Easy Portraits to Draw for Beginners

Easy Portraits to Draw for Beginners

Are you interested in capturing the essence of your favorite people through art, but feel overwhelmed by the intricate details and techniques of traditional portraiture? If so, this guide is tailor-made for you. Embark on a journey of artistic exploration as we uncover a treasure trove of easy portraits that are perfect for beginners, regardless of their skill level.

These portraits not only provide a delightful and accessible introduction to the world of drawing, but also nurture your creative spirit and allow you to express yourself in a unique and meaningful way. So, gather your drawing materials, let your imagination soar, and prepare to bring your artistic vision to life with these beginner-friendly portraits.

As we delve into the realm of easy portraits, let’s begin with a few fundamental tips and tricks to set the stage for your artistic success. These guidelines will help you navigate the intricacies of drawing portraits, ensuring that your creations are both aesthetically pleasing and true to the essence of your subjects.

Easy Portraits to Draw for Beginners

Welcome to the world of easy portraits, where creativity knows no bounds! Let’s dive into four key points that will guide your artistic journey.

  • Simple Shapes: Break down facial features into basic shapes.
  • Start with Profiles: Begin with side views for a simplified approach.
  • Reference Photos: Use images as guides to capture likeness.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: Repetition is the key to improving skills.

Remember, the beauty of easy portraits lies in their accessibility and room for personal expression. Embrace the process, experiment with different techniques, and let your unique artistic voice shine through.

Simple Shapes: Break down facial features into basic shapes.

At the heart of easy portraits lies the concept of simplifying complex facial features into basic shapes. This approach not only makes the drawing process less daunting, but also helps you capture the essence and likeness of your subjects.

  • Ovals for Heads: Start with an oval shape to define the overall shape of the head. This provides a solid foundation for building the rest of the facial features.
  • Triangles for Noses: Noses can be simplified into triangular shapes. Experiment with different orientations and proportions to capture the unique characteristics of each nose.
  • Circles for Eyes: Eyes are often depicted as circles or ovals. Pay attention to the placement and spacing of the eyes to convey emotion and expression.
  • Curves for Mouths: Mouths can be simplified into curved lines. Consider the angle and shape of the mouth to reflect the subject’s mood or personality.

Remember, these basic shapes are merely a starting point. As you gain more confidence and experience, you can gradually introduce more details and nuances to your portraits. The key is to practice regularly and experiment with different shapes until you find a style that resonates with you.

Start with Profiles: Begin with side views for a simplified approach.

When embarking on your portrait-drawing journey, starting with profiles is a fantastic strategy. Profiles offer a simplified perspective that allows you to focus on capturing the essential features and proportions of the face without the added complexity of foreshortening and perspective.

  • Focus on the Outline: Begin by sketching the basic outline of the head and neck. Pay attention to the overall shape and proportions.
  • Define the Features: Gradually add the facial features, starting with the eyes, nose, and mouth. Use simple shapes and lines to represent these features.
  • Capture the Expression: Pay attention to the angle and position of the eyes, eyebrows, and mouth to convey the subject’s expression.
  • Add Details: Once you have the basic structure in place, you can start adding details such as hair, ears, and clothing.

Remember, profiles are a great way to practice capturing likeness and conveying emotion. As you become more comfortable, you can experiment with different angles and eventually move on to drawing portraits from various perspectives.

Reference Photos: Use images as guides to capture likeness.

Reference photos are invaluable tools for aspiring portrait artists, especially beginners. They provide a visual guide that helps you accurately capture the likeness and features of your subject.

Choosing the Right Reference:

  • Select clear, well-lit photos with good contrast.
  • Choose images where the subject is facing forward or in a three-quarter view.
  • Avoid photos with extreme angles or heavy shadows.

Drawing from Reference:

  • Position your reference photo at eye level and ensure it’s well-lit.
  • Start by lightly sketching the basic shapes of the head and facial features.
  • Use the reference photo to accurately place and proportion the features.
  • Pay attention to details such as the shape of the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Capturing Expression and Emotion:

  • Study the expression in the reference photo and try to convey it in your drawing.
  • Pay attention to the position of the eyebrows, eyes, and mouth.
  • Subtle changes in these features can drastically alter the expression.

Practice Regularly:

  • The more you practice drawing from reference photos, the better you’ll become at capturing likeness.
  • Try drawing different people from various angles and expressions.
  • Experiment with different drawing techniques and styles.

Remember, using reference photos is not about copying every detail. It’s about using them as a guide to help you understand the proportions, features, and expressions of your subject. As you progress in your artistic journey, you’ll develop the skills and confidence to draw portraits without the need for direct references.

Practice, Practice, Practice: Repetition is the key to improving skills.

In the realm of art, practice is not merely a suggestion; it’s a fundamental principle that unlocks the door to improvement and mastery. The more you practice drawing portraits, the more ingrained the techniques and concepts become, leading to a natural and effortless flow in your artistic expression.

Consistency is Key:

  • Set aside a specific time each day or week for your drawing practice.
  • Consistency is crucial for developing muscle memory and improving your skills.
  • Even short, regular practice sessions can make a significant difference.

Variety in Practice:

  • Don’t limit yourself to drawing the same subjects or using the same techniques.
  • Challenge yourself by drawing people from different angles, expressions, and ethnicities.
  • Experiment with different drawing materials and styles to discover what works best for you.

Learn from Mistakes:

  • Mistakes are inevitable and an essential part of the learning process.
  • Don’t be discouraged by them; instead, see them as opportunities to identify areas for improvement.
  • Analyze your mistakes and work on rectifying them in your future drawings.

Seek Feedback:

  • Share your drawings with friends, family, or fellow artists and seek their feedback.
  • Constructive criticism can help you identify areas where you can improve.
  • Be open to learning from others and incorporating their insights into your practice.

Remember, practice is not just about accumulating hours; it’s about engaging in deliberate, focused practice that pushes you to grow and refine your skills. With dedication and perseverance, you’ll witness remarkable progress in your portrait-drawing abilities.


To further assist you on your portrait-drawing journey, here are some frequently asked questions along with their answers:

Question 1: What materials do I need to get started?
Answer 1: The basic materials you’ll need include a sketchbook or drawing paper, a pencil with a good eraser, and a sharpener. You can also experiment with different mediums like charcoal or colored pencils as you progress.

Question 2: How do I choose the right reference photo?
Answer 2: Select clear, well-lit photos with good contrast and where the subject is facing forward or in a three-quarter view. Avoid photos with extreme angles or heavy shadows.

Question 3: What are some common mistakes beginners make?
Answer 3: Some common mistakes include rushing the process, not paying attention to proportions, neglecting details, and being afraid to experiment. Take your time, observe carefully, and practice regularly to overcome these challenges.

Question 4: How can I improve my shading and values?
Answer 4: Practice creating a range of values from light to dark using different pencil pressures. Study the light source and how it affects the shadows and highlights on the face.

Question 5: How do I capture the likeness of my subject?
Answer 5: Pay close attention to the proportions of the face, the placement of the features, and the unique characteristics of your subject. Study their expressions and try to convey them through your drawing.

Question 6: What are some tips for drawing hair and clothing?
Answer 6: For hair, use light, feathery strokes to create texture and volume. For clothing, consider the folds and wrinkles, and use shading to create depth and realism.

Question 7: How can I overcome creative blocks?
Answer 7: Creative blocks are common, but you can overcome them by experimenting with different techniques, taking breaks, and seeking inspiration from various sources.

Remember, practice is key to improving your portrait-drawing skills. Stay patient, have fun, and enjoy the process of creating beautiful portraits.

As you embark on your portrait-drawing adventure, here are a few additional tips to help you along the way:


To further enhance your portrait-drawing skills, consider these practical tips:

Tip 1: Start Simple: Begin with basic shapes and gradually add details as you become more comfortable. Don’t try to tackle complex portraits right away.

Tip 2: Use Reference Photos Wisely: Reference photos are valuable tools, but don’t rely on them too heavily. Use them as guides to capture the likeness and proportions, but allow your creativity to shine through.

Tip 3: Pay Attention to Proportions: Accurately capturing the proportions of the face is crucial for creating a realistic portrait. Study the relationships between the different features and use guidelines to ensure proper spacing.

Tip 4: Practice Different Techniques: Experiment with different drawing techniques to discover what works best for you. Try varying the pressure of your pencil, using different shading techniques, and incorporating different mediums.

Tip 5: Have Fun and Experiment: Don’t be afraid to experiment and let your creativity flow. Drawing should be an enjoyable process, so relax, have fun, and let your unique artistic style emerge.

Remember, practice is essential for improvement. The more you draw, the more confident and skilled you’ll become. So keep practicing, experimenting, and enjoying the journey of creating beautiful portraits.

As you continue your portrait-drawing journey, remember to embrace the learning process, stay patient, and celebrate your progress. With dedication and practice, you’ll be creating stunning portraits in no time.


As you embark on your portrait-drawing journey, remember that the most important thing is to enjoy the process and let your creativity flow. Start with simple shapes and gradually add details, using reference photos as guides but not as strict rules. Pay attention to proportions, experiment with different techniques, and most importantly, have fun.

With consistent practice, you’ll develop your skills and gain confidence in capturing the likeness and essence of your subjects. Embrace the learning process, celebrate your progress, and don’t be afraid to experiment and find your unique artistic style.

So pick up your pencils, find a comfortable spot, and let your imagination take flight. The world of portrait drawing awaits you, filled with endless possibilities and the joy of creating something beautiful.

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