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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Need some critique on a portrait

    Hello, so I was hoping to get some input to help myself improve at drawing. Some background, I'm studying engineering but love drawing and have taken a huge interest into it as of late. My goal and enjoyment comes from being able to draw portraits and people. I've started reading anatomy books to help myself learn the features of the human body, and plan to take a art class on the side once school starts.

    Anyway's I tried to draw Natalie Dormer who plays Margaery Tyrell and personally I think Its one of my best portraits so far. Im obviously still learning form and perspective etc, but I'm having trouble drawing realistic female eyes, with that charm that makes the eyes look attractive. Also the same problem goes for the lips. Besides those can I get some suggestions on what to improve, and places that I haven't drawn correctly. Thank you for your input everyone.
    Need some critique on a portrait
    Need some critique on a portrait

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Prague, Czech republic.
    Thanked 332 Times in 217 Posts
    The thing is that you need to learn to draw from life, not from photographs. It's obvious that you still have to teach yourself to see abstract shapes instead of things. Don't draw lips, draw accurately the shape you see instead. Squint, soften your focus, do whatever it takes to see it. That way, you will be able to put down on paper what is there, not what you think is there - which is big difference.

    I'm looking forward to see more.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Thanked 193 Times in 105 Posts
    merl1n gave you a good advice.

    You´ve rather drawn what you had in mind than what is really there.
    Beginners tend to draw the image that they have in mind rather than drawing what is really there. And while beginners are doing that, they forget about all the other things they should see - distances and angles.

    I think as a beginner it is not so bad to learn measuring from photos - but you sould not stick with it forever. Just as a preparation for you life drawing classes - so that you are not struggling with the beginners problems while you are paying for every hour.

    Break down all the measurements. Start with the horizontal lines as they are the easiest.

    In the picture the face is divided in three equally parts. The upper part is from the tip of her hairline to the top of her eyes, the second one is from the top of her eyes to the bottom of the nose and the third is from the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the chin. (These distances make the likeness of a person - watch peoples faces and see their individual distances - for example Jay Leno)

    Do you see that the bottom most point of her lower lip is about half the distance of the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the chin (2nd example)?

    Break down the distances and try to see the angles that her jaw and the side of her head have (4th example).

    Start with the distances that are obvious to you. That the lower lip divides the distance of the bottom of her nose to the bottom of her chin is quite obvious - so draw it.
    What is the height of her eyes? It is about a quarter of the distance between the top of her eyes to the bottom of the nose.
    The top most point of her eyebrows is about the same distance.

    Hope that helped.
    My website for learning traditional fine art on your own! --- Derived from THIS thread at
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    drawing casts (geometric shapes, anatomical casts, skull), tutorials on Bargue drawing and cast drawing, Willow Charcoal, free drawing exercises

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Ahhh I see what you're saying. Thanks for the advice, really opened my eyes

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