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Portrait of a Young African Woman

Portrait of a Young African Woman

Artwork by Marianne, Drawing Academy student

I have been taking a lot of time in the portrait drawing section of the Drawing Academy course as I have not learned portrait drawing before. Here is the latest portrait I did of a young African woman.

I would appreciate your critique of this portrait to help me fine tune my skill in this area!

Portrait of a Young African Woman

Thanks
Marianne

Feedback from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Hi Marianne,

Many thanks for your wonderful portrait drawing.

The portrait is very good, especially if you didn’t have much practice before the Drawing Academy course – great job!

I’m sure you depicted the likeness of your model and the emotions on her face.

There are few points in your portrait you may want to double-check.

When drawing the full-face portrait, always mark a vertical line of the face that will serve you as a line of symmetry. If you draw that virtual line (marked in red), you will notice that facial features are not fully symmetrical – the corners of the eyebrows are shifted to the right and the wings of the nose to the left (blue lines). Also, outlines of the lower jaw are different – straight on the right and curved on the left.

Portrait of a Young African Woman

Always draw elements of a figure or a portrait in pairs. After you work on one side, immediately do the same on the other.

When it comes to rendering tonal values, you may want to make the area immediately beneath the lower lip a bit darker as it faces at an oblique angle to the light source.

Another thing to consider is the direction of pencil strokes. The majority of strokes in your drawing go diagonally from the bottom left to the top right. This is fine for an abstract background, but when it comes to a face, it’s better to apply strokes along contours (do not confuse with outlines).

Shading along contours helps reveal the three-dimensional shape of objects. For example, a forehead has a semi-spherical shape and would benefit from strokes as if you were rendering a sphere rather than a flat surface with some gradation of tones.

I hope this helps.

Once again, thank you for your beautiful drawing.

To your creative success,

Vladimir London
Drawing Academy Tutor

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Categorized: Critique My Artworks

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