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 […]

Artistic Anatomy Lecture: 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 […]

How to Draw Profile Portraits

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 […]

Drawing 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. Watch the 3 min. version Watch the 5 min. version Watch the 2 hour version Video […]

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. We’ll take a deep dive into the basic structures of the human face as a premise for the vast potential of portraiture. See our Portrait Curriculum, part […]

Portrait Curriculum

The complete Portrait Curriculum for Self-taught Artists is a series of 3 videos. We have a Portrait Track which is a sequence of structured video lessons and assignments that you can do at your own pace. Our Portraiture Premium Track provides guidance and support through weekly voice sessions and critiques from the Art Prof staff. Portraits 1: Types of Portraits […]

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 […]

Portraiture Premium Track

The Portraiture Premium Track is a chance for an in depth exploration of the human face as a means for artistic expression. Concrete skills such as the skeletal structure of the human face, lighting, color, composition, and backgrounds will be emphasized, in addition to the purpose and intent of the portrait. The curriculum we will […]

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

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 a 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. Watch the 2 min. version Watch the 80 […]

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 […]

Artistic Anatomy Lecture: Eyes

This video explains the anatomical structure of the eye. We will be looking at the specific bones, muscles and landmarks that will provide the knowledge you need to successfully create portraits in your artwork. We explore the proportional relationships between the eye lids, the eye socket, the eyeball, and more. Discussion led by Art Prof […]

Artistic Anatomy Lecture: The Nose

This video explains the anatomical structure of the nose and how it fits into the structure of the face. We look at the structural components such as cartilage and the nasal bone, how to apply that knowledge to your drawings, and the many challenges of drawing noses. We also explore how the nose has been […]

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 covered, as well as how to identify them on a person. In addition to explaining how to articulate bones like the mandible, the zygomatic arch, etc., this lecture shows how to group these bones […]

Oil Pastel Portrait Drawings

This video demonstrates step by step how to draw a portrait using oil pastel. Various techniques are shown and 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 […]

2500 Drawing Challenge

This is the art challenge if you want to level up your figure drawing skills! The 2500 Drawing Challenge consist of drawing 1000 heads, 500 arms (including hands), 500 legs (including feet), 250 hands, and 250 feet. This video provides tips for how to complete the challenge, and the many benefits and skills you will […]

Drawing Celebs as Monsters

Draw a celebrity and transform them into a monster! Techniques in Procreate and oil pastel + colored pencil are shown here as a means to illustrating these monster portraits, and approaches to distortion, drawing a range of textures and forms are explained. Demo led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Deepti Menon. Video […]

Portrait Sculpture with Air Dry Clay

This video shows how to sculpt a portrait bust using air dry clay and a wire armature. Techniques for how to build a wire armature, and how to block in the largest shapes in the portrait sculpture are explained thoroughly. Sculpting techniques using a range of sculpting tools, and how to sculpt details, and the […]

Portrait Composition Tips

This video walks through basic tips on how to compose a portrait, citing strategies for placement of the head, neck and shoulders to create a dynamic composition. Using examples from both contemporary art and art history, concrete, practical tips for how to consider the posture of the neck and shoulders, the mass of the hair, […]

Portrait Background Ideas

This video provides ideas for how to create backgrounds for portraits so that your compositions are visually dynamic and engaging. Backgrounds are often neglected, especially in portraits where the focus is usually on the face. However, backgrounds can have a great impact on the way a portrait comes across, especially in terms of conveying a […]