How to Make a Portrait in Adobe Illustrator

Portrait artworks are types of artworks that focus on the face of the subject. These artworks include an individual, group, or self-portrait. In this article, learn how to make a compelling portrait in Adobe Illustrator. how-to-make-a-portrait-in-adobe-illustrator-featured-header

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How to Make a Portrait in Adobe Illustrator

Artists, designers, and painters make portrait art to showcase the likeness, mood, and personality of a person. Below are simple steps that you can follow if you need to make a visually aesthetic portrait in Adobe Illustrator.

  • Step 1: Place Portrait Reference in the Artboard

    Open Illustrator, and Create New Document. Then, go to File > Place and select the image that you want as the reference for the portrait art you will be doing, and place it in the artboard.


  • Step 2: Create Custom Art Brushes

    In the Brushes panel, there are different types of art brushes available there. But, you can create custom art brushes to make realistic strokes to your portrait using the line tool and stroke.


  • Step 3: Draw the Outlines of the Face, the Hair, and Other Parts

    Create a new layer at the top of the portrait reference, and lock the layer of the reference image. In the new layer, use the Brush Tool, Pencil Tool, Shape Tool, and other tools when you are drawing the outlines of the face such as the eyes, eyebrows, lips, nose, hair, and many others.


    Step 4: Color the Portrait

    After you finished drawing the parts of the face, you can now color the entire face of your portrait art. Expand Vector Appearance, add the base color for your portrait, and work on the eyes, lips, teeth, skin, hair, and other parts of the face.



How to make a minimal vector portrait in Adobe Illustrator?

Begin with a reference for your portrait as you open it in Illustrator, reduce its opacity, use the Pen tool and Shape tool to trace the reference photo, repeat to other parts of the reference, color some parts, add some shadow, and customize other elements.

How to draw a simple portrait?

Plan what you want to draw in the portrait, create an initial drawing, set the tone, add some shadows, focus on the eyes, construct the nose, draw the mouth and ears, layer the hair, add some volume, introduce context, detail the features, and incorporate some finishing touches to the portrait.

How to draw a face portrait?

Draw a circle, draw some guidelines on the face, make some eyes in the right position, construct a proportionate nose, add the eyebrows, use a triangle shape to draw lips, add the ears, and draw the hair.

How to make a digital portrait?

Set up your Illustrator document in 1000 pt. × 1000 pt. in RGB color mode with an image resolution of 300 DPI, import the portrait reference, set the transparency, create two new layers, set up the work area, set up your brush appearance, deselect the ‘New Art Has Basic Appearance’, use the Paintbrush tool, create calligraphic brush, and start tracing the reference.