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How to draw a portrait

11 December 2020

3 mins

By Alexandra Mitrutoiu

Hi! I’m Alexandra and I’m a 3rd year Fine Art student who likes making video tutorials and vlogs as a hobby.  

In this tutorial, I will show you a different approach to drawing portraits. The video is comprised of two exercises: one in establishing face proportions, and one in determining the values of the image which will later help in shading the portrait. Finally, these two exercises come together in one final work, where I demonstrate how I draw a well-structured portrait. The video is full of tips and tricks for anyone just staring, or for amateurs who want to take their art to a new level. 

If you enjoyed this video and found it helpful, I have a YouTube channel of my own, where I post similar content.

My name is Alexandra Mitrutoiu and I’m a Part C Fine Art student from Bucharest, Romania. Like many people in my position, I don’t remember a time I wasn’t into art. Drawing and painting have always been an intrinsic part of my life, and so at age 14 I decided to pursue an Art Degree. I started training in an artist’s studio at age 15, where I was taught the basics of academic drawing and painting in long, strenuous hours of still-life compositions and portraits.  

However, in my first two years at Loughborough Fine Art I discovered a whole range of techniques that I enjoyed, such as printmaking, mixed-media collage, digital art, and embroidery. 

After a year-long placement as Artist in Residence at MTC Coventry, I’ve narrowed them down to embroidery and digital art (graphic design and digital illustration). My current art practice consists of fabric arts, which I create in an unlikely combination of digital illustration and Jacquard Loom weaving. I am hoping to create a quilt or a tapestry for my Degree Show exhibition tackling the themes of isolation (the literal lockdown-type of isolation), domesticity, and women’s work through the diary-like depiction of every-day experiences in the format of embroidery. 

If you’re wondering where drawing and portraits fit in my life right now… Well, I still enjoy doing those, just in my own time. And so, I started creating a series of tutorials that I posted on my Patreon or my YouTube.  

Throughout the first lockdown I devoted time and effort to improving my digital illustration and graphic design, by taking on freelance jobs, doing online courses, and developing my personal projects. I grew my Instagram over the five months of quarantine to create a platform for my art.  

Because of this experience and my placement job which consisted of doing graphic design work for MTC, I decided to pursue digital media after graduation. My main plan is to do an MA in either Graphic Design or Digital Media studies and work in creative marketing after University. I slowly want to build my way up to an art directing position. Anything that has to do with content creation in the creative sector is right for me.  

If you want to see more of my art, you can check it out here:

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