how to draw a portrait with pencil

How to Draw A Portrait With Pencil

To draw a portrait draw a layout on a paper, 9.5″ by 12.5″ inches dimension then with the help of a paper scale categorize each part of the face, now draw an oval shape with the light pencil hand first, then draw eyes, nose, and chin. Once basic shape is achieved start focusing on eye areas first and finish them, after that finish nose and then lips.

I have created a two-part lesson below for you to follow in the text form. However, you can watch the following Video Tutorial to Draw a Portrait.

Video Tutorial to Draw a Girl Portrait

Text Tutorial to Draw a Portrait for Beginners

Are you Struggling for drawing accurate proportions of the face of a girl? There are so many elements to pay attention to when you draw a girl portrait using proportions that it is incredibly easy to become pro at drawing a girl in this portrait drawing lesson series.

Outline The Layout for Portrait

Part I

How to Draw a Girl Portraiture Using Drawing Proportions

Here’s a Paper Measurement which is 9.5inches by height and 12.5 inches by the width of the paper.

And then I’m going to mark the sketch measurement where it should be the Face and the rest of the part of this portrait going to be.

So let’s Begin,

Mark 4.5 inches long line and place the compass in the center of 4.5inches long line and draw a nice circle for the basic structure of the face.


Categorize each part of the face using a proportion and then name each part so that’s how you’ve divided the head or face into 4 parts.

How to Draw A Portrait

Step 1: Draw the Eyes of Portrait

EYES – The eyes are halfway down the head and first thing you need to do is to draw an oval shape from the top and bottom and then add the details by just following the reference image including the iris and waterline and tear duct etc.

Pro Tip : The space between the eyes is approximately the width of an eye.

Step 2: Draw Edge of Nostrrils Line

NOSE – The edges of the nostrils line up with the tear ducts of the I’m going to structure the basic circles to draw the nose basic foundation then later on I’ll build up some details for rendering.

Step 3: Draw Lips

LIPS – Now I’m going to draw the lips just like flipped triangular shapes. The corners of the mouth line up with the pupils of the eyes. then I’ll adjust the measurement until I get satisfied.

So then I’m going to finalize the complete proportion of a girl face and you can checkout the template right down below:

Part II – Draw the Eyes for Portrait

Do you love drawing eyes? why not! cause the eyes are the ‘Windows to the Soul’; the most captivating subject matter. In this lesson, I will demonstrate the complete process of drawing realistic eyes of a girl, and illuminate some of the knowledge and skills that one must acquire to draw this compelling subject matter convincingly.

I will be using Derwent graphite pencil (HB, 2B, 4B,6B) on Bristol 300gsm Drawing Pape. An Electric Eraser and Pen Corrector for creating soft and bright highlights combined together. Also, the most secret material for really popping up your graphite drawing is Faber castle Black Color Pencil for darker values.

So let’s begin,

Step 4: Basic Outline of Eyes

First of all structure the basic outline of the eyes following the reference image and then build the outline with 2b first and then expand the grades with the flow of your values you want.

Step 5: Detailing and Finishing of Portrait

Now I’m going to enhance the Value of the eye just by using the Black Colored pencil in the eyelashes area and in the darkest area of the subject so after glazing over the graphite this Black pencil will really stand out the drawing.

1. Blend out everything:

now I’m going in with the blenders just like Blending stump or tissue paper. Use anyone you feel comfortable with and blend out the details to really make your drawing subtle and blended for a more natural visual.

2. Create Highlights:

as I blend out everything so now I start to pay close attention to the soft and bright highlights throughout the eyes. and determine where the softest and sharpest highlights are going to be and then according to that I use Pen corrector or mechanical eraser depending on the light and sharp highlights.

3. Re-Model the Other Eyes:

Re-Model the other eye like the one you did before.

|Key Notes |

Let’s talk about the three areas of detail that many absolute beginners get stuck on when learning how to draw realistic eyes: eyelashes, eyebrows, and the fibers that radiate out from the pupil to the edges of the iris.

To create a realistic drawing, we need to determine the whole subject before we determine each individual part.

It may also be liberating to know that we don’t actually need to create absurd degrees of detail in these areas to create a realistic drawing!

My point is: try not to get stuck on these details. Instead, focus on the larger value relationships and gradations that you can see. If your goal is hyperrealism, you can work on adding some of the finer details to your image to really stand out more.

“Downlodable Resourses”

Downlode the Reference image!

Download the Free Tutorial infographic here!


For further Details Checkout My YouTube Free Video lesson right now :

The above drawing Tutorial on how to draw a portrait with a pencil requires practice, you will need at least 3 attempts to make it look nice if you are a beginner. However, highly talented people can draw amazing portraits with in first or second attempt.

Happy Drawing,

Madiha Quratulain

Categories: How to Draw


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