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Life drawing can be said to mean the drawing of human beings either in the nude,semi nude or with cloths on. It is also called figure drawing.

                                                      DRAWING A PORTRAIT

Most artist make the greatest  number of changes at the start of a drawing, therefore, it is important to draw lightly at first, as lightly drawn lines are easier to erase.

The main features of a portrait are the outline of the face and hair, while the neck and shoulders form an angular support for the head. At this stage, the drwing is not more than a set of carefully mesasured features that establish the final proportions of the portrait.

                              BUILDING DETAIL IN LINE

This stage of the drawing  involves  the sketch of some of the detail in the hair and the folds of the shirt.

The drawing of the detail of the hair must follow the direction and shape  of the head with reference to the different hair strands. They should be drawn quickly and forcefully to give a natural rhythm and vitality to the shape of the hair. The folds on the shirt helps to emphasize the form and angle of the shoulders. They should be gentle and uncomplicated curves that do not distract your attention from the rest of the portrait.


Shading is the use of pencil lines to give an impression of light and shade . The drawing will be complete by using softly shaded tones  to create the form and texture of each feature. These should be followed by using stronger  tones to unite all the elements of the portrait.

Practical study guide:  study the self portrait of Rembrandt harmeszoon van rijn

  study the shading technique and strokes