Step by Step Realistic Pencil Portrait Drawing Tutorial by Christopher Sia

About Christopher Sia

Hi, my name is Christopher Sia and I’ve been teaching pencil portrait drawing since 2006. The students from my online drawing course range from various countries across the globe, of which includes US, UK, Australia, Denmark, Canada, Italy, Singapore, Philippines, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and the list goes on.

People often ask me the question whether the time and effort I put into drawing and teaching people how to draw is worth it. My answer to them is that it does require a lot of work and does not appear to be an easy task to be done, but it’s the work that I am passionate about and love doing. I wasn’t born as talented as Leonardo da Vinci but I do believe that the skills and achievements I have today is a result of my hardworking practices. Hence, eventhough talent is a complimentary bonus but good practices will definitely bring the best out of every potential artist out there.

pencil portrait mastery courseThis free pencil portrait drawing tutorial is courtesy of Christopher Sia.  Christopher is an amazing artist, as you will see after viewing the portrait drawing tutorial below.  He is also the author of an equally amazing home study course called “Realistic Pencil Portrait Mastery”.

Christopher contacted me and asked  if I might be interested in looking over his course and recommending it,  if I felt it was something you may find interesting and helpful.

I will only recommend products and services that I myself have carefully reviewed.  I reviewed Christopher’s course and wholeheartedly recommend it. If you are serious about becoming an exceptional portrait artist, you should definitely consider owning this course.  You can learn more about his course by reading my Realistic Pencil Portrait Mastery Review Here.

When you arrive you will learn exactly what’s inside this course including all of the amazing benefits as well as the very reasonable price.


How I Draw a Realistic Portrait in Pencil

Many people have their own way of drawing a pencil portrait.

Some of them start by drawing from top to bottom, some start by drawing from left to right… for me, I have two slightly different ways to start when I’m teaching my students to draw.

For teaching beginners in drawing pencil portraits, I will demonstrate by drawing the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the ear, the hair, then only the face. This is because it’s easier for beginners to focus on just one area to another. Plus, I won’t ask beginners to add shading on the entire face because it will become very complicated that’s why I draw the hair before the face.

For teaching advanced students in drawing pencil portraits, I will still demonstrate by drawing the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the ear, the face, and lastly the hair. The reason that I draw the face first is because for showing advanced students in drawing, I fill up the entire face with shading. It’s easier to draw the hair later on.

The pencil portrait below is the example that I demonstrate for beginners without shading on the entire face:

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The pencil portrait below is the example that I demonstrate for advanced students by shading on the entire face plus adding more details:

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So in this report, I’m going to show you how I draw a realistic pencil portrait for the reference picture below.

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(Please note that this report isn’t a step-by-step guide on drawing a pencil portrait, but more about how and which steps I go first when I draw a realistic pencil portrait.)

At first, I will start to draw outline of the facial features, hair, and head with a 2H pencil. I always put a blank and clean paper underneath my hand so that it won’t dirty my drawing.

Then, I start to draw the eyebrow of the left eye. After finished drawing the eyebrow, I go on drawing the iris with a 5B pencil, then only I start to draw from upper eyelid to lower eyelid and the skin under the left eye with 2B pencil. After finished drawing everything, I draw the eyelashes with a 5B pencil.

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After that, I go on to draw the right eye with the same steps of drawing the left eye.
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Once I’ve finished drawing both the eyes, I then add shading on the nose with 2B pencil starting from top of the nose bridge to bottom of nose bridge. Then I draw left side of the nose, right side of the nose. And lastly, I draw the ball of the nose in front with the highlight on it. I also observe some details to be added on nose.

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After that, I go on to draw the mouth and the teeth with 2H and 2B pencil. I start by drawing the upper lips. Then I draw the teeth individually from left to right. And lastly, I draw the lower lips with some highlights on it.

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After finished drawing the mouth, I then continue to add shading on both side of the ears with 2B pencil. I start by drawing from the left ear, then only to right side of the ear.

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As you can see, drawing facial features realistically makes the portrait come lifelike.

After finished drawing the eyes, the nose, the mouth, and the ear, I started to add shading on the face with 2H and 2B pencil. I always start to draw from the skin around the left eye. While shading half way, I also observe some details to draw.

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I focus on drawing the face area on the left eye. Then I continue moving downwards to the cheek and beside the mouth.

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I continue drawing the jaw and skin above the mouth. Once I’ve finished drawing the skin around the mouth, then only I draw the shaved moustache around the mouth.

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After that, I start to draw right side of the face, starting from the skin around the right eye. Again, I observe the details around it and moving downwards to the right cheek.

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Usually, I draw the forehead last for face drawing. I focus on just one area then to another area from left to right.

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And now, there’s only hair drawing left. I begin to draw from the bottom of the left sideburn by moving upwards to left side of the hair, to middle, then moving downwards to right side of the hair and the right sideburn. I use 5B pencil for hair drawing. Sometimes I use also 8B pencil to achieve some really dark part of hair.

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After that, I draw the neck and the coat to complete the realistic pencil portrait drawing. Lastly, I observe the reference picture again to see which area should be darker and darken them.

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That is how I draw a realistic pencil portrait.

Instead of looking at the whole picture to draw, focus on drawing and complete one small area then only move on to another area. In this way, not only you won’t miss out the details, you will also fasten the whole process.

Take your time to draw a realistic pencil portrait and don’t be rush. Drawing should be a relax activity and not a stressful chore. icon smile

To Your Drawing Success,

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pencil portrait mastery courseThis free pencil portrait drawing tutorial is courtesy of Christopher Sia.  Christopher is an amazing artist, as you have seen after viewing this tutorial.  He is also the author of an equally amazing home study course called “Realistic Pencil Portrait Mastery”.

Christopher contacted me and asked  if I might be interested in looking over his course and recommending it,  if I felt it was something you may find interesting and helpful.

I will only recommend products and services that I myself have carefully reviewed.  I reviewed Christopher’s course and wholeheartedly recommend it. If you are serious about becoming an exceptional portrait artist, you should definitely consider owning this course.  You can learn more about his course by following this link or by clicking the banner to your left.

When you arrive you will learn exactly what’s inside this course including all of the amazing benefit as well as the very reasonable price.

Comments

5 Comments on "Step by Step Realistic Pencil Portrait Drawing Tutorial by Christopher Sia"

  1. Karoline on Sun, 24th Apr 2011 10:11 pm 

    This is so amazing! Great detail!

  2. Nadia on Sun, 15th May 2011 10:08 pm 

    Very good details

  3. jude maceren on Mon, 4th Jul 2011 2:46 pm 

    I´m very happy to see this nice work

  4. Michael on Wed, 18th Apr 2012 1:11 pm 

    my question is:
    what shall i do when i’m going to sketch the face? on how to draw face on step-by-step? how?

  5. sanjay on Tue, 9th Jul 2013 12:03 pm 

    In what size did you attempt the kevin spacey portrait ?

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