Drawing a Family Portrait

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When drawing a family portrait, first arrange the composition with each family member, block out where each person will be, and use either graphite or colored materials to sketch in the detail of each face. Flesh out each figure after the composition is perfected with art instruction from a professional cartoonist in this free video on drawing lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Drawing Cartoons & Objects
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Joel Hickerson in greendog.com. Today we're going to go through the steps it takes to draw a family portrait. The first thing you need is a picture of the family that you're thinking about drawing a portrait of. And then you basically need to think about all the different things like, are you going to do it in black and white, are you going to change the composition, remove or add anyone that's not in the picture. If you add someone, you can use another picture for reference. But basically, the first thing is the composition. And now the way I draw a family portrait is usually a caricature. So I'm going to exaggerate the size of the heads and always start from the center and work my way out. And I might tighten it up just a little bit to include them. And this picture has a dog so we'll do that too but, are they happy? You could change the setting instead of being by the lake you could throw them out on a farm or in a more urban setting. But once you get the layout the way your want it then you have to go in and you do the features. Now the features would take us too long for the time we have here. But the things you consider are composition, whose in it, whether you're doing a color or black and white. If it's color you'd want to draw these lines in pencil, very light so you could come back over the top with your pastels or paints or whatever you chose to use. That's pretty much it. Once you get the composition the way you like it then you can flesh out the figures the way that you want the finished product to be. That's a starting place, anyway. And it can get as silly as you want or you can keep it semi serious, but the thing about serious portraits these days is a lot of times you can do a lot of that on your computer, if you want it serious. And those are some of the steps that you need to consider when you want to draw your family portrait.

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