How to draw a self portrait from a photo

Jane Doe



Drawing a self-portrait is an easy and interesting skill. Many people are curious about their self-portrait in their creative journey and find the idea of creating one seems difficult until you realize how easy and interesting it is. As a rising artist, creating self-portraits is quite rewarding.


Whether you’re an experienced artist or a beginner, creating a self-portrait is a process in which every stroke of your pencil is a successful step towards your unique representation.

How to draw a self-portrait


Sometimes, creating a self-portrait is believed to be something that only an expert artist can do, but it is not. In this article, we will tell you how to make a self-portrait.

Let’s discuss some basics, such as organizing the workspace, getting the proportions right and adding less complex details. It will also tell how to shade the portrait drawing to make it look beautiful.


General tips


While drawing a portrait, keep in mind that you are not just making a face, but trying to make a depth of emotions and personality. So, while creating portraits, take special care of these things that help you to improve your skills.

Keep your surface vertical, this will not distort your impression while sketching, and you will be able to move your arm comfortably.


Getting ready

 As with everything, make sure you’re ready before you turn the brush on the canvas. Collect all the necessary things such as your paints, a pencil to sketch and also to clean. And a comfortable and bright environment, such an arrangement of light, where everything is clean and clear.


Choose your reference

 There are two ways you can show yourself, mirror and photo. You decide what is best for you.

When it comes to self-portraits, a mirror feels much better because it gives you a dynamic view. You can change your angles as needed, improve highlights and shadows, and see the bright and dark areas of the face well.

But its drawback is that you can’t keep your face in one position all the time, it can affect the accuracy of your drawing.

Using an image is better because it is static. By choosing a flat thing, you are saving yourself the pain of constantly moving your head. You can take any old photo, take a new selfie for a fresh representation. You can also use both a picture and a mirror after you’re satisfied with the lighting and the angle to get a better position.



Drawing a self-portrait


Study the features of your self-portrait subject —yourself! Observing and understanding each and every aspect of your subject will be helpful for you.

After reading this you are ready to make a sketch.


Drawing the outlines


Use light lines as the initial outline of your self-portrait, which you can easily erase later.

  • In any place, to draw the face, do it from its basic shape. So, make a circle before making the whole structure of it. It serves as a foundation.
  • From the center of the circle, on either side, draw a vertical line and carry forward. Being in the center, this line helps align the rest of the face. In the middle of the circle, draw a horizontal line cutting this line.
  • Look at the radius of the circle, mark the same distance on the vertical line from the bottom of the circle. This line is a chin point that may be a little higher for women.
  • So far we have outlined the basic proportions of human anatomy, when you draw jaw lines, consider the specific shape of your face.
  • Now connect the chin point with the circle frame and draw two big lines.
  • For a round face, the lines can be curved, while for oval or long faces, the lines can be straight or square. Connect the second part of these two lines and make a chin.
  • Now draw the exact shape of the face using four lines from the sides of the circle to the chin line.


 Drawing the features


Now come to the position of eyes, ears, nose, lips and hair.

  • Erase the previously drawn horizontal line in the circle and mark the position of the eye between its upper part and the chin.
  • Mark the position of the nose by drawing a peak line halfway between the eye line and the chin line.
  • The lip line is between the nose and the chin. In this way, three horizontal lines are formed on the outline or your face.
  • Draw two vertical lines on either side of the circle, between the eyes and nose, to mark the position of ears. Generally the length of the ear is equal to the nose.
  • Draw the first line between the eye line and the top of the circle to draw the hairline. Draw the line between this new line and the top of the sphere to create another line.
  • A horizontal line is drawn between the eye and the first hair line to create the eyebrow line.


Filling the details


Now it’s time to focus on facial features. This final stage of the self-portrait will refine your line work by defining the values of the portrait as well as adding details.

  • Remove unnecessary lines from the sketch.
  • Fill in the space for the yes, ears, nose and lips. Shedding with pencil is an important part of drawing. Based on the angle of face, create a light mid-tone on the face in light spots to shape the jawline and the cheeks.
  • Find the right value for the face and add a beautiful layer by filling. Use a dark thin pencil to shade in the self-portrait to make it look realistic and glide the pencil in different directions for the eyelashes.
  • For the final layer, create bright highlights using acrylic markers or erasers.


Frame your work


Your self-portrait is ready. Frame your work and use a spray varnish to protect it and prevent feeding. This will keep your drawing beautiful for years.




Creating a self-portrait is an easy and fun process. If you are curious and worried about making a self-portrait, don’t worry.

Just follow the steps given in this article and create a great self-portrait.

The more excellent skills, the more confident personality!


About Me

An avid art enthusiast and tech innovator, Jane Doe founded to merge her passions, offering a unique platform that transforms everyday moments into sketched treasures