Portrait Prep: How to Diagram a Face

Suzanne Brooker
Duration:   29  mins

Students of portraiture know that an understanding of anatomy is important for creating a structurally sound, believable likeness, but with so much information out there it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to begin your study of this important topic. In this lesson, join artist and instructor Suzanne Brooker as she simplifies portrait anatomy into a straightforward process anyone can use to prepare to paint portraits from photographs! You’ll learn how to assess facial features, diagram key landmarks of the skull, and find reliable measurements to establish excellent proportions, setting you up for success in your portrait drawings and paintings.

First, Suzanne shows a number of reference photos that depict the variation in faces across different age groups. She’ll show you how to identify key information—proportions, angles, perspective lines, and more—when beginning to assess your portrait model. Then, follow along as Suzanne takes you through each feature individually by looking from many different angles, allowing you to more fully understand and recreate the essential volumes that make up that feature. Suzanne gives you instructions for how to best put this information into practice in a way that will lead to a dramatic jump in your ability to capture engaging, lifelike portraits!