How to draw a portrait in six easy steps.
The Mouth, Chin, and Neck..
Your portrait is now really starting to look like your subject and it is now time to move on to the Mouth, Chin and Neck.
With the nose and cheeks finished and the hairline extended we are now ready to move on to the mouth and chin.
To do this you will again need to study your chosen subject closely and take note of which areas of the mouth are lighter and darker. Normally the darkest areas of the mouth are at the edges, between the lips and just below the bottom lip. If your subject has their mouth open then you will also need to take note of the darker areas around the teeth gums and tongue.
The lips are very subtle unless of course they are heavily made up with lipstick and again should blend seamlessly into the face. You will need to use minimal pencil pressure when adding the lips as, if you make them too dark they will not look natural. You will also need to pay attention to their shape as the slightest imperfection in the shape can alter the overall look of the portrait. It is also important to remember that the lips are three dimensional, they do not sit flat on the face. The top lip is always slightly proud of the face and tends to catch the light, whereas the bottom lip is also proud of the face but tends to always have a slight shadow along its edge. This is only a very subtle shadow so do not use heavy shading. For this and most other parts of the lip, I use an HB pencil applying only light pressure.
When shading the lips I try to do this in blocks. First picking out the lighter areas and then by adding a little more pressure to the pencil filling in the darker areas. There is also normally a place on the lips where the light catch's them and this I pick out with my custom made eraser when the lips are finished.
When filling in the lips I always shade each lip separately making sure that I shade from the top edge of the lip to bottom edge also making sure that I pay attention to the detail on the lip using a slightly curved action to emphasise the fullness and shape of each lip. When I am happy with the basic appearance I then carefully blend each lip with a Q-tip making sure that I do not blend onto the surrounding area of the face. If I find that the lips stand out too much or the edges of the lips are too dark I use my eraser to gently lighten the area. This can be achieved by carefully dabbing or lightly brushing your eraser on the area of the mouth you wish to lighten.
It is important that you do not apply to much pressure to the eraser. Another method you can use is to lift some of the colours with your Q-tip, but I always find using my custom made eraser better as it has a tapered end and therefore I can select the areas to lighten more accurately.
The Chin: Once I am happy with the overall look of the mouth I move onto the chin. Again using my original picture for reference I take note of the darker and lighter areas on the chin and then using my copied picture with the grid on I carefully add these areas to my picture.To do this I will use my 3B pencil and again carefully shade each area before blending them together with my cotton wool.
The Neck: Study your original picture again and take note of where any shadow or light falls. The neck contains the Adam's apple which is more pronounced in males than it is in females and particular attention needs to be paid to its location. Also there are two main muscles in the neck which run diagonally from behind each ear to the head of the sternum (breastbone), they also have another small piece that comes from behind and attaches to the clavicle (collar bone) and these become more visible if the head is turned slightly as they create a prominent indent or pocket in the neck which needs to be shown by using careful shading so as to create the illusion of depth as can be seen in my example below.
To do this I first locate the most prominent edge of the indent and add a darker shaded area with my 3B pencil making sure that I shade to the line of the detail. Gradually I reduce the pressure on my pencil so as to get a lighter shading as I work my way toward the top edge of the indent where the neck muscles are most prominent. I then locate the other side of the indent and apply the same technique before carefully blending the area.
Once I am happy with how it looks I use my eraser to add any highlights by carefully picking out any areas where the light catch's the neck. I also add a small amount of shading under the chin line which helps give the portrait a more three-dimensional appearance. As the head sits on the neck the shading will make the chin appear more prominent and this will help emphasise this.
This is a free art resource but I need your help.
In order to keep this tutorial live and to continue to provide you with the free resources and content you deserve, please consider making a small donation or recommending www.arts-crafts-hobbiesanddiy.com to others through your own websites or social media by using the like, share or +1 buttons below.