Look at people (including yourself) in the flesh, in magazines, TV and other places and study the individual features. Practise drawing these in your sketchbook, a couple of pages per feature – different kinds of nose, eyes, ears, lips, chin, hair, eyebrows, etc. If it helps, use an enlarging grid to scale up a found image. Bear in mind that tonal variation, hatching and curved lines help model the form of facial features in the same way as they do in a still life or landscape.
When you feel fairly confident, draw an entire face. Don’t worry if your lines and marks overlap and become untidy, and don’t erase your mistakes. These workings and re-workings are part of the thinking process and show your tutor that you understand where you went wrong and worked to put it right.
I tried using various techniques, media and methods (observation from photos/ life) to draw different facial features. I was particularly interested in creating a sense of form through shading.
I went on to draw a face.
A3 Graphite Sketch
This was an interesting exercise based on the previous studies as I found this portrait emerged naturally. Whereas previously I might have started with either the outline or a single feature, I built this up instinctively using increasing tones and shading. I started with a very rough faint outline of the features from the centre of the face and worked outwards. I was really pleased with the outcome. It was interesting how the form emerged as I worked and I did not need to overwork it or attempt to create a likeness. I think the photo I was working from was fairly straightforward however, as the shadow was very defined, but I was interested to use a full frontal pose so I could measure the relative proportions of eyes/nose/mouth etc.
Can you see who it is? The likeness isn’t complete- but his essence is!