw guys, and I'm a boy mom of 3- so here ya go!!
In today's face drawing lesson, I'll also cover how to draw Asian eyes (forward facing), and have an awesome new Skin Tone Marker cheatsheet just waiting FOR YOU if you didn't grab that last week!
To draw this cutie, we start with an oval like always, then we're gonna MAN-ify the facial features!
In general, keep in mind that men have more STRAIGHT lines when it comes to drawing.
When you're ready to darken the face shape for this dude, start by straightening the lines on the sides of his face (like shown above).
Then, as you work your way down toward a chin area, you can imagine we're attaching a triangle to the bottom of his face - just cutting off the pointy part and leaving a straight line. It's probably easier to see this in action, so check out the tutorial over on my YouTube drawing channel.
The next main difference when drawing male faces (even whimsically), is to change the width of the neck. The male neck is MUCH wider than a female's.
Now it's time to sketch in our face drawing guidelines!
I find this fact kind of amazing ... the face drawing guidelines for drawing men and women are identical! Crazy, right? No matter WHAT our ethnicity or gender are - we all start out with the same basical human face shape, and our faces naturally follow the same basic face drawing guidelines to make us look proportionally correct!
If you're not sure what I'm talking about, you HAVE to download my FREE Face Drawing Guidelines Cheatsheet to help you out! I printed and laminated mine because drawing proportions of the face are SO important. It's a reference I've ALWAYS got on my art table. Click the button below and I'll send it straight to your email ;)
Back to our drawing!!
The biggest difference when you're drawing asian eyes vs. any other ethnicity, is often the absense of a dramatic upper eyelid. That's it! Pretty simple adjustment, right? Watch the video to see how this looks in real time, step by step.
Male hair, like hair for women -also has volume that extends above and outside the face shape oval we've drawn in, so make sure you block in the general shape you see for hair. This will make it much easier later when it's time to shade.
If you're drawing along with me (and I HOPE you are, because you'll learn SO much MORE by doing this than just watching me!!), I think you'll find that drawing eyes on a male face is actually QUITE easier, because there is no makeup to worry about!
If you'd like a copy of this reference, or any reference from this series, I've popped them into TWO convenient locations for you over at Awesome Art School! The stand alone, Whimsical Women of the World classroom - where everything (even the color shading part of each lesson) is in real time, step by step has references, as well as my YouTube Cheatsheet & Video Library.
If you're a member of the Fun Fab Drawing Club or Mixed Media Society- you've already been given free access to the Whimsical Women of the World classroom.
As you'll see in today's whimsical portrait drawing tutorial, when you get to the lips, you have to be careful about not letting them get girly. Watch the shapes carefully here. Even if your model has very full lips, you don't want to draw the lines in super dark, because the more you define them and darken these lines, the girlier your dude will start to look!
If you get to a point in this drawing (or ANY drawing!), and you feel like something looks a little off and needs to move - don't be too precious about what you've already drawn in. Go ahead and erase whatever is bugging you and draw it again!
You drew it once, you can TOTALLY draw it again. And that adjustement might make your drawing look SO much better! I drew this guy's left eye THREE times before I was happy. Then when I pulled my markers out, I drew BOTH of them over again - I think TWICE!! Don't worry about it. Just do what feels right to YOU.
The lighting effect is the main reason I selected this particular image for today's free drawing lesson. I think you're gonna enjoy it when you're ready to shade because it's unique.
You'll see the nose bridge is actually in SHADOW today (instead of highlighted as it typically is), because there are TWO light sources for this particular photo. One on either side of his face!
Check out the video to see how I show this to you in action. It's super interesting, and if you've been drawing any of the projects from my Whimsical Women series, it's honestly the opposite from what we normally see in terms of light source.
I've been using alcohol markers to do all the shading for my Whimsical Women of the World face drawing projects, but PLEASE use whatever art supply YOU LOVE best!!
If you are using alcohol markers too - please don't worry if you don't have copic markers. I know they are SO expensive, and I've been collecting them over a long period of time. I totally love the Ohuhu brand as well and they are way cheaper. Arteza also has some good markers for even less. If you're new to shading with alcohol markers, or need some tips on which skin tone markers go nicely together for a variety of ethnicities, I recently created a FREE 12-Page cheatsheet ALL about this to help ya out!!
I organized it by color family for skin tones that are light, medium, or dark, and have marker swatches from each brand (Copic, Ohuhu, Arteza) that will work well. This should REALLY save you some swatching and trial/error time!
Click the button below and I'll send it straight to your inbox.
This was actually the first time I used my Skin Tone Marker Guide to help me shade a face in this series and I was thrilled with how easy it made things go! Usually I am swatching like a mad woman off to the side and fly by the seat of my pants, but this really organized my thoughts and totally saved me some time. I really hope it does the same for YOU!
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All prouct links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links, but by law, there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support!
If you're interested in how to draw a male face, and are new to me and my channel, you'll find a few here and there, but I know my audience is most interested in drawing female faces, so that is primarily what you'll see.
I do, however, have a book dedicated to drawing guys in a whimsical style called How to Draw Fun Fab Fellas that I created for my own boys when they were younger. It's available on Amazon if you're interested! It covers how to draw a male face from all the main angles- forward facing, profile and 3/4 view.
Full transparency here - I'm not in love with the way this project turned out - just being totally honest.
I think the model is SUPER CUTE, but sometimes this just happens, and you've got to be honest with yourself.
I want to make sure you know how I feel about my own work, so you can own your feelings, and not obsess over them for too long if something you were excited to do, didn't turn out how you'd envisioned.
It's ok, and happens to ALL of us! Art is supposed to be FUN. If something doesn't go as planned, change what you can. If the project is done- move on and do something else! It's as SIMPLE as that.
I've got 3 more whimsical face drawing projects coming up for you in this series, including a more mature woman with wrinkles and an up-turned face, so keep your eyes peeled for those!!
I hope you have fun with this project if you choose to draw along with me!!
See ya back here next Monday for more!!
Teaching how to draw a whimsical face is one of my FAVORITE things to share on YouTube, and I'm having SO much fun with the whimsical face drawing tutorials in this series!
Today's reference image features a three quarter view - one of the trickiest to draw! As always, the whimsical drawing portion of today's video is in real time so you can see exactly how I get it done!!
HOT TIP! Because the color version of my reference image is highly saturated, the lighting can make it tricky to see where my shading should go naturally. Whenever you have difficulties with images like this, and color is throwing you off - I HIGHLY recommend you simply print yourself a black and white copy of the image so you can clearly see what is in shadow and where the highlights are.
As a matter of fact, this is the WHOLE REASON I printed my book How to Draw and Find Your Style in black and white instead of color! It's so much easier on artists to replicate the values they see on paper, when working in grayscale - especially when they are just learning to draw faces. Once you master this skill- moving over to color is SO much easier!! Trust me!!
Before we go any further, super quick announcement: All 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 consuner for doing so. I thank you for your support!
People ask me all the time about how to draw faces from different angles. The three quarter view is definitely one of the hardest to conquer! If you were watched episode 4 in this series, our Asian reference was also a three quarter face drawing prompt, and we used my 3/4 Face Drawing Guidelines Cheatsheet (click the link below to download yours for FREE if you haven't grabbed this yet).
Today, I'm using my other favorite method for drawing a 3/4 face. It's slightly different, and from my How to Draw and Find Your Style book. I sketch a rough triangle at the bottom of a circle and add some curved lines across the face to help me position facial features.
Make sure you click over to see me do this in the video because watching it in motion REALLY helps!!
In case you feel like you need them, the art reference photos for this whimsical face drawing tutorial, and ALL of the Whimsical Women of the World tutorials can be found in my YouTube & Cheatsheet Library over at Awesome Art School, as well as in my new Whimsical Women of the World classroom over at Awesome Art School.
Once you have the face shape sketched in, take some time to really study the angle of your reference image. Sometimes I actually draw right on top of my printouts (shown below), because it helps me understand the angles on the model's face.
This can sometimes make me feel a little more comfortable when I put my pencil to paper and try to replicate what I see. Don't worry if you get into your sketch and feel things need to move around or be adjusted - just make alterations as needed. That's what erasers are for!!
I LOVE the eyes on this model. They are SO huge and are going to look awesome when they are all colored in!
When I'm ready to move on to the hair, I sketch in the main shapes that I see, in sections. When you're drawing hair, it extends UP and OVER the the oval of your face shape drawing because it has so much volume. Hair also has TONS to do with directionality - so look to your reference to copy what direction it's flowing from. Be sure to watch the video so you can see how this is done.
Remember to always take a step back from your drawing to pause and really look at it from a distance to reassess the spatial relationships in your drawing vs the art reference photo. It makes a huge difference!
When you're ready to begin shading with your alcohol markers, erase all of your face drawing guidelines and extraneous marks. I often "pounce" the graphite a bit with my vanish eraser as well, to life some of it off the page without fully erasing my lines because I don't want my lightest copic markers to smear the graphite, or pick that up as I'm dragging them across the page.
If you're new to coloring with copic markers, you need to move fairly quickly with them as you lay your color down because they can definitely get streaky. You only have a small window of time while the alcohol is wet, and the pigment from the color is suspended in the alcohol. This is the time when it's easiest to blend shades from multiple markers.
I love drawing hair with the copic markers brush tip because I feel like I can almost paint with it! A cheaper copic marker alternative that I've recently discovered and enjoy working with are my Ohuhu markers. They also have a brush nib, which makes them very easy to work with in a painterly way.
I use the chisel nib on my copics when I want to cover large areas on my paper, and find this can get the job done a little bit faster than the brush nib.
Another thing I LOVE about using my copic markers, is I feel like I can really achieve a lot of personality and variety with them - just by switching nibs or changing the amount of pressure I use when I press the marker to paper.
As you alreayd know if you've been watching this series - copic markers and colored pencils work amazingly together!! Colored pencils are awesome for adding detail, easing transitions between colors, and they create a pretty texture.
As you'll see in today's face drawing tutorial, adding colored pencil on top of the coat (or blanket- or whatever she's wearing!!) helped to create the look of cloth that I couldn't achieve by using copics alone.
SUPER HOT TIP! The ingredients in your art supplies matter greatly. If you're experiencing smearing/bleeding where you've added some black outlines - make sure you're using a WATER BASED black marker/fineliner here, because the alcohol and water IGNORE one another!
There is currently a 40% off coupon running - so be sure to check that out if you are interested in purchasing or gifting the Whimsical Women of the World classroom for the holidays!! Each lesson is about 90 minutes long, contains all the drawing reference photos, and the lessons are in real time (even the shading parts)!
I hope you have fun with this lesson! See ya back here next week!!
How to draw a whimsical face is one of my FAVORITE things to teach, and I'm having an absolute blast with the whimsical face drawing tutorials in this series! Since I don't know where the GORGEOUS model in today's art reference photo is from - I've decided to call her "UK Cool chic" because of her funky, pink hair!
We begin this whimsical drawing like we have each one in the Whimsical Women of the World portrait drawing series - by sketching in our guidelines!
The bone structure is super important on this girl because her hair isn't covering anything up! Speaking of hairstyle - I have no idea yet how I'm gonna pull this one off, but I'll get there... just gonna have to think on that a bit!!
Then it's time to sketch in our whimsical face drawing guidelines. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, I'm guessing you might need my 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. We all start out with a human oval for the face, so this is a reference I've ALWAYS got on my art table. Click the button below and I'll send it straight to your email.
The model for today's whimsical face drawing tutorial has got SUCH COOL EYES!! And her eye makeup is really awesome. There is some kind of hot pink going on in the wet line under her eyes that I already CAN'T WAIT to get in there with my markers and add!!
Faces are kind of like vases, you know? If you draw one side, it's really hard to finish that and then hop over to the other side and get them to match! Am I right?!
Over time, I've really learned to build both sides up at the same time - especially when it comes to the EYES. This way they are much more likely to end up symmetrical than if I completed the whole right half of a face, and then tried to replicate it symmetrically on the left! It just doesn't work that way for me, so this is my trick.
I see some lines under our model's eyes, so I'm just drawing them in. I always draw what I see. This is how you capture someone's likeness. And honestly, what makes lines on peoples' faces such a big deal anyway?! It just adds to their beauty!
Be sure to watch the video because the drawing portion is all in REAL TIME so you don't have to keep pausing the video to keep up with me ;) Just copy what I do, and draw right along with me.
The eyebrows on this woman are just gorgeous - super sculpted and glamorous!!
I'm loving her gorgeous full lips too, and can't wait to start adding some color!
Before we go any further, 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!
Students ALWAYS ask me about my eraser, and I'm in love with it. It does such an amazing job lifting the graphite off my page without ripping the paper. It's called the Vanish Eraser. You can grab them on Amazon. If you live near a Jerry's Artarama, they're only like $2 if you can get over there in person!
Let's wrap her up and erase all those guidelines.
The first step with whatever art supplies you choose for coloring, is to lay down a foundational color. I either work light to dark, or dark to light with my copics - either way is totally fine. Be sure to pause the video as you're going along to catch where the shading is getting put in.
I love the way the light is hitting our model's face today. It's one of my absolute favorite shading patterns to replicate - in any medium! It's super symmetrical. Whatever you do on the right side- just replicate on the left.
This is also one of the EASIEST lighting patterns to shade onto a face! So even if you're a beginner- YOU CAN DO THIS!
If you've seen my videos in the past, you know we all hit a point about half way into a project when the face we're working on is in what I LOVINGLY refer to as ....the ugly phase.
When you're shading with copic markers (or any brand of alcohol markers), you tend to hang out in "the ugly phase" for quite a while because there is a lot of layering to get the shading right, etc. You've gotta just embrace it! Acknowledge the ugly phase when you arrive, and KEEP GOING.
Typically whenever I've hit the ugly phase, I help my girl start working her way out of it by sweeping a light to medium shaded skin tone marker over the the entire face. The alcohol in that marker RE-WETS all the previous alcohol marker layers and it helps to blend them all together. COOL TRICK, right?!
As you're laying down darker shades of color throughout the coloring process, don't freak out if they feel like they're too dark. Alcohol markers go down kinda like watercolors and appear much darker when they first hit the page. They dry much lighter - so don't worry!!
While I'm adding some pink around her eyes, I decide to just go for it with her hair- even though I still have no idea how to do it! I study my reference and just start adding color.
For me- I really feel like when you're shading in color, you really need at least three colors to produce a 3-dimensional look - a light, medium and dark. I select my three colors and go for it with some "kindergarten" squiggles!
If you've been watching the Whimsical Women of the World series, you'll know I've been using colored pencils to add some shading on top of my markers to add texture, fix my mistakes, or help blend the transitions between marker shades.
In this video, I really relied on my colored pencils to help me achieve the look I'm seeing in the reference image in terms of makeup. For continuity among the other Whimsical Women in this series AND because I'm obsessed - I turn to my pentel pocket brush for detailing in the eyelashes, eyebrows, hair, and outlining throughout.
I finish the project with while highlights in posca pens - which I totally love, because they add SO much more dimension and sophistication to my pieces with pops of light in the eyes, lips, nose, and wherever I see sparkles throughout the features in my art reference photo.
I hope you DO NOT HOLD BACK when you're doing your own highlights in your own projects! I know this can be scary for some of my students, but they pack the biggest punch and can make such a difference in your work.
My wishes for you ... be DARING with your shadows and BRAVE with your highlights!
And above all, HAVE FUN!! Enjoy today's Whimsical Women of the World face drawing tutorial!
Thanks for joining me! See ya back here next week!
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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.