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