It is difficult enough to draw one portrait …

… drawing an entire family sometimes seems like an impossible task!

To save yourself a lot of time and frustration, follow this procedure:

1. Sketch the Big Shapes. Get the heads on the page first and get a sense of sizing, placement, and cropping. Don’t go into any detail on any of the faces until you’re satisfied that placement on the page is correct.

2. Clean up Your Lines. The lines will be very sketchy to begin with, so after the big shapes are generalized, render them more carefully using both positive shapes and negative shapes from the reference material to help you.

A triangle laid against the top of the paper will be invaluable in more accurately showing you where different points on the picture line up in relation to each other.

When this step is done, your lines should be clear and the heads and bodies fairly well-defined.

3. Develop a Roadmap. Sketch the guidelines that will show you where to put the features.

These guidelines should be carefully measured from the reference material and then accurately placed on the drawing.

Include directional lines on the heads that show the tilt of the faces as well as boxes that show the length and width of the eyes, nose, mouth and ears.

4. Place your Features. Sketch the features within the guidelines, working lightly in graphite pencil. Don’t press too hard or the lines will be difficult to erase.

When you’re satisfied that everything looks correct, erase all of the guidelines, leaving only clear outlines of the features.

5. Add Tone. Build up tone in the picture using techniques described in the Family Portrait video tutorials to finish.

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