Last week I began of  Module Three – Portraiture Foundations of The Complete Drawing Certificate Course  where I completed several exercises to draw the various parts of a face in graphite pencil.

When reading the details about my progress below please don’t forget to click on the thumbnails by each section to see the cool drawings I created in more detail. My realistic drawings were submitted to Cindy Wider, my course instructor at, and her feedback (in italics) is also included below.

Unit Three: Portraiture Foundations: Week Two

The major purpose for this module was to explore the placement and proportions of the human adult face. I was then asked to measure and compare these standard measurements to the placement of the features on my own face by using my pencil, utilising the ‘Sighting’ technique while looking into a mirror. The sighting technique is extremely useful and can be used for drawing many other subjects and is not just limited to portraiture, as it also enables us to measure proportions while drawing from life.

We also touched on portraiture photography as I also had to take and submit a photograph of myself which I will be using to create my final portrait for this unit.

Exercise One: Positioning of facial features

Correct measurement and placement of facial features

Click to enlarge

This week the course notes were literally packed with new and useful information, especially for artists wishing to draw from life. Learning the sighting technique was fun, and the training notes contained many supporting photographs to help teach the technique. (I must say that the health warning “Careful not to stab yourself in the eye with your pencil” did make me smile!) The course then took me through the process of measuring the positions and sizes of each of my facial features which I then had to transfer onto an outline of a head. This was a great exercise, especially as I learned some really important things to look out for when capturing the measurements which are so important in portrait drawing to catch a person’s likeness. You can see the drawing I submitted here.

Exercise Two: Taking a photograph for portraiture drawing

This was a great lesson in portraiture photography and I learned all about setting the scene, creating the mood, the best way for setting up the lighting, and finally taking the actual portrait photograph itself. Here are the three photo’s of myself that I submitted to Cindy this week.


[foogallery id=”5607″]

Feedback from Cindy

Dear Ian,

Your face shape here is good, these positions are just to help you begin to understand the fascinating  insight into the study of the human face. I encourage you to also take time to notice the muscular structure on your face. Take a mirror and with a bright light source shining on your face; sun is best… Try to see the large muscles that contract and change shape as you change facial expressions. Hold the skin between your fingers to see and feel where the muscles are and try to find a book on anatomy when you can. 

All in all, the study of the human face is so beautiful and so rewarding. You will soon see that we are all beautiful; just slightly different and that difference is absolutely tiny. The tiny angles, curves and tones are what make us unique but we are also so similar.

Your photos all look fabulous, my favourite is the third one but you choose which one you like the best.

Cheers Cindy


Although I didn’t get to do very much drawing this week, I concluded that it’s going to take me a lot of practice (and patience) until I am completely comfortable with drawing portraits free-hand. However, the tools I have been given in this module has taught me all of the key points that are necessary to concentrate on to be able to accurately capture someone’s likeness.

My drawing equipment

Watercolour Journey Drawing PackDue to the number of people commenting on Twitter and Facebook about the photo’s I’ve been sharing of my progress through this course, many people have asked where I get the cool pencils I use. I spoke to Tindalls Arts and Crafts , my local art store, and they decided to offer the complete drawing kit I use at a hugely discounted price. Not only that, they’ll also throw in a free pencil case for you to keep everything in, and you’ll also be awarded loyalty points to go towards your next purchase at their store – That’s a massive saving of £15.45 (or $24.86 USD)!!! You can get your Watercolour Journey Drawing pack HERE>

Coming up

Next week I will be drawing a portrait of a three-year-old child to give me the opportunity to produce a completed portrait as well as take notice of the differences in the facial proportions of a child compared to an adult – All very exciting!! Please follow my Drawing Journey to see how I get on as I continue to learn to draw even more realistic pencil drawings online 🙂

Next Steps

Please join me!

You too can learn the fundamental drawing techniques that Professional Artists use. Download the course notes here> The Complete Drawing Certificate Course 

 Please note my  e-commerce: Disclosure