A Sketchbook Portrait Collection

Hello friends!

I have an art post for you today: a peek into the sketchbook I use for drawing portraits. I’m very slowly tackling the 100 Heads Challenge, which is basically a Pinterest board of people’s faces to draw. (Check out the original challenge video here for more details.) Drawing people is not my forte, so some of these pieces turned out… less than beautiful. :’D I’ve still found this challenge really useful for practicing my skills though. I’ve made it to 31 faces so far and thought this was a good time to show you what I’ve accomplished!

Enjoy my attempts at portraiture. 🙂

featured image 291

I started out with graphite portraits set off by blocks of painted color. I really like this style and might go back to it again.


These four are drawn from reference photos of sculptures or busts. It was interesting to capture the harsher lines and shadows, especially in the details of #7. That one took FOREVER but turned out to be my favorite.


Another statue reference picture that looked only slightly different than  #6. I really like this monochromatic gouache style!


Another sculpture picture with a weird headdress.


Okay I do not like how this one turned out. :’D The ink got rather smudged and the mouth looks creepy. Ah well.


This one is nice though! Quick ink paintings are hard to control, but they look charmingly illustrative if successful.


This might be my favorite piece I’ve made so far! I like the soft colors and details on her clothing.


Another favorite. I tend to do better at colored pencil portraits it seems. The eyes turned out nice on this one.


None of these make me super proud since they were all fairly quick, simplistic drawings. But it was fun to use Posca pens to capture the essence of the portrait and figure out how to use the three colors in a balanced way for each piece.


I drew the page together a bit by sprinkling in colorful diamonds throughout the white space.


I really like #25, but am not a fan of the rest of this spread. Crosshatching and shading with a pen is hard!


Weird lil’ sketches. The scribbles *were* pretty fun though.


This is the last spread I made and I’m pretty proud of it! The reference for #30 had strange lighting or makeup, but I added the crazy colors for #29 just for fun.


And here’s the last one I made so far. Couldn’t find the black so I made her hair blue. XD The portrait doesn’t really look like the reference picture unfortunately, but I do like how it turned out. The too-big eyes made it less realistic but also pretty.


And there you go! I hope you enjoyed a peek into my sketchbook. If you’re wondering, I used the Illo sketchbook (click here for an aff. link). It has heavy, smooth paper and a lay-flat binding which I really like.

Which portrait was your favorite?

Thanks so much for reading, my friends, and have a lovely day!


P. S. If you like my artwork, follow me on Instagram @thecolorboxstudio for more art, or check out my Etsy shop, The Color Box Studio.


30 thoughts on “A Sketchbook Portrait Collection

  1. I love number 13! I like the details a lot. I’ve never thought about drawing sculptures!? I draw stick figures a lot, but if I put in the time and effort I can make something decent. 🙂


    1. Yes I love the details on that one too! I know right? This challenge is really interesting because the references are often pictures you wouldn’t think to draw. That’s great! Time often equates to quality for me as well.


    1. I’m so glad! For these drawings I used tons of different mediums (feel free to ask me about a specific page), but I most often use watercolor in my regular artwork.


  2. You’re so talented! I’ve been working on the 100 heads challenge as well and recognized some references I also used. I love the way you drew in so many different mediums but all of them are recognizable as your style. #7, 30 and 13 are my favorites, your shading technique is very natural.


    1. Ooh really? It’s so neat that you’re doing the same challenge! Have you posted your pictures anywhere I could check out? (Btw your Etsy shop is super cute. ❤️) I appreciate the comment about everything still looking like my style because half the time I don’t even know if I have a style. 😅 That’s good to hear. And thanks! I like those portraits a lot too.


        1. Wow, those are such good sketches Alana! Amazing work. 😍 Thanks for sharing them with me!
          Huh, well neat! I’m not surprised about the eyes part. I’ve drawn so many eyes just by themselves because they’re so fun to draw. 😅 What’s your favorite feature to draw?


          1. Thank you 🙂 I still have a lot to learn for sure! My favorite feature is also eyes, and maybe hair as well. Braids especially are fun to draw.


  3. Very interesting drawings!! You are very good at capturing people. I really like your markered drawings with the diamonds, that is a very interesting pattern. It almost looks like carnival wrapping paper (k, I realize there is no such thing) There is something very kietchy about it, and it could be made into some sort of weird patterned paper.


  4. These are so amazing!! You make me want to do this challenge now 😃. I think my favorites are probably 6, 14, and 25, but they were all so cool!


      1. Yeah! I think I might do it with Lydia, and make it so we draw 50 heads each, making a total of 100. But I’m not sure she wants to do it ’cause she doesn’t like drawing people, so I dunno…


Your comments make my day! Please keep them clean and respectful so everyone can enjoy this blog. :) Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s