Art: Tips for drawing Portraits

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  1. #1
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    Tips for drawing Portraits

    Hi, i love art very much, i hope to someday make it into a career. Im still young so i still have much to learn. So heres my dillema. I am fairly well capable of drawing faces, from my mind. But when it comes to doing an actual portrait im rather unskillful. I often just end up creating a face that looks correct, but looks nothing like the person im drawing. Im really looking to be able to capture the escence of a person. Any help from you more experienced artists would be greatly appreciated, i look foward from hearing from you. Thanks.

    Last edited by TheDecline; July 19th, 2005 at 10:17 AM.
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  3. #2
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    The eyes and mouth are the main features that create the character of a face. They are also the area we look at most when we talk to someone. The eyes move in a triangle bettween the eyes and the mouth during conversation. If you focus on getting these right then you should see an improvement. However don't neglect the other features because they are important also.

    I hope that helps

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    Incredibly true....

    Everything should end up well proportionally, but the eyes and mouth are what we focus the most on.... Never notice on that triangle detail

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    One of the many things that makes everyone unique is they have their own special measurements on their face (from nose to ear, pupil to corner mouth, jaw lines, and so) The key to getting likeness is recognizing this and bringing those features out, much like the purpose of a caricature. Once you get the proportions right, it's up to you as the artist to "do that person justice": really studying their features and molding your linework like a sculptor. Thinking of the face in planes really brings the portrait to life.
    Aside from the technical sense, mood I feel is the key that you want to get across in a portrait. You want someone to feel something when they see it and make the viewer feel like they know that person. This can be done through color, lighting, expression, style, and all the other tools that any artist possesses in his or her creative mind and observation.

    - Vision

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    Mr Visions is right on track. There's a drawing grid method that artists use to measure proportions of the face and line things up to a sort of idealized layout. This is useful to draw faces you imagine, but of course no one is exactly like another. You should look for those features in people that make them unique, like a short upper lip, wide nostrils, small mouth, drooping eyes, etc. You can use that idealized grid to then determine what features of this person or not the same. Think of who this person reminds you of, another friend or a famous person, and why. If you can find a good front view photo of someone, lay out grid lines to see where things line up, then compare that with someone else.

    -David

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    Thanks for all the help guys, right now im in japan on scholarship and im using a laptop so i can't really scan anything but once i get home ill scan some work and you guys can really point out the dos and don'ts. again thanks very much. Ill post again sometime.

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    Fredflickstone (Ron) has a great "head tutorial" in the tutorials section. I would check that out and practice using his technique, it helps with setting up structure and likeness in the technical sense. Keep sketchin' and posting.

    - Visions

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  9. #8
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    K cool ill check that tutorial out, today i started painting for pretty much the first time. Its a water color and so far its not too bad. Ill probably be asking for help soon though. Thanks

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