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Tips on How to do Portrait Sketching for Beginners


 The thing about Portrait sketching is, there is no straight rule after you reach a certain point in drawing the face and it all comes down to the experience and how much you have practiced. It is often said that the one who is a true artist be it art or writing or any form, is a bit crazy and from personal experience, you have to be a bit crazy a well. By now some of you all already should have some basic knowledge of sketching and for those who don’t this is gonna be a bit hard to catch up but you soon will.

So, while making a portrait, the face is the most important part and in these tips, I will be giving tips about how to compose and make a face. 

Step 1: Choose a Reference Picture

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Sketching and positioning

The first step is to choose a reference picture. If you are here, then it means that you need some form of advice for the basics so trying to make a face without a reference picture is well beyond your reach and honestly it is beyond my reach as well as I too am in this journey together. Have you got your reference picture? well then start by making the faint outline. I will be inserting my work here as a reference on what to do and for this part, all you have to do is understand what I did and try to do it on your own. Now back to the tips thingy, start by making a faint outline and make a rough estimation of where your eyes, nose, and lips will be. 

Step 2: Draw Outlines

Tips on How to do Portrait Sketching for Beginners
Golden Ratio

Now after this it should be easy to draw the outlines of the eyes, nose, and mouth but remember that there is a golden rule to face as well which is the distance between the eyes is the exact same and the length of the eyes and the distance between the base of the nose is also the same as the length of the eyes. Along with this, the distance between the base of the lips is also the same as the length of the eyes. In this regard, it can be said that the eyes are the key to face and if you mess up eyes, it is safe to assume that the face will be ruined. It may not be accurate when you make the outlines and it doesn’t have to be totally accurate as well because you can adjust a bit when you start filling in the details.

Step 3: Add Shades

Tips on How to do Portrait Sketching for Beginners
Shadings and detailing

Now you can then start by slowly filling in the details starting to form the eyes and shading some as well. Remember that it is only a pencil so you can rub as much as you want at this stage as long as you are using cheap papers. If the paper that you are using is one of those French or American or anything besides Indian Cartridge paper, you should try to limit the amount you are using eraser a bit. Adjust the length and width of the face outline as you go along the way but for the time being you should focus on getting the overall shape and the shade around the eyes correct and then you can move on to the nose. 

Step 4: Final Touch

Tips on How to do Portrait Sketching for Beginners
Finishing touch

Once you are done with this, you can fill up the whole face and start to shade as well as adjust until you get the desired result. Do remember to look at your own face in the mirror to see how it forms and feel your face as well to feel the structure as well time and again. What this does is that it gives us visual and tactile confirmation of what we are seeing and this makes us feel the flaws that we cannot see with the eyes. This is a psychological trick used by many portrait artists and it is quite useful as well.
One small trick is that the if you can feel some form of a cavity or a bit of gap in your skin and you can push it into your face, there is a likely chance that there will be a bit darker shade on that (like your cheeks, unless the person is a chubb). 

Tips on How to do Portrait Sketching for Beginners
Final Sketch