This post is a kind of sequel to this one (A pencil portrait and what goes into it).
This portrait of Keira Knightley, I finished just this morning.I took about 2 and half hours to complete it. It is again A3 size ( 42 x30 cms approximately). I have used Bristol board extra smooth paper. This time I also used a graphite stick as I wanted the dark of her hair, very dark.
To get the lights in her hair, I cut out a triangular piece from a good quality eraser, using a Craft knife. The pencils I used for this portrait were
1. 2H for the initial drawing outline
2.4B for darker shading
3. 6B Graphite stick
4. 5mm Staedler clutch pencil for finer hair
Apart from the above, I used the usual blending tools, namely chamois leather piece and tortillons.
If you are interested in pencil portraits (and from the excellent response I got from my last post, I know many of you are) then here are a few tips which worked very well for me.
1.The basic drawing, before you begin shading has to be accurate. Draw the outline and compare it constantly to your reference photo to try and find the mistakes. It is really really important to have a perfect outline of the features, before you think of even shading. For a good portrait, an accurate outline is 60% of the work really.
2.Holding up your drawing in front of a mirror works so well to find the mistake. Thanks to my good friend Niall who is an amazing artist, who told me to do this, when I made my first portrait and sent it to him. If you think my pictures are good you should check out his. He is simply brilliant!
3. When you draw the eyes, pay attention to the size of the eyeball. Also pay attention to the direction of the gaze.
4.Blending is very very important to get the three dimensional effect and a good likeness. To see the dark and light in your reference photos squint your eyes and look at the picture. The dark and light areas will leap out at you.
5.Key to good portraiture is observation. Observe, observe, observe. The tiniest of details matter in portraiture. What I have learnt it that even one millimeter can make a huge diference to the likeness. The features have to be exactly in the right place.
6. You have to love what you're drawing. Somehow I feel, if you like the picture that you are drawing, it is bound to show! There will be that much more effort going into it. So choose a picture which you feel happy looking at. When I started portraiture, I started first with a portrait of Satish as I wanted to see what mistakes I made. I would stare at him for hours analysing his each feature, studying his face :-) He agreed very sweetly to be my first model :-)
7.Practice, practice and practice. I can see very significant improvements in my own work from when I first started to now.
These are some of the things that worked for me.
Hope they help you as well.
Now I have to run as I have a portraiture course to attend.
Thank you to all those who read so regularly and leave me such nice comments on almost all the posts. I do appreciate and it is a lot of encouragement.
Current Mood video (see right or click on link) : Shout for England!