Monday, December 10, 2012

How to draw faces

The image above shows the stages that I go through when drawing a caricature face.

The first step is the outline of the face and this is a very important step as it helps to define the actual likeness of the person being drawn.

I first draw a standard thickness line base and then go over each line adjusting the thickness to suit the part of the face being drawn e.g. some of the wrinkle lines will be thinner than other areas of the face.

The second step is the blocking in of the base skin colour.  It is important to establish a good base colour...usually a medium skin tone.

The next step is to graduate the skin colour and start to refine the shape of the face. The use of darker and lighter skin colours will help to define the contours of the face.

My next step is usually the eyes.  The eyes are an extremely important part of the face, especially as it is the eyes that we tend to look at when speaking to someone.

I give the eyes a base white colour before painting in the iris and pupils etc.  It is important to note that the whites of the eyes are not exactly white...more of a dirty white / grey colour.

The mouth is the next stage and one that can take the most time, especially if teeth need to be painted.

One the main features of the face have been completed it is then on to the hair and facial hair if required.

The final touches are usually some highlights in the face, particularly around the eyes and cheeks.  Some highlights are also added to the hair, lips, and nose.

It is amazing how much of a difference a few subtle highlights can make to the overall quality of the caricature.

Although the bulk of my work is based on the painting of caricatures I also produce high definition portraits.  The workflow is a little similar to the caricature work although the are a few more stages and a lot more detail.

Head on over to to see many more examples of the caricatures and portraits.

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