Hey all, I'd like to share one of my recent portrait's with you and would love some feedback/critique and also any tip's you may have on proportions. I'm teaching myself but I am still struggling with the proportion's. I've been drawing for 2 year's but stopped drawing within those 2 year's for quite a while as I got frustrated with proportion's.
My portrait is of Natalie Portman;
Your work is very good. From what I see here, the proportions and general head structure is fine. However, I am interested in your concern about proportions of the head. How large do you usually draw portraits? The proportions can be difficult if you are drawing the head rather large. It is a good idea to draw the head no larger than your hand. That is just a guideline passed on to me long ago.
I have a few suggestions for portrait work that should be of interest to you. With all the cameras around, it is best to work from your own photos. Use a strong light from one side with soft reflected light on the opposite side. A piece of poster board makes a good reflector. Light and shadow define the form and can create mood. Avoid head on shots. Take several shots of friends and neighbors. For a serious drawing, work from an 8"x10" enlargement.
Buy a couple of books on drawing the head and use them as work books. Study the structure of the head and the features. These are the basics for a portrait artist. Study the work of artists you admire. Check out "pencil portraits" in Google images. There is a wealth of material. Learn smooth blending but also try making drawings using just pencil lines. Check Paul Calle, Google image for that. Remember, you learn to draw by drawing. Draw when ever you have a chance.
Your art work should be a part of you—it can be a way of life for you. You have a lot of talent and it is up to you to make the most of it.
Keep up the good work.