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How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

Drawings and questions from Anastasia

Dear Drawing Academy tutors,

I have some troubles with drawing a human head. It is OK when I copy a drawing, but when it comes to draw portraits from memory or imagination, I’m lost.

Here are some of my drawings:

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

Can you please advise what to do?

Thanks,
Anastasia

Feedback from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy Tutor

Dear Anastasia,

Many thanks for your email and questions.

Your challenge is not unique, there is nothing to worry about : )

The human head is one of the most challenging topics for an artist. It takes at least three years (not three months) for art students to master portrait drawing skills.

What I see on your pictures shows that you are not just copying but thinking carefully about the artistic construction of the head. This is very good and will help you make progress with time and practice.

Keep practicing. Find a few minutes (or hours) every day to try sketching from your imagination or life.

If you have access to casts of antique sculptures, these can provide excellent classical models from which to practice portraits.

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

If you don’t have such an opportunity, you can draw self-portraits, family members, and friends.

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

At the same time, practice drawing simple geometrical objects. Various household items, like books or cans, can be used for this exercise. When you draw them, use constructive drawing principles.

Think of how they are constructed and what their parts are. Draw them as if they were transparent, using helping lines like axes of symmetry and perspective lines. Such simple exercises will help you in the more advanced subject of portrait drawing.

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

The human head can be simplified as a geometrical object; it has volume and shape and is constructed from smaller objects and features. Think of what is beneath the skin, how the skull defines the head’s shape.

Practice drawing skulls from various points of view, and it will help you to understand the anatomy of the entire head.

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

How to draw portraits from memory and imagination

It is very good that you are not satisfied with your results! It shows that you have room for improvement and a desire to improve your drawing skills.

Keep practicing!

To your creative success,
Vladimir

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Categorized: Critique My Artworks

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Lin Sushynski says:

    Your instructions are excellent and I have improved a lot just by continuing to draw and draw and draw. I hope someday to take the full course. Thank you for your encouraging words. Lin

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