Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

Let me draw your portrait

I need to improve my drawing skills so at the risk of looking like a schlub next to @Kimnz  and @Karim, I invite you to submit your photos for victimization.  I also invite you to participate.  Where else will you get free models?  Below is a freehand drawing I did recently in about two hours.  I will also post a photo of myself.  Feel free to make me look better.  Thanks in advance for your help.  Posting here is a license for free non-commercial use of images.  The drawing below is for use on this site only.



  • Hey! one challenge at a time please?!! Great freehand drawing for a guy who said he "Can't draw a bath". But a good idea for the next challenge.
  • @BOB73 it's actually not a challenge.  I would like it to be ongoing. I know of one like it on another forum that is years old with 63000 views and hundreds of submissions and comments.  So be brave firemeister and pony up le visage.
  • OK. Are we talking freehand or can we use dividers?
  • There are no rules Bob. It's just an exercise for fun and practice. If you want to help me out post your photo. Maybe someone better than me will immortalize you. 

  • OK Mike if it will help you... from one mad hatter to another

    Avatar BTW the paintings in background were done by art students from the junior college in 2001. Sorry but this is only shot of me.
  • Well Bob I am going to take a swing at it but there are not enough pixels in this little picture to blow it up so I can see you.  Are you sure there is not a young fella in the firehouse with you who can technologolize you into a bigger photo?
  • you want a photo of me...or me to draw you?
  • @MikeDerby, thanks for doing this. I can't imagine why you'd want to draw me when you can draw her. The young guys at the station have their noses glued to their iphones while the old school guys play dominoes. But they are as good or better than us on the fire scene. BTW; When I was an infant, my parents had my excess pixels surgically removed for fear I would grow up to be pixelated.
  • Okay Mike...sounds like a plan... I wouldnt be able to do your model justice....but will give it a go. Also need a full view photo of you. Only problem would be shall I do it five pencil method or blend method.
  • Has anyone considered natural way to draw, or drawing on right side of brain, and has anyone tried Mark's Method as applied to drawing? start with darks first working to light.
  • Richard that does help.
    forgiveness, I use Marks method most of the time but want to improve my drawing generally.
    kimnz, I like your sense of humor.  If anyone can handle the girl in a red scarf its you.  I opened this thread with my photo but if you want a different one I have one from my younger days I would like done as well.  Otherwise there are no rules.  Use your favorite method or both.
    i draw to facilitate painting so I want to do it better and faster.  My goal is to do each of the drawings in about two hours or less.

    Here is a similar thread that may help explain what I have in mind.
  • @forgiveness,  Mark's method is pretty much a variation of the sight size method from a block in standpoint for the purpose of painting (not rendering a finished drawing).  The Davinci Initiative does a pretty good job of explaining how to draw like that:   

    They also have some videos of how to copy Bargue plates which focuses on this method:

  • No challenge then!!!!!Lol.
    I have right side of the brain book and although I have constructed a painting before working on it ...these days I just go staight in and shade or paint from relations to there is no drawing beforehand. I have posted a drawing and painting ising this method...they are both childlike and if you get it wrong you're should be able to see what I mean.  But it is quicker...and you get something on paper.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited April 2017
    @Forgiveness ; WOW!  I must comment on the photo you posted here.  The quality is unique.  It looks like a shot from a professional studio.  Is it a selfie?  Can you tell us if you worked on it with an image processor to get the contrast and texture?  Camera name?  Full frame or crop?  Exposure Value settings?  Type of lens?  Anything?  Thanks.  Summer
  • Great photo. Makes me want to try a pencil portrait.
  • Another way to draw is to pick up a newspaper and pick any photo of a criminal, company executives, business tycoons, sportstars, general people. Focus on values and proportions. Rest will happen all by itself. Draw big.
  • edited April 2017
    @Kaustav thank you, I used to do this when I was just a child a lot! It works! I also found that high contrast photos worked best for me.
  • edited April 2017
    @Summer thanks for asking, believe or not it's a selfie taken with my Samsung Galaxy J3(6) phone camera.  I used Adobe Lightroom 4 for processing. I removed the distortion from the area where the face is, to get to appear closer to natural, adjusted the contrast, toned down the highlights, increased clarity and detail, and finally cropped the photo and created a proof. Both the color version and B&W turned out well in my opinion, and I chose the B&W for drawing purposes as you can see. It's easier to draw from B&W photo rather than from a color photo. Hopefully this will motivate or inspire an artist to want to draw it in a most natural way and enjoy it, including the end results.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited April 2017
    @Forgiveness ; Thanks for the detailed explanation.  Very surprised that your photo started from a phone camera.  Your photo does make one want to draw from it as Rob @tassieguy mentioned.  To me it is a work of art in itself.   <3  Summer 
  • Hi Mike...youmay also be interested in Bill Martins web site free tutorials from basic drawing...shading and oils...his work is fantastic, unfortunately he is no longer with us..but all his teachings are on the web for free. BTW....your sketch of the model is spot perhaps you underestimate your skills.
  • I think it works.  I could paint from this.  Thanks for contributing @BOB73

  • I know I'll get some grief for this but who is super mario? Are you refering to the cartoon?
  • Mario had a great big mustache and was the greatest person who lived in a certain very popular video game back in the day.  It's a little over emphasized in the photo.  It looks better in person, as these things always do.
  • THanks. I only played 2 video games. Pong and Asteroids. I was never fast enough to win at either. The art that goes into these new video games is pretty darn good though.
  • edited April 2017
    Here is a blurred image of mine, with lesser perspective distortion in the photo! It has a lot of tonal variations and endless scope of abstraction. @MikeDerby Can you do a portrait based on values?

  • I will try.  It's all a fun learning experience 
  • Hat? As in HATS? Did somebody mention hats? Oh. Never Mind.
  • Yeah, the hat's awesome above those piercing steel grey eyes. I don't know that I'd wear it out, though.  :)
  • If you put your pine cone on your hat, you could have a Carmen Miranda look going on.
  • PeterePetere -
    edited June 2017
    Photo taken from my homepage. May be a bit blurry but its something ;) sketch away :+1:
  • edited June 2017
    I should not have posted it.  So for your viewing pleasure, a freehand master.

  • edited June 2017
    This is quite an improvement. There are fine qualities in this as is, and have a very good likeness, however I find it is lacking in contrast, I would develop the values more in this, and the left eye is smaller than the right compared to the photo. Mark C. even though not part of his method, gave me the inspiration and confidence to develop my drawing for use for oil painting, so my drawings turn out like I could paint them in oil with much confidence, this is what I aim for. I've learned to "assert" myself through the drawing. The better your drawing (resolution), the better your painting (resolution) will be. I may be way off course here but I hope this helps. I will get around to drawing these as well but need to clear my schedule some of what I am already working on. Most pressing now is finishing my pochade box, nearly complete, well before summer season is gone. Just a few more days I'll be posting in a new thread.
  • Thanks guys. You are right about the values and I need to bump some lines. Freehand is really hard. Darrell Tank actually teaches a triangulation method similar to Mark's.  Even the YouTube guys teach a sort of modified golden line method as freehand. Maybe I have set my sights too high.
  • edited June 2017
    Darrell Tank is is good once you get the hang of it, doesn't take long. I learned a lot from old school books on drawing (now in PDF). Loomis, Hogarth, Bridgman's, Vilppu, Drawing Magazine, looked at and studied old masters drawings. Suggestion is get the basic shape down well, then start adding values, working from dark to light as much as possible, beginning with darkest darks moving up from there. I encourage you keep trying with what you already have until something else. It is hard at first and then there is a breakthrough that occurs. I still most often get the right eye in any portrait wrong at first, a real stresser and have to get over it almost every time and correct it. I start my drawings light at first to preserve whiteness of paper as needed and not to damage. 
  • Good attempt. Always look for values and shapes. I intentionally sent you a blurrded photo so that you could have some softness. We don't see sharp images. One thing I wanna say is take black and white prints for sketching. Colors are deceiving.
  • I noticed that the bottom third of his face is off.  Particularly his chin.  There needs to be more space between the lip and the bottom of the chin. Also, as I am looking at the drawing, the left side of the forehead isn't quite right. It is probably the shadowing.  I always hate to make many comments on a piece of art because you don't know what someone has in mind for corrections already.  My comments may be unnecessary.  I do think you have a very good start.  "Hunting lines" are necessary in freehand drawing.  They can always be erased and replaced. 
  • Who has better friends?  I think I will start over on this one 
  • Mike, using a proportion checker or just measuring with pencil will help you get proportions right. It really matters with faces-trees, rocks, sky, not so much. It's not a crutch, it's a tool, and you will be moving towards free hand drawing as you go. Your brain will learn where things are supposed to go, and how they fit together. Getting proportions correct with an aid will allow you to focus on values. No harm in attempting free hand or posting. It's all good. :D Cool video..
  • You have a lot of drafting experience to overcome or you can turn that to your advantage. I don't think there are any rules about using "tools" in sketches. Freehand means you are free to use your hands.
Sign In or Register to comment.