Best Seller

Realistic Portrait with Graphite Pencil

A course by Diego Catalan Amilivia
Painter and draftsman. Madrid, Spain.
Joined November 2017
, Painter and draftsman

Learn the basics and technique to create realistic anatomical drawings

  • Best Seller English, Spanish
  • 99% Positive reviews (3.7K)
  • 93086 students
Realistic Portrait with Graphite Pencil

Learn the basics and technique to create realistic anatomical drawings

English, Spanish
  • 99% Positive reviews (3.7K)
  • 93086 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish, English
  • Level: Beginner
  • 35 Lessons (9h 30m)
  • Available from the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, Italian, French
  • Unlimited access forever
  • Certificate upon completion of the course

Diego Catalán - a painter and expert cartoonist in artistic anatomy - is passionate about realism and fantastic aesthetics and horror. From this eclectic mix and the inspiration found in classical masters, his incredible portraits emerge. Catalán carries out his works with different techniques, but it is in the graphite that he finds the most expressiveness, since it allows him to work with maximum detail, understanding the light and the structure of the human anatomy.

In this course you will learn how to make a realistic portrait in pencil using a model. Diego will explain a wide range of technical concepts: from the composition, through the anatomy of the head, modeling and texturing, so that you are able to make your own realistic portrait with graphite.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Materials and preparation
  • U3
    U3. The drawing
  • U4
    U4. Modeling and texturing
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

You will begin by getting to know Diego's work, and he will also tell you about his favorite artists. Together, they will review the history of the portrait.

Afterwards, he will explain the materials you will need to carry out your final project. It will give you some advice to take into account when choosing your model and the best way to make the photograph that will help you during the whole drawing process.

Diego will tell you the fundamental principles of academic drawing, which will help you to draw the silhouette of the portrait and begin the first sketch of your drawing.

You will learn to raise the proportions of the face from a theoretical point of view and you will begin to raise the scale and proportions of the portrait.

Next, you will perform an analysis of the bone structure of your model's skull and you will also study its muscle structure. Later you will detail the features of the face.

Once you have drawn your portrait, you will begin to apply shadows in two dimensions. Diego will explain to you, then, the physics of light and its properties; and you will start the modeling phase that will bring realistic volume to your portrait.

Finally, you will apply textures to the drawing, including hair, wrinkles, pores, etc.

What is this course's project?

You will make a realistic drawing with graphite pencil from the photograph of a real model.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

Illustrators, cartoonists, designers and anyone interested in learning to make realistic drawings with graphite pencil.

What you need

Basic drawing knowledge is necessary. With regard to materials, it is essential that you have pencil and paper; It is also recommended that you have an easel or a table, pencils of different hardness, eraser, a stick and a mirror.


93086 Students
3704 Reviews
99% Positive ratings

Diego Catalan Amilivia

Painter and draftsman

Diego Catalán graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Salamanca, specializing in painting and has completed postgraduate studies at the Art Students League and at the National Academy of Design in New York City. At the moment he combines his artistic work with the teaching of Artistic Anatomy in the School Superior of Professional Drawing of Madrid.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • Influences
    • History of portrait, evolution and types - I
    • History of the portrait, evolution and types - II
  • U2

    Materials and preparation

    • Materials
    • Choose your model
    • The photo
  • U3

    The drawing

    • Concepts of academic drawing - I
    • Concepts of academic drawing - II
    • The size, scale and composition
    • Face proportions
    • We draw the inside of the face
    • Anatomy: Advanced skull, neck and shoulder osteology - I
    • Anatomy: Advanced osteology of the skull, neck and shoulders - II
    • Structure analysis: perspective and 3D shape - I
    • Structure analysis: perspective and 3D shape - II
    • Surface anatomy: facial features and muscles - I
    • Surface anatomy: Factions and muscles of the face - II
    • Surface anatomy: Factions and muscles of the face - III
    • Introduction of the shadow 2D - I
    • Introduction of the 2D shadow - II
    • Introduction of the shadow 2D - III
    • Introduction of the shadow 2D - IV
  • U4

    Modeling and texturing

    • The physics of light - I
    • The physics of light - II
    • Modeling - I
    • Modeling - II
    • Modeling - III
    • Modeling - IV
    • Modeling - V
    • Texturing and finishing touches - I
    • Texturing and finishing touches - II
    • Texturing and finishing touches - III
    • Texturing and final touches - IV
    • Texturing and final touches - V
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Realistic portrait with graphite pencil

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

  • The course is 100% online, so once they are published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

  • The courses are divided into different units, each one includes lessons, informational texts, tasks and practice exercises to carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You will also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the instructor and other students, and share your work and your course project, thus creating a community around the course itself.

  • You can now redeem the course you received, just access redeeming page to enter your gift code and redeem it.

  • You'll get your personal certificate as soon as you complete the course. You can see all your certificates under the Certificates section in your profile. You can download your certificates in PDF and share the link online. Learn more about certificates

Realistic Portrait with Graphite Pencil. A Illustration course by Diego Catalan Amilivia Best Seller

Realistic Portrait with Graphite Pencil

A course by Diego Catalan Amilivia
Painter and draftsman. Madrid, Spain.
Joined November 2017
  • 99% Positive reviews (3.7K)
  • 93086 students