Tag Archives: Portraits

Easy pencil drawings.

This will explain about how to do easy pencil drawings.

Easy pencil drawings are achievable, if you break it down, into the two main components, of making a good pencil drawing, these are the construction or outline and the shading.

Most people find shading easier and more relaxing, than constructional or outline drawing but the problem is, you can’t do the shading unless, you have done the outline first. This makes drawing difficult, for most people and so they never get to enjoy, doing the shading because they give up, before they have completed the outline, and it’s a pity.

Easy pencil drawings, can be achieved, it dose not have to be difficult because you can trace outlines and get them right every time.

People will say, that tracings are no good, as drawings because they are uninteresting, if they are just tracings and boring. I will agree with this but if you are, then going to complete the drawing, by doing the shading, then this is different, very different. For a start, by learning how to do easy pencil drawings, you will enjoy, your drawing more. You will find it easier, you will find it more relaxing, you will create better drawings, you will not take as long, in doing it, plus you will still learn about construction and proportional representation, the easy way.

If you learn to draw, by doing easy pencil drawings, in this way, you will also improve, in all those more difficult areas, of construction drawing, that hamper everyone’s progress, when they try to draw freehand, by sight drawing, which is drawing, by just looking. Sight drawing is the most difficult way to draw, of all drawing techniques, so it is little wonder, most people say they can’t draw because everybody try’s to draw, by sight drawing, when they start out, it’s not a good idea really. The fact is that nobody draws, by just looking, even when sight drawing. Sight drawing is just, a more difficult way of tracing, all drawing is done by measuring, comparing and struggling to get it right, making mistakes, and trying to hide them or erasing them, making your drawings and pictures messy. Learn to draw by doing easy pencil drawings and you will find that, the results turn out to be much better and a lot less messy.

Let me tell you a fact, I used to spend hours, constructing outline drawings, of portraits for people and make a right mess, most of the time. Then I used to trace that drawing, to get the outline, onto a clean drawing area, to do my final drawing, I had no choice because people want copies of photographs, not drawings, that look like drawing, nowadays. Today people want, photo realistic drawings, they want them to look like photographs, not drawings and they do not want, to sit for you, either.

So I stopped doing it the hard way and started doing easy pencil drawings. I traced the outlines from photographs to save myself at least half of the work. I was told it was not good to do this but that was what I was doing anyway but taking twice as long. I was told, my other drawing skills, would diminish and I would become less able to draw, without tracing but do you know what, it is not true because it is more enjoyable, it is so much better but I still become aware, of important learning.

Below you will find a video, of me drawing Kurt Cobain, who was once the lead singer and guitarist, with the Grunge Rock band, Nirvana. Please notice that I am not tracing and it is here, just to prove, that tracing does not take away, from your ability to draw. Perhaps I am unique and it only works for me but I don’t think so, I am just like anybody else, who likes drawing, who got good at it, through finding ways to do so. I am sure you will also by doing easy pencil drawings.

The truth is this, I got better, much better because I enjoyed it, so much more, doing easy pencil drawings but I still became aware, of the important learning, as well.

A picture of a car, a frog and a girl.
Louie, found on the Stumble Upon, website and lightly traced from my monitor screen.

Do you know what, you need to do easy pencil drawings first, then as you get better, you can develop, the other ways, that improve your sight drawing, when you understand it better.

easy pencil drawings a progresive drawing of a frog.
Easy pencil drawings, progressive drawings of a frog, tracing taken, from an image found online, to show you, how to draw easy.

More drawing people rules.

The manikin is a great tool for drawing people or figures, it is a wooden doll, that can be set up to give you the basic out line, for a figure posing in any position and a great place to start any figure drawing, especially if you don’t have a real figure to draw from.

Images of a wooden manikin figures with one showing how a head can be used to judge proportion.
Image of a wooden manikins, used for figure drawing, when you don’t have access to a figure to draw from, showing how a head can be used, to judge proportion and measure size.

There are variations on how many heads tall an average man is, Leonardo de Vinci’s (Vitruvian Man) is almost eight heads tall where as I have seen statements saying that it is seven and half heads. The truth is this, if you measure the head of the person you are drawing, then measure how many heads it takes, to make up the distance or height of the body, it will be closest because most people vary in size anyway.

Doing this is how drawings are constructed, it is how they are measured for accuracy, mapping and recording from the information you gather, then regurgitating it into the next mark you make, to impress an idea in the viewers mind, even if the only viewer is you.

Drawing people as in the faces of people or portraits, are a very different story completely or at least they could be because I don’t use heads for measuring, when doing faces, I sort of use eyes.

The first thing you need to decide, is where you want the head to go on the drawing surface, so where does the top of the head go and where should the bottom go, in relation to the top?

You need to look at the face your doing from side to side, up and down, horizontally and vertically, whilst leaving some kind of marks behind on the drawing surface, to remind you next time around of where these elements go, in relation to each other. I look for markers, as to where the most prominent features go, on the horizontal and vertical plains, now I look where the eyes go and they are usually, half way down the head.

How far from the outer edge of the face, do the eyes start, horizontally and vertically where do the eyes start, on both sides of the face. The distance between an average persons eyes, is usually the same as the distance, from one corner of the eye to the other.

Now you can use this, to re check the other marks, from the outside of the face outline to where the eyes begin, you can use the eyes to also measure, the distance to the end of the nose, from the center point right between the eyes. This distance is usually one and a half times the distance of one eye, from corner to corner.

Image of a girls face showing how an eye can be used for drawing a face.
Image of a girls face, showing how an eye can be used for drawing a face, to help you to be more able to judge size, distance and proportions.

The distance of one eye, usually takes you to the bottom of the bottom lip with the mouth closed and the distance of two, and a half eyes, takes you to the chin, from beneath the bottom of the nose, so the eyes can help you see in more ways than one.

By measuring and checking in this way, you learn to look, and see like artists do or people who make drawings of people do, the most important part of drawing people, is the action of doing the drawing, if you don’t practice, you don’t learn enough.

You can use the rule of thumb, when doing drawings from life by holding your arm out, at full stretch and measuring how many thumbs, equate to the size of the head, and check for accuracy in the same way as above, up and down side to side.

There are many other ways to construct drawings of figures, people or portraits, there is the grid method, where you use a grid over the top of your drawing,  that corresponds with a viewing grid that you look through.

If you are copying from a picture, you can use the outer edge of the picture, to use as a measure for reference points, these can then be used for transferring it onto the drawing surface, you can do this by drawing, the outline edge of the picture, onto your drawing area and draw construction lines, see the image below, for a better idea of what I mean.

Image of a girls face showing grid lines to measure the proportions of the face.
Image of a girls face, showing grid lines, that can be used to measure the proportions of the face.

All this is a great way to learn about construction and sets the foundation for creating, great works of art, like the old masters did, and artists still do, because they use these, very same ways as building blocks, to then take the process further.

Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and everybody else uses, there past work as a reference for creating further work, based on this body of work, that they create as they are also learning.

These guys where the ones getting paid for their work because they where revered, as having exceptional skills, that ordinary people didn’t have. When kings wanted something that was impressive, mythical, mystical or magic, to impress the popular culture of the time and still do to the present day, they used artists. The works of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci are impressive because they have been used to teach this knowledge for drawing people, to others for hundreds of years.