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Portrait Drawing Critique

Portrait Drawing Critique

Self portrait drawing by Tomáš Konrády

I have drawn this first self portrait as a gift for my grandma.

I used charcoal and white chalk; it took me about five hours. I tried to utilize the knowledge that I have gained from the videos on Drawing Academy – mainly about proportions of a head. Fun fact: I had to use a photo due to lack of portable mirror :)

I will be happy for feedback

Portrait Drawing Critique

Thank you

Feedback from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Hi Tomáš,

Many thanks for your self-portrait.

It is very good, well done. I like how you applied tonal values and used a toned background for mid-tones.

It is a great start, and I’m sure you will improve your drawing skills with every new portrait you do.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind next time you draw portraits:

1. Plan the composition.

When you do portraits without backgrounds, plan a composition so the head is slightly higher than the exact center of the drawing sheet.

Portrait Drawing Critique

2. Minimize photo-distortions.

I understand that you wanted to achieve high likeness and did a copy of what you saw in the photo. Nevertheless, you need to apply the knowledge of proportions because photos come with unnecessary distortions. For example, a human ear has the same height as a nose, and its top and bottom edges are aligned on the same levels as eyebrows and the base of the nose. The ear and the nose in your drawing are disproportionate.

Portrait Drawing Critique

3. Apply proportions of the head.

The main proportion of the head is that the eye-line divides the head exactly in the middle from top to bottom. This is not quite so in your drawing, which makes the cranial volume smaller than it should be and the lower part of the head bigger.

Portrait Drawing Critique

4. Apply the knowledge of a human anatomy in figurative artworks.

If you marked a virtual outline of the lower jawbone, the shape of the jaw in your portrait would be different. The knowledge of a human anatomy is very important in figurative drawing.

5. Draw what you know; don’t copy what you see.

You would have avoided most of the mistakes in this drawing if you had drawn what you know about a human head’s construction, proportion, and anatomy.

6. Draw from life.

If you are serious about learning good drawing skills, draw from life. Copying photos not only won’t help, but it will slow down your learning process.

I hope this helps.

Once again, thank you for your wonderful drawing.

Best regards,

Vladimir London
Drawing Academy tutor

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Categorized: Critique My Artworks

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Jim N says:

    I wish I could draw portraits like this! Also, after reading the feedback, it is so easy to see how to improve the portrait. Great help!

  2. masha says:

    i’m getting so much new information on how to draw by just reading critiques on this website. can i send my drawings for critique?

    • Drawing Academy says:

      Thank you for your kind words about the Drawing Academy course.

      Yes, as a Drawing Academy student, you will benefit from a personal tutoring that includes artworks critique. This support is unlimited, provided for a lifetime and comes at no extra charge. To fully benefit from the drawing course, enroll here: https://drawingacademy.com/pricing

  3. Gopi Ghosh says:

    I can now understand how important the face anatomy and the proportions are in planning a drawing to avoid distortion. Very good comments and analysis. Learnt a lot. Thanks

  4. Tom Bolt says:

    I have a self-portrait I have been working on. The original beginning has taken me roughly twenty plus hours to do albeit mine is strictly in pencil. You took five hours and I am wondering if I might be a bit obsessive. I still don’t quiet have it where I want it and after viewing it in a mirror I am noticing some necessary corrections.

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