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