Page 2 of step-by-step portrait tutorial.
Step-by-Step Portrait

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Step-by-Step pencil portrait

Now, start to "block in" basic shapes and shadows. Indicate (somewhat lightly) some of the shadow areas in the hair.

Start to put some shadows and a little detail in the face. Erase when necessary, but for the most part, keep your drawing "loose" - with light, broad strokes, not tight, careful strokes. Just lay in the basic shapes.

Take your drawing to the mirror now and then, and see what areas are crooked or "off kilter." (There are always "off" parts. For example, in the illustration above, the chin is crooked. I correct this later.) Looking at the drawing in the mirror helps "shock" your eye into seeing the asymmetrical areas. (Drawing crooked eyes, crooked nose, or a lopsided jaw are quite common.) Correct these problem areas, and keep working.

Keep in mind, every person has some slight asymmetric parts to their face. No individual has perfectly even features. In fact, most people look "funny" if a photo of them is accidentally reversed. However, there is a distinction between a slight "funny" look, and having features that are dramatically crooked or asymmetric.

Check to make sure the basic proportions of the drawing are correct before moving on and putting down darker tones. Use the "eye-widths" measuring method to double-check and make sure everything lines up, and isn't too large, too small, or not in proportion. It is much easier to correct and erase any major errors now, rather than later, when you have put in more detail and darker tones.

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