>>2381272 Essentially what pros are doing is utilizing a bunch of mental tools, "fundamentals", that they keep refining through practice. What you'd want to do, since you're a complete beginner, is get down those fundamentals and the best way to learn is through life... do still life, draw your friends faces, etc. (though photo ref can be fine it's just no substitute). If you're looking to just do b&w portraiture, the most important things will be learning human head proportions/guidelines, the large forms of the human head (buying a plastic human skull mold would help) and being able to place them in perspective and learning about value. How much time it'll take you to draw like your picture will depend on how much time you spend on this and how much you learn but don't cram information and just try to enjoy the actual process because that's what you'll be doing the majority of the time (is being in the process). I'm gonna lay out what I think you'd need to do to get started-
1) Materials (Ideal materials that I use)- Grab yourself a decent-sized Strathmore or Canson sketchbook. Grab yourself some 2b pencils (6b for darker values) and a F(ine) Pen, I use Faber-Castell. I use a kneaded eraser but you should work on drawing lightly so it's used more as a tool for lighting than anything. IMO using pen at first will help you draw but you'll want to use both.
>>2382812 2) What you'll be drawing- For warmups you can work on improving your accuracy (just use some printer paper and a generic ballpoint pen) by doing pages of trying to doing clean, straight lines vertical and horizontal (you can also do circles). I know you want to be drawing portraiture, and that's fine, but still life is a great teacher, helps improve accuracy and is easy to tackle. I highly recommend just drawing basic objects around your house. For heads do self-portraits, draw a plastic skull from multiple angles, draw family/friend
>>2382816 3) How you'll be drawing- Jeff Watts recommends for learning a real teacher, then videos, THEN books. Books from Loomis, Bridgman, Vilppu, etc. can be good for ref but I think he's right; it's beat by a good video tutorial. So if you can't afford classes and have to self-teach, go with videos. You want to learn basic '2d' skills to help train your eye http://www.dorian-iten.com/accuracy/ and http://www.ctrlpaint.com/ can cover. Proko (http://www.proko.com/) can go over portraiture (along with gesture which is good, here is a site if you want to start doing that which I recommend http://artists.pixelovely.com/practice-tools/figure-drawing/) and if you'd want a to-do list of stuff to do, and imo helps out, you can do DrawaBox (http://drawabox.com/) alongside whatever you're doing on your own. The first two sections are highly recommended, so even if you don't complete the whole course at least do that portion.
>>2382818 4) Final thoughts- Consider getting a CGpeers account when they're available on certain days of the month. Feel free to upload work and ask for crits from /ic/ but don't take stuff personally; you're a beginner and you're learning, you're gonna make mistakes. Art is ultimately about problem-solving. Also as another anon mentioned, it's hard to really see when you fuck up. It's not like an instrument or a game, it's not always obvious what's wrong (whereas playing on piano you'll know when you hit a wrong note or in a game you lose health/die) but you just gotta try and self-critique as best as you can and just keep drawing. It's gonna feel slow even if you're working all day but I promise you, the improvement is there.
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