Expressive Abstract Portrait Drawings of Male Faces 59

These two expressive abstract portrait drawings of male faces were drawn in the year 2003 with markers and a white paint pen. Each portrait was drawn with quick energetic lines and multiple vibrant colors. Unorthodox colors encourage putting extra emphasis on the shapes, planes, lines, and contours of the male face. And artistic strategies other than value changes must be used to define the structure of an easily identifiable image, the human face. This process can help expand the creativity and visual language available to the artist.

Abstract Portrait Drawing of a Male Face, drawn with Markers and Paint Pens

Expressive Abstract Portrait Drawing of a Male Face, drawn with colorful Markers and Paint Pens

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59 thoughts on “Expressive Abstract Portrait Drawings of Male Faces

  • Holly

    i love these portraits, i want to use them as studys in my GCSE art work on portraits…would that be ok?? and if it is do you know the name of the artist.

  • Post author

    Hi Holly, thanks for the kind comments. My name is Michael Edens. If you would like more information, there is also a short interview available as well.

  • Jack Bentley

    Interesting art work. I am studying GCSE art and design and have been focusing on portraits. I love the colours that you have used within your work, but the website does not include your name, what is the artist name? What inspires your work?

  • melissa d

    hiya! your portraits are really amazing. i am too doing portraits for my art GCSE’s at the moment, i was just wondering if these portraits are of actual people and do they have any emotional value to you personally as the artist? once again these really are great portraits and i will be using you as an artist for my studys in art, well if thats all right with you anyway? …thank you

  • Post author

    Thank you for your kind comments melissa. These specific portraits were drawn from pictures of people; however I did not know them personally. I was concentrating on expressing vibrancy and emotion that I thought was lacking in the original photos, by focusing on colors, shapes, and energetic line work. Good luck in your artistic pursuits!

  • melissa d

    thank you for that. just another question, what influences you to do these portraits, and in this particular style too? i mean like who inspires you and what motivates you to do these portraits? thanks again for your time, and i really do admire your work… cheers! x

  • Post author

    Hi melissa,
    After learning many “rules” about art in school, I wanted to draw the way I felt like drawing. No expectations, no judgments, no critiques, no financial gain, no commercial success, no concerted artistic development. I wanted to have fun, play, be creative, and see or experience something new. The art above is a visual representation of those emotions.

    Inspiration was from my life of experiences and a human need for expression. Or sometimes I ask myself “What can I do with this…” both in terms of the reference image and art materials, and then beginโ€ฆ

    I like trying new styles, moving paint and ink around the paper in different ways, holding brushes and pens non-traditionally, mixing traditionally un-mixed mediums, using harmonious and dissonant color combinations, and pausing mid-drawing and taking a new direction on a whim.

    I used a similar approach with some of my recent abstract portraits and character art. During the Spring season of 2008 I preferred not to work from reference and allow the subject matter to appear and grow organically as I create. I enjoy the quick thinking, and have strived for more physicality in the creation process, mostly by putting as little space as possible between thought and action as I energetically create without stopping. And when I stop, the art is done. Then it’s on to a new drawing.

    So in that regard, the portrait drawings, and visual art in general, is a safe and fulfilling activity that allows me to explore the spontaneously creative side of my human nature.

  • Daisy

    Hi, I would also love to use these to help me with a GCSE mock exam. I’m focusing on expressive faces and love these portraits. Is it okay if I also use them?

  • Post author

    Hi Daisy,
    Thanks for your positive feedback. How did you plan on using the artworks? They can not be copied or distributed for any commercial purpose.

  • Katie

    I seriously love this style.

    What is your full name?
    I’d love to study some of your work as part of my Fine Art A level.


  • Post author

    Hi Katie,
    Thanks for the comment! My name is Michael Edens. There’s more info under the โ€œBiographyโ€ link on the top navigation. Good luck with your artistic pursuits. :)

  • maddie

    I’d love to study your work for my GCSE art work, there so expressive and different!! Could you please tell me what medium did you use? (:

  • Post author

    Hi maddie,
    Thanks for your interest in my work. The mediums are marker and white paint pen.

  • Indy

    hello :), im doing A-Level art and i was under instruction to research modern artist portraits, i happened to click this photo and this came up, thanks for the lovely style, its very modern and some what unique.

  • Post author

    Thanks Indy,
    I’m glad you enjoyed my artwork. Good luck with your artistic pursuits! :)

  • umesh

    There is a saying that “Tough times don’t last, but Tough Men Do”!!!!! One look at these pics. n u can see all the hidden emotions……
    Well done work….as always!!!! But surely all r different in their reflected styles n emotions.
    Gud luck for ur work!!!
    God Bless!!!

  • Post author

    Hi umesh!
    Great quote! You are amazing in words. And that you can see the emotion in my art is very humbling! Your feedback is an honor. I appreciate you. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • alex

    hey :)
    neat work, its so refreshing to come across orginal and unique work when looking for inspiration for my gcse pieces.

    what inspired you to use heavy lines to create mood in the portraits?

  • Post author

    Hi alex,
    Thanks for your interest in my artwork. The heavy lines arose from a desire to create very bold and powerful images and blur the boundary between abstract and realism. I wasn’t as concerned with subtle variations in value, and was inspired to use big bold shapes to deconstruct the facial structure, and use color and energetic lines to convey intensity. Similar drawings were conceived to see how far a face could be pushed to the limits of abstraction while still being recognizable.

    Good luck with your artistic pursuits! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • Post author

    Hi olle,
    Thanks for your interest in my artwork, my name is Michael D. Edens. Good luck with your GCSE. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Ben

    Hi Michael fantastic work here,
    im doing an early GCSE and the first task is to find 9 artists that have unique styles of portraiture. Your style is really creative and unique and I’d like to use it for the task if thats ok with you.
    I was also wondering if you have any videos/timelapse camera shots of you making these? It would be really helpful to see how you actually make them :)

    Thanks in advance


  • Post author

    Hi Ben,
    Thanks for your interest in my work. You can use the artwork for your GCSE.

    Creating some time-lapse videos with traditional media would be great fun! I have some short time-lapse animations of digital art via RateMyDrawings.

    Good luck with your artistic pursuits! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • Anonymous

    Heyy this is really good!
    i’m doing art gcse and used it for inspiration and its come out really goood

    Thanks and well done :)


  • Jano

    Hey :)
    I’m doing my Art A level at the minute; I used your work for inspiration in my art last year. I just want to say that your work is truly amazing. Every piece of your art is fresh and inspiring, I was in a total down stage with my art at the point last year where I was confused and didnโ€™t know what to do, as soon as I seen your Images I was blown away. So thanks Very much, keep it up, you truly are a fantastic Artist.


  • Post author

    Hi Jano!
    That’s awesome, thanks for sharing your comments and story! It’s great to hear you have found new paths to explore in the world of art! Good luck with your artistic pursuits! :)


  • lisa

    hi i cant draw , but i want to draw pictures to express myself ever since i was little but how can i when i cant draw ?

  • MDE Art Blog Post author

    Hi lisa,
    I think if you are able to use a pencil or pen, you are able to draw. There are no rules that say a drawing has to look a certain way if you are expressing yourself. You just draw. :)

    No matter your ability or skill level, there is something worth sharing in your artwork. And if you practice drawing, it’s not uncommon to become more familiar with mediums and adept at expressing yourself visually.

    Protect your curiosity in art, it’s worth honoring! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • M

    i love your style. It is really interesting and i have added you in my A level works as a unique artist.

  • stacey

    Hi Michael, i have to say that i am actually blown away buy your talent, i am passionate about art and i have just been given my task in my a level art, i was considering doing portraits in an abstract way, my teacher wants us to base our work on artists so i was wondering if i could base my work on yours, i fully understand the copyrighting of your work, i promise i would only use your pictures to base my work on!

  • MDE Art Blog Post author

    Hi stacey,
    Thank you for your appreciation of my artwork. :)

    You may use my work as the basis for your work. I encourage trying out other styles, you never know what you might learn as you develop your own style! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Good luck with your artistic pursuits!


  • Thrillseaker

    MAAAAAANN…I love love love this is AWESOM..I wish I was that talented.;)..I would like to ask you a few questions if I may. What is this painting’s title?
    What type of artwork is this? (is it classified as an expressive painting)
    In what style is the artwork created?
    What is it about?
    how did you create the artwork by using the media?
    How the parts of the artwork are arranges and organised?(foreground, middleground, background)
    is there a use of any symbol in the artwork, and what does it mean?
    What are the most important elements and principles of design and how are they used?

  • Emma :)

    Hello Micheal. I’m doing a project at college about portrait. Your art work has really caught my eye & I would love to use it in my project.
    Message me back soon as :)
    Emma x

  • Lauraa :)

    Woow, these are really good paintings! well done there GREAT! i would love to see more of these, as i am trying to do my homeword right now and i am looking for paintings to help me and yours is really good! x

  • Ashleigh

    Hi Michael, I really love these portraits they’re so unique. I am doing GCSE art and would like to study some of your artwork if that’s ok???? I love your work.

  • marika

    I am a ‘standby’ teacher here in Germany, and I have been given the dreaded 9c….. trying to get them interested in art has been very difficult..until I took a photo of each pupil and told them to create their own portrait, I showed some examples of various portraits on the internet, Picasso ect. and suggested the look you up and showed them your site….the wows and cools ect. were never ending. So chalk up to your acheivements you silenced 9c….well done

  • aliya

    As part of my art GSCE i have to look at portraiture and i have been finding it so monotonous. but when i came across your page on the internet i was so inspired by your atwork. i seriously LOVE the way you draw i cant wait to see more of your art work :).

  • Pink apple

    These drawings are fantastic and an unusual way of drawing portraits which I find inspiring.

  • Karly - Pullingers

    These portraits are amazing! I really like the use of colour and the bold strokes of the felt pen. Great inspiration for any aspiring abstract artists and some good tips too!