Free Art For All - Raphael - Portrait Sketching

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This video concentrates on the works of Renaissance Artist Raphael Sanzio de Urbino.  1483-1520.  His first major piece was commissioned by Pope Julius II in 1500, he was just 17.  He was the youngest of the 4 painters we are focusing on.  He probably studied and tried to learn their styles.  He was hugely popular and extremely “cute” and was known as “the prince of painters”.  Today we are going to sketch a face and study the proportions.  In order to become a portrait artist you need to know how to sketch a face and keep the porportions correct.  You might get a picture of a face and take notes about how I obtained my measurements on it as you watch the video.


  1. Strathmore Sketchbook
  2. Derwent Lead Pencils
  3. General Pencil Kneaded Eraser
  4. Scissors


  1. We start by referring to the Stickman; The Foundations  about Stickmen and their proportions.  In it we talk about the body being sized by  “heads”.  Feel free to refer to this video if you have questions.
  2. We start by sketching an eye.  My eye is about 1” long.  I cut my eye out and used it as a form of measurement.
  3. At this point you can refer to

    Anatomy of an Eye starring Renaissance Artist Leonardo about sketching an eye.

  4. We start the face with the eyes. At the wides part of the face it measures about 5 eyes across. We put 5 “eye areas” in.

  5. Create the brow line by using the cutout eye.
  6. The nose tip is 1/2 of the way between the eye line and the chin.  The outer edges of the nose line up with the tear ducts.  
  7. The lip opening is roughly 1/2 the way between the tip of the nose and the chin.
  8. Next find the lip lines and the chin dimple.
  9. The ears are the final face piece we put on.  They start at the brow line and ending at the nose tip. They do not extend very far out.
  10. Find the hairline.  Measure the brow line and the nose tip and then add that space above the brow line. 
  11. The hair extends above where we said the top of the head started.  Add the hair.
  12. Use shading to shape the upper nose.

Raphael knew exactly how a face was constructed.  He was able capture the character of the model and give it life with just a few strokes of his pencil.  The only way that can happen is with practice.  With practice you will be able to draw any face and find the characteristics that make it unique.

 *Special thanks to Pixaby for the allowing us to use their photos.