Liquid Charcoal Drawing

See Prof Lieu’s first reaction to Nitram & Schmincke Liquid Charcoals. Watch demos of how this liquid charcoal works on it’s own, and also in conjunction with compressed charcoal, erasers, and charcoal powder. See how to layer and build up a convincing likeness with a range of specific tools that fit this technique. Demo by […]

Drawing a Child in Soft Pastel

See from beginning to end, how to draw a soft pastel portrait of a child. Children are challenging to draw, their proportions are odd, they have very little visible bone structure! See how to block in the initial patches of color and articulate details in the later part of the process.  Demo by Art Prof […]

Portrait Drawing in Charcoal

This technique shows a reductive method to charcoal drawing. The drawing begins with an even layer of grey, from which highlights are created with an eraser, and shadows are blocked in with charcoal. See how to layer and build up a convincing likeness with a range of specific tools that fit this technique. Demo by […]

Fan Art Draw Along

See how you can design fan art that will stand out from the crowd. Techniques demonstrated will be how to merge text and images as well as how to achieve your own personal interpretation while also capturing the subject’s character and personality. Demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Jordan McCracken-Foster. Video Walkthrough Prof Lieu’s Tips […]

Portrait Drawing with Expressive Colors: Markers & Photoshop

See a step by step drawing demo on how you can create unusual color mixtures to make a portrait drawing with markers and Photoshop. Explained are ways to tweak reference photos to get ideas for colors, and how to translate that into a drawing with a dynamic range of colors. Demo by Art Prof Clara […]

Drawing a Male Torso & Portrait in Soft Pastel

See step by step how to draw a male portrait in soft pastel and quick torso drawings with Clip Studio Paint. Techniques covered include how to block on the beginning of the drawing, how to emphasize lighting, and how to address color. Demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Jordan McCracken-Foster. Video Walkthrough […]

Expressive Drawing TRACK: Lesson 2, Touch Portraits

Prompt Hand movements Examples Tal, Dhritika, Helen, Aoun Scale Inspiration Prof Lieu Start Tips Inspiration Frank Auerbach, Diane Victor, Alberto Giacometti, Max Beckmann Physical pressure Skull Structure drawing media Artistic Anatomy Lecture: The Face This video explains how to the structure of the head and neck are organized. All of the major bony landmarks are […]

Portrait Painting in Acrylic

This is a comprehensive portrait painting demo showing acrylic painting techniques. Explained are how to capture the structure and personality of the face, how to layer and build up colors through opaque and transparent glazes. Brush techniques are shown to achieve a diversity of strokes and direction. Demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu. Video Walkthrough […]

Painting an Eye in Watercolor

Watch a watercolor painting demo of how to paint an eye from beginning to end. Explained is how to start the painting by blocking out large areas of color. How to make the pupil and eyeball appear convincing and dimensional. How to add small details like the freckles and eye lashes in a way that […]

Soft Pastel Tutorial: Female Portrait

See a soft pastel drawing demo on how to draw a portrait. Soft pastel techniques like blending, layering, and approaches to color are explained and shown. Tips for creating a convincing sense of lighting and form in the portrait are put forward in this drawing tutorial. Explained are ways on how to draw hair and […]

Light & Shadow in Portrait Painting

This video explains how lighting can be used in paintings to show form in a portrait. You’ll see how to break down the specifics of light and shadow: direct light, reflected light, shadow core, types of shadows, how light effects color. Lighting can establish a mood or narrative for a painting, and more. Lecture by […]

Top 5 Portrait Drawing Mistakes

Here are the 5 top mistakes artists make when drawing portraits. (with a little help from Benedict Cumberbatch) Mistakes such as not addressing the skeletal structure of the face, adding details too soon, starting with the eyes, nose, and mouth, etc. The reasons why these actions can be considered mistakes are explained and then followed […]

Portrait TRACK: Lesson 5, Jekyll & Hyde Portraits

Inspiration This prompt is based off the characters Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, featured in Robert Louis Stevenson‘s book The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Prompt Examples Raven Kushner, Johanna Diptych Format A diptych is a single artwork that is comprised of 2 separate images that work together. Thumbnail Sketches Reference Photos […]

Drawing Hair

This video explains how to approach drawing hair. How to break down the sections of hair while also capturing the more detailed, refined areas. The key to articulating hair is to treat the hair as a mass first, and then to subdivide the “clumps” of hair. Observing the direction of the hair creates structure to […]

Portrait Curriculum 2

This video is an overview of the skills that are helpful in creating portraits. Knowledge like the anatomical structure of the head, formal elements like light and shadow, how to mix flesh tones, and more are explained as being fundamental to creating artwork with portraits. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists […]

Portrait TRACK: Lesson 4, Mood Portraits

Prompt Create a portrait that expresses an emotional mood by using an unrealistic color scheme. For some people it can be helpful to have a specific word to refer to the mood: sullen, perky, whimsical, livid, energetic, etc. Look up the word in the dictionary to get ideas for how you might represent your portrait. […]

How to Draw Profile Portraits in Charcoal & Photoshop

See a drawing demo on how to draw a portrait in profile. Explained are tips for how to create a convincing portrayal of a profile, including what facial structures are important to emphasize. Techniques for rendering light and shadow to create a convincing portrait are discussed as well. Demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu and […]

Portrait TRACK: Lesson 2, Skull Inside a Portrait

Prompt Draw a skull inside a head as a means of figuring out where bony landmarks and muscles align. Examples Jen Noelle, Triplegem, Anastasia, Ashley Tanelle, Tent Goals The objective of this prompt is to see past the surface of the face and start to look at the head structurally so you can identify bony […]

Drawing Female Portraits with Conté Crayon

Art Prof Clara Lieu demonstrates how to do drawings of a heads using Conté Crayon. Prof Lieu explains how sketch the essential bony structures of the skull, and then how to knock in big patches of tone to give the head mass and weight. Video Walkthrough Reference Photos Prof Lieu’s Tips In terms of capturing the gesture […]

Portrait TRACK: Lesson 1, Line & Tone Portraits

Prompt Draw 3 sets of 5-10 min. drawings which address line and tone. Include the head and neck. Aim to draw 12 heads per set, for a total of 36 head drawings. Prof Lieu, Jordan Reference Photos Portraits by Photographers Examples Emily, Lisa H., Simpletriskell, Wadalafer, Triplegem, Ashley Tanelle TIMED DRAWING VIDEOS Practice with our […]

Portrait Track

The Portrait Track is an opportunity to immerse yourself into the tremendous world of the human face. Throughout the centuries, portraits have represented every facet of the human experience. Lesson 1 • Lesson 2 • Lesson 3Lesson 4 • Lesson 5 • Lesson 6 We’ll take a deep dive into the basic structures of the human face as a premise for the vast […]

Portrait Curriculum

The complete Portrait Curriculum for Self-taught Artists is a series of 3 videos. Portraits 1: Types of Portraits Portraits 2: Portrait Skills

Portrait Curriculum 1

This video is an overview of a portraiture in contemporary art and art history. There are many categories of portraits: portraits for editorial illustration, portrait commissions, allegorical portraits, self-portraits, surreal portraits, anonymous portraits and more. Several examples of each type of portrait are shown and discussed in depth. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu […]

Watercolor & Gouache: Painting Portraits

See a portrait painting demo using characters from Wes Anderson’s film The French Dispatch. This video provides tips and techniques for how to create a convincing portrait using a monochromatic color scheme using watercolor and gouache. Techniques like the skull in the portrait to achieve a solid structure, a range of value and contrast, as […]

Pan Pastel Drawing: Baron Harkonnen

See how to capture the dark personality of Baron Harkonnen in the 2021 Dune movie using PanPastel drawing techniques. Techniques for shading, blending, and creating a range of slick and smooth surfaces are explored in this tutorial. This tutorial also looks at how to render form in a convincing manner using a limited color scheme. […]

Draw a Skull Inside a Portrait

Drawing a skull inside a portrait is a terrific exercise to practice your anatomical understanding of a portrait. This video provides beginning to end, the entire process for building the skull structure into the portrait. Various techniques are explained, that can be used to build up three dimensional volume with colored pencil layering, blending, creating […]

Mastercopies in Ballpoint Pen & Photoshop

Creating a mastercopy of a historical drawing is an effective exercise for honing your drawing skills. This video is a hands on demo that provides tips for how to get started with a mastercopy. There is also a discussion that provides insight into the value doing a mastercopy can have to advance and strengthen your […]

Palette Knife Paintings: Mixing Flesh Tones

See a painting demo of how to mix flesh tones using water mixable oil paints and a palette knife. Using exclusively a palette knife is an effective way to focus entirely on the color mixing process by removing the distraction of needing to address brush technique at the same time. Painting a self-portrait from life, […]

Self-Portrait Drawing in Crayon

Art Prof Clara Lieu demonstrates how to draw a self-portrait using a mirror and a color layering technique using Caran d’Ache Neocolor I crayons. Prof Lieu shows how to set up your easel, drawing, clamp light, and mirror in order to have a smooth drawing experience. Prof Lieu walks you through the thumbnail sketching process […]

Trying Procreate for the First Time

Watch Prof Lieu fall on her face trying digital art for the first time in Procreate. Will decades of experience with traditional media make any difference here??? (answer: nope, especially when it comes to deleting layers…) Thankfully Jordan McCracken-Foster patiently held her hand through every step. Video Walkthrough Software Reference Photos As a free educational […]

Drawing Male Portrait in Pencil

See a demo of pencil techniques from beginning to end to create a compelling portrait. Various techniques are explained, that can be used to build up three dimensional volume with pencil layering, blending, creating a diverse range of textures and marks, pencil grip, and more. Tools like woodless pencils, kneaded erasers, and eraser sticks are […]

Drawing a Portrait in Oil Pastel

See a demo of oil pastel techniques that will show how to create a compelling portrait. Various techniques are explained, that can be used to build up vibrant colors and three dimensional volume with oil pastels including layering, blending, creating a diverse range of textures and marks, and more. Demo led by Art Prof Clara […]