People seem to enjoy it very much when they draw Anime, cartoons or cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Astro Boy & Mickey Mouse because of the simplicity of the process. And yet when it comes to human faces, people or drawing realistic people, they tend to back off or stray away. Not just because they think it is a daunting process, but also believe the drawing won't look like the person they are supposed to resemble in real-life.
To elaborate, the 'likeness', making it look like the real person, when they are faced with the task of drawing a specific person, s/he criticises or put themselves down when to them, it looks 'wrong' in their eyes.
Therefore, why is it that a lot of people who say they can't draw, or say their drawing or piece of work sucks, is crap or whatever, believe they lack confidence in drawing people realistically or well?
The answer to me, has nothing to do with confidence, but not wanting to draw realistically themselves. Because they think it is boring, or whatever other 'excuse' they come up with. I don't think it is anything to do with not being able to draw. I think anyone and everyone can draw well. It just takes practice and commitment. Just like being a dancer. One may not start off being great, but through years of training, hard work, learning the choreography, s/he gets better and improves with every step and move.
It's exactly the same thing with drawing.
Effort, for me, is what I look for, moreso than whether or not someone has drawn the celebrity really well.
Hate to say this, but things such as Anime and Manga, takes little effort to draw. Regardless of how good an Anime drawing looks to me, a realistic drawing, like a celebrity, shows to me that person has tried, has put in the effort to make it work. Even if s/he thinks it is crap and/or awful. And which is why I take any realistic drawing seriously, moreso than most generic-looking Anime artwork, of which I cannot distinguish the style, nor the extent of the artistic level of an Anime drawer to other Anime drawers.
Additionally, that whole 'create symbols' to represent the different parts of the face for example, so you are able to draw the parts of the face properly, is utter nonsense. It's nonsense because a) not everybody's nose, mouth and ears are all of the same shape and size and b) when you visualise or conceptualise what s/he looks like in your mind, does not match up with the actual face of the person you are drawing.
The third reason is the fact that the more you think about creating symbols, which is irrelevant, the more often you will lose concentration on, as well as interest in doing your art.
Forget about the symbols part- I know I don't do it, it's too time- consuming- just draw what you see.
*things I don't do (but of which I ought to)
- use the grid method - it's supposed to help in drawing things accurately
- grey scale images - convert them to black and white, so i can see where the highlights, shaded areas are
- Draw celebrities you are a fan of or like, instead of random ones or ones you don't care about. Plus, it helps you take more of an interest in drawing as well.
- Don't worry too much trying to get the drawing to look like the actual person (I do, but that's because I want to make sure it does, but anyhow....). It's about effort.
- Don't try and memorise their faces. We all know what they look like in reality, but when it comes to drawing it without seeing them, that is hard to accomplish. Therefore, there is nothing wrong drawing from a photo on the internet, or from a magazine.
- For me I focus on the outline, shape of the face first, then I draw the eyes, mouth, nose etc. Afterwards, I do the hair, clothes, arms, hands.
- Get the proportions of the sizes of the head right though; If you don't, you'd get a head that is too large or too small. If the eyes are too close or far apart, the drawing won't look like the main source.
- One of the things about drawing people, is it involves breaking down the human face, part by part. The eyes, nose, mouth, hair. Therefore concentrate on each of these elements.
- The whole style- over- substance thing applies with portraiture, figure drawing and (famous) people drawing in general: once you master the fundamentals of drawing and draw and draw, you will see noticeable differences and improvements in your work.
- Look at the photo of the celebrity, what things do you notice? Is the nose wide or small?, does s/he have a curved/round face or a chiseled, straight, block - look to it? Is the hair short, long, curly, straight?
- Drawing people or doing still-life drawing involves developing your skills of observation and looking. You need to be aware that unlike cartooning or caricature-drawing, you can not put a twist to drawings and exaggerate the aspects or features of the person. As unique as that is, this is not considered as part of portraiture or figure drawing. But what is part of, and is depicting what is there in the original photo, - rather than what is not or what should be there.
- Drawings look better in ink or pen; therefore, sketch out your celebrity drawing in pencil, then go over it in pen, biro, and erase the pencil lines. Or you can just leave them there.