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A tutorial detailing how to shade a human face
In this tutorial, I will be showing you a simple way to shade a face and blend out pencil lines on your portrait. I understand that drawing faces is a subject many artists stray away from due to being apprehensive to try it. However with this tutorial, I hope you will be able to take something from it and apply it to your own work.

Posted by Sophia M Sketches from London, United Kingdom • Published See Sophia M Sketches's 7 projects »
  • How to create a portrait. How To Shade A Human Face - Step 1
    Step 1

    To begin, you will need your initial portrait sketch. If you struggle drawing portraits freehand, there are many methods you can attempt such as grid method or drawing faces from shapes. Having said this, if you are a beginner, I would recommend tracing with tracing paper or using a light box.

    Following on from this, you should begin by shading the very edge of the face with your HB pencil - please ensure that you are not shading too far into the face as the blending will do this for us. Once you have shaded with your HB pencil, blend with the blending stump then repeat these two steps for a second time before doing it a third time with your B pencil.

  • How to create a portrait. How To Shade A Human Face - Step 2
    Step 2

    When blending, bring any excess towards the middle of the face to achieve a smoother blend. This will allow for the shadows to stand out even more. Any areas you feel like need more of a shadow, you can be darkened further by doing applying another layer of B pencil then blending with the bending stump.

  • How to create a portrait. How To Shade A Human Face - Step 3
    Step 3

    Lastly, if you have over blended or would like to accentuate any highlights on the face - feel free to use a kneadable eraser. A kneadable eraser picks up product without completely erasing it and the more times you go over an area the more the eraser will pick up. This is perfect to amend any over pigmented areas you created by mistake.

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