Drawing of mr eazi
Its the pencils and not just the pencils but
This pencil drawing of yvonne nelson sarkodie and captain planet is just

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Realistic Drawings Sarkodie Pencil Sketch.

Add a territorial dust cover, After attaching the art and framing materials to the actual frame, a dust cover should be used on the back to keep additional dust, spiders, or bugs from entering the framed picture compartment. This is usually done by using a two-sided tape on the back proceed of the molding all the method around the perimeter. Then a piece of brown-colored paper is laid down on the adhesive eventuate as it is not stopped until flat as you press it onto the adhesive forge . You then trim the outer edges of the brown-colored paper to fit and then you are ready to attach your hanging wire, before placing your artwork on display.

The drawing can be cleaned well, removing smudges, dust, or eraser fragments. To notice if there are any small fragments on your paper or drawing, you must look at the draw close closely from a grave angle, so that you should see them contrasting from the paper`s near as they rise up. You may use a brush or compacted air to remove the fragments from the framing material.

Forever draw up with glass, I would ever chassis with glass, merely I would too expend the spear carrier money for the UV protection glass. However, I would never use non-glare glass or plexiglas.

Use matting, I prefer using mats with the framing of my drawings. If an acidic matting is use, it should be backed by an acid-free material that will act as a protective barrier between the matting and the drawing. There is a standard thickness that is necessary and favorite in the industry for this buffer or barrier. The same contemplation must be given to the backing of your drawing. If your drawing or art is backed or mounted on an acid-free material, the barrier is avoidable . Some framers use a foam-core board for backing.

Let your artwork breathe, In attaching the drawing to the backing or whatever secures its condition within the mats or frame, it can only be secured at the top and allowed to hang if an adhesive or tape is used. It should not be secured gravely at all four corners or around its perimeter, because the humidity changes constantly and the paper has to have liberty to flex, expand, and contract. Otherwise, the paper will ripple or develop orders if it is contained in any course of action situation comedy in the paper become very obvious when the lighting is directional or at an angle to the framed piece of art. The light causes highlight and shadow because of the contours in the paper. Some framers are using a large plastic photo type corner that allows the paper to slide in and be secure at all four corners and still allow for the flexing of the paper. It seems to be working quite well, as several of my drawings and illustrations using other media on paper, have been framed this mannerism for a number of years.

Utilization acid- gratuitous materials, Whatever matting, videotape or adhesive, barriers, or championship that you employment in the framing of your prowess or drawing must be wholly acid free. Acidic materials, after long periods of time may actually damage the artwork in the frame by distorting the actual paper or by turning the paper a yellowish color.

Stay away from black, As a general rule, I always stay away from black, especially solid black-although, it should work if is part of a color routine with a particular molding and if it is not overpowering the drawing. It`s great to have something that has a range of values-including molding and mats, working as a set. Even with the values and gradations created within the graphite media, the mat or mats and the frame could all be chosen to either compliment, subdue, or emphasize any particular value or aspect of your drawing.

It`s how your fulfilled artwork is presented that makes all the difference. Although it`s tempting to just place your drawing in a ready-made frame, there are several things that you should take in consideration before framing your artwork to insure it is adequately shielded over the years.

The glass must be wonderfully clean and should be tested for finger prints, dust, hair, or other foreign material, before securing it permanently in the frame. You can have to do this more than once.

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For some (perhaps, legal) reason, most apartments in San Francisco don’t have overhead lights in their main living areas. Usually, apartments only have overhead lights in the bathroom and (sometimes) the kitchen, which is the case for my apartment.

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Arguably, the contrast of the Derren Brown portrait makes it a more visually compelling portrait, but this is another topic completely (first, I wanted to master accurate portraiture before tackling well-composed portraiture).

In this case, the best I can do is show a photo that demonstrates the level of drawing I’m aiming to reach…

Finally, I added in shapes for the eyelids and eyes, and finished up for the day.

Today, I spent a couple hours working on the eyes and nose area of my self-portrait.

While I am still very positive about this project, and happily take on the micro-challenges, I thought sharing some of these things would be more interesting than writing about how every day is always better than the last.

Clearly, there are major differences in realism between my starting drawing and this example portrait. So, if I can match the level of this example (which will be, of course, a subjective, but hopefully honest judgement), I will consider this challenge a success.

Anyway, continuing with this theme, today, I want to share an interesting struggle.

This sounds obvious, but again, your brain and visual system can play tricks on you. Your brain is attempting to see a face (via your psychologically skewed, emotions-based mental model of a face), and not just tonal blobs.

Considering where I started only nine days ago (see the before portrait), it’s hard for me to believe that I actually drew this. It’s not perfect, but I’m definitely excited about the outcome.

Burattini found an audience by sharing his pencil drawings on Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram, where he regularly shares his works in progress. This drawing was created using black coloured pencils, graphite pencils and charcoal.

“Although the drawings and paintings I make are based upon a series of photographs and video stills, I use softer and more complex focuses on the subject so that the resulting art presents it as a living, tangible being,” he explains. 

Again, I think this is okay compositionally, but it’s still a bit of a problem — particularly, for two reasons.

It’s still hard to tell whether I’ll be successful, but we’ll find out soon…

In the coming months, I plan to start sketching a portrait on canvas, and then experimenting with paint.

During high school, whenever I was tasked with making someone a gift, I usually opted to construct a custom Warhol-inspired portrait out of Legos.

Derren is a British illusionist, who I’ve been following for a while now, and who, I recently learned, casually paints portraits on the side.

Here’s my attempt to locate the peak of his head, the lowest point of his chin (which is located on the chin’s left side), the leftmost point of his cheek, and the rightmost point of his ear.

“The drawing process immersed me for hundreds of hours, interpreting and translating what I saw and felt from hundreds of reference photos, collected branches, twigs, and revisits to the site.”

And while this seems like a major leap from my drawing studies, I now have the artistic confidence to attempt a painting like this, without any (or very little) additional instruction.

Today, I continued working on my self-portrait. Although it’s coming together nicely, I made a mistake upfront that’s definitely costing me now.

Keep your main focal point within around 30 per cent of the image

In fact, challenges are probably a good thing (I hope). Ideally, they push me to become a better artist.

This month, as I learn to draw faces, I’m experiencing a new phenomenon… For the past few days, I’ve found myself scrutinizing and deconstructing other people’s faces on the train, at work, on the street, at Whole Foods, etc. Wherever there is a face, I can’t help but try to analyze it, and imagine how I’d draw it.

To avoid your initial scribbles showing through, Lewis uses a particular art technique. “Use spare paper to doodle a big swatch of soft graphite or charcoal pencil, then use a large blending stick to pick up the soft dust to use for your image,” she explains. “Keep using the blending stick and adding more scribbles as you need more graphite.” You can then build up darker areas to create definition.

In particular, I’m going try to reduce the amount of time necessary to complete a portrait like this. With some practice, I think I can reduce my time down from 14.5 hours to 4–5 hours.

In my life, I’ve created a fair bit of (what I’ll call) art. However, I’ve done so, not by relying on well-developed fine art skills, but instead, by cheating my way through the artistic process.

The portrait just feels balanced at this point. As soon as I start adding tonal values, that balance will be disrupted, and won’t return until I’m nearly done with the whole portrait.

With the features in place, I next blocked in shapes for the shadows and highlights.

  • The shape of hair near the ear and back of the head is very accurate. However, the hair line doesn’t seem completely right, and it’s probably the second biggest reason why the portrait doesn’t look perfectly like me. The hair line should probably come down on the forehead and should be less rounded. When I snapped a photo of myself (on which I based this portrait), I had just gotten a shorter-than-normal haircut, which is probably why I’m not used to the haircut I drew.
  • The eyebrows may be the slightest bit thin, but they are very close to reality.
  • I’m very happy with how the neck turned out. Its weight and main features (the Adam’s apple and the notch at my collar line) seem accurate.
  • There is something odd about the ear. It seems a bit out of place.
  • On paper, I feel I captured the nose perfectly, but, as a result of the shadow, it may seem slightly too small/short. To address this, I could have accentuated the tonal difference between the cheek and the shadowed part of the nose, but I wanted to remain as tonally accurate as possible and chose not to.
  • My expression/emotion in the portrait is plausibly mine, particularly in the eyes.
  • The biggest potential miss is my cheek. While I do have prominent cheeks when I smile (which I’m not doing here), I also have a fairly slender face and a reasonably defined jaw. Depending on how I look at the cheek, it sometimes appears too round and too full. Other times, when I look at the portrait, my eye renders this area properly. If anything, I probably could have made the bottom of the face (in the rolling shadow) a bit more angular.
  • Overall, the likeness is strong. The portrait unequivocally looks like me. Although, it isn’t perfect.

In fact, I suspect that today was least consequential to the outcome of the portrait. If I mess up the shape of the head and the location of the features, I have very little chance of capturing a likeness. If the features are not quite accurately detailed, but in the right place, I still might have something…

However, in my past three posts (I made a mistake, Intentionally defacing my self-portrait, and Fighting for photorealism), I’ve tried to interrupt this trend, and share some of the day-to-day challenges I face.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue following the course, and start drawing in the facial features.

On December 24, 2016, after 26 hours of practice, I found out that the answer was yes.

With each of the sketches, unlike with my Derren Brown portrait, I felt that I was able to see the angle on the subject and accurately replicate it on the page with limited effort.

In the course, the teacher mentioned that it’s good to start with a small area that exhibits the full range of tones.

Today, I spent an hour developing out the rest of my self-portrait.

This establishes the entire tonal range of the drawing, which is called the key of the drawing.

Today, for the third day in a row, I spent 2.5 hours on my Derren Brown drawing. However, unlike the other days, today, I feel like I made a lot of progress.

Establishing the key is straightforward, and doesn’t require much visual interpretation (i.e. it’s easy to find the lightest lights and the darkest darks).

So far, the portrait doesn’t look like much, but I still learned a bunch today. I particularly like the triangulation technique, which makes drawing much more procedural and mathematical (a.k.a. easier for me).

With the features and shadows blocked in, I detailed the features, starting with the eyes.

In particular, as I said on Day 35, I believe that it’s most important to accurately capture the proportions of the head, the head shape, and the level of the features. If these things are done correctly, the rest of the process is very forgiving. If not, the portrait will end up beautifully shaded, but won’t look like the subject.

Next, I start on the prominent eye. This is where the real defacing starts, as it’s going to be a while until it doesn’t look like I’m wearing makeup.

On December 1, 2016, I asked myself the question: With only one month of practice, can I learn how to draw realistic portraits with only pencil and paper?

In other words, after practicing for about an hour per day for 26 days, I majorly improved my portrait drawing skills.

After many more minutes of work on the eye, I stop for the night. I’ll continue more tomorrow.

Should I wait for the first of each month to start a new challenge, and enjoy my few days of relaxing (if available), or should I just use my extra time towards future challenges and start immediately?

I finished up my key, by adding shadows to the lower face and the back of the head, and was ready to begin modeling the form (finding the intermediate values between the darks and lights).

However, Derren didn’t inspire me with his drawings, but rather, his paintings, like these…

Today, I flew from San Francisco to Florida to meet up with my family for a few days. I’ll be here until January 4th.

Then, I simply filled in the sketch with paint according to my computer-generated instructions.

I may need to invest in some powder graphite (but I’ll return to this later).

Today, I spent 30 minutes sketching the head shape and feature guides.

There are plenty of sketching techniques to help you achieve different styles and effects. Above are some examples demonstrating different ways to create form and depth. “It’s important to experiment and find what works best for you, to not only complement but enhance your style,” explains Von Rueden. “While I prefer smoother value transitions with the pencil strokes blending in against a thin outline, you may be more partial to cross-hatching against a bold outline.”

Take a look at the self-portrait side-by-side with the Derren Brown portrait. My head is noticeably smaller.

I left all my drawing supplies behind, so I’m definitely not drawing any more this month.

Yesterday, I practiced triangulating the proportions of a few celebrity heads.

Although I’m loving the composition of my self-portrait, I’ve sadly draw everything 10–20% too small.

My 2016 highlights2016 was my first full year living in San Francisco and also my first full year as a post-college “working adult”.medium.com

Basically, you look at the area you want to draw, squint your eyes (so the image becomes blurred and your brain no longer sees a face), and identify the tonal shapes you see through your eyelashes. This works super well. (I didn’t invent this method, I’ve just validated that it works for me).

With the construction lines as references, I was then ready to start blocking in the facial features.

With the neck and shoulders in place, it again didn’t look right. So, I checked more angles and made adjustments as necessary (mostly to broaden the jaw)

I’ve been holding off on the blending because my blending stump is unusably dirty.

Start by identifying the absolute darkest and absolute lightest areas of the drawing. For the darkest areas, shade them as dark as you can/want. For the lightest areas, highlight them as light as you can/want.

As a result, the rest of my apartment is lit via Ikea floor lamps, which, although they do a 90% good job, it turns out, at night, there’s just not enough light for detail-oriented drawing.

I also drew in the level of the notch of the neck. The first time, I drew it too low, so I moved it up. I gauged this distances as a proposition of the head length.

To check, I then sighted the angle between the two new points, ensuring this angle matches what I see on Derren’s head.

For my first piece, rather than drawing the model from the course, I’ve chosen to draw Derren Brown, who originally inspired me to pursuit portrait drawing.

It turns out drawing is very similar. From the outside, it seems much more complex than it actually is. However, once you learn the two or three basic principles, drawing (at least, at my level) becomes nearly as straight forward as doing your laundry.

Picking up where I left off, I continued to block in shapes for the features.

Stefan Marcu pushes himself to create his best work possible

A few days ago, I finished drawing my first portrait. Since then, I’ve reread my notes, reviewed some parts of the course, and wrote up my “Portrait Drawing Cheat Sheet”.

Tomorrow, I’ll make some minor tweaks, sign it, and hang it on the wall.

However, the eye was too small to help effectively establish the key. So, I keyed the drawing more aggressively, starting with the shadow on the nose and the highlights on the forehead and cheek.

The head was now looking pretty good, but the neck and shoulders needed a few adjustments. I retriangulated, and adjusted the collar upwards.

So, I sighted the correct angles, and adjusted the construction lines accordingly.

I think that’s a pretty cool thing, so look out for my Medium post in 20 years.

Today, like yesterday, I continued adding tonal values to the portrait. I spent a little less than two hours, and am getting really excited about the results.

I started by arbitrarily drawing two lines on the page to indicate the level of the top of the head and the level of the bottom of the head.

I picked up some new blending stumps today, and went to work smoothing the value changes over my face and neck. Here’s the result…

“If you position your hand closer to the end of the pencil, you have more control and precision, but heavier strokes (darker markings),” says illustrator Sylwia Bomba. “Gripping further up the pencil will give you less control and precision, but lighter strokes (lighter markings).” 

Once the key is established, and the lightest and darkest values are in place, the intermediate values need to be introduced. Again, this can be done procedurally, by identifying and shading/highlighting the areas which are slightly lighter than the darkest darks and slightly darker than the lightest lights. Continuing recursively in this way, the tonal values eventually meet in the middle, and the drawing (or the relevant part of the drawing) is complete.

With the general tones in place, I’ll have enough momentum to push the portrait towards completion.

Then, over the next 3.5 weeks, I completed a 10-hour drawing course, drew a few other people, and then spent 8 hours on a new self-portrait.

Click the icons in the top right of the pictures to enlarge them

Jono Dry usually works in graphite on large paper or board surfaces

As a result, the portrait definitely has a stunning roundness, but I wouldn’t call it photorealistic.

Lastly, I blocked in the main structures of the ear and added an outline for the beard.

These steps are based on the excellent portrait drawing course by Vitruvian Studio, which I highly recommend you purchase if you are serious about learning how to draw.

There are also clearly major differences, like evaluating and mixing colors, general painting hygiene (letting paint dry, etc.), and best practices I’m probably not yet aware of.

Although today’s darkening session improved things, the portrait still seems a bit odd and unbalanced because of the nakedness of the mouth and cheek. I’ll start tackling those areas tomorrow.

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I did, however, bring a Rubik’s Cube with me in preparation for January’s challenge (which starts in two days).

Thus, instead of relying on visual inferences, tonal values can be better approximated through a simple, not-so-interpretative procedure.

With these four outer points drawn, the next step is to draw in the shape of the head. To do this, I continued to triangulate more points, and draw in the necessary curves to connect them.

I continue with my black pencil, darkening the other eyebrow and the hair.

To do this, I used a new technique I learned called triangulation. To triangulate a new point, I first sight (try to visualize) the angles to this new point from two existing points. Then, I draw lines from the existing points in the direction of the new point based on the sighted angles. Finally, I mark the new point where the lines intersect.

And here’s my attempt to locate the peak of her hair, the lowest point of her chin (again on the chin’s left side), the rightmost point of her cheek, the leftmost point of her hair, and the notch of her neck.

Shifts in the width and darkness of your lines will create interest

In Photoshop, I overlaid my sketch on the photo to check. I was pretty accurate.

In the coming days, I will write a few detailed posts about what I’ve learned, how I plan to move forward, etc., but for now, I’ll just share the final photos of my progress.

Basically, I’ve used everything at my disposal (except for fine arts skills) to create artistically.

I considered drawing in the bathroom, but this isn’t entirely comfortable. Especially because I was worried that the portrait would get wet/damaged on the sink, whose counter is the most viable drawing area.

Finally, I detail the ear, which is one of my favorite parts of the whole process. (Ears are just weird looking and fun to draw)

Rather than writing another M2M post today, I’ll encourage you to check out that post if you’re interested.

Should I just start the next challenge once I finish the previous one? I’m not sure. On one hand, this seems reasonable and time-efficient. On the other hand, there is something very tidy about starting on the first of each month.

To me, drawing is a bit like doing your laundry. Before you do it for the first time, you feel it’s much more complicated than it actually is, and thus, you feel incapable of trying. Then, you’re shown that doing your laundry is only a matter of putting your clothes in the machine, pouring in some soap, and clicking a button. Much easier than you thought.

For now, before I get to the painting, I’ll start off by mastering the drawing part of program.

Marcu created this study of a gorilla as his entry for The National Open Art Competition UK. “I’m pleased with the piece as it personally represents a big leap in scale, detail and patience,” he says. “It is roughly twice the size of my previous work and I learnt a lot working on this beast.”

With Derren, I wanted to ensure the portrait emanated three-dimensionality, so I pushed aggressively on the contrast of the portrait. I also didn’t care much for the micro-gradations of shadow/light, as I was more concerned with the correctness of the bigger shapes.

To do so, tomorrow, I’ll focus, not on perfectly detailing the mouth and cheek, but instead, broadly blocking in the right tonal values.

24 days ago, to kick off December’s challenge, I tried to draw a self-portrait.

While the result is artistically interesting, much of the work was done by a projector. I created a paint-by-number blueprint (again in Photoshop), projected it onto the canvas, and traced it in pencil.

Watching Derren paint, it seems like there are clear parallels between shading a drawing and painting a portrait: He sets a mid-tone color, adds the lights and darks, works his way towards the middle, and then adds detail.

It’s starting to look like me, but it still looks like a drawing — mostly because I haven’t blended the newly developed areas like the neck, cheek, mouth, ear, forehead, etc. Pretty much the whole thing.

A good starting point is to consider if the texture is rough or smooth, and then if it absorb or reflects light. “A reflecting and smooth texture, such as chrome, usually has higher contrasts and prominent highlights, while an absorbing and rough texture like cotton has low contrasts and little to no highlight present,” he continues.

Thus, to set a baseline for this month’s challenge, I’ve drawn a before self-portrait with my current drawing skills. Although it’s not the absolute worst thing ever drawn, it sadly doesn’t look very much like me.

With the topmost and bottommost points identified, I then needed to identify the leftmost and rightmost points.

Anyway, I think the takeaway is that I need to invest in a better pencil sharpener…

Getting to this point took me 2.5 hours, which was split between watching the video course and drawing my Derren portrait.

For the month of December, my goal is to draw a realistic self-portrait with only pencil and paper. Along the way, in order to learn the fundamentals of drawing and portraiture, I will also draw many other faces, which will hopefully keep this month’s posts more varied and interesting.

Since the demo portrait in course is based on a long-haired female model, I had to do a bit more freestyling at this point. I think it works.

Before I show today’s progress, I want to share two techniques I learned that make it significantly easier to accurately add tonal values to portraits.

Just looking at the sketch, the head shapes seems a little narrow for Matt Damon. But, overlaid on the photo, it seems to match up.

“These objects and scenes in my drawings are thus meticulously detailed to create the illusion of a new reality not seen in the original photo.”

“When shading, use an extra piece of paper underneath your hand,” advises artist Brun Croes. “This will minimise the amount your hand smudges your pencil lines. If you’re right-handed, start shading from left to right; if you’re left-handed, start at the right and move to the left.

Since, without deconstruction, the kitchen table doesn’t fit through the bathroom door (I tried…), I needed to find somewhere else to work tonight.

Here are two portraits that I made for my cousins Adam and Marissa.

Nevertheless, I must continue. So, here I go… Time to temporarily deface my work.

And while my most recent self-portrait is a major improvement, and does look very much like me, I still do have some quick critical thoughts on it, which I’ve broken down into two parts: 1. Likeness and 2. Artistry.

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Nevertheless, even with these critiques in isolation, the portrait as a whole comes together nicely and captures a strong likeness. Thus, I’ve left it as is, since I care more about an overall likeness (versus a non-cohesive collection of individually accurate features).

I continued with the upper part of the beard, and finished up for the day.

The human eye is really bad at assessing tonal values in isolation — which is why your brain thinks squares A and B below are very different colors, when, in fact, they are the same.

Instead, I got caught up making micro-changes to the parts of the portrait I’ve already worked on (the eyes, nose, forehead, etc.). It seems I can make small improvements forever.

I’m definitely eager to start a new challenge, since I like the idea of always being in pursuit of something (which maybe suggests that I need to learn how to relax). Nevertheless, instead, these past two months, I’ve finished both challenges on Day 24 (of the month), and thus, needed to wait, without a challenge, for a week, until the next one began/begins.

With all the steps documented, it’s now time to deliberately practice the most important skills.

I’ve had strong artistic tendencies since I was a kid, but I’ve never invested much in my fine art skills. Instead, I’ve channeled my artistic impulses mainly through music, film, and computer-aided design.

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Then, I marked eye level, to start gauging the features’ vertical placement.

This is mostly because I’m very bullish on this entire project.

It is possible to create smooth, blended effects using pencils – for example, to capture a sky. “Sometimes it’s preferable for your shading to be less sketchy and more smooth and subtle,” says artist Marisa Lewis. “Pencil lines don’t blend perfectly unless you’re very careful.” 

In 20 years, even if I don’t practice from now until then, as long as I can remember triangulation and outside-in shading, I will be able to fully replicate my results from this month.

I think this is going to be a theme for the entire Month to Master project: If my practice is deliberate and consistent, it’s going to take a lot less time than expected to master these seemingly expert-level skills.

“Hyperrealism in my work displays the beauty of the imperfections perfectly, opening a door within the subject that is not normally depicted in real life,” says Italian artist Giacomo Burattini, who drew this unusual portrait.

This incredible portrait of Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway is the work of Franco Clun, a self-taught artist from Italy, who has picked up everything he knows about drawing from reading manuals and plenty of practice.

Then, I addressed the right half of the face — further developing the shadow.

Last month, it only took me 22 hours to become a grandmaster of memory.

So, thank you people of San Francisco for not getting totally creeped out. I promise I’ll stop soon.

German artist Armin Mersmann is the man behind this chilly woodland scene. Although he also works with oils, Mersmann is best known for his intense naturalistic graphite drawings. His work has been featured in more than 150 exhibitions and has won him over 30 awards.

When you’re learning how to draw, it’s also worth considering using mechanical pencils alongside traditional ones. “Mechanical pencils are usually better suited for precision, while traditional pencils are great for laying down large areas of texture,” says Von Rueden. “Keep in mind that most mechanical pencils come with HB pre-inserted, which gives you only the middle range to work with.”

Before, I get to that, though, let me first share today’s progress.

Her incredible pencil drawings are included in collections all over the world, and she has worked with clients including Nike, GQ, M&C Saatchi, The Economist and The New York Times.

With these techniques newly-learned, I began to add tonal values to my Derren Brown portrait.

Observation about today’s session: Based on the output from today, it may seem like today’s drawing was the most technically challenging. But, in fact, I found just the opposite.

  • The level of the features is accurate
  • The neck shape is inaccurate — I especially misestimated the starting point of the neck on the right side.
  • The angle of the hair above the ear isn’t steep enough
  • Above the right eye, the angle of the head/hair is too steep
  • The angle of the features is accurate
  • The face shape is accurate
  • The center line curves a little too quickly as it moves up between the eyes
  • The peak of the head is too steep

Today, I only had ten minutes to draw, so I spent all ten darkening the hair and eyebrows on my self-portrait, until they were as black as I could get them.

Getting started with sketching can be more daunting than you might expect. In this article, seasoned artists give their top sketching tips to help you on your sketching journey. On this page you’ll find advice for getting started, or jump to page 2 for some tips on how to elevate your sketching skills. Here you’ll find tips on the technical skills you need to master, as well as techniques for getting inspired.

It almost feels unnatural to add tonal values to the sketch, as if I’m defacing something I worked hard to create.

In most of my posts, I tend to be pretty positive (i.e. “Whoa, today went better than expected…”, “I’m really pleased with today’s progress…”, “I can’t believe how good this is…”, etc.).

This post is part of Max’s year-long accelerated learning project, Month to Master.Max Deutsch is an obsessive learner, product builder, guinea pig for Month to Master, and founder at Openmind.If you want to follow along with Max’s year-long accelerated learning project, make sure to follow this Medium account.

This mindblowingly realistic image of a cat was created by traditional artist Paul Lung. The Hong Kong-based creative’s portfolio on Deviant Art is astonishing, featuring realistic portraits of both humans and animals. 

Yesterday, I declared that today I would start working on the mouth and cheek areas of my self-portrait. And yet, somehow, the day is over, and the mouth and cheek areas are still naked.

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With these tonal contours in place, I darkened the shadow areas slightly, giving the portrait some roundness and three-dimensionality.

While these pieces may look like they required some amount of artistic genius to pull off (do they?), that’s really not the case. Instead, these pieces just required some clever computational analysis, planning in Photoshop, and executional patience (while glueing and placing each Lego piece).

“My focus is on the study of art and my personal development in all its branches, and I am obsessed with excellence in the creation of any product.”

Purposefully, I chose to base my self-portrait on a photo with a tighter tonal range, since I wanted to challenge and push my abilities (Drawing a portrait with heavy contrast requires less subtly and is, in my opinion, easier).

However, I don’t think the same is true for my newly-found drawing skills. Mostly because… I didn’t learn anything new this month.

During the sketching phase of my self-portrait, I didn’t need to see precise tone, so sketching at night was no problem.

Side note: Here’s a video of Derren Brown, the subject of my portrait, when he used to have hair, experimenting with some of these alternative methods of painting. It’s a pretty cool trick.(If you’re going to watch, stick it out until the end).

Here, some seriously talented illustrators have pulled out their best pencils and drawing techniques to create some truly exceptional pencil art. Featuring celebrity portraits, animals, natural scenes, everyday objects and famous landmarks, there’s something to inspire you in each entry here. Enjoy…

This month, to learn how to draw portraits, I’ll be following the Portrait Drawing video course from Vitruvian Studio.

Thus, this time around, with my self-portrait, I’m aiming to more closely match tones, while also paying attention to the smaller areas of light fall-off. With this attention, my hope is to create a more realistic rendering of my face.

After spending nearly a month learning to draw portraits, I’m more convinced than ever that anyone can draw. Even if you don’t have any artistic talent.

Of course, these paintings are built on a prerequisite foundation of drawing, but they also introduce a whole new skill set that I would love to cultivate.

After seeing these, I decided I too would like to be the kind of person that casually paints impressively good portraits on the side.

Armin Mersmann’s work has been featured in exhibitions all over the world

After 7.5 hours of work (2.5 hours over the past three days), I’m finally hopefully that this portrait will resemble Derren Brown.

This new challenge starts today, December 1, 2016, and, by December 31, I hope to be a master of portrait drawing.

“The very act of drawing every branch, twig, highlight and shadow, rendering textures from the extreme winter skins to the silkiness of new-fallen snow, transforms the scene into an intimate journey. This undertaking is considerably different than merely taking a photo or simply being there,” he explains on his site.

I started by adjusting the center line slightly for the nose, and marking the nose’s outer boundary.

Use varied lines, says illustrator Rovina Cai. “Not all lines are equal. Subtle shifts in the width and darkness of your lines will create a dynamic, visually interesting drawing. Controlling the kind of mark you put down can be tricky in the beginning, but with practice you will be able to create a variety of marks that work together to make a cohesive image. Experiment with different pencil grades (from 3H to 6B) and with holding the pencil at different angles.”

In other words, if the highlight on the forehead is angular, drawing it with rounded edges wouldn’t properly capture the form.

M2M Day 33: There’s a science to drawing portraits, and it’s all based on trianglesToday, I spent 2.5 hours starting the drawing course and beginning my first portrait.medium.com

For my first portrait of the month, I’m quite happy with how it turned out.

I made a bit of a mistake here. I drew the horizontal construction lines perpendicular to the center line (which seemed reasonable), but did not mimic the angle of the features in the actual drawing.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the outcome — especially since I sketched this fairly quickly. I guess that means I’m improving…

I’m happy with the result, and actually think the self-portrait looks a lot like me.

Before you start, you need to pick the best pencils for the job. The hardness of the graphite is indicated on the side of the pencil: ‘B’ pencils are softer, ‘H’ are harder, and ‘HB’ sits in the middle – there’s a big difference between a 4H and a 4B. “I recommend starting somewhere on the H scale as a foundation and then finishing with the darker B scale,” says travelling convention artist Tim Von Rueden.

Yesterday, after 7.5 hours of work, I finally finished sketching / laying out my first portrait. Today, I started adding tonal values (a.k.a. “shading the drawing”).

Part of me lacks the motivation to continue drawing, as I feel like I’ve already accomplished my goal. The other (more overpowering) part of me realizes that I have another 21 days to improve even further, so that’s what I plan to do.

I start by blackening one of the eyebrows. This is easy, and hopefully will help me build momentum.

However, now that I’m trying to carefully model the lights/shadows of my face, I need more light.

This portrait is the example drawn in the Vitruvian Studio Portrait Drawing Course, which is the course I’ll be following this month.

During the month of December, I documented my entire learning process in a series of 31 daily blog posts, which are compiled here into a single narrative. In this article, you can relive my month of insights, frustrations, learning hacks, and triumphs, as I strive towards monthly mastery.

Before I drew my self-portrait, I drew a portrait of Derren Brown.

Create subtle shading by smudging large areas of soft charcoal

Use an extra piece of paper under your hand to avoid smudging your work

Today, I spent another 2.5 hours watching the course and working on the portrait.

Here I try to locate the peak of his head, the lowest point of his chin, the rightmost point of his ear, the leftmost point of his ear, and the notch of his neck.

Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley has had a long time to practise his stunning pencil art; he’s been at it since the age of six. Growing up around his family’s paper business inspired his love of drawing, and he expresses himself through what he calls his three P’s: Patience, Practice and Persistence. “Most times it’s almost like I lose control of my pencils and like energy transfer, the art flows through me from my pencil to the paper,” he says.

You can decide if this is cheating or not, but either way, this month is going to be different. This month, I am actually going to invest in my fine art skills. This month, I’m going to take a pencil and paper, and nothing else, and make it happen.

Less purposefully, I chose a photo where the midtone of my face was darker than the paper.

Now (and I hope this eventually wears off), when I see a new face, my first instinct is to estimate the ratio between the height and width of the head. Other times, I just look to see what shapes the eye sockets are. Or how prominent the brow ridge is. Or if the nose and brows equally break the face in thirds.

When keying the drawing (and developing tonal values in general) it’s important that the shapes of the tonal areas are captured accurately.

This series by Cath Riley features hyperrealistic pencil drawings of flesh

1. Start with the most extreme values and then meet in the middle

Tomorrow, I’ll write up a more thorough critique. But until then, I’m declaring this month’s challenge a success.

I continued shading the darkest areas along the right side of the face.

Even with the narrow tonal range, my self-portrait still maintains a believable roundness and depth.

In order to accurately see tonal shapes, and avoid psychological errors, I’ve found one method to be surprisingly successful: squinting.

The first module of the course focuses on mapping out the portrait, which includes determining the shape of the head and locating the features.

“I like symmetrical drawings, but they often look boring all too quickly,” says Croes. “A good way to prevent this is to add some subtle changes and only keep the general lines symmetrical instead of mirroring every small part. Keeping some elements asymmetrical helps to avoid boring repetition.”

I added in the center line of the lips and the shadow on the nose.

Measuring success for this challenge is certainly more subjective than last month (where I successfully memorized a deck of cards in less than 2 minutes).

Cath Riley’s pencil drawings are amazing to look at, but she regards her hyperreal work as just a stage in her ongoing evolutionary process of exploration and development. 

While the Derren Brown portrait (with its ultra-contrasty tonal range) may be a more dynamic portrait, my self portrait seems closer to photorealism, which is the main improvement I was aiming for.

Nine days ago, I began my 30-day quest to learn how to draw photorealistic portraits. Since then, I’ve watched the entire 10 hours of the Vitruvian Studio drawing course, as well as spent 14.5 hours working on my first portrait.

When compared with the before, the difference is pretty striking. In the before portrait, I look like a sickly, pencil-sketched version of myself, while the after version has a much nicer roundness and weight to it.

“I believe reality is a beauty in itself so I don’t need to find ways to hide the imperfections of human nature so my work shows the perfection of the imperfections of life.”

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The first thing I did today was add construction lines to my drawing. These construction lines are designed to act as landmarks and help me eventually place the facial features.

With my self-portrait, I strayed from both of these advantages. For one, on purpose. For the other, less so.

In other words, if I can remember the process, which, in my opinion, only depends on two very straightforward insights, I will always be able to draw at the level I can now.

At first, the blackness of the hair is a bit jarring, but it accurately represents the “exposure” I’m going for (where the hair is emitting no light, and thus, shows up as pure black).

Less can be more! The 70/30 rule helps you create effective compositions. The idea is that 30 per cent of your sketch is filled with the main focus and detail, and the remaining 70 per cent is filler. This less interesting area helps direct attention towards the main subject of your artwork. You can see the rule in action in Von Rueden’s sketch above.

Yesterday, I started following along with the Vitruvian Studio portrait course, and began drawing a portrait of Derren Brown.

In January, 2016, I was just starting to develop the itch to draw/paint portraits. In an attempt to make something that was commercially viable (to cover the cost of materials), I decided to paint a portrait of Donald Trump.

Today, I practiced triangulating the complete head shape and gauging the level of features.

Especially before I smoothed out my face, it looked as if I had just been cleaning chimneys.

Interestingly, this completeness is a bit problematic: Because the sketch feels whole (and, from my perspective, represents an interesting, standalone piece of art), I struggle to continue working on it.

Then, I arbitrarily marked, on the top level, the highest point of the head, and then used the angle between this point and the bottom of the chin, to locate the bottom of the chin on the page.

Today, I didn’t have too much time to draw. So, I quickly progressed the Matt Damon sketch I started two days ago.

Next, I included the eye sockets and some more detail around the nose.

This post is sponsored by my education company Openmind. Openmind connects you with world-class mentors to help accelerate your learning and success. Learn more here.

Finally, I completed the neck, decided not to address the clothes, signed it, and I was done.

In fact, this psychological problem of misinterpreting faces is so common, there are entire drawing systems (like drawing upside down, drawing the negative space around the face, etc.) designed to combat these problems.

Consider if the material is rough or smooth, and if it absorbs or reflects light

This is clearly not the right approach. Especially because… As I begin shading the mouth, I will need to make adjustments to the nose area, so everything fits together. As I begin shading the cheek, I will need to make adjustments to the eye area, so everything fits together. And so on.

Tim Jenison, on the other hand, does have something worth sharing. Without any artistic training, he painted a nearly-exact replica of a Vermeer painting solely using optical techniques.

Today, I’m going to practice finding the correct proportions of the subject’s head using a few celebrities: Matt Damon, Natalie Portman, and Morgan Freeman.

For the past couple days, I’ve been itching to start my self-portrait. So, today, I did just that.

Entitled Sensazioni (sensations, in English) this mind-blowing pencil drawing was created by artist Diego Fazio. Over a period of roughly 200 hours, Fazio drew this intricate piece, which we still – no matter how long we look at it – cannot believe is a drawing. Simply amazing.

Thus, once I finished drawing, I came back to my dark apartment to snap a photo.

Next page: Advanced sketching tips to take your drawings to a new level

With the exception of the oddly tiny ear, everything else seems to line up well. The head shape, face shape, and hair shape seem accurate. The level of the features and the center line seem accurate. The wing of the nose is a bit too far to the right, but I really just threw that in for fun.

Checking in Photoshop, everything seems pretty accurate. Although, the low point of the chin may be slightly too far left.

While technology-aided art still should probably count as art (in some capacity), this month, I’m committed to creating using only the tools shown below: 9 black pencils, 1 white pencil, a few different erasers, and a gray piece of paper (which I’ll explain another time).

Today, after another 2.5 hours of work, I finally completed my Derren Brown portrait.

The time in which each takes depends on his subject matter, with this particular A2 pencil drawing taking Lung approximately 60 hours to complete.

Keep a nice contrast going between a finished look and a more of a sketchy feel

This portrait has two big advantages over my self-portrait: 1. The tonal range over the face is much greater, and 2. The midtone of the face matches the tone of the paper.

Tomorrow, I’ll starting adding tonal values (i.e. shading) to the drawing.

“From the age of five, I started drawing, and over time I added more skills, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, all types of graphic design, caricature and digital photography,” explains Stefan Marcu, the artist behind this stunningly realistic gorilla portrait.

“There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to make a clean-looking drawing that loses its brilliance and value thanks to smudging. Instead, use smudging to your advantage every now and then to smooth out shading. You can do this with several tools. I use a simple piece of tissue paper to get the job done.”

Tomorrow, I need to finish the mouth, the ear, the neck, the lower part of the beard, and perhaps the clothing.

Clearly, I have some amount of obsessive compulsiveness going on, but I’m curious to know what you think…

Tim’s journey is documented in the Penn and Teller-produced film “Tim’s Vermeer”, which I highly recommend you check out.

Something to think about as you start planning your 2017 resolutions…

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The trick, then, is to create a mechanism to force deliberate and consistent practice month after month. This is the hard part about learning these new skills, not the time required.

Von Rueden uses four different sketching techniques to define object edges: thin, hard, lost and undefined. A thin and hard edges give objects solid borders. Lost edges occur when the object and background values start to blend together, so the edge is implied rather than defined. Undefined edges need to be deciphered by the viewer themselves. He suggests exploring all four types, and combining them to create interest within your work.

Tomorrow, I’ll go swing by the art store and pick up a few fresh ones.

Once you’re equipped with these two techniques, you’ll be ready to follow the “Portrait Drawing Cheat Sheet” and draw your first portrait.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the images in this article are photographs. But we assure you, they’re not. Each and every one is hand-drawn pencil art – many of them in beautiful black and white.

After working for about an hour, I was able to finish sketching the outline of the head, hair, and neck.

Yesterday, I declared this month’s challenge a success, noting the differences between my before and after self-portraits.

Well, that’s not exactly right. While I didn’t cultivate any new drawing-enabled motor skills or artistic skills, I did learned to structure my already-existing skills inside of a better drawing process.

Self-taught South African artist Jono Dry has quickly earned a name for himself with his unique style of drawing that blends photorealism and surrealism on a massive scale. His work has the look of vintage photography, but usually with an unsettling or incongruous twist; if you like the look of it, he has prints available to buy through his Etsy shop.

Last month, I memorized a shuffled deck of cards in under two minutes, which required obsessive, consistent practice. If I were to stop practicing, over time I would lose this skill.

To contact Morris, visit his Facebook page or Instagram, or call directly at +233576505965.

I ended up across the street from my apartment at a well-lit coworking space, which was great for drawing, but not-so-great for picture-taking. The abundance of overhead lights meant that, however I positioned my body, I was always casting a shadow on the portrait.

I start by blocking in shadow areas near the mouth, on the forehead, and on the neck.

My tonal approach is noticeably different than that used on the Derren Brown portrait.

Additionally, while doing this, to check the accuracy of my key, I started developing the eye.

Yesterday, I was able to sketch about 80% of the portrait. Today, I just need to add the final details.

For more advice, read our article on how to hold a pencil correctly. 

M2M Day 36: Throwing some shadeThis post is part of Month to Master, a 12-month accelerated learning project. For December, my goal is to draw a…medium.com

Because I spent the past two days meticulously locating and blocking in the features, it was very easy to add the incremental detail. (Trying to draw big shapes is much harder than trying to draw little shapes. Little shapes are a lot easier to visually understand and replicate)

So far, so good. Tomorrow, I’ll start blocking in the features.

She’s now moving in more experimental and abstract directions in her work, including very large-scale drawing projects based around the human figure.

I continued in this way, until I outlined the entire shape of the head.

After checking the angles again, I updated these two new points.

Derren looks a bit too shiny right now — a bit like a mannequin or the Tin Man — but I’m optimistic that this effect will vanish once I model the rest of the form.

Tomorrow, I’m going to go through my previous posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and write up a “Portrait Drawing Cheat Sheet”. Then, I’m going to break down the cheat sheet into isolated, practicable skills and drills, work on those individual skills for 1–2 weeks, and then start working on my self-portrait to finish off the month.

First, I drew in the vertical center line, which will help me laterally place the features.

When we first saw the work of Scottish artist Paul Cadden, it took a while for us to realise that they were in fact pencil drawings – the hyperrealist artist used just graphite and chalk to create these stunning images.

After my light-seeking adventure, here’s what I was able to accomplish.

I can’t seem to easily get the hair to be one smooth black mass. Instead, the grain of the paper is very noticeable, giving me a nice salted look. Even after aggressive blending with a blending stump and a dry brush, I still can’t get the material distributed nicely on the paper.

Today, I spent 2.5 hours starting the course and beginning my first portrait.

Giacomo Burattini believes his work highlights the beauty of imperfection

I’ve also experimented using optical tools (like mirrors and lens) to mechanically create. Although, I haven’t invested enough time to produce anything worth sharing.

Last month, when I was learning to memorize a deck of cards at grandmaster speeds, I started unintentionally seeing playing cards in the real-world. In particular, real-world things (like wheelchairs and airplanes), which have association in my mnemonic system, were triggering images of playing cards, without any conscious thought on my part.

To show different textures within your sketch, you need to adjust your technique. “You wouldn’t want to shade skin the same way you shade metallics or fur. They each have unique properties and capturing that will elevate your drawings because of the accuracy depicted,” says Von Rueden. 

Arinze Stanley has been honing his skills since the age of six

Since I was accurate with the face shape and the level of features, if I continued working, I suspect I would develop the face fairly accurately. As a result, I would likely have enough accurate information to gradually correct the major mistakes with the head and hair shape.

However, before I make it happen, I thought it would be fun to share some of my previous works.

Nevertheless, I will persist, since, even with the sizing mistake (and the associated challenges), I’m quite happy with the portrait so far.

This was a bit of a mistake, but a good learning opportunity. As a result of this decision, unlike with my Derren portrait, I had to pencil-shade the mid-tones on my face, leading to a slightly dirtier portrait. (In the case with Derren, where there were midtones, I left the blank paper untouched and clean).

Morris Kwesi Mensah Baffoe is from Ghana and was born and raised in the city of Accra. From a family of five brothers he happens to inherit this awesome talent he possesses. Morris is a portrait artist and also is his hobby. He specializes in portrait but also does abstract art. The use of pencil is his specialty and he is skilled at using it.

Today, to celebrate the New Year, I decided to compile my personal highlights from 2016, which includes Month to Master, but also everything else from my life.

Here is my “Portrait Drawing Cheat Sheet”, which features step-by-step instructions on how to draw a portrait.

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As I mentioned at the beginning of this month, British illusionist Derren Brown originally inspired me to start drawing portraits. In fact, to acknowledge this inspiration, Derren was the subject of my first portrait.

This is where I stopped for the day, after another 2.5 hours of working.

It’s almost impossible to believe this incredible image is a pencil drawing

Progress still seems fairly slow on the drawing, but I’m making a conscious effort to work carefully through the blocking in phase (so I can practice what I’m learning, and so I can ensure the portrait is built on a strong foundation).

In fact, in order to draw a reasonable portrait, you only need to know the two following skills:

Perhaps, I’m just stalling out of fear: Once the mouth and cheek are developed, I’ll have a much better idea if the portrait is any good.

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