Don’t you want to see yourself drawing an excellent realistic portrait of your friend?  Do you want to hear everyone behind your back saying “Wow, what an amazing work!”?  We are constantly learning and searching for a perfect way to achieve the best results we want in drawing portraits.  In addition, one of the best ways in achieving an excellent technique is creating it from photos to portraits.

When I was just starting out to do portraits, I always had a problem working on the sketch.  Sometimes the result shows that the likeness is not the same like the model.  The model that you are working on should be still and not moving so that you can grasp exactly the proportion and outlines of the face.

Using a photograph to draw a beautiful portrait is the surest way to avoid flaws in achieving the likeness of the person’s face you are working on.  Using a photograph will create an exact proportion of the different facial parts of the face.  You will not worry about drawing the lips incorrectly or doing the eyes slightly further than the alignment to the lips.  In other words, you will get the exact proportion of the face you are working on.

All these become easy because you can control the way you draw the face from a photograph.  A photo does not move and it does not distract your eyes while you are drawing.  Unlike in the live model portraiture most of the time you cannot control the occasional movements of the model’s face.

The first step you have to do to render a pencil portrait is to take a digital photograph of the face of the person who asked you to make a portrait art.  Then print the digital file to the size you want the portrait to be.  If you do not have a digital file of the photograph, the best techniques is by scanning the photograph in paper and print it to the size of the final art portrait that you are going to create.  Then trace with a pencil the printed enlarged image of the face using a light box.  Using this technique will prevent you from making a portrait that does not look like the model.

Once you sketched the overall facial parts of the face, you are now ready to render the final drawing using either a mechanical pencil or a B or 2 B or HB lead pencil, or you can even use a regular pencil and make sure they are sharpened.  Draw this portrait with pencil on illustration board or a sketched pad with smooth finish surface.  Pencil portrait do an excellent result on smooth surface that shows a crisp and clean finish art.

How to Use a Photograph to Create a Pencil Portrait:

1)    Take a digital photograph of the model that asked you to make a portrait or get a regular photograph on photo paper.

2)    If you do not have a digital file of the face, scan the regular photograph in paper.

3)    Print the digital file photo or the scanned one to the size you want for the portrait.

4)    Work with a clear and big photograph.  Then trace the outline of the whole facial parts of the face on a clean smooth paper surface.

5)    Render with pencil the light and shadow of the different parts of the face using crosshatch or smooth pencil strokes.

6)    Review what you have done and see if you have to add more shades or check anything that you have to fix. Finally, you are finish and ready to show it!

There are many advantages in using photographs as references to do  portraits.  Take that reference and you will be able to finish in a short amount of time that way you will avoid the problems you encounter with a live model.

You can also come back anytime without rushing to continue working on it where as to do it with a live model you will be forced to finish it fast during your session to avoid the constant facial movements.  With a photograph, you can get the best likeness and work from there.  Rendering portrait from photograph is really one of the best techniques.


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