Demo: How to Draw a Portrait Step by Step
In this demo, we’ll show you how to work with the ready-made grid and gray-scale reference images on this site to produce your own celebrity-inspired portrait masterpiece in no time.
This demo step-by-step portrait of Pink has been redrawn by using the ready-made grid and gray-scale images of Pink from DrawFamousFaces.com.
You can access the full-size original images here.
In this stage of the demo, we’ll be demonstrating how to copy the shapes and features from the grid image of Pink onto your own grid image on your sketch pad.
Step 1: Set Up Your Grid:
If you have not already drawn your grid, click here for a 2-minute, step-by-step guide on “How to Set Up a Grid”
Step 2: Draw a Portrait Using the Grid Method:
When using a grid there are only a few things you have to do to produce an accurate portrait:
- Focus on the shapes that you see in each individual block.
- In your mind (or with a ruler and pen on a printout of the grid image), divide each square into 4 quadrants. See the example below.
- Pay careful attention to where each of the shapes are positioned with in each block, and how and where the shapes continue into their neighboring blocks.
- Pressing lightly with a soft pencil (B or 2B is best), draw the shapes in each block, one at a time.
- Don’t try to get every detail drawn, just capture the shapes and the shadows.
- Stand back from your page and compare your sketch to the grid portrait you’ve downloaded from DrawFamousFaces.com.
- Pay careful attention to the proportions and placement of shapes.
- If you spot irregularities, make adjustments to your image by erasing your shapes and correcting your lines.
- Repeat this step as many times as you need to.
- Getting the foundation right is very important if you want the final product to look realistic.
A useful tip to keep in mind is to map out the position of shapes using dots at first before drawing lines. This can help to produce more accurate result
- Your completed sketch of your subject using the grid should plot out all the major shapes and shadows in outline format. You should not begin shading in until you are satisfied that all the shapes are present and in their correct positioning.
The Final Grid Image
In this stage of the demo, we’ll be demonstrating the various stages of shading in the shapes and tones using the gray-scale image of Pink as a reference.
Step 1: Learning How to Shade in Your Drawing:
If you’re new to shading, click here for beginner’s guide on “How to Shade Your Portrait”
Step 2: Adding Tone & Detail to Your Drawing:
The following images show the progression of this drawing one stage at a time until completion. The full image took roughly 2,5 hours to finish.
Remember to rub out the grid lines in the area you are working in BEFORE you begin shading and adding detail to that area.
1. Shading in the Eyes:
The highlights in the eye determine which direction the subject is looking in, it is very important to get the highlights in both eye in the same position so that your subject does not appear squint. Draw these in lightly to get the positioning correct before you start working in the dark shadows.
2. Shading in the Nose & Mouth:
3. Adding Definition to the Chin:
4. Enhancing the Shading & Rendering the Earring:
5. Rendering the Necklace:
In this portrait I have used both the grid and the gray-scale images as references to determine which shadows and tones to concentrate on. For example the background and base skin tone were purposefully left white and the dark tones were enhanced for maximum contrast and impact.
6. Completed Portrait: