Softly-Colored Portraits: Emphasizing Features with Texture & Volume

By Clarissa

$170.00 $175.00
38 lessons
Running time
7h 37m
Class Kit
By Creator
List: $175
(3% Off)

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1. Go at your own pace in this 20-week online course
2. Artistic guidance & pointers from the instructor
3. Supportive peer community exchanging feedback
4. All-in-one Class Kit option available at purchase
5. Enroll now to start learning right away!

The Ultimate Beginner's Course

Learn to Illustrate Portraits Using Texture and Volume with
Artist and Illustrator, Clarissa Paiva

Do you like drawing self-portraits?

Realistic portraits have a beautiful charm, but have you ever wanted to take on a different route and create your original slice of a story based on what inspiring images have to offer? In this course, we will take basic drawing principles and traditional techniques to create our own characters' pencil portraits.

We will learn how to extract what we find most interesting and inspiring in our references. When I say references, I don't mean just photos. References include other artists' styles, childhood memories, other people, and even ourselves.

We will talk about how to create a visual map of what we personally find most interesting and how to translate these interests while creating portraits. Through the study of volume and texture, I will show you how to create the drawing that lies somewhere between a portrait and an illustration.

I organized this course for anyone who likes drawing, sketching, and illustration techniques, and would also like to learn more about figurative representation.

I will start with basic drawing and sketching skills that will help us create interesting textures and lines. And then, we will work our way up to rendering human figures, with a strong focus on manipulating facial features that we see in references to create what we wish to emphasize in our portraits while still retaining volume and expression.

By the end of this course, you will have a firm grasp of drawing basics and materials, how to create a
a visual map of references, how to train your eye into creating believable character portraits that tell a story or expression and find out who and what inspires you, and of course, how to create your character portrait.

As you follow through the creative and experimental exercises, you will learn how to develop your original style of drawing that is unique to the characters you wish to represent and create.

Step 1: Drawing the face with crisp detailed features with soft outlines

Step 2: Simplifying and exaggerating volumes

Step 3: Building basic blocks to create your drawings and portraits

Step 4: Finding harmony between color and graphite

Step 5: Developing your observational skills and draftsman skills to create your original style


  1. Introduction to the Course
  2. Meet Your Instructor: Clarissa!
  3. Introduction to materials: how to interpret materials for drawing (part 1)
  4. Introduction to materials: how to interpret materials for drawing (part 2)
  5. Introduction to materials: how to interpret materials for drawing (part 3)

Chapter 1: Sketching It Out

  1. Understanding Lines, shapes and forms: basic building blocks of drawing️
  2. Practicing in capturing the gestures️
  3. Grasping Cross hatching and creating textures️
  4. Learning from mistakes: Why sketching is important️
  5. Ludic drawing exercises to help you focus, observe and enjoy the process️

Chapter 2: Facial Proportion

  1. Understanding Basic frontal face proportions️
  2. Perceiving facial feature: the upside-down triangle
  3. Adding volume, light, and shadow on the face️
  4. How the contour affects the face: forehead, cheeks, and chin
  5. Shaping neck and shoulders

Chapter 3: Eyes

  1. Anatomical structure of the Eye socket and Eyeball
  2. Setting the mood: pupils and Eyelids (Part 1)
  3. Setting the mood: pupils and Eyelids (Part 2)️
  4. Eyebrows: their shape and how they tell a story
  5. Brow hair and lashes: details that make a difference
  6. Drawing from observation: How does your eye look?
  7. The eye on colorful paper

Chapter 4: Nose

  1. Nose structure and shape: why is the nose so tricky?
  2. How to simplify the nose?
  3. Adding volumes to the nose: Lighting and shadowing
  4. Perceiving the proportion of the nose
  5. Practicing with different Types of noses
  6. Coloring the nose

Chapter 5: Mouth

  1. Understanding the basic shape and volume of the mouth and the lips
  2. Creating texture
  3. Learning the different types of lips
  4. Mastering the expression of the lips
  5. Coloring the lips

Chapter 6: Hair & Ears

  1. Grasping Hair volume on the head
  2. How to draw 1A to 4C (straight, wavy, curly) hair types
  3. How to draw the ears
  4. Using references: hair volume, styles, and cuts 

Chapter 7: Frontal Face - Let's review!

  1. Review of all chapters: Sketching the head and proportions
  2. Eyes, nose, and mouth
  3. Coloring softly to set the mood
  4. Exaggerating textures and pulling back to create visual interest
  5. Finishing touches: dealing with imperfections

Chapter 8: The Face in Space

  1. Head Proportions: Simplifying the head in profile
  2. How the eye, nose, and mouth change in shape
  3. Drawing a clear profile
  4. Coloring the face

Bonus Chapter: How to develop your original style and how I developed mine

  1. How to develop your original style and how I developed mine


1. Congratulations on Completing the Course

About the Instructor

Illustrator, Clarissa Paiva


My name is Clarissa Paiva. I am an artist and illustrator based in Brasilia, Brazil. I have a degree in Visual Arts and Fashion Design, and my passion has always been in traditional media such as drawing, painting, and illustrations. Along my 12 years of working in this field as a professional, I've taught dozens of drawing and painting classes and workshops to hundreds of students. As an independent artist and illustrator, I've worked with many editorial publications and brands such as Tiffany & Co. I'm very excited to share what I've learned over the years and the process that I have developed over time with you.

Q: How did you first start doing what you do?

I grew up absolutely amazed and inspired by illustration art. I had the immense privilege of seeing amazing works of art while growing up as a child in New York. I loved all of it, from the great masters to contemporary abstracts, but also picture books, comics, stationery sets, stickers, paper dolls, and cartoons. Everything brought me joy. As an artist, I've always tried to pay homage to my childhood references while representing female figures we didn't see in traditional works of art that were up in these museums. I started sharing my work online since 15 years ago in online art communities and was able to develop the independent work that brought me where I am today as a full-time artist.

1. Drawing Pencils
- 6H
- HB
- 6B
2. Drawing Art kneaded Erasers
3. Faber-Castell-Polychromos / 3colors
- 123 fuchsia
- 145 light phthalo blue
- 115 dark cadmium orange
4. Canson Mi-Teintes Pad
5. white Uniball gel pen
6. Croqui book A4 105g (Hard Cover)
7. Pencil sharpeners

  • People who want to learn how to draw a pencil portraits
  • People who want to understand the anatomy of facial portraits
  • People who want to learn how to illustrate each facial feature
  • People who want to create an original character
  • People who want to play with textures to attract the audience

Duration of the course

You can access the class videos for 20 weeks. Within that period, you can replay the videos in as many devices as you want.

Installment Payment

Quadpay is available for the payment! Your order will be split into 4 installments paid over 6 weeks! To find out more, please visit Quadpay.

Class Preparation

If you have purchased the “All-in-one package,” it may take less than 2 weeks to get the package. We will also send you a tracking number after we send the package. Due to the duration of delivery, your access will be extended to 22 weeks.

Class access

We will send you an email with a webpage link and a personalized code to access the videos within 24 hours of purchase.

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