Today I'm going to show you how I paint in my style and breakdown my thought process to make my portrait paintings and studies easy as possible while learning lots at the same time!

Basic shape

Before we start anything, if you can draw a circle or a triangle you are more than ready to do what i can do and even better! So lets get to it and i'll bestow my latest knowledge to the best of my ability!

Here we have some roughed out generic faces
These buddies from the clone wars will help point out what to look out for when drawing a portrait or face!

These are tips for general faces, you don't have to abide to these tips like its law but its good to keep in mind, and you can break the rules afterwards with ease later on.

1: face width is usually 5 eyes wide, but the main tip is between the eyes, its only a distance of 1 eye!

2: Notice these on your face, the corners of your lips generally hit the corners or the middle of your eyes!

3: The ears are usually never higher or lower than the eyes or the nose!

4: This is my favorite tip, The corners of the mouth is generally where the jawbone starts to turn or create a different shape!

5: This is your usual ratio of the face

6: Keep in mind of whats behind the surface, I mainly paint in the highlight areas of this skull first to make a believable face!

With that out of the way lets get to making a face together!

The face

Heres a blank slate, lets name him josh!

Here this is what im seeing on what i want to paint on josh's face!
Its an outline of the skull but thats what gives us the face shape and angles we need!

With a few broad confident strokes!
He's already getting fleshed out!

Color in some rough shape of the eyes and our tired face is almost complete!

The life is in the eyes! We need light!
Its nothing too complex, just 2 blobs of light color and we're finished!

Heres a bunch of silhouettes I made, this very same method can be applied to every single one of those faces, try download and plop in the faces yourself!

You can use whatever brush you like, a hard brush, soft brush or pen or pencil theres no rules!
Most of all dont rush and just have fun

Also for hair or every other shape, i always have a silhouette, just an exaggerated chunk and the shape does the work for you!


Emotions are a very unsettling subject matter at the start, but dont you worry, i have got you completely covered to make it seem fun and not a threatening subject!
Take these basic symbolised emotes!

Focus on the basic shape and expand on it by putting in more detail!

They're not so different from eachother! :D

Just like the skull method we used earlier, we paint in the cheek bones and the nose and eye lids!
You dont always have to paint every single part though for example the smiley character we have on the left!

Lets give the hair some flat color, i almost always start painting this way

Now that the base colors are there, we can add shadow and doing this gives our hair alot more volume!

Applying Method to photostudies

This is my friend blue, She's also a photographer and takes crazy wild photos that has a strong sense of lighting and color! Her photography can be found on instagram @hyph_end

I've been given permission to use this photo and also I think it helps to follow photography channels to get nice examples to study!

I always see the things i see in really big shapes, and mainly in silhouette!
Here you can see me applying the skull method and the tips i mentioned earlier all performing at once!

Now that i've got the silhouette of the head, i now work on the silhouette of the hair!

Broad strokes of the areas we discussed!

You can use lasso fill tool thats included in clip studio paint to get these really sharp and crisp flat colors, I love using these for shadows and placing things quickly where i know it will be dark!

All you need to do is blend it!
with the default watercolor brushes on clip studio!

The picture truly shines where you put in the light into the eyes, just two circles of light using the lasso fill tool as well!

Now is my favorite way to add color or make things aesthetic to your pieces, gradient maps!

Gradient maps are great ways to replace your colors without being super destructive to your piece, its on its own layer so if you dont like the changes you made its insanely easy to edit!

It changes the colors based on the values you have selected!

I love the blue sky gradient map, this is the result at 30% opacity

For her hair, i made a new layer and set the blending mode to color
and colored it pink to match similar to the hair color of the image

I added another gradient map to it but removed all of it except for the clothes

And we're done!

The next level step!

This is my friend Angie, who is also a photographer. who also happened to be photographed by our earlier friend blue! She shoots lots of photoshoots and the values in her shots are top notch!
@angelineway_ is where to find her, and also gotten permission from this lovely person!

ANYWAY the next level is to imagine the photo reference in a different angle, this is where your brain juices start to get worked.

Instead of front on, i'm imagining her in a 3/4 view
we have our basic skull shape going on

Then i paint the pose, it always helps to simplify everything into boxy shapes.
BIG boxy shapes! then subdivide it to how you see fit

We got the glasses and the base shadows in

now we paint the materials! the lasso fill tool is SUPER helpful on clothes!
When painting clothes make sure the values arent too drastic of a difference depending on the lighting. The harsher the light the stronger the shadows, the lighter the light, the weaker the shadows become.

Even more lasso fill tool!

Our gradient map technique we've introduced earlier!

add a second gradient map but warmer and delete the areas where it'd be more cooler!
This is very very fast to get a rendered look or fit whatever color scheme you are searching for!

I felt the light in the back was too much so i blurred it with a dark backlight!
and i also love magenta so thats my excuse

With that we're done, I hope you enjoyed my tutorial, im not super great with words and i hope the images displayed it well!

Remember to take your time when studying, and dont rush yourself, do your best and thats all that matters!

I hope you learn lots!



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