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How to learn portrait drawing

How to learn portrait drawing

Artwork by Jack, Anatomy Master Class student

Critique from Vladimir London, Anatomy Master Class tutor

Hi Jack,

Many thanks for your artwork.

If you want to learn portrait drawing, why do you copy from photos? When you do this, you will acquire different skills that are actually required to draw realistic portraits.

However, if your aim is to become a reproducer, not an artist, then by all means, you’re doing the correct thing.

You need to make a decision whom you want to become from the beginning, as re-learning how to draw proficiently would be much more difficult, if not impossible, if you want to go from a reproducer to an artist.

Above all, drawing realistic portraits requires drawing what you know, not copying what you see…

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Shoulder study

Shoulder study

Drawins by Johann Krammer, Anatomy Master Class student

I did a first try to learn about the human anatomy with the 3D Software “Zygote Bode”.

It is not easy to keep the count of all the bones and vertebrae while drawing. Here is my first result…

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Diomedes

Diomedes

Drawings by Johann Krammer, Anatomy Master Class student

Recently I had a time to visit the Glyptotek museum.

From the first moment at my first visit I was impressed about the bust of the Greek hero “Diomedes”. So I decided to try a sketch of this statue.
First I made at home a sketch from a photograph to know the main features of the bust and the most important shades.

I had three sentences from you in my mind:
– Use a sharpened pencil
– Contrapposto
– A marble bust is almost white

Here are my results…

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Study of the Skull and Face

Study of the Skull and Face

Artwork by Dan, Anatomy Master Class student

As a continuation of my attempt to understand the bones and muscles of the skull and face I have produced three additional drawings for this purpose.

Up to now my drawings of the skull have taken on a schematic rather than a “realistic” look. I have used the Anatomy Master Class videos to render proportional skulls that I can use to study the individual bones from as well as the muscles, their placement and attachment points.

Having done that to some extent, I created an additional ¾ view of the skull using the AnatomyMasterClass.com method and then enhanced its realistic properties by also using an actual skull model to draw from. The result is the first image I have submitted here…

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Copy Drawings of N. Fechin (study of the Skull and Face)

Copy Drawings of N. Fechin (study of the Skull and Face)

Artworks by Dan S., Anatomy Master Class student

In support of my anatomy studies I have decided to draw copies of certain drawings that clearly show the skull and facial anatomy.

The first two drawings are from Russian-American artist Nikolai Fechin.

Because Fechin would sometimes slightly exaggerate anatomical features of the head and face these drawings seem to me to be helpful in learning how to render features of the human head that are true to the underlying bone and muscle structure…

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Upper Torso Drawing With Contour Lines

Upper Torso Drawing With Contour Lines

Drawing by Daniel, Anatomy Master Class student

This is a drawing of a male upper torso with some of the surface anatomy of the back and arm rendered. Also I have added a contour exercise overlaid on the same image to get a sense of the depths and elevations that exist in this twisted position across the entire torso and the back of the arm…

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Figure of a Man

Figure of a Man

Drawing by Daniel, Anatomy Master Class student

This is really just an exercise in charcoal that is purposely left incomplete, that is without a full rendering of value. The idea is to represent three dimensional form of the male figure (Rear view) by only a partial implementation of value on the arm and left back and then to show the anatomical structures elsewhere using line only…

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Artwork critique

Artwork critique

Artwork by Carl J.

Critique by Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Hi Carl,

Thank you very much for your artwork. I like it a lot.

You have a distinctive and recognizable style, which is very important for an original fine artist. Well done.

There are some areas for improvement though. I think your skills will benefit from a deeper knowledge of a human anatomy and a human body proportions…

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