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How USING PHOTOS of FACES for Drawing Reference Will MAKE YOU A BETTER ARTIST!
Using photos of faces for drawing reference WILL make you a better artist. There's no question in my mind! Recently an awesome reference photo was shared in my Facebook group. Seeing this post got me thinking about how GORGEOUS the reference image was, for so many different reasons.
My teacher brain spiraled about all the things I needed to tell you! Hence... the LIVE.
This video is a MUST SEE for you if ...
Here's the post that inspired today's LIVE...
I know, right?!
I'm not watching Yellowstone right now, but clearly I should be ;)
Before we get into how amazing this image is and WHY, you need to download my FREE 4-page cheatsheet packet called the Face Drawing Cheatsheet Bundle. This will help you SO much if you're just learning how to draw a face, or if you want to improve your face drawing skills. The info inside works beautifully whether your'e drawing a man or a woman.
The bundle includes my Face Drawing Guidelines, Shading Guide, my How to Draw Eyelashes Guide, and a Face Base / Face Drawing Template if you feel like you don't want to fuss with drawing proportions and would rather cut something out that can be traced directly into your art journal or sketchbook.
Simply click on the button below and I'll send the packet right over.
After you get your packet downloaded and are ready to practice, you can join me in this live stream video, or feel free to check out this playlist of How to Draw & Shade a Face in 5 Minutes if you feel like this LIVE is a little too advanced for you.
When you're ready, join me back on the live stream because I have some really cool face shading tips to share with you - whether you're drawing faces for beginners, or a more advanced artist!!
Reference photo drawing is super helpful for both whimsical drawing (semi-realistic drawing) and realistic drawing. References make a HUGE impact on your work.
They actually make your job as an artist EASIER because they give your brain a little break (you don't have to think up a zillion details to include in your drawing), and they give you ALL the "answers" your brain needs to observe in order to create something amazing.
To get you started on finding faces for drawing reference, you need to find an image you love! Here is a page right out of my How to Draw & Find Your Style book that talks ALL about reference photo drawing.
While this model is gorgeous, and I totally want to draw her too - if you look closely at all the gray tones in this photo- you'll see they're all basically THE SAME! That means this image really isn't the best choice to use as a face drawing reference.
It's better to choose an image that has ALL the values in the value scale represented from the lightest light, to the darkest dark. Why?
It will make the drawing easier for you to draw, and your drawing will look fantastic because you're using every shade of gray in the value scale.
If you're new to value scale drawing, today's video will help you out. You can also check out this one to learn how to create your own value scale using pencils. This is also an exercise members of the Fun Fab Drawing Club and Mixed Media Society do right from the beginning.
I highly encourage you to create one for yourself!
If you're not sure if a face drawing reference image you've selected will be great for drawing, just print it in black and white with your printer. This is a super easy way to convert a color image to black and white, and it's actually better to draw with anyway! This is especially helpful if you're drawing in graphite, because it's tough to replicate what you see in color using grayscale pencils.
Sometimes, I use reference photos PURELY for the shading information. Today, I'm going to show you how you can even use the face shading information from one photo to create a totally different drawing! It's really kinda magical, and why my face shading guide in this cheatsheet packet is SO VALUABLE! Make sure you grab that download if you haven't yet :)
Then click over to the video to watch how I "steal" the face shading inspiration from Yellowstone dude's photo to guide how I shade the face of a completely different drawing of a woman.
Pretty Cool, right?!!
Thanks for hanging out with me today!!
And in case you're wondering if I did actually draw Jamie from Yellowstone- I totally did, and shared him in our Facebook Group for Awesome Art School ;)
I also turned this into a real time drawing lesson and dropped it into The Fun Fab Drawing Club "Dudes" classroom for my beloved club members like Heather!
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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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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.