How to Practice Drawing (Top 3 Tips)
Portraits and people are so tough to draw! And I think it’s because of the challenge that I have always loved drawing them. I’ll show you some practicing techniques and you’ll have a chance to incorporate your own style. The style piece will come more naturally than you think, don’t worry.
These are generally quick sketches. You can spend anywhere from 2 minutes per sketch to hours but I recommend minutes to treat these as learning opportunities. You do you though!! Everyone learns a bit differently.
Remember to send in what you create as a DM on Insta to @kara_artwork or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here we go!
1. Half and Half
You can use a magazine, newspaper, a printed image of a face/body you want to practice drawing. Rip or use scissors to cut the image in half. I recommend a pencil and eraser OR ink pen for practicing (depending on if you feel more comfortable erasing or want to challenge yourself not to erase anything).
You can use any online image of a face/body you want to practice drawing. Crop the image in half. I’d recommend the 6B Procreate Pencil for a sketchy look or Technical Pen for a precise line.
*I recommend finding a straight on look
Why it works
You learn about what makes faces different from one another aka varying proportions. This is also the BEST way to learn from mistakes. Please be open to making mistakes because you will make them and you will learn from them. You will look at what you’re drawing and see RIGHT AWAY if it looks right or off. If it looks off, you try again and look from afar again. Keep doing this until the drawing looks closer to what it should look like. If you want extra practice, you can draw over the picture half to get a feel for where the eyes, nose, and mouth are and the size of them.
I chose Beyonce because she’s a queen. Feel free to find a celebrity, a rando, a friend, a weird neighbor, etc. Okay, maybe don’t listen to ALL my advice hehe.
Put a white piece of paper (or transfer paper if you have) over an image you have. Use pencil and eraser or pen based on your comfort level! You can hold the papers up to a window to see through better or throw a lamp into a mix. Extra light helps see through the paper!
Find an online image of an image and copy it over to the app. Click the wand on the top left, and press “Opacity.” Make the image more transparent by sliding the Apple pencil across the screen so you can see your pencil lines over the image. Create a new layer and use a brush (I recommend 6B Pencil or Technical Pen).
Why it works
You learn how each face is different. The more you copy different faces, the more you pick up on how proportions do change from face to face and make each person unique! You can use this method to draw a whole body. This works because you start to learn how parts of the body are connected or how parts of the face are connected. You’ll also learn more about shadow/highlights by copying where the image is dark and light to add in dimension to your art. Shadows and highlights are just fancy terms for making the drawing look 3D based on where the light is coming from.
I’m showing on Beyonce again because yup, still a queen. The example is on the Procreate App but paper users, you’ll get the idea!
3. Look and Draw
Have an image of someone OR use a real life model to look at while drawing. Use paper and a pencil or pen.
Same as on paper but instead of on paper, you’re drawing on the iPad and you can choose a brush that works for you like 6B Pencil, Technical Pen, or another brush you like.
Why it works
Quick tip: You want to look at the image or person you are drawing about 80% of the time and your paper 20% of the time. That might be a surprise to you but trust me, your brain changes how you perceive what you see and remembering what you saw is drastically different to what you are seeing in the present time. This works because it helps you create your own, personal style. You might draw more sketchy like me or maybe you prefer squiggles or refined lines! No wrong way, just see what happens.
I don’t have Beyonce in front of me, sadly, but I've created something briefly based on the image.
You learned 3 ways to practice drawing people. You should know these methods are not limited to people. You can be creative and practice drawing the cat that awkwardly stares at you from your neighbor's window or wear a French hat and a fake mustache while painting the scenery of your backyard. However you take these skills and run with them, enjoy the process! Today's blog focuses on process learning, not necessarily the outcome. That's how you learn though!!
To learn more about proportions of the face, check out another one of my blogs here!
Feel free to send in what you create as a DM on Insta to @kara_artwork or email at karaglassartwork at gmail.com and let me know what you want to learn about too!