Light - Portrait Walkthrough


Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but hopefully a little walkthrough can make up for it! This is an older artwork I drew in October of 2016! :) If you'd like to see a more recent portrait walkthrough, you can view it here. (Has a video to go along with it!)

Wanted to play around with portraits, going for something more sketchy and textured. It actually went pretty fast, which was nice :) Referenced from Pixabay.


1 - Initial sketch, maping things out, thinking in straight lines (like contour), and not worrying about the details. Don't be afraid to overlay your reference, trace, use guidelines, or whatever else to sketch or check your work.

2 - Finalizing the sketch. This is where I focused more on getting this accurate, fixing mistakes, etc.


3 - Laid down the flats. I like working in greys to help keep tones neutral and to make sure I don't go too dark or too light.

4 - I know it /looks/ like a big jump, but it's really not. I took a big soft brush and laid down the blacks and whites. Just getting the basic large scale values. I have a video recording of another portrait that shows this step in more detail.


5 - Switched to a textured brush. Lowered the opacity of the sketch so I could see what I was doing better. Plus, that also aids in eventually getting rid of that layer eventually, since I didn't want to keep the sketch layer.

6 - Continued on with the brush. Don't worry about needing to use a specific brush. You can make any one work. Just play around with the settings, add textures, what-have-you.


7 - Same step as 6, just a continuation of it.

8 - I knew I wanted this kind of background from the start, with the light coming in from above him. I also wanted things to look consistant and match with the textured dude. I also shrank the guy since I wanted more of the background to be in the picture.


9 - Duplicated the background, blurred it, and lowered the opacity. This keeps some of the texture look there, while making the foreground be the focal point. Added a few darker bits at the bottom to help keep the eyes in frame.

10 - Added yellow to make things pop. Set the layer to overlay. I also added some more texture at the bottom, this time on top of him to help him better fit in with the background.


Final - Added the circles to emphasize the focus on the I saw another artist try something similar and I wanted to play with it since I thought it looked cool x'D I also added a soft dark gradient at the bottom since his chest was a bit too light and I wanted the viewer's eyes to center around the face. Darkening it up makes it less distracting.

If you'd like to check out more art tips, you can do so here!

Hopefully you found some of these tips helpful!

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