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How to draw a portrait. Female figurative art.
The female face, building the picture.

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How to draw a portrait in six easy steps.
The cheeks and nose.


Step 4:

Your portrait is now starting to look more like a person rather than a roughly sketched outline and it is now time to move on to the cheeks and nose.

The cheeks:
When adding the cheeks nose try to think more in terms of shade and shadow rather than line, as the cheeks and nose are not a separate entity from the face, but part of the whole overall appearance. There are no hard lines between them and so they need to be blend into the face seamlessly. Imagine you were to hold up a thin sheet of modelling clay and push your thumb into it. The thumb imprint would protrude through the clay and be proud on its exit but there would be no visible join. The same applies to the face. Although it is made up of several components there is no distinct point where one part begins or ends. By using careful shading and blending you can achieve this seamless three-dimensional appearance.
Portrait-stage-3 The Cheeks and Nose The Cheeks.
As I work from left to right I will first need to extend my hairline using the technique discussed earlier, see (Hair and Eyes) Then using careful shading I can begin to build the shape of the cheek.

Carefully study your original picture and your copy with the grid in place, as discussed earlier to see where the darker areas lay on the cheek. They are usually around the hairline as the hair tends to cast a small shadow on the face and also under the cheek bones and in the creases on the edge of the mouth. Using a 3B pencil I carefully shade the darker areas using a small circular shading technique, always referring to my original marked out picture for reference. Remember, always take your time, there is no rush. If you make a mistake carefully erase it and start again. Once I am happy with my shading I then use a small piece of cotton wool to blend the darker shading out over the cheek area making sure that I don't drag to much dark colour into the cheek. To do this I only apply minimal pressure to the cotton wool and if I think the colour is looking too dark I use a fresh piece of cotton wool or a clean Q-tip to continue blending the colour. Once I am happy with the overall look of the cheek I then move on to the nose.

Tip 5: If your subject is wearing blusher you can add this to the cheeks using a pre-used piece of cotton wool that already has graphite on it. By doing this you can apply the blusher and blend it into the cheek almost as if you were doing it to your own face. Be careful not to apply to much pressure as you don't want to make it to dark. You can always make it darker if necessary by applying a little more shading. You can also use this technique on the eyes using a Q-tip or an artist's blending tool.Stumps And Tortillions for sale

The nose:

To do this you will again need to study your chosen subject and take note of which areas of the nose are lighter and darker. Normally the darkest area of the nose is the nostrils but this can also depend on how much light there is on the subject. For instance, if one side of your subjects face is almost in darkness then the nostrils may appear slightly lighter. In most cases, the darker areas fall around the eyes and the base and sides of the nostrils which can be seen in my example below.

When adding the nose I always prefer to start at the top and slowly work my way down one side to the bottom and then repeat the process for the other side. I already have the basic outline shape of the nose lightly sketched on the drawing which I did earlier. (See Sketching the outline) so now using shading I can begin to define its shape.

Cheeks and NoseThe first thing I do is to add shading to the top of the nose making sure that I remember to follow the line of the eyes. For this, I will use a 3B pencil. It is important to follow the line of the eye as in nearly all portraits this area of the face around each eye always forms a C-like shape around the eye socket. Starting with a light area at the corner of the eye I then begin darkening the area into the nose before getting lighter as I shade toward the middle of the nose, (The Bridge). This is not a constant as the light and dark areas will also be dictated by the mood and lighting in the picture. For example, if the subject is heavily made up or part of the face is in shadow then the area between the nose and eye may be harder to define. Like the face, the nose is also three dimensional and the further from the face it protrudes the lighter it gets. Hence in the example above the centre and tip of the nose are the lightest. To pick these areas out I use acustom made eraser.

Please note: Before I continue I would like to add that there is no need to worry if you do find that the areas around the eyes and nose all blur in together when you blend them. To define the areas I use a simple technique using an eraser that I made especially for this job. (See Adding Hair and Eyes Tip 4:) Using this type of tool is brilliant for defining detail and highlighting the hair.

Once I have defined the area around the eyes I then begin to follow my nose outline down the face using a light shading motion trying to carefully follow my grid picture making sure that my line of shading follows the contours of the face. To do this I shade with the contour of the face. For example, when shading the nose into the cheek I always try to follow the shape of the nose so that when I blend it into the cheek everything looks natural. When shading this area I use a B pencil allowing my shading to sweep out and back in with the contours of the face. In my example, you can see that on the left side of the nose there is a darker area that sweeps out to the cheek and back into just above the nostril. By creating a sweeping line you give the impression that the nose is raised. The same can be seen to the right also. As I continue down the nose to the nostrils the area around the nostrils becomes darker. This is because the nostrils are slightly rounded and therefore cast a small shadow where they meet the face. The same applies to the tip of the nose which always tends to cast a light shadow at its base. Once I am happy with the overall look and shape of the nose I add the nostril. With this done I then carefully blend the sides of the nose into the cheeks and down toward the mouth.

The Mouth.

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The Grid Method.
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