Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
Japanese Model WIP 1 by L-Spiro Japanese Model WIP 1 by L-Spiro
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
Add a Comment:
TheRealDABhand Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2016
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 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2016
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 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2016
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 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Very nice detail
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2016
Thank you.

L. Spiro
G4MM43T4 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
gorgeous work
i am blown away by the hair detail
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
Thank you.

L. Spiro
WorldOfWhiteness Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013
Yes I agree too, its so realistic ^^
midrevv Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013  Student Digital Artist
is this really a drawing? looks to realistic :)
Asuyuka-Kimeno Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Gorgeous o_o
hanafubuku Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012
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 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2011
i cant believe my eyes
xdragon124 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011
aimanaico Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2011  Student Photographer
It is very nice !
I know you`re proffessional !
Good Job L.Spiro .
I`m always be your supporters!!!!
kmorgan222 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011
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 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011
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 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011
Wow, just amazing! Looks great. :)
kalabatik Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
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 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
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 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2010
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 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
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 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010
Omigosh this is amazing!
ahtibat Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010  Professional Artist
how in the hell is this is drawing?! lol GREAT JOB!
JMou Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010
wow..that was real good..
Carbon64 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2010
Awesome! When I first saw the image on your website I thought it was a photo! Truly amazing and I think there is a hidden artist in you after all!
AmosRachman Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
wow..awesome looks like photograph...:thumbsup:

pliss cek this link my be your like it ^_^
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2010
Thank you.

I checked his works and I enjoy the cartoon/realistic mix of some of them.

L. Spiro
AmosRachman Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Adamchristensen Featured By Owner May 25, 2010
Looks great! I love the reflection of the light in her eyes. Keep it up!
behindyoureyes Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2009  Student General Artist
looks like a photograph! fantastic
TheSpiritx Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2009
Still great and progressing nicely.
speedwing Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2009
well done L.Spiro, nice progress!
WIRTA Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2009
this is just stuning, great!!
alahay Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2009
....but I like it incomplete, as incomplete as it is now! :)
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2009
I still have copies of all 30 WIP images.
When the final image is done I will post them all, or every 5th or so.
I will also combine them into a single large image to show the whole process.

L. Spiro
alahay Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2009
combine them into an animation.
Picasa does that effortlessly.
LadyDracule Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Looks great. May I ask which kind of paper you use (smooth or rough)?
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2009
Thank you.

This one was done on rough paper. Panda 3 was done on smooth paper (but the scanner makes it look gritty/rough and I need to rescan it), and I have another drawing in progress (not released) on some paper that is between.

So if you want to know my preference overall, I just use whatever I find. I hear good things about bristol smooth, but I have not yet been able to find any.

L. Spiro
justinborders Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009
You have some amazing talent. You have to be able to see the subtleties to get them. I think half of art is being able to se what is really there. Great work.
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2009
Thank you.

L. Spiro
AKLP Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
haha i thought you stopped this WIP long ago
seems like you can design and code the MHS :P
Spazbulb Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the advice! I always love seeing your attention to detail in your work! And It's nice to see WIPs, sometimes they help me improve. Wow, though. 100+ hours! That's amazing!
Millus Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
just crazy awesome - I think you dont need a camera, you can draw your own photos. :)
jecsz Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2009
awesome nice
Still-Benighted Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i have never seen such a detailed and .. wow.. work in my life! i am in complete awe!
mangalover101 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ooo wow thats all i cant say
Ross-A Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Good show I thought it was a photo at first A+
matcnew Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009
This is pretty good!
4nime4life Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2009
omfg, i can hardly believe this is made with a pencil
i love it, you are a true genius
Kon-dono Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2008
ooo very nice I like it :)
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
April 5, 2008
Image Size
695 KB


120 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon PowerShot G9
Shutter Speed
1/1244 second
Focal Length
17 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Feb 22, 2011, 2:15:39 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Sensor Size