I recently took advantage of a promotion that Craftsy had to get a free class. I am a big fan of Craftsy in general, and I really like their online classes. Some of the instructors are better than others, but that is totally subjective to different teaching and learning styles; an instructor I love may teach in a manner that does not suit the way you learn and vice versa.
For the recent free class promotion, I selected the class Drawing Facial Features, instructed by Mr. Gary Faigin. I chose this class because I enjoy drawing portraits (of totally made up as I go people lol) but I struggle with getting the facial features done well, especially the nose. I hoped that in taking Mr. Faigin’s class on drawing facial features I could finally improve on this aspect of my drawings, since I very clearly was not figuring it out on my own.
I had been drawing with regular old number 2 pencils previously, because it was what I had on hand. Mr. Faigin’s class uses charcoal as the medium. While the general techniques can surely be applied to other mediums, this reminded me that once upon a time, long long ago, I liked using charcoal for drawings. J was kind enough to buy me a pack of charcoal from the mart of walls, so that I could re-learn how todraw with charcoal since I was struggling a bit to apply the techniques from the class to drawings done with generic writing pencils. Which makes sense – the two are totally different items, and work in very different ways.
I have been very pleased with my own personal growth as an artist since taking the class. Mr. Faigin is an excellent teacher, with a very warm, approachable, down to earth personality and a gentle, encouraging tone to his lessons. I love that in this class he broke everything down into basic shapes that are easier to visualize and tweak to get the ultimate desired portrait. Several of the things he discussed led me to those “lightbulb over the head” revelations about why I could never get certain things about my drawings quite right. There were some things I was already familiar with, but mostly I was learning new things throughout the class. Mr. Faigin takes a very unique approach to portrait drawing, it’s completely different from anything I’ve ever been taught before and for me personally his techniques just make so much more sense. I would absolutely recommend his class on Craftsy if you are interested in learning the basics of drawing facial features.
I am still very much a beginner when it comes to drawing. I still have a lot to learn and to improve on. But I have undoubtedly improved since taking this class. Here are a couple of my drawings from BEFORE I took the class; done with standard writing pencil.
And these are a couple that I have done AFTER the class, with charcoal.
Again, I just make up my models in my mind when I draw, so I need to work on actually drawing portraits of real people and achieving their likeness on paper. I attempted to do this with the very last two pictures above, and I did ok but need to practice drawing actual people a LOT. The next to last one is supposed to be someone who honestly I should really stop thinking about at all and I really shouldn’t be drawing said person but I couldn’t help myself. And the last one is a drawing of Lily Marston. It kinda looks like her a little. Maybe. Almost. lol
Once I feel more confident with my charcoal skills, I want to then learn how to draw color portraits. I’m quite a way off from being ready to start that journey, though.