TIPS & DEMO by Life Drawing & Portrait Teacher Frank Gambino

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Get our guide ‘Life Drawing Success’, which is all about the one big mistake which led to all my other mistakes:

Mayko and I attend a great life drawing class in London with art teacher Frank Gambino. He is full of technical insight and gives extremely accessible & practical advice about portraits and figures.
Frank’s Instagram:

I think Frank is one of the best life drawing teachers out there, especially for beginners and those still finding their feet. He is able to break things down into very simple bitesize chunks while retaining the fun. He isn’t about formulas and academic rules, but he is very practical.

I went to his flat and he drew a portrait of me as a recorded demonstration. While doing it, we talked about all sorts of portrait and life drawing topics. This video has some highlights from that, focusing on Frank’s approach to drawing – how his drawings emerge from corrections, how he learned to not be precious about lines, how he draws the two sides of the face or figure and more.

The other thing to say about Frank is that he has developed a powerful and distinctive style with his charcoal drawings. We’ll talk about how he learned and developed in the next video.

Music: Casey Don’t Fret by Dan Lebowitz, Osaka Rain by ALBIS, Waterfall by Aakash Gandhi, Summer Love by The 126ers, Wave in the Atmosphere by Dan Lebowitz

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27 COMMENTS

  1. I love listening to such confident, carefree artists. I tend to be really hesitant and nervous about drawing so it helps to expose myself to better mindsets 🙂

  2. Life drawing makes more sense and seems less intimidating to me now because of this video. Love his less technical and more fluid approach. Thank you!

  3. I didn't like his first drawing either; he lowered the eyes but IMHO the nose also started too high and was too short, so the model's muzzle, or space from chin to nose, was too long. In the 2nd drawing, the mandible on the right hand side of the drawing looks too large. This model has a smallish slender skull and I think that overall structure is getting lost. The artist's approach, to my way of thinking, is unorthodox, sort of inside out. I would probably work outside in.
    It's interesting to see this other style and I agree the about the eyes being tendered simultaneously, as if yoked together. Thank you to you and your guest for this video.

  4. As ever, Uber helpful info in an easily assimilated fashion from you Kenzo. You've taken my enjoyment and output to the next level. Thankyou heaps.

  5. Great! Even Van Gogh committed plenty of mistakes, me i usually have plenty of lines when drawing, may look dirty at first but its easy to fine-tune once all the features are set.. 😉

  6. Sorry to be that guy but this is simply sloppy, and sloppy is no style. You can see 'messy' artists like Zimou Tan or Zin Lim, working their way out from chaos while retaining fresh expressiveness. But this is just no good, his strokes lack in fundamentals. Weak, weak, weak.

  7. Thanks for this fantastic video, such a great teacher. Will definitely try to implement the 'no line is too precious' motto!

  8. The point about "No line being too precious," reminds me of the saying that the art of writing is the art of REwriting. Don't be afraid to erase, to eliminate a mark in the pursuit of getting the likeness right.

  9. No offence, but the final product looks nothing like the model. The features are way too masculine – it looks like a completely different person.

  10. the wave shape he maid made me think did he see that shape and I realized the swirl is coming from the cheekbone to the eyes and down to the mouth and after that, I tried do as he did and it made my stroke easier but I'm not still use to it

  11. I can really relate to a lot of what he was saying as far as not wanting to let go of something that I've drawn even if it doesn't look quite right. I'm going to work on that

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