Draw portraits


Hello, welcome to this new tutorial to learn how to draw portraits. I will give you some tips for drawing facial elements, colorization tips and studio paint clip tools for making your portraits.

Let's go. I add a video with an explanatory part and some speedpainting.


Face Anatomy

Here are some tips for proportions. It is a basic gun for a young adult. Each person has a unique anatomy and beauty, but building on that foundation and understanding it you can then play with the deformities and style your designs.

The basis in portraits is observation. The more you practice the easier this exercise will be.

Good luck and good fun.

When making a portrait observe:

-The shape of the eyes
-The space between these
-The shape of the face, is it angular, elongated, round, square, oval?
-The shape of the nose, its size. Is it hooked, elongated, small, enlarged?
-the size and shape of the eyebrows
-The shape of the mouth (the lips are they thin, thick ...)
-The shape, implantation, length, texture of the hair
Other items like moles, freckles, birthmarks, jewelry, piercings, etc.

The proportions differ according to age.

1: the face is divided into 3 equal parts.
The 1: 3 includes the forehead to the eyebrows,
The 2: 3 includes the eyebrows to the tip of the nose,
The 3: 3 includes the tip of the nose to the end of the chin.

2: The nostrils are located between the inner ends of both eyes.

3: The location and size of the eyes also divides into 3/3. One eye takes 1/3, leave the space of one eye in the middle and redraw an eye of the same size on the other side.

4: The bottom of the ear is at the end of the nose to be done you can draw a line to place your ears correctly and the top of the ear is in the middle of the eyebrow.

5: The corners of the lips are in the middle of the pupil of each eye.

6: the lower face can divide into 2: 2. The tip of the nose and the mouth are 1/2 and from the mouth to the chin 1/2.

facial angles

Knowing how to draw a face from the front or in profile is the basis, but the head can move and change its angle. A face changes shape depending on its position.

Personally, I use constructions based on a cross on an oval in order to place my elements correctly.

My eyes will be on the horizontal line and the vertical line will allow me to divide the face and correctly place all the elements like eyes, nose, mouth.

The head can be compared to a sphere. The advantage of drawing in three dimensions with placement markers is that it will make it easier for you to place the elements of the face in the correct perspective.

The low angle is a representation whose point of view is located below the subject.
Diving is a representation whose point of view is located above the subject.

Drawing from above and below is a difficult exercise that requires a lot of observation, because we will have a lot of shortcuts, hidden elements and a feeling of deformation.

I took a photo of my face from different angles using my landmarks so that you can see the location of the eyes, nose, mouth as well as the ear from different angles.

When the face is in the three-quarter position, the elements are no longer centered, but shifted slightly to the left. (It will be to the right if the head is turned to the right.)

On a face in profile, the skull appears even more and is well rounded. You can only see one eye and the ear is fully visible.

On a submerged face, the skull becomes rounded, the eyes and neck will no longer be visible or almost no longer depending on the degree of diving.

In low angle, the face is slightly crushed, the elements of the face will be crushed and will go up and the distance between the mouth and the chin will appear wider, while the forehead will be reduced. The neck will also lengthen.

Baby / elderly

The proportions differ slightly depending on the age of the model.

We can rely on the gun, but there are some differences.

(below photos of me, my baby sister and my grandfather)

To draw a baby's face, the basics are the same, only a few characteristics change (each baby is different, some characteristics will not necessarily be present from one baby to another):

-The ears are lower and protruding.
-The face is much rounder
-Most babies have little body hair, either their hair or their eyebrows. Eyebrows lengthen and thicken with age.
-The eyes are larger and the distance between them is slightly greater than one eye.
-A baby's forehead appears taller, facial features are lower. 1/2 the forehead 2/2 the eyes, nose, lips, chin.
-With age, the nose lengthens.

To draw old people. Bags under the eyes, fatty clumps around the chin, the lowering of the mobile eyelid on the eye or the marking around the mouth are all indications of age.

Drawing wrinkles is not enough, you have to understand how wrinkles are formed, the skin is stretched, does this impact the placement and shape of eyes, mouth or chin? Observe.

Parts of the face

Here are some mini tutorials to learn how to draw the different elements of the face such as the nose, ears, eyes, mouth, hair.

The nose is very different from one individual to another.
It can be short, long, pointed, trumpet-shaped, round, broken ...
The nostrils can also have different shapes. Take a good look at your model.

Here is the step by step construction of a nose and its colorization and examples of nose in profile, face, plunging, low angle or three-quarter.

To draw a nose in profile, you can draw a slash and use it to correctly place the tip of the nose as well as the chin or use shapes.

Here is a step by step guide to different angles of an ear.

The first is a front ear.
The second is a 3/4 ear.
The last is a back ear.

The shape of the ear differs depending on the angle of your face.

Here is a step by step to make semi-realistic lips going from sketch to color.

For the mouth, you do not have to make them realistic, you can simplify your mouths, exaggerate the amplitude and the desired expression, detail the teeth or not according to your style of drawing.

The eyes, like the eyebrows and the mouth, are a part of the face that gives expression and are unique to each individual.

Take a good look at the shape of your model. Are they rather elongated, round, almond-shaped, drooping? Define color and highlights, eyelash length, eyebrow shape.

Tip: For more realism, don't put pure white in your eye, use a light gray or beige, and don't forget to reflect the light in the eyes to give them more life.

Hair is the funniest part in a portrait for me.

Observe the hair implantation and each strand will start from this point. (see first line)
Also understand the nature of your model's hair.
Is the hair straight, wavy, curly or frizzy?

Here are some haircuts

And a step by step to learn how to color hair

1: solids
2: slight shadow on the bottom
3: locks of hair on a layer in product mode
4: using the mixer
5: redo part 3 and 4
6: place lights on a layer in glow density mode.

Tips and help

I present to you the few tips that I use to make portraits thanks to the tools of Clip Studio Paint.

The grid technique makes it possible to be as exact as possible and the traditional way to be able to enlarge or shrink the format of a work.

To get the grid:

-Wire rack

To change the size and layout of the grid, click:

-Parameters of grids / rules
- a new window opens, you can modify certain parameters of your grid on this window.

Then you can put your model and your sheet on two separate sheets and have a visual of both by sliding the photograph under your canvas.

The second technique is that of benchmarks.

To use this technique, place markers around eyes, for the shape of the face, eyebrows, around the nose, mouth, chin, forehead and hairline. You can put fewer markers or more as you wish.

there is also the decal, if you want to practice colorization without having to worry about the reproduction technique.

You can also use the 3D models present on Clip Studio Paint.

You will find them in your materials -3 D - Installation.

Where else to draw by observation.

Use the techniques you are most comfortable with. The main thing is to have fun.


I took pictures of my face from different angles. In this part of the tutorial, I will try to show you several types of colorization.

-Animated / simple
-blue shadows
- Sun

I do my sketches, my lines and the solid colors. At the beginning, I wanted to do the same colorization for all my drawings and finally, I opted for several techniques. So I should not have colored the part where I wanted to screen.

Here is the result of my experiments, a few portraits of friends and a self-portrait made a few weeks ago.

Step by step

Here is a step by step of some colorizations presented above.

As well as a palette of shades of colors for coloring the skin.

1: G pen with a color darker than the base shade.

2: mixer to tone down the color

3: Feather G on a layer in product mode to reinforce the shadows

1: use diluted watercolor, smooth watercolor, and dense watercolor to give texture

2: Feather L with blue to reinforce shadows

3: mixer to reduce blue

1: Using lighter tones with Diluted watercolor, Smooth watercolor, and Dense watercolor

2: using G feather with very dark brown to put the shadows of the hair

3: use beige with the G feather on a layer in shine density mode to give light in the hair.

1: I shade the t-shirt with a gray and the G feather.

2: I accentuate my shadows with the G pen on a layer in product mode.

3: I add light on a layer in shine density mode with the G pen.

4: I correct certain elements like the chin, the lines of the line to give an aspect of painting by ironing with the Diluted watercolor, the smooth watercolor and the dense watercolor.

To frame my portrait, I use.

1: the G feather with gray

2: I soften my shadows on the left a little with the mixer.

3: I go to the layer property and click on the checkerboard. My flat gray has turned into frames.

1: I use my solids.

2: on a new layer I am using the G pen with a dark blue.

3: the light coming from the left, I erase the blue part in some places.

1: with the mixer, I soften the blue to the left.

2: I put a more pronounced shadow with a layer in product mode towards the right of the neck as well as on the nostrils.

3: I put a pink shadow on the left and very dark blue on the left with the airbrush.

For a very contrasting atmosphere with bright light coming from above.

1: solids

2: new layer, use of the G pen with a red

3: new layer in product mode, pose shadows with a burgundy and the G pen tool

1: mixer to reduce shadows

2: With the pen and the airbrush, I put a bright light on a layer in Add glow mode.

3: I erase what exceeds or I put my layer in clipping mask.


To make a portrait, it does not necessarily have to be hyper realistic to recognize the model. You can use any style of drawing and the portrait can still look similar.

You just have to observe carefully and note the details and characteristics of your model.
For my self-portrait, I noted:

Almond eyes, round face, short round nose and for the haircut my hair is very short and firecracker. My skin is clear. With these elements, I can do as many portraits with different styles, I will always be recognizable on each of them.

Examples below.

I hope this tutorial has been able to help you better understand portraits and that I could have helped you.

Have a nice day and take care of yourself, kisses.


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