How to Draw Faces

New Yorker cartoonist Jason Adam Katzenstein already taught you how to do “gesture drawing,” one of the most basic artistic techniques. In the new video above, he focuses on faces, showing how the principle of “draw what you see” helps you capture someone’s identifying features.

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My biggest takeaway here was how hard it is to draw what you actually see, and not start drawing what you imagine or assume. I drew Jason facing forward, when I was actually seeing him from an angle. That made it harder to accurately portray his face. In contrast, see how Jason foreshortened my eyes and gracefully captured the patchiness of my beard.

I also learned that if you ink too many of your pencil lines, you end up drawing a yeti. Sorry Jason! But to draw good, you have to draw bad first—and the goal seems so rewarding, for you and for others. When you can accurately draw someone’s face, they feel special because they feel seen—and you learn how to really see them.

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