Proportion in Portraits
Construction drawing of the face
to understand the frontal planes and side planes.
Materials used in this lesson
HB pencil, willow charcoal, compressed charcoal stick, kneadable eraser, dry brush.
1. Having a strong light source will help you with this exercise.
2. Draw lightly so you can easily correct a mistake with your eraser.
3. This exercise is about simplifying the shadows of the face.
Keep it simple!
4. Too much detail in the ears and eyes early on can complicate the drawing. Keep using simple
5. Keep your lines simple and visible, it will be easier when you shade over them later.
6. Resist the temptation to add any detail to the face. You’ll be
adding details later!
Work from a photo, or have a friend sit for you. Draw the structural planes of the face, without
getting bogged down into any detail.
Set up to draw your own face from a mirror. Consider the light source, is it strong enough?
Draw the structural planes of your face, working broadly in charcoal without too much detail.
Look at the work of three of your classmates and offer them constructive feedback on their work.
Describe two things they did well, and two things that need improvement. Always be helpful, and
take care that what you say does not sound unkind.
Ask others to critique your work and make notes of what they say, so you next time you draw, you
can try to improve in those areas.
Don’t always use the same people to critique your work, mix it up with all the people in your
Try asking friends outside school or family for their feedback.