Complete Portrait and Figure Drawing (step-by-step)

This course teaches a step-by-step procedure to draw a figure or portrait in less than 40 minutes from life.
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  • Lectures 16
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 12/2014 English

Course Description

In this course I review the basics of figure and portrait drawing in terms of gesture, action lines, foreshortening, value, edges, and details of the features. With the modified version of the "Reilly" technique used here, the subscriber/student will learn to draw a full figure or portrait in under 45 minutes from life or photographs on toned paper with less than six values using carbon pencils and white pastel chalk. To aid in learning this technique, two complete drawings (figure and portrait) are demonstrated with running description of the drawing process throughout.

What are the requirements?

  • No previous knowledge necessary. Materials are toned paper, carbon pencils (Wolff), and white chalk.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Draw the figure or portrait from life or photographs.

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone interested in learning to draw starting with the action and gesture of the model.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

Brief description of the contents of this course.


Overview of the techniques that will be used to draw the figure and the portrait.

Section 2: Drawing the Figure

Initial elements of figure drawing including the gesture, large/small action lines, large shapes relative to each other, and negative space to position limbs.


Continuation of figure drawing adding smaller shapes and indicating position of values.


Review of the concept of values (light and dark) and edges (hard and soft) with there effect on the line drawing.


Continuation of figure drawing with foreshortening and the refinement of values and edges.


Continuation of figure drawing with the further refinement of the values (between four and six) and the features.


Continuation of figure drawing with the placement of the lights using pastel chalk and accents with Wolff 4B pencils.

Section 3: Drawing the Portrait

Initial elements of drawing the portrait covering large shapes and lines indicating the placement of features.


This lectures reviews the aspects of foreshortening in relationship to perspective using shapes, value and edges.


Review of drawing the features of the face (eyes, nose, mouth, and ears) with and without foreshortening.


Continuation of portrait drawing with the addition of the small features (eyes, nose, mouth, and ears).


Continuation of portrait drawing with the addition and refinement of the dark values and the edges (hard and soft).


Continuation of portrait drawing with the addition and refinement of the lights using white pastels and the refinement of darks with Wolff 4B pencils.


Continuation of portrait drawing with further refinements of values and edges.


This video summarizes the drawing techniques and discussions demonstrated in these lectures and adds some comments on proceeding further.

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Instructor Biography

Donelli DiMaria, Professional artist and teacher

Donelli J. DiMaria is a professional artist and teacher living in Santa Fe, NM. He has shown his paintings and drawings through out the US for the past twenty years in numerous galleries and juried/invited arts shows. Over the past four years, he has been in 14 group museum shows and has his work published in the "Artist's Magazine", "American Art Collector", and in "The Best of Portrait Painting" (North Light Books). He has been actively teaching the "Reilly" drawing and painting techniques for the past six years.

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