How to Draw a Portrait Using Markers (5 Easy Basic Elements)

Want to know how to draw a portrait using markers? Portrait is indeed a difficult genre. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend years practicing something simpler to master it. It’s like a foreign language: you can never learn to understand speech by reading a book. And in the same way you won’t learn how to draw portraits by practicing still life. In general, get down to business and don’t be afraid of anything.

If you want to learn how to draw Portrait Using Markers in 2023, this is the guide for you!


Markers are the perfect tool for beginners. Some materials seem to oblige us to create something big and important. For example, not everyone would dare to paint an oil painting right away. Markers, on the other hand, are perceived as a tool for “non-serious” sketches, and therefore give us freedom.

The basics of how to draw a portrait

How to Draw a Portrait (Element № 1 – Eyes)

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Beginning artists often don’t know how to approach a portrait, so I suggest you practice on parts of the face first. You can limit yourself to pencil sketches or make elaborate drawings in color, the main thing is more practice!

We’ll start with the main part of the portrait, the eyes. If the artist fails to convey the model’s gaze and expression, the entire portrait is likely to be unsuccessful.

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So, let’s take a closer look at the structure of the eye. The eye is shaped like an almond nut. Its inner corner is slightly pointed and the outer corner is rounded.

The upper part of the iris is usually covered by the eyelid, unless the eyes are wide open – for example, when a person is surprised or frightened.


The eyelids are thick, but in the stylization you can neglect it, and not to draw the eye lacrimal in detail.

Eyebrows can be drawn in a generalized way, highlighting only a few hairs, rather than working through each one. Distribute the lashes unevenly and remember that they should be thicker at the base.

Now let’s try to draw an eye together

You will need
  • A blank pencil
  • Eraser (blotter)
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • White pencil or pen
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Sketch the shape of your eye and eyebrows with a pencil. You know that part of the iris is hidden under the upper eyelid, but when drawing it, it is better to draw the whole iris, and then remove the extra part with an eraser. This will make it easier for you to position the pupil correctly – it’s always in the center of the iris.


Apply light shades with markers. Remember that eyelids are not flat, but have volume – do not paint over the lightest areas. Try to work with smooth, jerky strokes. Don’t forget to leave a white glare on the iris.


Darken the area under the eyebrow near the inner corner of the eye, as well as the upper part of the whites and iris, to convey the volume of the eyeball. Mark the crease of the upper eyelid with a dark line.


Add shadow to the eyelids at the outer corner of the eye. To make the iris look livelier, draw dark spots on it. Make the eyebrow brighter and draw in the lashes.


Use a dark pencil to highlight the crease of the eyelid and draw out the lashes. Try to make them slightly different length and thickness. Remember that they are gathered in small bunches and have a natural curve. Use a white pencil or gel pen to add the final details.

And now practice drawing eyes from different angles
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How to Draw a Portrait (Element № 2 – Nose)

Usually I don’t draw the nose in detail, but only lightly outline its shape. I also often paint it smaller than it is in reality, which is one of the techniques that makes the face more “cartoonish” and cute.

But in any case, it is worth to understand how the human nose and how to draw it.

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When drawing the nose, I slightly indicate the bridge of the nose (narrow or wide), as well as the shape of the tip (sharp or spherical) and its wings. I detail the male nose a little more than I do the female nose.

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The three-quarter view shows the shape of the nose better than full-face, so a little more detail is needed.

Shall we try to draw a nose?

You will need
  • A blank pencil
  • Eraser (blotter)
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • White pencil or pen
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To start sketch the approximate shape of the nose – the bridge, the tip, the wings, focusing on a central line to maintain symmetry.

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Then draw the details, highlighting the pencil nostrils and wings of the nose, and remove unnecessary lines.

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Start working with color from the darkest areas, but so far only lightly mark them.

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Gradually build up the tone to convey volume. Highlight the tip of the nose with a flare.

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Draw the last details: make the nostrils dark and add a little shadow under the nose.

Now you can try to draw the nose in three-quarter angle or in profile.
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How to Draw a Portrait (Element № 3 – lips)

The lips can also convey a person’s mood. The corners of the lips are slightly down – he’s sad, slightly up – and now he’s happy.

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When drawing the lips, it is necessary to represent not only their shape, but also their volume. The upper lip is slightly overhanging the lower lip, so that in normal light it is in shadow, and the lower lip is slightly forward, so that it appears lighter. The lip closure is always parted, but in a simplified stylised version it can also be almost straight.

On the surface of the lips there are many small folds, but if you do not strive for realism, they can be drawn simplified or not to draw at all.

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Above the upper lip there is a small depression, it can be slightly darkened, and between the lower lip and the chin there is a pit, which should also be emphasized with shadow.

Let’s try to draw lips together

You will need
  • A blank pencil
  • Eraser (blotter)
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • White pencil or pen
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As usual, start with a pencil sketch. Here it is quite simple.

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Work with markers begin with the transfer of volume. To do this, darken the lower part of the upper lip and leave the middle of the lower lip as light as possible.

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Make the shadows deeper. The darkest areas are at the lip line and in the corners of the mouth.

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Add details: use colored pencils to lightly trace the folds, using a white pen or pencil to highlight highlights. Done!

Practice drawing your lips in a smile and different angles

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How to Draw a Portrait (Element № 4 – Ears)

At first glance, it would seem that the auricle is very complicated. But the diagram below will help you quickly understand and remember how the ear is drawn.

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The upper part of the ear has a curl, which resembles the letter C, and below is the counter-curl, which resembles the letter U. The goatee covers the ear canal, and opposite it is the counter-goatee, smoothly passing into that very letter U. The lower part of the ear is called the lobe. If you imagine the ear as a simple shape, it looks like an inverted pear.

To quickly remember all these rules, let’s draw an ear right now!

You will need
  • A blank pencil
  • Eraser (blotter)
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • White pencil or pen
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First draw the general outline of the ear. Remember the inverted pear? Then add the rest of the details.

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Mark the dark and light areas with markers to convey relief.

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Emphasize the shadows with darker markers: deepen the shadow under and inside the ear, enhancing the volume of the curls. The darkest place will be the ear canal and the area near it.

But you’ve probably noticed that in a portrait you rarely see the ear from that angle. Try drawing the ears from different angles. I’m sure you’ll get better at it each time!

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Element № 5 – Hair

To draw the hair correctly, first of all, look closely at how it lies on the head and repeats its shape. Try to imagine and outline their overall volume, and only then gradually move on to detail.

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In this illustration, I have marked the light and dark areas that appear on the hair in normal light. But their location may vary depending on where the light source is located.

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A few strands that are knocked out of the general mass of hair will give your drawing liveliness.

Contrast is also very important when depicting hair – remember what you’ve already learned about painting shiny surfaces, and boldly introduce deep shadows.

First, practice drawing individual strands, and then try to draw different types of hair: straight, wavy, curly.

You will need
  • A blank pencil
  • Eraser (blotter)
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • White pencil or pen
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Moving from lighter shades to darker ones, highlighting light areas and adding deep shadows, you add volume and realism to your drawing.

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Start with a pencil sketch.

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Use light markers to mark the total mass of hair. Leave areas of unpainted paper for future highlights.

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Darken those parts of the hair that are in shadow to convey volume.

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Add more shadows with darker markers and accentuate a few strands with colored pencils.

How to Draw a Portrait (Face)

To paint portraits, it’s not enough to know how the individual parts of the face are portrayed – it’s just as important to remember the general proportions. Of course, we’re all different, but there are still standard ratios that make it easy to build a portrait. These are simple rules, and you’ll remember them in no time.

Our main helpers are the main horizontal lines. The first is the eye line, which runs down the center of the head.

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Two more lines divide the face into three equal parts: the forehead, the nose and the jaw. The lips are not strictly centered on the lower face, but slightly higher.

The distance between the eyes and the width of the temples are equal to the length of the eye. Thus, the length of the eye is 1/3 of the entire width of the face. And the width of the face is approximately equal to the distance from the chin to the eyebrow line.

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The wings of the nose are on the same vertical line as the inner corners of the eyes.

When we draw the head in profile, the front and back of the head should be equal in width. On the vertical line separating them is the ear.

When drawing the oval face and chin, carefully observe the observance of symmetry.

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This brings the basic lessons to an end. In the following articles I will tell you how to drawusing a marker.


We also advise to pay attention to our collection of articles-lessons drawing people.