Lady in Green Drawing Portraits Fundamentals: A Book


I'd like to introduce the second edition of Drawing Portraits Fundamentals. (For those of you who already have the book and are looking for extras, click here.)

Drawing Portraits Fundamentals: Second Edition

back cover

Back cover

Drawing Portraits Fundamentals Book Cover

Front Cover

The book is 274 pages (print) and 8x10" in size. It is available on Amazon (,,,,,,,,, and most every other Amazon out there!). It's also available in both print and Kindle!

It will take a while for availability to spread, but in time the book will also be available at Barnes & Noble and other book sellers. Or, if you prefer, you can order the print book through CreateSpace. (See the bottom of this page for more info.)

The first edition of this book was released in 2004. The print version was sold through CafePress. But they stopped selling books, so I had to find an alternative. As I was switching publishers anyway, I thought I'd do a much-needed update to the book, and this is the result!

To give you an idea of what the book contains, here's the Table of Contents:

Welcome and Introduction

Section One: Drawing Fundamentals for the New Artist

Let’s Get Started with Drawing

Introduction to Shading and Technique

Section Two: Fundamentals of Drawing the Head

Basics of Head Structure & Alignment of Features

Drawing the Profile

The Features and Hair

An Overview of the Anatomy of the Head & Figure

Shading the Portrait

Step-by-Step Portraits & Soft Edges

Working with a Tighter Technique

Drawing Different Types of People

Inventing Your Own Portraits (Drawing from Imagination)

Section Three: The Many Facets of Being a Portrait Artist

Advice for the Newbie Artist

Other Goodies Every Artist Should Know



One of the new pictures featured in the second edition of the book.

The Table of Contents doesn't really give the whole picture, however. I cram a lot in there! For instance, Section Three is rather long and has a lot of essays and editorial-type articles. I added this section to the book in part inspired by one of my favorite artists and authors, Andrew Loomis. My favorite book by him, "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth," has some rather substantial essays and articles with wonderful advice. I won't compare myself to Loomis, but I think he was on to something there. There's more to being an artist than just learning technique. We need to learn how to deal with our emotions, struggles, discouragement, and how to interact with others.

I added quite a bit to this new edition. Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty that's kept from the first edition, but I changed some artwork, edited a lot of the text, added new tutorials and rewrote a few sections from scratch.

3 Blond Men

Some of the topics covered in the book include:

Beginning drawing, getting started, learning the grid, learning pencil techniques.

Overview of the head.

Drawing the profile.

Features of the head.

Facial "landmarks," anatomy, and proportions of the figure, an overview.

Step-by-step portraits.

Working in a tighter (more detailed) technique, tips and techniques.

Shading explained: Understand values and how to make your art look more realistic.

Making up your own faces from your imagination: Exercises and techniques

"Don't Do That!" (Common beginner mistakes that are easy to avoid).

Advice for new artists: Taking the right attitude, dealing with discouragement, feelings of competition, art snobs, tracing photos vs. drawing freehand, digital tools.

More things artists should know: Drawing from life (live models), the current state of formal art education, introduction to working in color (color palette recommendations, brief overview of painting mediums).


Another new drawing created specifically for the 2nd edition of the book.

This book is currently available through Amazon, as well as If you don't wish to buy from Amazon, go to the book's CreateSpace Page and use the coupon code JVEBK9L9 to get $3.00 USD off of the list price. (Please note that you might actually save money if you buy from Amazon directly, since they often add free shipping, and CreateSpace doesn't. But if you prefer to shop at CreateSpace, this discount will help compensate for you having to pay for shipping!) If for some reason you're curious about the first edition of the book, I've made it available only on CreateSpace, here.

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