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Learn to Sketch Portraits with Ed Hall
sketching the face
Ed Hall, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Faces are a favorite subject, but our desire for realism means that too often, we resort to tracing and obsessive, photo-realist detail, losing the creative touches and personality that a freehand drawing can offer. In this drawing lesson from cartoonist Ed Hall, you can learn how to draw a face freehand from life or a photograph, allowing your artistic personality, as well as the subject's personality, to shine through in your sketch.

While photorealist portraiture emphasises fine surface detail, the sketched portrait values a combination of line and tone, with contour and cross contour describing form, and expressive mark-making encouraged. Drawing freehand brings your portraits to life.

You can copy Ed's lesson exactly, or use it to guide you as you draw a portrait from your own favorite photograph.

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