Portrait #10 – How to draw a portrait from a photo

We’re going to start marking where’s the top of the head and where’s the bottom of the head. Every drawing has a purpose. You may have it really low intentionally, but that’s making sure the point is what you want. For this purpose, I’m going to just put the top of the head there and I’m going to try to draw it like an egg shape. Somewhere over here. After you draw a shape, you have a better sense of whether or not you want to keep that small. If you think it’s too small,
you’ll feel free to make it bigger. Just very loose suggestions of how you divide the page. I’m happy with this. This is good. So this is the chin. And this is the top, and I can see the
hairline starting over here. From her hairline to the eyebrows, from the eyebrows to the nose, from the nose to the chin and just divide it into three equal spaces. So this is good. This is the hairline. I’m just going to put a quick mark and here. That’s good. Now I’ve just divided it into one, two, three. I can see that, actually, this is a little bit higher, and the forehead is a little bit shorter than this portion. Okay. The second thing we want to find out is the width of the face and whether or not it’s actually in the right proportion
with the height of the face. I’m going to measure the width of the face from here from the left to the right. Just a little bit more than three inches on the paper. And then I rotate it. Do you see that from here to the other end? It’s just at the top of the eyebrows. So, if you get the top of the eyebrows to the width of the face, and then the width of the face and the height of the face would be in
the correct proportions. And let’s take this. And mark it. And this is the width of the face. If I’m going to keep this to be the left, then the right will be right here. I’m going to come down from here. Now, I can start drawing the shape of the face. Like that. And the eyebrows here. I’m going to draw
the line. It looks like her face is tilted a little bit that way. The line that connects to the eyebrows is a little bit going up in that direction. The same is for the eye and
as well as the nose and the mouth. In the similar directions. Okay, and we
are going to do the eyebrows. It’s only the guidelines. You’re probably going to let it go after. And that’s the nose. So you want to really look at it. Should it be a little more higher or a little bit lower? And the upper lip is right here. We’re going to find out where the eye is. The eye is about here. I can see the eye is about here. Okay, about there. But what is the width? I’m going to take a look at the eye from this side to here and then the space between two eyes, and then there’s this eye on the right side. Looks like it’s here. Between the two eyes, the space is a little bit wider than one eye. And because this eye is closer to you and
this eye is a little bit further away from you then this eye is a little bit smaller than the other eye. They don’t always look the same size, okay? And it looks like I got it right. Okay, in
that case, I’m going to draw a little shape the shape of the eye
and draw the shape of the eye right here. Okay? And then I compare the space
between two eyes and the width of the nose and I can come down here, almost
like a vertical line coming down here that is the left side of the nose and on the
other side of the nose and from the corner coming down here, a little bit
wider than that corner. Now I know this is the nose. What about the corner of the
mouth? It’s a little bit wider than the nose. It’s right here, and on the other side, it’s
about here. And the next is pretty easy. Okay, let’s find the narrow triangle shape right here. Can you see a narrow triangle? And there is a shadow along the side here. I’m going to blend in the
value, and the shape over here on the chin is darker here. And there is a shape over here. And what about here? It has a shape over here. And there’s a shape over here. Do you see a shape over there? And have a little shape down here. And this should be going a little bit more
to the right before coming up. I’m going to use my hand or the blender to
blend it, and that’s pretty easy to do. Ran that a little bit. That’s a little bit too much, but anyway, the mouth here is a little bit darker. Just use my finger to blend the value in. And blend the value in here. That’s a little bit too much, and use my clean finger to push that out. And oh, don’t forget that. I just use my finger to blend that value in here. And I’m going to draw the eyebrows.
This one is a little softer. All I see are the value, and the shape, and the size of the shape, and the value of each area. And I’m going to just come in here and finish the eye. Shift that in, and this eye, oh no, a little
bit more, move this to the left. Going to blend in to there. Ooh, scary, no? You can finish the shape, and I can add a little suggestion to the other side of the eye. And that should be softer, so make it a little lighter right there. Okay, and then come here. Inside this big shape, there’s a little triangle over there. Let’s add it to it. So, one thing I want to emphasize here is: We’re always starting from big shape to smaller shape, not the other way around. And that’s why we are finding a little shape over here and then adding a little shape over there. And I’ll put that. See another shape over
here? We just add a little shape over there. And a little line here showing
she’s smiling. This side is a little bit darker than this side because it’s in the shadow side. And this has a little shape down here. A smaller shape and a dark shape. Remember, we’re not drawing a person. It sounds confusing, but we’re drawing shapes. And we’re drawing a shape on the paper and make the people think about a person. A little shape here, a little shape over here, and I’m going to use an eraser to take out some light shapes. So the eraser used for creating light shapes and I’ll go over here and take that out a little bit. That’s it. And the rest is easy peasy. Okay, what we’re going to do is draw the hair. Divide that. Ugh, I forgot the ear. I’ll have the ear starting from here because it’s a curved line coming around. That is the bottom of the ear. I will not be able to draw much of the ear because most of the space is already covered by the hair. And take a look at where the neck starts, okay? And I’m going to have this side a
sharper by creating a contrast. Maybe not so much. I want to break that shape, and I’m going to create another shape here. And then where does the shoulder start?
The shoulder starts from here and on the other side.


  • Mongolian Tamu

    So educational and artistic way !!!
    Portrait sketch. Amazing art liked it ?

  • Sayantan Chakraborty

    This is as good as going to an art school but if we draw from side few measurement can changes then how to proceed

  • RJ Fernando

    just wow 🙂 thank you for this

  • Sai Tejaswi

    In love with this channel❤

  • Ron Patton

    Thanks a lot.

  • Cyano Cookie

    Not certain about the points made but ,if anyone else wants to learn about how to draw amazing pencil portraits try Skyarza Portrait Coach Star (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now ) ? Ive heard some decent things about it and my colleague got great results with it.

  • Fakhri Aslanov

    What is the pencil that you're using in the video called?

  • Bhaskarjyoti Phukon

    oww god..

  • ink ella


  • Shahzea Dawood

    its little bit change as i can see

  • Jennifer Fleming

    Thank you once again for your fantastic teaching. Most of my photos I would like to draw are on my iPad. Should I pri t them out first like you have the photo in your hand? I want to draw or watercolour my grandchildren..

  • keaboka raditsebe

    ohh I just found out tha he saying the width of the face instead of the whip !

  • Namrith Babu

    Sir, which paper is that..

  • Louise Pearce

    this was super helpful ! thanks a ton 🙂

  • Patricia Lodge

    I'm sorry but im not good at drawing but i wnt to know if what brand of charcoal did the artist used?

  • Vinay Hindoliya

    Sir .. I want to ask that some people have long nose ,some have small. How we eqully devide into four part .

  • Richard Shears

    what tools are you using?

  • Diego Reyes

    This are proportions for all faces?

  • The Indian Biotechnologist

    I mostly get the portraits right but some faces are really tough to draw? Do I need to practice more sir or is there some other issue?
    Please tell.

  • missaed

    No grids. No side-by-side same size drawing. No construction of cylindars and circles. Real world practicality. The students are lucky to have him as a teacher. Like the techniques and the tips he demonstrates.

  • Alfreda66

    I have been drawing from photos for a long time and still struggle with proportion and composition. This wonderful tutorial really helps simplify the challenges. Thanks so much for sharing!


    Wow nice

  • EDM

    The fact that you make statements like "it looks like i got that right", and that you openly admitted you had forgotten the ear highlight a rather important fact: people make mistakes. I took art classes with people who never openly stated their mistakes, so most of the students built up an image of the teacher as someone who is able to draw perfectly without effort or error, and that is very intimidating for most people. You show people that mistakes are ok, that they can be corrected, and that you can learn from it.

  • Beedalius Saiquintus

    "Oh, I forgot the ear"
    Draws ear in a simple stroke and look exactly like in the picture. There's no errors in art, only beautiful mistakes

  • Paulo De Leon

    Not certain about the points made but ,if anyone else wants to learn about steps to draw pencil portraits try Loctavan Amazing Drawing Strategy ( search on google ) ? Ive heard some super things about it and my brother in law got cool results with it.

  • r u srs

    thank you sm for sharing 🙂 really helped me alot

  • Tim King

    Thanks for posting – looking forward to trying this method – I noticed that the subjects in your portrait demos are all closed mouthed – no toothy grins

  • Hana B

    Could you please draw bts they are a Kpop boy band it’s okay if u can’t thanks for drawing this i love you❤️❤️

  • xhoi dosti

    hi everyone ,if anyone else wants to learn about steps to draw pencil portraits try Skyarza Portrait Coach Star ( search on google ) ? Ive heard some unbelievable things about it and my mate got excellent success with it.

  • Aaron Chandler

    Mr. Chen, do you practice drawing details separately? Thank you!

  • DMX Zooom


  • ToxicVolcs

    I take my art serious so to see the students faces and them yawning makes me mad if it were me I would smile

  • Asif Khan

    U r very intelligent thx for teaching i have just a question plz can u explain how to drow from a litle picture to a big picture, i mean how can we measure it.

  • Asif Khan

    Amazing , i Watch ur lovely painting again and again.
    I,m ur big fan Yong Chen ?

  • Eugenia Botezatu


  • MR PumA

    What material did you use to draw the portrait?

  • Gàbor bà

    Great! Thank you!

  • Midori irodiM

    Only thing that is bugging me is he never placed the "shape" that is supposed to be the philtrum.

  • World's Best Whistler


  • psx jeff

    Say less mean most 'WOW' !!!

  • Fly Lice

    No matter how many times I draw this image with you, I could never get the spirit out of her eyes. It is so difficult to draw eyes!

  • Laba Mthem

    What kind of pencil do u use ❤

  • Ak Malik

    master you are a graet person .i am a fan of you ….i learned in your video how to present your own thoughts to onther person .i am waiting for nex one

  • Василена Василева

    Brillian! Simply brilliant…

  • rechal ahereen

    If you can't don't give did like instead learn from him

  • seth ph88


  • giel hofmann

    Congratulations! Continue in your good work.

  • Amal

    What is he drawing with? The chalk.. What's it called?

  • Joe surfer

    Your drawing portrait instruction videos are the best I'v found on you tube. I am a professional watercolor artist and you are making me get behind on my commission work because when I watch your videos, it makes me want to draw for fun. Back in the day, we did not have videos or even other artist's to watch. We had to just learn on our own. You are a GREAT teacher.

  • Joe surfer

    I really, really, really want to see you do this with live model. That would be super cool.

  • vishnu pillai


  • yohenson

    Holy crap no eraser

  • Rough Sketch by DK Dey


  • Bubbles Erispe

    Wow….Thanks so much for all that you do. Your teachings are beyond superb. Much Much Appreciated.

  • Carel Copier



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