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Japanese Model WIP 1

By L-Spiro
117 Favourites
Full-view is necessary. The preview is very blurry.

About the Drawing (Technique)
#1: As you can see I am using the grid technique for the second time in my life(!). This is because of the scale of the drawing. It is 17 × 20 inches.

#2: Do you detect a little smudging? This is the first realistic drawing I have done with smudging. But only in extremely light and extremely dark areas. Smudging in the light areas is done to save time; I expect this to take a while given its size. Smudging in the dark areas is to avoid accidental smudging later. Dark areas are highly prone to smudging so it is better to smudge them intentionally rather than accidentally.

#3: As you can see, especially by looking at some of the other shots (not posted), I like to jump to many areas of the portrait instead of focusing on one area until it is completed. This is simply because I get bored working on the same thing for too long and I need to change a lot to keep up my interest. Most artists have more patience and dedication than I have, so this is usually not necessary for most people.

#4: A common question I see on other portraits and I even got this on this one at work: “How do you do the highlights? Erase them into the picture?”. In my case, the answer is simple: don’t draw where there is nothing to be drawn. This also seems to be the case for all high-end artists I have seen (but I have to admit I have only seen a few since I am not very interested in art). For me the eraser is for fixing mistakes or for very subtle highlights, but even for the subtlest of highlights I still try to avoid the eraser and just try to draw them in one pass with pencil.

#5: Hair. For people wondering what tricks were used to make the hair, the answer is simple: None. No indentation methods or otherwise. Each strand is drawn manually, with equal attention to detail paid to each of them. I work from the darks to the lights (usually) and lay down a general shade for each splotch and then fill in each strand in that splotch. Light hairs that cross over dark hairs are outlined before the dark is laid down. Erasers are not for adding light strands over dark strands. If I use erasers, it is only to make tiny adjustments; otherwise things are simply drawn as they are without any advanced techniques coming into play.
If you are struggling with hair, the best advice you could get is simply to slow down. I expect to take 150 hours on this piece; this gives me plenty of time to pay attention to each strand of hair. And if you get bored of working on hair for so long, work on another part of the picture as I am. I spend about an hour on each square inch of hair. If you do the same you will see for yourself how much slowing down helps.

About the Drawing (Stats)
Time So Far: 83 hours.
Time Expected: ~150 hours.
Completion: ~85% not including the background.
Pencils: 4H-6B graphite.
Eraser: Kneadable and rubber.
Smudging: Toilet paper!
Paper: 100 lb.

L. Spiro
Image details
Image size
1024x930px 695.41 KB
Canon PowerShot G9
Shutter Speed
1/1244 second
Focal Length
17 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Feb 22, 2011, 2:15:39 PM
Sensor Size
© 2008 - 2021 L-Spiro
anonymous's avatar
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TheRealDABhand's avatar
Had no idea you worked at SE, but we are both old fuddy duddies now, not like the old days of game hacking ;)

Nice photos you have added recently.

So now I know I can blame you for everything Final Fantasy that is released now :P
L-Spiro's avatar
I remember you.  Another version of MHS is coming out next year, although I recall you were never a fan.  You preferred Cheat Engine.
As a senior graphics programmer on Final Fantasy XV, I take no credit for anything wrong with the game, unless you can find a flaw in our graphics.
Which can’t be done so I am blameless.
Now let me put on my blinders.

L. Spiro
TheRealDABhand's avatar
I liked it, but it never worked right for me, at the time it was like trying to get S-ice to work in Vista lol

But I will certainly look into the new version coming out, even though I do little these days in regards to GH anyways. But I can have a go with some titles coming in 2017.

As for flaw in your GFX, I can always blame you for Prompto's stupid look lol

Hey if they are looking for someone to test stuff out, send it my way, at least I won't use the opportunity only to play a game before everyone else and forget about bug testing lol

But seriously... it is good to hear from you again, and see you are doing well. Best luck for the future :)

PSYaKNIGHT's avatar
Very nice detail
L-Spiro's avatar
Thank you.

L. Spiro
G4MM43T4's avatar
gorgeous work
i am blown away by the hair detail
L-Spiro's avatar
Thank you.

L. Spiro
WorldOfWhiteness's avatar
Yes I agree too, its so realistic ^^
midrevv's avatar
is this really a drawing? looks to realistic :)
hanafubuku's avatar
Wow - doesn't even look drawn until I realized the paper's texture. Looks like a computer print out or developed film.. crazy skills!
crazygamerz's avatar
i cant believe my eyes
xdragon124's avatar
aimanaico's avatar
It is very nice !
I know you`re proffessional !
Good Job L.Spiro .
I`m always be your supporters!!!!
kmorgan222's avatar
omg i was just thinking about this portrait recently
wondering if i was ever going to get to see the end result
this had obviously made quite an impression on me.
its so beautiful, cant wait until you finish!
L-Spiro's avatar
Thank you. I have been extremely busy for a long while now so I had no time to draw.
7 or 8 months I had to go into overdrive to finish our most important project in my company, and my spare time was dominated by making music for my CD, language school, and modeling/acting.

Our project is coming to a close finally, and I will have more time to myself, so I should be able to get back to work on this.

L. Spiro
Jessica-is-here's avatar
Wow, just amazing! Looks great. :)
kalabatik's avatar
Magnificent work.. i do some Portrait to and also use the grid.... just have a little question.. how do u use the hard pencils like 4H, is for details??

thank you.
L-Spiro's avatar
Thank you.

4H is the pencil most frequently in my hand when drawing realism. It is good for soft tones, naturally, but also for making gradual adjustments.
Even in dark areas (dark parts of the hat here for example), first I begin by laying down a coat of 4H. Then I go over it with 2H, making it darker and keeping the tone solid.
Then I will use one of the B’s depending on how dark it needs to be, but only lightly; it will smudge if you make it too dark too fast.
Then I pat it down with a cloth to prevent smudging and go back over it with 2H or 4H. Then repeat with a B pencil, this time making it nearly as dark as needed. Pat down again with a cloth to prevent smudging.
Finally, when the tone is close to correct, I use 4H and 2H to fill in the “gaps” and make the tone solid (if it should be solid) etc.
By “gaps” I mean the little artifacts left behind when drawing with a soft lead. 4H can be used to make the tone of a 6B solid.

Ultimately, 4H was used on every square inch of this drawing, no matter how dark. It is the most useful pencil.

L. Spiro
kalabatik's avatar
Thank u .... u helped me very mutch... i'm having some troubles finding how to get the dark areas darker with grafit pencils,firstly i was using charcoal, but the final result was getting a little bit messy, then i start to use 7Bs Mars lumografe pencils, but the dark areas were not as darker as i thought it will be, thank you again ;D.
kalabatik's avatar
Magnificent work .... i do some portraits to and also use the Grid, just have a little question.... how do u use the hard pencils 4h ? it's for the details?

thank u .
princesshappyday's avatar
Omigosh this is amazing!
ahtibat's avatar
how in the hell is this is drawing?! lol GREAT JOB!
JMou's avatar
wow..that was real good..
anonymous's avatar
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