Illustrator Has Mastered Portrait Drawing and Now Shares Her Knowledge With Others

Portrait Drawing by Melissa de Nobrega

Capturing someone's likeness in a drawn portrait is no easy feat. Not only does the artist need to master anatomy and proportion, but they also need to bring to life the essence of their subject. It's a practice that can be intimidating for many artists, but not for illustrator and designer Melissa de Nobrega. Creating incredible digital portraits is part of her normal workflow; and luckily, she loves sharing her knowledge with others.

De Nobrega has a love for anatomy that is evident in the precise way that she renders her subjects' eyes, noses, and mouths. Each portrait is distinct in its personality and character, yet they all show the brilliant capability of de Nobrega to immortalize her subjects.

Several years ago, de Nobrega discovered that she not only enjoyed drawing portraits, but that she also had a knack for teaching. Her skills as a teacher are on full display in the class that she created on My Modern Met Academy.  Her course is called Portrait Drawing for Beginners: Learn How to Draw Anyone You’d Like. And, just as the title says, de Nobrega gives her students all the tools they need to feel confident when drawing a portrait.

For nearly two hours, de Nobrega breaks down facial anatomy before moving into how to get the perfect proportions and draw contours to define the portrait. Then, de Nobrega tackles a digital portrait to show how anyone can pull together the lessons that she's taught. And the best thing is that, though de Nobrega works in a digital format, these lessons work even if using a pencil and paper.

“Nailing the likeness of a subject is a struggle many artists, not just beginners, are familiar with,” she tells My Modern Met. “My goal is to help students overcome this challenge by laying down a foundation of knowledge (aka anatomy) and then building on top of that by introducing them to a simple process I like to use when drawing. My hope is that by the end of this course, students walk away feeling confident and ready to tackle their next portraiture project.”

Students who enroll in de Nobrega's online portrait drawing class will benefit from her years of experience and will be able to watch the pre-recorded lessons from the comfort of their own homes as many times as they'd like.

Illustrator and designer Melissa de Nobrega creates masterful digital portraits.

Portrait Drawing by Melissa de Nobrega

Portrait Drawing by Melissa de Nobrega

She loves sharing her knowledge and helping anyone master the art of portrait drawing.

Portrait Drawing by Melissa de Nobrega


In her online class for My Modern Met Academy, she teaches the basics of anatomy and facial structure.

Online Portrait Drawing Class by Melissa de Nobrega

Online Portrait Drawing Class by Melissa de Nobrega

She makes it so aspiring artists of all levels can feel confident creating their own portraits.

Learn How to Draw Portraits Online

Enjoy a sneak preview of her portrait drawing for beginners course.

Melissa de Nobrega: Website | Instagram

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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