15. Knowledge : Practicing Faces On iPhone & iPad

For those of us lucky enough to have an iPad or a smart phone, there are several apps to chose from that allow us to be creative wherever we are, so long as we have our “smart tablet” with us.

If you’re interested in learning how to paint the 12 lights, this is an excellent way to practice.  In the following lesson, I am showing you the same steps from Lesson 9, (when I thoroughly demonstrated oil painting the planes on a feminine face).  This time I have decided to show you more masculine features, in monotone, to keep it simple for you.

You can practice drawing/painting the planes of the face whenever you have a minute, whether you have a live human model or not.  The application I have used is “Brushes” and can be downloaded on your iPhone for $4.99 or your iPad for $7.99.  Go on… give it a try….

I’ve chosen a neutral gray base color, as I did in the painting demo.  This will enable you to better evaluate the correct values to use to create forms.  Sketch the neck post and skull ball in a linear manner.

1. The ‘measure’ center dot to calculate jaw bottom. (Creates thirds)

Added shadow shape and eliminated center measuring mark. Placed (a) brow landmark; (b) eye landmarks; (c) bottom nose landmark; (d) lip pusher landmark; (e) dental arch landmark (f) chin bottom landmark

Using line, draw eye-socket shapes. Notice the hexagon shape we had for the female is now flattened for the male. Added nose shadow shape, lip pusher muscle shape, dental arch shape and chin bottom shape.

Added dark/filled the shadow shapes to create WLDH features.

Added lighter shapes for WLH (where light hits).  Notice that the ears are situated approximately between the eye brow and the nose bottom, and always where the jaw wedge and the skull ball meet.

Added smaller, higher lights to create further nuances of facial features. Added hairstyle, and ears.

Tree saving practice: 

You can do hundreds of these, and you will never see the same face twice.  That’s how streamlined our acuity is when evaluating the human face.  It’s a fascinating process and well worth your time, because when you do actually sit in front of a live model, looking for a painting planes are already second nature to you, and you haven’t even wasted a single sheet of paper!

Practicing gestural figures are a cinch with your iPhone, iPad or tablet too.  Simply draw the silhouette of the shape (remember, the right brain sees shadows very well and creates better, more realistic gestures), then add the simple shapes oflight planes.

The following are some folks sitting in a hotel lobby in Vegas, and one was a waitress and a dancer….

Quickly sketched “accross the form” to avoid left-brained drawing and focus more on shape

Added WLH shapes to create form. It’s amazing how little information we need to create the idea, when we know ‘light.’

Want to see the process in action? Click below.

Final Word….



My life is a living testament to the old statement “What comes around, goes around”’; or “What you do for others in an act of generosity, comes back tenfold”.  In honor of this code, I began writing down everything I know in these lessons in 2011 and began to offer them out, for free…. But it’s very valuable information.  The lessons constitute a lifetime of learning, and are lent to you as an act of generosity to help you on your artistic journey.  If you find this material helpful, continue to ‘pay it forward’ by sharing this website with others so that they too can be inspired with Art through "Lessons With Lesley."

We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment or question on the contact page.



All content and images contained in this website, including “Lessons With Lesley” remain the property of Lesley Humphrey, along with all rights and privileges connected thereto under international copyright laws.  Under no circumstances can the content of this website be transferred or utilized for other than one-time, personal use without permission of Lesley Humphrey, or L and L Humphrey, LLC, its agents or assigns.

All rights reserved, Lesley Humphrey 1988-2017