How to Draw a Portrait

Life Drawing Academy

Book - How to Draw a Portrait by Vladimir London

Book - How to Draw a Portrait by Vladimir London

Available on Amazon as eBook and soft cover

How to Draw a Portrait: Step-by-step Instructions for Beginner Artists

TMany of Vladimir London's students wanted to improve their portrait drawing skills and needed an illustrated textbook that would explain in detail how to draw a three-quarter portrait at a professional level. To help art students, Vladimir crafted this detailed step-by-step guide for beginner artists.

The subject appeared interesting to all fans of art, from teenagers to the elderly who wanted to learn how to create portraits that look realistic. Therefore, it's not surprising that the popularity of this book surpassed its original boundaries of the Life Drawing Academy course.

Get this book on Amazon »

Book - How to Draw a Portrait by Vladimir London

Here's what Vladimir London says:

"As the founder of Life Drawing Academy and an art teacher, I often receive letters from students who ask how to draw a more realistic portrait. They often send their own drawings and paintings for constructive critique.

When it comes to portraits, I frequently see common mistakes by many students. This book analyzes those mistakes and explains how to avoid them using the correct steps and rules of constructing a human head in drawing. Simple mistakes are made by beginner artists for many reasons, the main ones are their lack of knowledge of drawing principles, the anatomy and proportions of a human head, and the laws of perspective and their use in drawing.

All those reasons create one large challenge when making a human portrait. A professional artist draws what he knows, and a beginner copies what he sees; this leads to unavoidable mistakes. Constructive drawing, which is praised by traditional Russian art schools, is the foundation of building an artistic work. I specifically use the word "build" and not "draw" because we are using the constructive principles of drawing, drawing what we know, and not copying what we see. In order to explain why the idea "draw what you know, not what you see" is so important, I'll give the following example. When a beginner artist decides to draw a portrait, he assumes it's necessary to accurately draw the eyes, mouth, and nose seen in real life; however, in doing so, he forgets about the general construction of the head, its proportions, and, in other words, he begins to paint the walls before the house is built.

Drawing a portrait correctly requires you to draw much more than what you see. That is why, in constructive drawing, knowledge of anatomy and proportions is so important. The term "constructive drawing" implies the construction of the head. The teaching of step-by-step constructive drawing is an outstanding quality of the Russian art school that I would like to share with you.

In this book, you will see the secrets of building a portrait step-by-step. We will also look at the anatomy of the human head, its proportions, and will cover such topics as how to draw facial features such as the eyes, the nose, the mouth, and the ears. Knowing all of this, you'll be able to draw a more realistic portrait by depicting not only what you see, but what you know."

If you want to learn how to correctly draw a portrait, this book, without a doubt, will be helpful for you.

Get this book on Amazon »

To learn good drawing techniques, enroll in the Life Drawing Academy course:

Online Course

A self-study, self-paced course for you to learn fundamental methods of classical drawing and improve life drawing skills by watching video lessons and doing assignments

  • Unlimited access to 52 life drawing video lessons
  • Lifetime membership without deadlines
  • Unlimited support from the Academy tutors
  • Constructive critique of your artworks
  • Member access to the Academy's Art community
  • Place in the Academy's Students Gallery
  • Exclusive members-only newsletter and bonuses
  • Life Drawing Academy Diploma of Excellence in your name

One-time payment - Lifetime membership
$297 USD


Personal Tutoring Online + Online Course

The ultimate choice if you who would like to receive personal, one-to-one tutoring from the Academy teachers, which is custom-tailored to your skills and needs

  • Everything in Online Course, plus:
  • Dedicated team of art tutors
  • Assessment of your current level of drawing skills
  • Personalized curriculum tailored to your skills and goals
  • Up to 100 drawing tasks with by-task assessment
  • Unlimited one-to-one personal coaching with detailed per-task instructions and feedback
  • Artwork critiques and results-oriented guidance

One-time payment - Lifetime membership
$997 USD

Watercolor Academy
Old Masters Academy
Drawing Academy
Anatomy Master Class