How to Draw Realistic Faces for Portrait Painting

Some portrait artists find that they know the basics of drawing faces, but the just don’t look that real. Why? It’s all in the details. These face drawing tips, below, will help give the artist the tools needed to create realistic face drawings for portrait paintings that dazzle.

Drawing Eyes

how to draw the eyes

The eyes are the most important part of the face. If the portrait artist doesn’t put enough detail into the eyes then the whole portrait will look stiff.

The best way to get good at drawing eyes is for the artist to study his own in the mirror. Here is what to look for:

  • Notice how your tear ducts are like little pink seeds in the corners of the eyes.
  • Notice that the iris is not just a circle of color in a circle of white, but several circles of different colors, with specks of color within those.
  • Take a look at how the eyelashes aren’t all the same length and are longer in the middle than on the edges.

The artist should sketch these details while observing them and then can then apply what she observes in future eye drawing or painting.

Drawing Noses

The nose is infamous for being the hardest facial feature to draw. Once again, the artist can study his own in the mirror and practice sketching it. Remember these facts for every sketch or nose drawing:

  • The contours of the nose usually flow into the beginning of the eyebrow bone.
  • The width of the nose, from nostril to nostril is usually as wide as the width of space between the eyes.
  • The nostrils are not simply holes in the base of the nose, but curves of flesh that are connected to the upper part of the lip.

how to draw the nose and mouth

Drawing Mouths

There are a few basic things to remember when drawing or painting a realistic mouth.

  • The line in the inner edge of the lips is always the darkest in color.
  • The outer edge of the lip shouldn’t be a hard edge; it should be shaded area to define the shape.
  • Lips are not perfectly smooth; they have lines and wrinkles just like the rest of the face.

Once you combine all of these tips together, you will have a much more realistic drawing of the face.