I remember a time when I used to marvel and wonder at realistic drawings of faces. It always looked more daunting that it really is. Even though this is an advanced tutorial, I am sure that anyone can learn something from it!
Here is a little tip sheet I drew up. Hope you can read my handwriting! This is more of a guide on what to study if you want to improve on your face drawings. You will have to study anatomy, lighting, and everything else on your own time and in your own way.
Starting your faces off as "eggs" or ovals is usually the best way to go. Divide them down the middle horizontally and vertically to make adding the features easier. Notice how the placement and size of features changes depending on who you are drawing.
Don't worry this isn't the end of the tutorial! I just wanted to give you an idea of what the previous step could lead to.
Alright time to draw a realistic face! Start off with the basic forms. In this case an oval head and some simple hand forms. Don't worry about details yet.
Sketch in the main features and and develop the hands a bit more. Notice the basic idea of the hair. Imagine that you are drawing out each hair one by one. DO NOT just scribble in the basic values of the hair and call it done.
Now we can start adding detail to the face. Darken the pupils and make the eyes, nose, and mouth "pop" out. Don't worry too much about shading yet though. Just remember where your light source is (top right) and hint at the corresponding shadows (mainly the ones on the left side of her face).
Start adding detail to the hands and hair. Everything should be better defined by the end of this step. Still not worrying too much about shading. Just hint at the the shadows.
Now you can start a bit of shading and add some more values to the drawing. You want to add the shading in the same way that you developed the shading, from the face out.
Here is a close up of the face. Watch out for that shadow on the left side of her face. Note that the is some reflected light there. Don't take that for granted. Also, use this close up to examine what makes her eyes so prominent. Don't forget about the eye lids!
Now you can darken her pullover with the darkest value you can make. I used a China Marker and a 4B pencil to accomplish this. Add some finishing touches to the hair and hands as well. It is up to you how much time you want to spend on detail. This took me hours of detailing over several days!
And there we have our finished portrait! I hope this was helpful/informative!
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