How to create Stunning Portrait Illustrations with just a Smartphone

How to illustrate a portrait Hero

The artist Artbyfhina is multi-talented. Just recently we showcased her method of making beautiful portraits glow with an app. If you missed the article about this, you can find it here.

Today you can learn how she uses the same app to illustrate minimalist and highly modern portraits. The design style can be attributed to the so-called “flat design”.

By using a photographic reference for the instructions below, even beginners to digital design can achieve beautiful results with their first attempts.

How to illustrate a portrait in 9 Steps

Step 1

First, open the Autodesk Sketchbook app on your smartphone or tablet. Open a photo template that you want to edit and turn into a minimalist portrait.

How to illustrate a portrait 1

Step 2

Now click on the Paintbrush tool to edit the image. Choose your preferred color for the first editing step. To do this, you should look at the source image and identify individual color patches. For example, you can illustrate a flat portrait by painting the hair in one color or by choosing a skin color in a single shade.

Step 3

Now trace the surface with the tool. Fhina began with the hair of the model.

How to illustrate a portrait 2

Step 4

Repeat the color selection and repeat the procedure of filling the area with your next shape. In this tutorial on how to illustrate a portrait, the skin was next up.

How to illustrate a portrait 3

Step 5

Repeat the same move with the remaining elements of the figure. In our case, the dress of the girl has turned entirely white.

How to illustrate a portrait 4

Step 6: Add shading to the Portrait

Next, add a little shape and contour to the drawn areas by applying shading. Orientate yourself on the original color of the area and select a hue a few shades darker than the color base. Using the same color, we have marked the shadows on the décolleté and neck.

How to illustrate a portrait 5

Step 7

If you want to illustrate a minimalist portrait, you should not sacrifice essential facial features. The eye area and mouth are particularly important. The artist has chosen to leave out the eyes and instead emphasize the sensuously red mouth and eyebrows.

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How to illustrate a portrait 6

In a way, this creates a more refined mystery around the figure, which at this stage already makes us think of Marilyn Monroe and other Hollywood stars. If we were to draw in the eyes, this mystery about the woman’s identity would disappear.

Be aware that the exact design of your portrait is entirely up to you. You can highlight the nose’s shades as well as the eyes, or you can skip them if you prefer.

Step 8

If you are satisfied with the portrait so far, only the photographic background has to be changed into an illustration. Depending on the desired effect, extreme contrasts with dark colors to the light body or weak contrasts with backgrounds that are close in color to the subject are suitable.

Step 9

Save your artwork and share it with your friends. As a surprise, it’s a great way for your friends or family to let your artistic side run free and easily create a stunning illustration.

How to illustrate portraits: More examples of the artist

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