Visual Aides for Portraiture

9d4f70f0120070d941c7477781ccb886Some good resources for you to pay reference to.   I would print these off and stick them in your sketchbook so you always have them to hand.
Just click on the image, opens up on a new page, then hit print.  Simple.




YouTube – Portrait Layout

Watch the video to help you draw a basic portrait.  You have been introduced to the grid method when it comes to drawing – if you find it easier to use the technique then continue using it to get a high quality drawing.  Remember the marks needed to get the grade you want!

There are other videos available for you on YouTube, you don’t have to pay reference to the one here.

Have fun drawing!

Say What? Annotate

Annotation is key a tool to use when developing ideas, photos or explaining to your teacher what you are doing.

You do not need to write reems and reems of notes, just simple and straight to the point.  All you need to do is explain and give reason to everything you are doing.

Benefits of annotating:

  • Explains what you are doing with regards to ideas, techniques and experiments – this can help you gain extra marks.
  • Allows the examiner to understand what your are doing with your work.
  • Gives you a clearer understanding of what you are doing and what the next stages are to your work.

Professional creatives use annotation within their work – its not just a school thing.  So its good to get in to the habit of doing it now.

Pay reference to the examples below.  They’re really good.  They can also help you with your observational drawing as well.


Untitled-1 copyUntitled-2

Drawing Tips

Take a look at the image below to give you furthrt guidance regarding observational drawing, mark making techniques and the correct use of tone.


Half & Half












Need an inventive way of livening up your observational drawing?  Try the half photo half drawing approach.  All you need to do is use half of a photo and draw the other half – simple.

If you wanted to try a different approach, you could cut/take bits out of your photo and replace them with drawing.

This approach will also help you hit the experiment objective for your exam.


The Humble Biro

You don’t just have to use just pencil to develop your drawing skills, you can use biro.

Biro allows you achieve greater mark making techniques (look at the mark making post) and simply a great tool to use when drawing.   Some of you are drawing from photos, you may take inspiration from the artists shown below who have used pen to create their artwork – they’re amazing!


Hope Gangloff


Hope Gangloff


Sarah Esteje


Sarah Esteje


Juan Francisco Casas


Juan Francisco Casas


Watch the following video to help you brush up your skills when it comes to adding tone. Adding a simple tonal ladder when drawing can really help as it can help you to understand the various tones which can be achieved when creating your artwork.

The Big Draw

big draw poster A4Remember folks, The Big Draw is taking place on Monday 7th October during lunch A and C.  We have two professional illustrators coming in, Owen Davey and Brett Wilkinson. 

This is a great opportunity for you to have a chat with two creatives who are making a success out of art. Owen is a childrens book illustrator and Brett is also an illustrator but also runs his own graphic design agency.  So if you are thinking of going down the art route career wise, make sure you come along to the art room and have a chat with either of them.

Follow the links to look at Owen’s and Brett’s /

Inspiration – Websites, Blogs, Social Networks

As well as visiting galleries, cultural events and looking through creative books to gain inspiration for you at school and for myself; I also look at various websites on the internet.  Its really important to keep up to date with current trends as this will help you with your own work.

Here are a few sites which you should visit on a regular basis. – online UK magazine showcasing the up and coming creative minds as well as your more traditional work.  They also have a section on what’s on around the UK. – one of my favourites which I have been using for the past two years. This is a social network site orginally from America.  You will not get access to it at school due to it being a social network site.  People ‘pin’ everyday things they are interested in.  Its great to find GCSE examples and new artists. – photography website where amateur and professional photographers upload their images.  Good to look through for compositional ideas. – another great site showcasing various artists from across the world. – find videos on artist talks or research new techniques. – website of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. – website for the National Gallery in London.

I will keep updating you with new sites when I find them.
You should try and find something new everyday.

Happy Mark Making


If you are stuck with how to add tone to your artwork, pay reference to the mark making sheet attached.  There are a number of ways to add tone – you don’t always have to use the side of your pencil or cotton wool!!  If you are too scared to add it to your artwork straightaway, practice in your sketchbook – copy the layout and use either a sharp pencil or a pen.  Have fun!