Sketching - A Brief Tutorial on Shapes and Starting a Portrait

Auction item for Heart Love Place.

A few weeks ago, my husband documented me as I was drawing this precious face for the Heart Love Place auction.

This is an incredible organization in downtown Milwaukee, WI that tutors, provides jobs, and loves on kiddos in the inner city with ministries from basketball leagues to culinary school. 

AMAZING!! Read more about it here.

(Blog post on the auction coming soon) 

Because my sweet hubby took these, I thought I would share a bit of my heart, as I do what I love most...drawing faces.

I think there is something so, so beautiful about the human face....EVERY human face. 

Here is a brief tutorial on the basics of getting started.

We are offering classes this fall on portrait drawing if anyone is interested at Bloom-Prints Studio! For now, you can contact me here.

(New website for registration coming soon!! :) 


As I tell my kids in class, I always start by breaking image down into shapes.

Its amazing how you start to see the world this can draw anything by breaking it down into shapes.

I have never taken a portrait drawing class...but this applies in anything you do in art!

This technique will allow you to focus in on the small details first and then when you take a step back, you realize they all end up working together in harmony to create a face!

Sketch with light marks to establish your blueprint for your portrait. Remember to keep the eyes in the middle of the face, not at the top where the forehead is supposed to be. 



Next, begin to add in deep contrast to set shapes apart from one another.  Once your shapes are established with light pencil marks, don't be afraid to build deep contrast. It will look strange at first, but keep going :)


As I begin to build shapes and shading (chiaroscuro), I begin to notice that what I thought was dark contrast (against the white paper) really isn't dark at all. At this point, I go back in and begin to build the hue to an even deeper shade.




I would love to answer any questions if you have them! Click here to sign up for Studio Classes.

Click here to learn more about Agape Portraits or to commission your personal portrait!

We would love to have you in class this summer or fall!! 

Have a blessed day. 

{Life}    {Flips/Tutorials}