OK, so in the last lesson we learned about the 1st Pillar of realistic portrait drawing: Realistic Shading. And we also learned about the 5 Elements of Shading and the Gradual Blending technique.
(Note, this is lesson #3, so if you haven’t seen lesson #1 and lesson #2, go do it now)
In this video, you’ll learn about the most important shape in portrait drawing. We’ll also take the concepts that we learned yesterday, and apply it to drawing this shape.
This is very important foundational skills we are building, so please pay close attention and draw along.
Now it’s your turn to try drawing the sphere for yourself. Just refer back to this video if you need any help.
Here’s a picture of the sphere for reference:
Knowing how to draw a sphere realistically will take you very far toward being able to draw a portrait so make sure you practice it. It will make everything we are going to do in the future a lot easier.
In tomorrow’s lesson, we’ll dive into some actual portrait drawing! I’ll reveal to you the 2nd Pillar of Portrait Drawing and show you a super cool technique for drawing any portrait photographs.
If you struggle with keeping your portrait in proportion and your drawing accurate, then you definitely don’t want to miss the next lesson. So be sure to look for tomorrow’s email.
If you wanna learn more about portrait drawing, check out my “Portrait Fundamentals Made Simple” course.
It’s a very beginner-friendly course that walks you through all the basics of portraiture, from constructing a basic head, facial proportions, drawing the features, and finally drawing a realistic portrait step-by-step.
Fantasting! Thank you
Hi Ethan, Tom here. I am late getting into this as I have been working with some Charles Brague and loomis materials as well as the tutorials. I use a brush for blending. I have three broad camel hair brushes that are wonderful as well as other brushes I use. I find the brushes to provide a smoother transition and the work appears much less smudggy. Tortillions are fine, but a rather harsh for me as they drive the graphite deeper into the grain of the paper. Haven’t tried it yet but i am looking at using 0000 steel wool to see how that works as well. I understand there is a bamboo material that is great but haven’t found an appropriate source, someone suggested Bambooie, its like a paper towel but washable and gets softer over time and use. I am also wondering how graphite powder might work. Guess my goal is to find a technique and strategy that will keep my work from looking smudggy.
I know what you mean. I been experimenting with using a Robert Simmons synthetic sable brush and charcoal powder for blending and doing the background on my portraits. I’m starting to like it better than the blending stumps as it gives you finer control, like you said. Although I will still probably use the stumps for certain things. We’ll have to wait and see. I haven’t tried graphite power yet, but I heard that it’s like charcoal power except it stays in place more.
This is amazing , thanks 😀
This is amazing , thanks
Thank you so much for your great teaching! As a beginner I can’t wait for next lesson!
You’re very welcome. I’m glad the lessons are helping. I designed it so that beginners could have a good introduction to portrait drawing.
This lessons is very helpful and am truly enjoying it. Can’t wait until tomorrow.
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Really enjoying the drawing classes I am learning alot. I have been drawing most of my life but have never been able to do portraits. Actually did good on the eye which has encouraged me and my ability to do this. Thanks for opening this possibily for me. Looking forward to each class.
Hi. I’ve watched 3 lessons and I should say they are great. It improved my drawing a lot. thank you Ethan 🙂
Great lesson. Now I know where I am making mistakes. Thank you. I love it.
Im so excited for tomorrows lesson!! Thank you very much ethan!! Very informative!!
I used to blend with my fingers but I realize that the paper blender is much more precise. Your lessons are great :o)
I really aprreciate what you are doing, It’s very helpful
hmmmm hi im asking if the charcoal is helpful to create a perfect blending… ? thnx 🙂
I am so thrilled I found your site Ethan. My wife said “wow” when she saw my “reference” sketch.
All credit goes to you.
I really appreciate what you are doing – that is showing us glimpses, in the hope that we will buy your DVDs. Sometimes I think you push too hard and that is when i think twice.
Sometimes you seem desperate to me. I like what you do, believe me. But I have to clear my thoughts before I am pressured to buy. I hope you understand what I mean. i mean you no harm , in fact I thank you for your lessons.
I have just been medically retired from work and would love to try my hand at something artistic. Your site has really fired my imagination and I will look forward to the next chapter. Thank you for making this possible for us wannabie out there.
VERY HELPFULL VIDEO
i have never been to any art class but i still draw where some people say i have the skills so didnt wana stop trying. i ve learned to draw portraits watching videos on youtube and yes up to a certain extend i kind of draw something close to the exact thing and i spend too much time erasing and fixing it. your are the first tutor that i’ve followed tutorials from… and like you mentioned in one of your videos though we like to learn we have to spend alot of money on art classes…. your a very kind heart person to understand what people like us really want and help them in the best way you can… I really appreciate what u do…
god bless, and keep up what you doing. 😀
I’ve been following your email tutorials for photo realistic portraits, thank you, you have helped me a lot. I’ve just returned to the sphere shading and I wonder whether you could illustrate shading from light source from the top and the bottom, please.
I really appreciate your lessons when i finished my sphere i will send you.
Thank you very much Ethan!
Your lessons are reaaaaally helpful for me!
I hope one day I will draw like you! Or like her: Ileana Hunter Art / Facebook
But it’s going to be a bit difficult –‘
I can’t wait for tomorrow 😉 !
Thank you Ethan … I agree with all of the positive feedback others are giving you. Your lessons are excellent, clear and easy to understand and implement. Your teaching technique works!!
Oh, yes! I see the first result!!!!!!!!
Thank You so much for your amazing tutorials, it’s already no.3 lesson and i feel that i improved so much. I’m planning to stick with your great lessons till i get satisfied. I hope to improve my drawing really bad.
thanks again, and please keep sharing your useful techniques lessons, hope you the best.
Very helpful drawing video.
One of the most helpful I have come across.
Thank you so much.
Thank you this has been VERY helpful!
Jeg er måske den første dansker, som ser dine film, men det gør ingen forskel, for de er rigtig gode og jeg lær en masse. Jeg er imponeret 🙂
I am perhaps the first Dane who watch your videos, but that makes no difference, because they are really good and I lern a lot. I’m impressed 🙂
The lesson of the eye are graet and instructive
This sphere drawing tut was just awesome. After the 2nd day’s video I kind of tried but messed it.. bt after this one i am going to get it 🙂 🙂 thanx a lot
I’m enjoying your tutorials very much I was in an accident a few years ago and my right hand has nerve damage, I’m very passionate about drawing and wish I could do better I’ve overcome a lot of difficulties and I will master this it is just slow for me. Your a wonderful artist and I do enjoy these. making the hard lines dissapear is the hardest for me, I think I just put to much pressure on the pencil.
I’m sorry to hear about your situation, but I’m glad that you are still passionate about your art. You sound like you have a great attitude about things. I’m really glad to have you here!
it hepls a lot………….thanks ethan.your the best
how often do you think we should change a blending stump?
You can pretty much use a blending stump until it fall apart OR there is so much graphite built up on the end that it no longer blends and is basically just a pencil 🙂
Great video its too bad I suck
Congratulations for your video course. I finally found the design course I was looking for for years. I am Italian, I understand a little English wrote, I also help with subtitles in English and translated into Italian, but seeing your manuality says more than a thousand words. In the past I have read many books, not just design, but also other technical matters, where the first pages promised to teach me many things, but after reading the book until the end, I was back to the starting point. Your method of teaching instead explains the most important things to avoid all those pesky theories then are useless.
Thank you for making available this online course.
What lead grade are you using.
I am using 2B lead but HB will also do.
thanks a lot for the tutorials …. as im very fond of drawing , ur drawings tutorials are helping a lot .. 🙂
i must say, you are the best tutor 🙂 thanks a lot once again
Thanks for yours videos. Because I am wery busy ( have got full time and part time jobs), my drowing skills forvards wery slow. I am really enjoining them, thanks a lot.
Very neatly and clearly explained ,thank you swastika
I use cotton swabs for shading. I guess not the tool is important but the technique you teach us. Thank you for sharing your techniques with us. I have learned a lot.
Yes you are absolutely right! It’s always better to take action and not let things get in the way.
Great video… Do you not use different degrees of graphite to draw and get different effects. I took art classes many many years ago and they never showed how to use a tortilla…we learned blending techniques with different grades of graphite. I love to learn new techniques..
I struggle to find a tortilla in many stationary shops so i did one thing i make my own tortilla
Is that fine??
Yes, this is absolutely fine. As long as you can use it to spread and blend the graphite, it will get the job done. Great job on being resourceful and not letting a little problem stop you 🙂
Hi I have done the first three. loving it .
hello ethan, my problem is the drawing, i cannot draw, i know how to shade (in fact i’m excellent in this, though for some it is the most difficult part) but to draw…
what tip can you give to me for this…??
Thanks for sharing your drawing tips. I am enjoying the video’s very much. You are very kind to show these for free. Thanks and God bless you.
You’re very welcome, Mel! It’s my pleasure. Thank you for the comment.
I am enjoying your videos. You have the knack of transferring information in a very intelligent way.
Thank you very much! I try 🙂
I am having so much fun!
Best tutorial I have ever come across. Thank You!
Wow. Thank you very much for the kind compliment.
Just fantastic ! ! Interesting ! ! I have no problem to follow and do understand easily. Keep watching ( and practising) that is the secret !
once again y have been so clear in your explainations. I look forward to the next video
love the shading effect it made the sphere pop !
a very informative lesson delivered in a friendly professional manner, thankyou
Very clear, precise and nice explanation!
The video was very interesting and good practice. Thanks for your time.
enjoyed technique of shading
shading is my hardest, and how to put wrinkles that don’t just look like lines
That’s a great idea Bobbie. I will definitely try to make a tutorial about that one. Thanks!
i can do shading but somehow always get dark areas and not very smooth hoping this video will help
I found the video very helpful. Thank you,
That’s a sklilufl answer to a difficult question
I really liked the time flow of this video; I’d followed another artist’s video on sphere’s and it was app. 1 hr & 10 min.
With your video, I paused it once, but will be more willing to re-watch it as I practice than the other, lenghly video.
nice tips 🙂
Glad you liked it!
Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such excellent information being shared freely out there.
Oh my god, i dont think i can do it but… Yep, i did it. This is first time i drew something like this, it’s reeaally cool..!!
Thank you much much much!!
Awesome! Keep it up, Tim.
Takes a lot of practice, but end result is fantastic!
Sounds like you’re seeing some great results with your drawing. Please feel to post it (or send it to me) so we can share your progress with everyone here :-).
Of the 5 lessons, this is the best.
Thanks you, Jazlin.
Itˇs really a great and useful piece of info. Iˇm satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.
great to day , loved it thanks
I like this. So glad I found your site!
very enjoyable, how soft a pencil should i use for this exercise.
You want the lead to be a little bit softer than normal. That way it will spread easier when you blend it. I find that 2B lead works best (or if you are using a regular pencil — a 2B pencil), but if you can only find HB lead, that will work fine too. But when it comes down to it, which ever softness you find works best for you is optimum. I hope that helps. Thanks for the question.
wow, this is a very good technique. Can’t wait for tomorrows lesson!
Which pencil do you use?
I used a .5mm mechanical pencil. The brand of the pencil doesn’t really matter (they’re all the same). But if you can, try to use 2B lead in the pencil (instead of HB). It’s makes it a little easier to shade with (but not a big deal). Hope that helps.
The reference sphere was not in the tutorial outside of the video.
Ops! I was so busy created the upcoming tutorials I must’ve forgotten. 🙂 Good catch, Meo. I’ve added it to the post now. Sorry for the delay.
Ethan you are amaing, what a great teacher taking your time so that real beginers like myself can’t fail. can’t wait for tomorrow. Thank you
You are very welcome Sue. I’m glad I could help.
Hi I love your way of teaching, I may be able to draw after these lessons, thanks for your help.
That’s fantastic. Thank you!