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Get a Free Portrait Drawing Class at Craftsy!

Welcome back, everyone! Today we’re exploring an absolutely free Craftsy mini class, Draw Better Portraits: Capturing Likeness, taught by the very talented Gary Faigin.

This class is currently available to EmptyEasel readers at no charge, so feel free to click the link above to enroll, or keep on reading below to learn more!


The ability to sketch accurate portraits (like every drawing skill) will always take time and practice to develop. That’s a given. But learning from an expert IS often the best way to expand your skills, and recognize where you can improve.

In today’s free Craftsy mini class, Gary Faigin takes artists through each of the steps he uses to draw amazingly accurate portraits. There are 4 primary steps that he explains: recognizing people’s unique characteristics, mapping the face, refining shapes, and drawing individual variations.


Gary’s goal is to not just teach students how to draw facial features—an eye, the mouth, etc—but to look at the overall shape and likeness of a person’s face, and try to replicate that.

He starts by explaining how to look for patterns in your subject, and then shows how to map out the large areas of your subject first, so you have a space to work within when adding smaller details later on. This “large ideas first” approach makes for a more cohesive portrait, and allows students to adjust their drawings as needed, to fit the subject as they go.


During the lesson on refining shapes, students can see Gary shading and adding details to the smaller features of the face, working on the mouth, eye sockets, chin, and nose. He also “zooms in” on the eyes, and shares several tips for drawing realistic, accurate eyes that look like those of your subject.

Gary finishes this free class with 5 more sketches in a row, demonstrating how to pick out and emphasize the unique facial characteristics that make people LOOK different. Once you’ve mastered the large shapes and ability to refine facial features earlier in the class, this last step will make all the difference in your portraits.


Draw Better Portraits is a completely watchable class. . . it’s short enough to be viewed in one session, but still worth going back to anytime you want a refresher course in drawing accurate portraits (And I should probably mention, you can watch Craftsy classes as many times as you’d like, so you just need to join and you’ll have this class available in your queue forever).

For those of you who haven’t tried Craftsy yet, this is a great chance—after all, Gary’s class is 100% free! Click the link and check it out for yourself!

Editor’s Note: special thanks to Craftsy for sponsoring this post and offering a free mini class. Click this link to get Draw Better Portraits by Gary Faigin for free!

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

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