Step By Step Drawing Guide- How To Draw A Pencil Portrait

Step By Step Drawing | How To Draw... Pencil Portraits

This step by step drawing guide has been put together by myself to assist budding beginners learn to draw, and more specifically show you how to draw portraits and convert photo to pencil in ten free, easy-to-understand, drawing lessons.


Lou Pemberton | How To Draw... Pencil Portraits- A Step By Step Drawing Tutorial Hi, my name is Lou Pemberton. I am a graphite pencil artist from North Wales in the UK.

Drawing has always been a part of my life. Even when I was in Infant school I had peers queuing up at break time, requesting I draw them a Ninja Turtle or Bart Simpson. It’s simply something I have been able to do without much effort.

But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be taught. I believe it can, and like any other skill, can be attained with determination, enjoyment and practice. It is very important when you seek to acquire any new skill in life that these three things come into play from the beginning, and all three pretty much go hand-in-hand with one another.

After all, as long as you can enjoy the process of learning, then the determination to succeed  will follow naturally, as will practice if you are determined enough.

A good example of this is a guy over on YouTube with his own channel who just simply draws stuff. Now, when you see this guys work you would automatically assume that this guy has “a gift” as everyone likes to call it. But you would be wrong!

This guy taught himself how to draw in under two years, and when you watch just how amazing he is at it, you will see how much he enjoys it and how this led to where he is today.

His channel is ZoocDoesStuff. If this doesn’t inspire you to teach yourself to draw, then I really don’t know what will. 

Can you notice a theme here?

That’s right. Enjoy! Don’t expect to pick up a pencil and create a masterpiece at the first, second or even tenth time of trying. Pick up a pencil and enjoy practicing!

The process of learning to draw portraits is more to do with training your brain and your eyes, than anything to do with your hand. Think of your hand as a mere tool which is powered by your brain using the information collected by your eyes. The more information that can be gathered by your eyes to pass on to your brain, the better the instructions passed onto the hand.

It’s All In The Detail

When you begin the step by step drawing tutorial and start drawing your own portraits, your eyes will play mean little tricks on you. They will be lazy and won’t bother to tell the brain everything they actually know. So, that tiny little crease next to your subject’s eye will go un-noticed, and won’t make it to the final pencil portrait.

You will stare and stare at the finished portrait, trying to figure out what has gone wrong. And still your eyes will say nothing to you, and you become disheartened. Don’t!

This really is all part of the learning curve. As you draw more and more, your eyes will start picking up more and more and passing that information on more and more. Which means you will get better and better.

And as you get better, it’s important to remember not to ignore the detail on purpose. Detail is by far the one thing that will make or break a pencil portrait. A human face is made up of thousands of different elements, each one unique to every face. Get the detailing down, and the rest just flows. Honest.

Don’t just omit the parts you can’t be bothered with, or because you are rushing. There is no rush. Take as many sittings as you need to get it right. And if you feel like you are rushing or losing interest- Stop and take a break! Continuing in this frame of mind will only lead to mistakes, and dishearten you in the end.

Let’s Go Ahead!

As you now know a little more about the journey you are about to embark on, and you have already learned with the right combination of  determination, the enjoyment of drawing and the willingness to practice, practice, practice you can succeed, we can start cracking ahead with the step by step drawing tutorial.

I suggest you start with Choosing Art Supplies first. This will guide you through the drawing tools you will need to get going, and what each tool will be used for.

Once you are happy with that then Download the Free Progress Journal from the HTD Toolbox below; this will help you track your progress on your new learning to draw journey and identify where you need to practice more!

Progress Journal

Step 1 will guide you through some of the Pencil Drawing Techniques you will hone. These techniques will help you to understand the basics of pencil drawing, so make sure you have a read, and practice them before you start.

One last thing, my contact details and social buttons can be found just to top right in the sidebar…so, if you ever need any help just give me a yell or leave a comment on the page. I’ll be more than happy

So, let’s go. And, remember…. Enjoy!

 Choosing Art Supplies | Step by Step Drawing Tutorial