By Eric Hammer
Portrait drawing is one of the most common ways of making
money from artwork. However, it's also one of the poorest paid
options because of the fact that the barrier to entry is so low.
After all, in order to do portrait drawing, all you need to do
is grab some pencils and a pad. It's incredibly easy to do the
job once you know how it's done and as such, it's quite common
to see people doing portrait drawing on street corners in most
major cities, especially in parks which are popular with tourists.
Portrait drawing, as opposed to painting a portrait typically
involves drawing a picture of a person using pencils. The pencils
are sometimes a single led like color and in other cases, multiple
colored pencils are used. However, in all cases, the entire job
typically takes as little as 10 minutes or as long as an hour.
Because of this, the amounts that pencil artists charge for portrait
drawing tend to be fairly minimal.
How Much Can You Make?
In most major metropolitan cities in the United States, it's
possible to find several people offering portrait drawing services
in and around parks and busy sidewalks, especially those which
are frequented by tourists. Typically, these people charge between
$10 - $30 for these portraits. This amount is however almost
entirely profit since the cost of the raw materials, basically
pencils and plain drawing paper are quite inexpensive.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Those interested in portrait drawing may also find additional
work or even an alternative line of work in drawing caricatures.
These kinds of pictures reinterpret people's faces to look more
like a cartoon character, similar to those seen in political
cartoons in major newspapers.
Portrait drawing can also be employed when reporting on a
court proceeding as cameras are not allowed in the court. Therefore,
portrait artists are often called in to create pictures which
can be featured in newspapers and on television news in place
of actual photographs or video.
In all cases, it's important to be as accurate as possible
(unless you are drawing caricatures, in which case it's expected
that you'll exaggerate features) since people will expect to
pay for a completed portrait which looks like an accurate representation
Qualifications / Requirements
There are no formal requirements to become a portrait artist
other than knowing how to draw such portraits. However, in some
states, it may be helpful to obtain a license to engage in portrait
drawing at local parks where tourists gather. Such licensure
would give you legal standing to stay in the park when the police
remove others and would also allow you to contact the police
if other portrait artists chose to try to invade your location.
In order to become a portrait artist, one must first learn
how to do portrait drawing. The process of doing so is relatively
simple and it's possible to study this form of artistry at a
number of schools. We even found an online school offering such
services (see resources).
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about portrait
- An online school where one can learn the art of portrait drawing.