Review: Drawing Facial Features by Gary Faigin (Craftsy course)

Weeks ago, I had featured another course by Gary Faigin called Draw Better Portraits. That's an introductory course to portrait drawing that focuses on techniques that will help you make your portraits recognisable even without detailed features.

Drawing Facial Features builds on the techniques imparted in the earlier course. So if you haven't enrolled in that course, you should because it's a great course and it's free.

This course runs for 222 minutes and is split into 8 lessons. That's more than 3.5 hours of video tutorials.

It's a rather structured course that covers the whole before going into the details.

List of lessons:

  1. Drawing a Likeness - 17 min
  2. The Upper Half of the Skull - 26 min
  3. The Lower Half of the Skull - 27 min
  4. Age, Gender & Ancestry - 30 min
  5. Eye Structure - 28 min
  6. Drawing the Eye from Life - 23 min
  7. Drawing the Nose - 36 min
  8. Drawing the Mouth - 35 min

The first lesson reiterates the points that contributes to the likeness of a portrait. Then Faigin talks about the underlying structure that is the skull that affects the features of the face. I actually have his book The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression and some of this information is already in the book. Hearing it from him as compared to reading is indeed different and I found that I learned a bit more, especially when he demonstrates while he explains.

The next few lessons focus on specific features, such as the eye, nose and mouth.

Gary Faigin's style is that of classical fine art and he uses charcoal for shading, highlight and shadows. The instructions are easy to understand and follow, and the techniques taught are easy to replicate. It doesn't matter even if you have no art training before. There are lots of useful drawing tips along the way.

The emphasis is on the underlying structure. It's not just drawing from observation as I noticed that Faigin doesn't really try to create the portrait with 100% likeness but instead he creates the portraits to feel like the posed models. Anyway, you can spend more time on the techniques if you want to achieve better results.

Faigin has a nice personality and it makes learning from him fun.

This should be a useful course for beginners who want to learn portrait drawing.

You can enroll in this course or check out other student reviews on Craftsy.

Check out other video courses from Craftsy that I've featured at

Disclosure: This course was provided to me by Craftsy for review purposes. You can support Parka Blogs by using the affiliate links as I get a little commission from each sale. :-)

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