Archive for the ‘Figure Drawing Tutorial’ Category

[Video] Marker Rendering Demo

January 28th, 2015 No comments

In this video I share my marker rendering techniques. This style of rendering, I use a combination of pen, markers and white pencil. For more in-depth training on shading, check out my Shading Techniques Course.

To watch Part 2, sign up for the free newsletter, Private School. Newsletter subscribers get access to exclusive content like more videos, handouts and more. Best of all, it’s free. To subscribe, enter your e-mail below and click the button to join.


marker renderings by Chris Legaspi

For questions on marker rendering, shading or materials, leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.

Shading Techniques Applied: Shading a Portrait

November 6th, 2014 10 comments

My latest course on shading explains how to create realistic lighting using Photoshop. The beautiful part is that the information taught in the course applies to any subject and any medium. The shading techniques course is more than a slick demo or a Photoshop tutorial. It’s core, fundamental principles and concepts of realistic light and shadow.

In this article, I’ll demonstrate how to apply shading techniques to a portrait. See video below for a portrait shading demonstration from a recent ‘Draw With Chris’ Livestream. Photoshop is the medium used in the video. Oil paint is used in the demo for the text version below.

For complete, step by step breakdown, read on…

Portrait Shading Process

STEP 1: Smart observation

The first step is to make careful observation of the subject. In this case we have a female model with beautiful high contrast lighting. This lighting is the best for practicing shading, rendering and edge control. For more on lighting models and choosing reference, see this article on good lighting and choosing good reference.

shading techniques reference full
This image is perfect for studying and practicing shadow because of the beautiful high contrast light. The shadows are nice and dark and clearly defined.

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[Tutorial] How to Sketch a Watercolor Portrait

January 8th, 2014 No comments

[Tutorial] How to Sketch a Figure in Color

December 23rd, 2013 No comments

How to See in Value

April 30th, 2013 38 comments

One of the most important concepts to know and understand as a visual artist is that pictures, scenes and still images are arrangements of value; light, dark and gray shapes. It’s these light, dark and gray shapes that the human mind assembles as a cohesive picture.

Being able to see the world as shapes of value, especially colored shapes and objects, is a master skill to cultivate as a visual artist. It’s important to the artist because in order to compose and arrange shapes in our pictures, we must first see and understand their inherent grayscale value.

The most basic and abstract pattern of dark and light shapes (A) is the first ‘read’ the mind makes. This happens on a visceral, almost subconscious level. As more information is processed, like details and color, the mind can then assemble a more refined and sophisticated image (D). 

How do we train our eyes to see the world in value? There are some very simple strategies we can use when we observe the world around us. The first step is to learn how to deal with color information.

To see these strategies in action, watch the video below or continue reading for the in-depth breakdown.

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Planes of the Head Lecture Notes & Critique

November 13th, 2012 No comments

This is the handout from the ‘Planes of the Head’ lecture from the Live Concept Art Webinar. There’s also a critique of a student’s homework below.  The assignment was to sculpt the simplified ‘Planar Model’. Thank you for all the great homework submissions.  To join the live webinar or view past shows, visit the webinar page. Our next meeting will be this Tuesday, 11/13/12 @ 6:30pm.

Simplified Planar Model.

Critique of a student’s homework submission. Great job on the sculpt!

How to Draw the Head in 3/4 or Side View Video

December 29th, 2009 5 comments

This tutorial demonstrates a rhythmical and gestural approach to laying in and drawing a head in 3/4 or side view. We will use the major thrusts, or gestures, and basic geometric shapes, like the “pie shape” to capture the head. This tutorial will show you how to add a lot of life, movement and dynamism to your head drawings.

There are 3 demonstrations in the video. The tutorial will take you through the entire head drawing process from start to finish. Topics include gesture drawing, construction and shading.

This approach is inspired by the work and teaching of Steve Huston, with a touch of Reilly Method. The static, text version of this tutorial can be found here:

How to Draw the Head in 3/4 or Side View

December 17th, 2009 44 comments

A common approach to drawing the head from 3/4 or side view is to use a 2 step construction approach. The first step is to draw a ball for the cranium, followed by drawing the frontal plane and jaw. Below is an example by Andrew Loomis (Fig. 1).

how to draw a head step by step Andrew Loomis

This tutorial will introduce a more fluid and gestural approach to drawing the head. The focus is on the major gestures, or “thrusts” as Steve Huston refers to them, and their relationships to one another. We’re also want to keep our lay-in simple, by using geometric shapes. The first shape we will use is the “pie”.

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