I thought it would be a good idea if I shared my process, on what i have learnt so far on portrait drawing.
if you come away with something that helps, then good. job done
So lets start with the preparation and a clear reference pic of what I want to draw. Before i put pencil to expensive Bristol Board,
i dust off my cheap sketching pad and begin to roughly sketch out the subject a number of times, to familiarise myself with certain
features. I do this a day or two before starting the piece letting the image swim about inside my head.Choosing paper and size
When i first took an interest in drawing portraits, i was using normal A4 sketch pads been doodling on them for years. yeah great for doodling but not so much for more laboured work. still i was learning my process of pencil application. anyway getting a good two hours work done only to find the paper had begun to tear over the eye, nose etc, not good.
what is good is Bristol board, the paper is smooth, has a bright white finish and is very durable,no paper tears as of yet.
I only work in two sizes A4 and A3, remember the larger you do the face the more detail you will achieve.Putting pencil to paper
After choosing the paper size i lift out an extra sheet of paper or card, i will use this so as not to smudge or dirty the drawing allowing my hand to rest.then i will take out a small brush and dust the page. it is important not to directly touch the paper surface with your fingers, the natural skin oils can leave finger prints that will show up as dirty patches when the pencil has been applied.
My first grade of pencil is 2H, I use this and a small rule to mark out the position of were and what size the head should be.
I had tired the grid method when i first started doing portraits but found it a restriction, for learning and building confidence
in free hand drawing. So i have marked either side of the head, i then lightly begin to sketch in the eyes still with the 2H pencil
then the nose, mouth and ears. Once they have been mapped out i start to lightly shade were the darker areas will be, i spend some time going over and over. Being familiar with the subjects own peculiar and unique features, this is were the days before
of endless sketching starts to pay off with greater confidence and ease.
A 0.3mm HB mechanical pencil is used next for fine lines and detail, again starting at the eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
be careful not to score the paper with the thin lead, after some detailed work I start with the next grade of pencil HB
again lightly focusing on what will become the darker shaded areas, around about this time i think about blending,
there is two items i use for this, one is a soft leather shammy for larger areas note, it will lift alot of ghraphite so not too much
pressure, out of eveything else i have used this is by far the best. The second item is a cotton bud or Q-tip as they are known
i use these for the smaller areas like around the eyes, nose, mouth etc.
My next grade of pencil for much darker shaded parts is 2B if need be i will use 4B but only towards the very end, i also use a black colouring pencil for the likes of the pupil, eyebrows, hair and some darker shaded parts.
For mistakes or just looking to highlight some white paper i have two types of erasers. The first being a kneaded eraser for larger mistakes or pulling out some highlights, the second is a pencil eraser ideal for cleaning up rough lines and applying light streaks in hair.
So that is were i am at the moment, if there is one little thing in there that helps then great, please check out my deviant page here is the link trentlynch.deviantart.com/