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Can you learn portrait drawing ?.

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Can you learn portrait drawing ?.

Postby Maddyjean » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:06 am

Hello .

My question was if you can learn portrait drawing? Or are you just gifted with it from the start?.

I'm a interior design student ..well just qualified so I quess u can say junior interior designer.

Drawing is my passion and I always been really good in drawing interior perspectives and houses and ect.
They look really realistic, also just fun drawings like Disney or flowers or tattoo style drawings and some animals.
But my portrait drawings looks very childish to me and not realistic at all, I have a hard time with doing portrait, but I really want to be able to do this!. The face is the hardest part. I've done some eye drawing in big format and that looked really nice but placing it In a face I just can't do it. It won't look realistic or good.

Is it possible to learn this? As I am a good drawer.

Thank you!


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Re: Can you learn portrait drawing ?.

Postby tiago » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:06 pm

Completely learnable, unless you have a very horrible horrible viewsight :P

Drawing portraits is not different from drawing anything else. Its just that the human brain has much more wiring made specifically to recognize patterns on faces. That both impact on being harder to avoid falling in the symbolic system when you are interpreting your source as make harder to fool the viewer sicne his brain is highly specialized into finding wrong things in faces.

But practice can overcome that and make it the same as any other drawing.


Re: Can you learn portrait drawing ?.

Postby zaika » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:20 pm

You should check out "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards! My dad gave the book to me a while ago and it really changed the way I approached drawing people. It'd be a good stepping off point, anyway. :)

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Re: Can you learn portrait drawing ?.

Postby AlienJay » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:55 am

I'm no expert, ( just started drawing myself) but from what I understand from people actually working in the field, its all about the proper training, and most importantly, the amount of time you put into it. You can learn any form of art( figure drawing, landscapes, portraits etc). Its all about how dedicated you are. Heres a quote from Michelangelo :

''If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all''

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Re: Can you learn portrait drawing ?.

Postby Anderson » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:17 pm

I teach portrait drawing to groups of young children after school. Granted, these students demonstrate clear ability, but I've taught adults with NO prior experience, and they achieve worthy results.

You can learn to do anything. If you can write your name, you can draw.

You need drive and a teacher who can deliver the appropriate content in a meaningful fashion. That teacher may be someone more experienced, it may be a book, or it may even be yourself.

That said, natural talent and giftedness is a real thing. I've learned guitar, but I'll never be Eddie Van Halen. He's gifted at music; I am not. I can learn to play basketball, but I'll never be Michael Jordan. So there's good, and then there's great. We must all come to terms with this inescapable reality.

Being good is good enough. If you find enjoyment in a task, consider yourself a success. One does not need to be great to enjoy any endeavor. The work itself should be its own reward.

Portrait drawing is a peculiar animal. It is deeply personal, to both artist and subject. For this reason, shortcomings can be insurmountable to some—but not because they are insurmountable, but because many people simply give up too early, expecting too much too soon.

You can get around inexperience with assists, such as proportional dividers, measurements, grids, optics, and so on. This is especially noteworthy for anyone who wants to draw a good portrait right now. It can be done. After all, you likely rode a bike before you could actually ride a bike, thanks to training wheels, which imparted prerequisite feelings of safety and confidence.

Assists aside, you need to hone your powers of visual perception. You must be able to look at a form and recognize the lines and arcs that define it, then represent them accurately across a two-dimensional place. Everyone, no matter their current or potential level of ability, does this the same way: PRACTICE. Year upon years of practice. A lifetime of practice, to be frank.

I would not start learning portrait drawing with portrait drawing. I say this because—in the beginning—it does not matter what you draw, only that you draw. The initial skills one learns are universally applicable, and it is not unwise to spare oneself unnecessary discomfort struggling with a thing that is by its nature supremely exacting. Draw anything but portraits at first. Get some less stressful experience under your belt. When you can draw a stapler, a pair of scissors, a coffee cup, then move on.

I'd recommend a book that walks the reader through the basics. Books are singularly patient. Learn how to see the shape of the human head, the axis of symmetry, the guidelines for the eyes, nose, and mouth. Learn how to draw parts: an eye, a nose, a mouth, an ear, and hair. Learn how to combine those parts. Then spend the rest of your life looking at specific people and finding the shape of the head, axis of symmetry, and guidelines—and putting them onto paper accurately.

Draw, perceive, and be patient. You can learn anything.
I am a teacher.


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