Practice Sketching Like Your Favorite Artists Through Portraiture

Art trends come and go, but no matter the era, portraits are a foundational subject for artists. As far back as 5,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians were making portraits of their royalty and deities. Even the invention of photography couldn't keep artists from depicting faces in their works. Some of the most iconic 20th-century artists such as Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol played with portraits to redefine art itself.

There are several reasons why making portraits endures today. Humans are social by nature, and biologically compelled to find each other endlessly fascinating. There's no quicker way to build an emotional connection between a viewer and a work of art than featuring our wide range of expressions. While iPhone cameras make it easier than ever to take a selfie, a drawing or painting can expressively highlight characteristics of a subject and reveal deeper truths. Conveniently, there's never a dearth of faces to sketch, especially when it comes to self-portraiture. There's a reason why so many artists have self-portraits and its not simply vanity or egotism, but often sheer practicality. You never have to worry about getting more reference photos or accidentally insulting someone when you practice drawing your own visage.

Faces are universally are complex subject and creating a portrait can feel like a real accomplishment. However, despite their challenging aspects, there are also some basic principles that makes portraits accessible to the newest of art students. Especially with Melissa de Nobrega and My Modern Met Academy, portraiture is made simple. The artist will take you through the basics of anatomy, proportions, and shading in bite-sized lessons that demystify the practice. In her online course, titled Portrait Drawing for Beginners: Learn How to Draw Anyone You'd Like, new artists will forget any fears they have thanks to de Nobrega's clear instructions and guidelines. By the end of the class, you'll be excited to get started on your next portrait.

In the online class Drawing for Beginners: Learn How to Draw Anyone You'd Like, you'll be able practice your drawing skills like all the great artists through the centuries.

Portraits for Beginners Melissa de Nobrega

Portraits for Beginners Melissa de Nobrega

Portraits for Beginners Melissa de Nobrega

Artist Melissa de Nobrega will help you understand bone structure and how to use it to refine your portraits.

Portraits for Beginners Melissa de Nobrega

Portraits for Beginners Melissa de Nobrega

Watch to learn more about her class:

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Elizabeth Beiser

Elizabeth Beiser is a Contributing Writer and Project Coordinator at My Modern Met. She has a background in American Cultural History with a special focus on Modern art and democratic community building. She received her B.A. in history, with a minor in Studio Arts, and her M.A. in history from the University of Rochester. She has worked on multiple political campaigns, as well as in non-profit operations and direct service. When she’s not writing, she’s experimenting with all varieties of arts and crafts. She also enjoys spending time with four-legged friends and exploring her hometown of Boston.
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