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With the art of self-learning by watching videos or reading articles being the new trend, everyone is trying their hand at it. The will to learn the new and the passion to grasp the contemporary can help an individual grow tremendously.

Here are some of the best tutorials teaching the scratch to end process of portrait creation. Scan through the list and acquire the knowledge for the latest in this field of creation.

01 Digging in the Details

A visual artist in the form of a cartoonist and animator, Manoj Sinha shares his process and details of his work one bit at a time, in order to achieve the right balance across aspects such as the tone of colours, the shades of lighting.

Portrait Tutorial Details

Step by step tutorial here


02 Creating Portrait With The Perfection

Illustrator, Mohan Sonawane, takes us through the process it took him to find and create a portrait with just the right amount of depth and perspective, one that would go on to bring a character to life on the canvas.


Step by step tutorial here


03 Learn to Draw a Realistic Portrait with Pencil

Even with the conquest of digital technology in every realm of life, something is best enjoyed the traditional way. A portrait, for instance. Pencil artist Aakash Ramesh sticks to the old style and sketches out the realistic portrait of a popular personality. He shares the steps of the process.

Realistic Portrait with Pencil

Step by step tutorial here


04 Portrait Tribute to Indian Legends

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. For a designer, it doubles up as a way to pay homage to an icon and inspiration. Digital artist Pankaj Bhambri re-creates a portrait of the duo from a reference picture, adulation and following. He explains how.


Step by step tutorial here


05 Digital Painting of Bollywood legend

Faces are an interesting subject, and often we come across one that has an expression telling a story. Vivek Arvind Mandrekar saw one such story in the facial expression of Amitabh Bachchan and captured it by means of a digital painting. Below, he takes us through the various steps in order to tell and capture such tales.

Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan
Vivek_Feature - Amitabh Bachchan

​​​​​​​Step by step tutorial here


06 Making a Digital Portrait of Scarlett Johansson

It’s a digital age, one doesn’t need a subject to pose before them for hours, simply a photograph is enough. Graphic design student, Sri Harsha Andukuri takes us through a step by step guide on making a digital portrait of any famous celebrity, in this case, Hollywood’s own Scarlett Johansson.

​​​​​​​Step by step tutorial here


For tutorials on Animation, Digital Art, Illustration, Caricature, Character Design, Concept Art, Logo Design click here


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Even with the conquest of digital technology in every realm of life, something is best enjoyed the traditional way. A portrait, for instance. Pencil artist Aakash Ramesh sticks to the old style and sketches out the realistic portrait of a popular personality. He shares the steps of the process.

Step 1 – Papers and References

Selected a good plain sheet of sketching paper. Placed the smoother side of the sheet over a plane. Chose the best reference picture with good shades and lightings. Took a print out of the reference picture in an A4 sheet by scaling it to the size planned. Grid the reference picture with a 2H pencil to avoid darker impressions, at the dimension of a 1-inch scale as shown.

Step 2 – Outline

Used the grid lines to fix the position of each element of the portrait falling into the perfect size while sketching the outline. Made the outline of the portrait with an HB pencil, which was lighter and could be erased and corrected at any point in time. Once the outline was finished, took up detailing using the shades of 2B and 4B pencils. To have a good start with the detailing, as a practice, always begin with the eyes as they are the most important factor and an element of a portrait.

Step 3 – Eyes

Used ‘Paper stumps’ or ‘Paper Tortillions’ to smudge the darker parts of the eyes as the character in the portrait had used darker eye cosmetics. The reflections of the eyes are very important as they make the eyes look real. Sketched the eyelashes individually and smudged it using the stumps. Made the shades below the eyes subtle so that the pencil strokes would not be visible. Took up the eyebrows and made them sharp at the edges as per the reference. It’s advisable to use a dusting bristle brush to wipe off all the pencil powders around the portrait in order to produce a quality output without messing it.

Step 4 – Nose

Used the stumps instead of the darker pencil strokes to detail the nose. It was the only projected part of a portrait and the shades should have been very subtle so avoided darker lines.

Cheeks, Lips and Skin

For this particular portrait, there were several shades required to create the cheeks, like in the reference picture. The character in the reference had a smile. To get the skin texture, used the ‘tissue papers’ for smudging the pencils strokes made over the side portions of the face. Gently rubbed the sketching sheet with the tissue paper so that the strokes smudged and smoother shades appeared.


Be careful to have no patches or dark shades while smudging with tissue papers, especially of your own fingerprints. Lip lines had to be darker while the shades were to be lighter by smudging. After finishing the shades in the lip, gave details to the texture of the lips with gentle strokes, using the 2B pencil.

Step 5 – Hair

Hair was the trickiest part of this portrait. The reference picture showed how darker and the deeper the shades of the hair were. Every hair had to be shown in detail to make it look realistic. At the beginning, strokes had to be made with the flow of the hair from the root of it because only by this an illusion of creating the hair with perfect shades could be attained. Made sure not to shade at the parts where it had to shine or glow.


Used various pencils to show the depth of the flow. Used 4B and 6B pencils, had them sharpened and made gentle and firm strokes. Took care not to make an impression on the paper by not giving it a harder press. Details that were required to make the hair look real were also making all the single hair look separated. This would make the hair to wave through the air.

Step 6 – Detailing

The final objects of the portrait would be the neck and the dress. The texture of the dress used in the reference picture varied due to the lighting. So used different pencils to show the difference in the shades. Strokes should not be visible as they would make the portrait look messy. Smudged the strokes until the texture cloth was created. Kept it gentle as there were chances of damaging the sheet due to over smudging.

Step 7 – Finalising

Used the ‘kneaded eraser’ to show the highlighted regions of the portrait. There was a small reflection of the lighting near the right cheeks. Used the kneaded eraser gently to wipe out the shades and make it look like a glow. Took off all the grid lines from the sheet as a last step. Erased all the unwanted shades around the portrait. Arrived at the final image.

Published in Issue 17

We tried to capture the time of chaos and confusion we all are in. How it inspires and influences creative thoughts. Starting with the cover design by Ankur Singh Patar, who captures the duality in the way we treat women. Followed by a conversation with Italian illustrator Giulio Iurissevich who explores beauty behind this chaos. And many more inspirational articles to explore.


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