A Few Simple Tips to Draw Better Portraits

A Few Simple Tips to Draw Better Portraits

People are one of the most challenging things for an artist to draw. To capture the unique appearance and personality of a person by using the right lines and shading takes patience and practice. Even as a professional portrait artist who loves his craft, sometimes after drawing dozens of faces a day at live events, it would be much easier to draw the tree behind the person sitting in front of me! From childhood, we learn to draw people a certain way, an expected way. But it is not the most realistic way. Far from it. Here is a picture of how most of us learn to draw people.   Even if you are not an artist, I’m sure you can tell this isn’t a very good drawing. I can say that freely, because I’m the artist who did it! Here we have the eyes, with extra long cartoony eyelashes at the top of the head, an inverted “L” for a nose, and a funky-looking mouth. Probably the biggest mistake people make when trying to draw a face is putting the eyes at the top of the head. Actually eyes are somewhere in the middle. Next, the nose is best drawn by observing the contours of the nostrils and the thickness of the nose bridge and drawing those lines instead. Finally, the mouth, especially when smiling, needs the cheekbones and wrinkles, along with squinting eyes to give the appearance of actually smiling.   Here is that same face, drawn with more lifelike proportions and shapes. To draw realistically, you have to strive to draw what you see instead of...
New Artwork and the Miracle of New Life

New Artwork and the Miracle of New Life

New life is amazing. I know it sounds cliche, but it seems just like yesterday when my wife and I were at the hospital experiencing the birth of our third child, Adrielle. There were some complications at the onset–she was turned around the wrong way in the birth canal, causing my wife extreme pain, and signaling a possibility of protracted labor. We prayed. Soon enough our baby flipped around the right way and the delivery happened fairly quickly after that. What a relief! She didn’t breathe right away though. My other two children cried immediately after birth, but Adrielle was quiet, and the midwives hurried her over to the table to get her going. That was possibly the longest minute of our lives. When she did finally cry, we realized again the near-miracle of this birth. Our daughter was over 11 pounds and 24 inches long! She wasn’t obese or anything, but just came out looking like a toddler! The nurses and midwives were amazed that my wife gave birth to this large, healthy girl, all natural. Sometimes we men feel like useless bystanders during the birthing process. You realize your wife is doing all the work and you want to do something to help. But the most you can do is just offer a few over-used remarks like “You’re doing great, honey. Don’t give up!” all the time knowing that one part of your wife would like to rip your voice box out of your neck and stomp it flat, and yet taking some comfort in knowing that the other part is glad you’re there, even if you’re...
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