Home » Watercolor Portrait Of A Son: Beginner’s Guide To Portraiture

Watercolor Portrait Of A Son: Beginner’s Guide To Portraiture

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Step 1: The “Art Director’s Head”


Welcome to Portraiture for Beginners! First things first: Bill introduces the “Art Director’s Head”, which boils down the average human head into general proportions. You can follow along for practice as well, since getting these measurements right will help you draw any face in the future.

To start off, draw an oval shape with a vertical and horizontal line down the middle. Mark the top and bottom of the head, then add two dots along the horizontal line for the pupils. These dots should be about equidistant along the whole width of the face. In the bottom half of the head, mark off the halfway point in this section for the nostrils’ position. Halfway again from the nostrils to the bottom of the chin is where the mouth should be.

Going to the top half, draw the eyes around the pupils, and make the eyelids cover about half of the eyeballs. Add eyebrows along the top, then outline the nose’s position. Ears on the sides of the head go from the pupil’s level to about the bottom of the nose, and add hair to cover the top part of the head.

This is your basic “Art Director’s Head”, which can be adjusted to match the specific features of your portrait drawing. Nonetheless, it gives you a good idea about facial proportions, and helps you think in terms of a series of planes and contours. After doing this, you can move on to sketching a real portrait.

Below is a close-up of the “Art Director’s Head”: