Human Anatomy

The Skull – Front

You are so into starting painting portraits but after trying a couple of times…things didn’t quite work. Yes, I know…I ve been there myself. Here you will find just the right amount of information to get you started – simplified, and easy to follow.

Why you should read this article

If you want to make some progress you need to follow a method; and trust me, there is no better tactic than understanding what lies underneath. Having a good grasp of the skull will help you gradually build your skill drawing and painting portraits.  In this article we will look at the structure of the front side of the skull (next article will be about the side view).

Continue reading “IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD”


Human Anatomy

The Ribcage

In this article we will see step by step how to draw the front part of the rib cage. I only tried this myself a few days ago so I am sure it will be very helpful for absolute beginners. I will try to keep the article short and easy as usual.

Continue reading “STUCK IN THE CAGE”


Ancient Greek portraits

An Ancient Greek philosopher which is a dominant figure in my home city. Aristotle is one of the most important and famous personalities of Ancient Greece and streets, universities and squares have been named after him in modern Greek cities. Aristotle was born in Stagira (norther Greece) and was a student of Plato in Athens. After his teacher’s death, Aristotle was invited to teach Alexander the Great (previous bust drawing – BUST -2). His teachings are foundation of the modern Western Philosophy and cover many areas as physics, biology, arts, politics and psychology.

The inspiration to draw this bust is now obvious. It was a good exercise for me, getting the proportions of the face  and the shape of head right. I quickly put a small grid on my paper and tried to measure the proportions of the width and length of his face.  First step was to locate the zone of his eyes. That gave me a good reference point to build the rest of his face. I achieved this by defining the forehead’s proportion to the rest of the face.

Once the eyes were roughly in place it was easier to define the position of other features. I started top to to bottom. Firstly, I tried to deal with the nose by making it proportionally right to the forehead. The width of the nose was measured proportionally to its length.


With the nose roughly sketched I looked at the width and position of the mouth and chin. The width of the lips roughly lines up with the middle of the eyes. The chin literally occurred by sketching the outline of the lips. This areas is easier to draw by adding tone rather than trying to precisely sketch outlines.

A new element for me was the hair. It was a challenging task to decide how to better sketch the hair. I am not sure this is the best way to do it yet but it seemed a bit easier roughly shaping it and then defining it better by adding tone. The same applies to hair on the head and facial hair.

After having on my paper and being satisfied that I don’t want to add any more details (mainly because at this point I am quite tired already) I add some highlights by rubbing out the charcoal or strengthen the tone in some places. This way I increase the contrast and make the drawing a bit more impressive. Still working on this though!

I hope you enjoyed! You can see my previous bust drawing here:

DSC_006923 - Αντίγραφο busts mobile



“Busts is a collection of charcoal drawings which represents my first steps in the world of life drawing and drawing of human figures and faces in general. In these first drawings I am just trying to put in practice the theory that I read in sketching books or the instructions that our tutor gives during our life drawing classes. Hopefully, as I progress and practice more, the quality of my drawings will improve and more confident lines and powerful tone contrasts will appear.”

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves. Meet the man behind the  scenes. Visit THE ARTIST… 

Love Sketching and Painting


Παρουσίαση2 - Αντίγραφο



Today the session was different to the previous ones. First of all we had a male model which I had never drawn before. But the main difference was the content of the session itself. Our tutor organised for us two exercises.

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The class started setting up the model…behind a screen! We couldn’t see him at all. We were only allowed to quickly go behind the screen and take a brief look and then run back to our easels and sketch. We were allowed to go back and forth as many times as we wanted however we couldn’t take our sketch pads with us.

Aim of this exercise was to improve our observational skills and our memory. A good understanding of the human body structure was very helpful as by picking up some information then you could build up and complete your drawing. Most of the students struggled (including myself). I managed to make the following drawing which did not please me at all. I acknowledge that this was a very useful exercise; very frustrating though!


Following this first challenge our tutor had prepared another task for us (and the model…). The students were sat in a circle leaving a small “corridor” empty in the middle of the class. The model had to walk slowly up and down the class making a small stop in the middle taking a pose for a few seconds. We had to capture the movement in our drawings. Purpose of this exercise was to create quick lines with flow instead of completed sketches.

A second wave of frustration hit me as I managed to quickly draw different poses along the way however I completely missed the element of movement. Again I understand the value and use of this exercise but I think it needs loads of practice to actually capture the flow and the movement!


Finally, the tutor set up a long pose which lasted for about an hour. The model, who was a tall muscular middle aged man, was holding a spear with both hands. This led his muscles to stretch and his torso to take a very sculptural form. The pose was not particularly easy as from my position the neck was hidden – i couldn’t understand how the head sits on the shoulders. I had to scrap my first drawing before I actually managed to form the correct figure.




The Artist says:

“Since I joined the life drawing classes, I have really developed a completely different way of looking at the objects around me. I try to spot the details and I try to understand how different elements of an object affect the proportions, the shape and the tone. Studying the human body is quite challenging but really rewarding!




Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…



Love Sketching & Painting




Perspective – Horizon, the big hoover


Where all lines get lost…

Previous article:  WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT…?

Right, in the previous article we made it clear that the horizon is directly connected to your eyes level. That means the higher you stand you will be able to see things from above and vice versa; you will be able to see things from below when you stand lower. How does this affect your drawings though?

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The lines tend to vanish as they go closer to the horizon. You can imagine the horizon as a big linear hoover that sucks the lines of your drawings. EVERYTHING has to vanish into your horizon. And this applies even to the objects that are very close to yourself. Even these gradually vanish in to the horizon. Lines can be interrupted before they actually reach the horizon ie. the small carton box standing in front of you doesn’t need to reach your horizon line to vanish, however the extension of its lines will do reach.



Of course “vanishing into the horizon” is quite a vague phrase and everyone can interpret in various different ways. In reality perspective follows specific rules and the easiest way to understand it is by using the “vanishing points”. The vanishing points attract all lines of the drawing – this is where your lines actually vanish. A drawing can have 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 vanishing points. Working with 2 vanishing points is a good start for a beginner and once you master this you can easily start using 3 points.


Now lets grab some paper, a pencil and a rubber and start drawing in perspective. Move to the next article:

Previous Article: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT…?

Next Article: Coming Soon…


28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“The article above as well as the whole series of the Sketching Advice articles is an effort to put together my knowledge and offer it to fellow artists in their first steps in as simple words as possible . I am not a professional artist or tutor, however I have spent some time sketching and through trial and error I realised that following some basic principles can simplify sketching a lot. Feel free to ask any questions and I ll be glad to help if I can .”

Love Sketching & Painting




Perspective – The basics

Perspective – The Basics

What you don’t understand…

Previous Article: LET’S MAKE A PLAN…



Welcome back to CHROMA sketching advice blog! This week we will be discussing perspective; this is one of the most fundamental elements for a drawing that prizes itself to look realistic. The basic principles of perspective are really easy to understand and apparently really easy to implement. However, many people struggle to incorporate it to their drawings and thus the result is not satisfactory. This is going to be an introduction to perspective and to a related series of articles. The following weeks we will build up on how to easily incorporate this to your drawings and make them look 3 dimensional.

The confusion related to perspective only derives from a lack of understanding of how this works in the real world and how it translates on your paper when sketching. Things are really simple. Objects look smaller, flatter and paler as they move far away from your eyes. If you think about it, this happens with all objects around us. You see a mountain (which you now is huge) in the far distance and it looks like you can squeeze it between your fingers. It also looks slightly blue and you can hardly distinct any slopes or big rocks – it is just flat. Now think of yourself looking outside your window on the fourth floor, seeing people on the street below. Again, they look much smaller than they actually are when they stand next to you.


 This is pretty much what happens with all objects, even with those you have been struggling to sketch right. A chair that is in a distance from you, looks smaller and flatter. Your friend who is standing 10 metres away from you looks smaller than they actually are. And that building you have been trying to sketch, guess what…you see it smaller than its real dimensions because you are standing in some distance from it.


This theory obviously is not something new to you. You have heard about this before and you have tried to put it on paper already…but still your shapes look wonky. This is entirely your fault because you draw what you know and not what you actually see!

28504682_1165974066869687_375192445_o (1)

 What you need to understand from the previous paragraphs is that when we draw, we draw things as we see them; not as we know them. You always need to keep in mind that perspective distorts shapes, proportion and colour. What you know to be a perfect cube in reality …sketch wise will be a weird shape which is not a cube but it will look like a correct cube in perspective.

 Understanding that we draw what we see and not what we know is the first step to draw perspective right. The technique is dead easy and it will take you 5 minutes to understand.


Next week we will grab pen and paper and will see how this works on a real drawing with some basic shapes.

Happy Sketching!


Previous Article: LET’S MAKE A PLAN…



28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_oTHE ARTIST…

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves.. Meet the man behind the  scenes. Visit THE ARTIST… 





Love Painting & Sketching