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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:
 
:iconwavebyte:
wavebyte Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2008
i like your handling of values. it's technically perfect.
without knowing the theme and the complete idea, all i can say is good luck with the journey.
(although, if you added some bold chiaroscuro effects, i think it'd look cool)
Reply
:iconbartouv:
BarTouv Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is really impresive, your shading is realy good but she looks a little cross eyed
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:iconmanuelmorgado:
ManuelMorgado Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
nice!
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:iconcrimson-ivory:
crimson-ivory Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2008  Student General Artist
Wow, this is gorgeous!! I bet the detail is amazing
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:iconiris1:
iris1 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2008
You're such a talent!
Reply
:iconmagenta-fantasies:
Magenta-Fantasies Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2008  Professional General Artist
*fanfare* Now presenting your rating!

Coloring (in photos clarity): There isn't really any, but the shading is impressively realistic. :star::star::star::star:

Concept: It's just a face, albeit a very well-drawn one :star::star:

Effort: 36 hours for this? I mean that in a good way...sort of. :star::star::star::star::star-half:

Skill: I agree with estrayastar, it does look like a photo :star::star::star::star::star:

Overall: :star::star::star::star:
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:iconl-spiro:
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2008
Thank you.

My low point right now is in Concept but that should change when it is done (not by lowering another area below Concept, but by increasing Concept itself). I chose this photo because there are other objects in it besides the face (which I have partially drawn but cropped out; view the lower-left area), and because it has a nice-sized background area where I will add my own original content later.


Let’s aim for 6 stars next time!


L. Spiro
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:iconales-kotnik:
ales-kotnik Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2008  Student Digital Artist
OMFG! High skills :)
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:iconxentri:
Xentri Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2008
This is amazing... I always like watching processes how an images comes to life!!! :+fav:
Reply
:iconmaddycowdisease:
MaddyCowDisease Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2008
Oh my gosh, that's so cool!
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:iconrazorscutstencils:
razorscutstencils Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2008
:faint: your attention to detail is insane. the caliber if your drawings out weighs any others that i have seen. your a technical genius
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:iconl-spiro:
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2008
Thank you.


L. Spiro
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:iconxmyp:
xmyp Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i have a question:
when you get requests to do photos (i'm assuming they're of the requestor) do you try to make them look better?
because, when i get requests, i always wonder if they want the double chin and the wrinkles or whatever on there... lol
i'm just wondering.
thanks!
Reply
:iconl-spiro:
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2008
I have considered it before and here is my conclusion: Doing so would be an insult to the person in the drawing.

People have come to terms with their flaws already, so you are safe by leaving them in anyway.
On the other hand, if you remove them it is like saying, “I think you would look better without this feature.” As if they are not pretty/handsome enough as they are, and to make matters worse you present this concept to them with specific flaws you have manually pinpointed. And some people actually like their flaws because of the identity they feel it gives them, so you may even be offending people that way.

So unless specifically asked I would never try to make someone more beautiful than they are.


L. Spiro
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:iconxmyp:
xmyp Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks. it's just always made me wonder.
i appreciate your insight!
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:iconoxygenwaster201:
oxygenwaster201 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this picture is cool
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:icondayumm:
dayumm Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008
My word you have ALOT of talent this is incredible!
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:iconhatefueled:
hatefueled Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008
looks awesome so far! good to see people still using the grid system! love the eyes!
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:iconklsadako:
KLSADAKO Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is looking good, she looks like someone from Morning Musume, I may be wrong, and a expected 150 hours, u are a very patience person :)
Reply
:iconl-spiro:
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2008
Thank you.

I don’t think it is from Morning Musume, but I could be wrong. I got this photo a long time ago off Flickr. Unfortunately now I no longer know who took the shot or who the model is. Maybe she will be recognizable when she is finished.


L. Spiro
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:icondirty-money:
dirty-money Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008
I'm not a fan of grid work, but the amount of details you managed to delve out is amazing. You really can capture subtle lighting well! It looks like she's slowly coming to life. @_@;

No critique from me really, other than my dislike of grid drawings. Yours will probably prove to be an exception, though. I can't critique someone who is infinitely more skilled than I am without even trying!
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:iconthenecco:
TheNecco Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2008  Professional General Artist
Wow! Amazing textures, and great value. I can't wait to see it finished. It's really nice when you have a proper size photo. I blew one up from 2 inches by 3 inches to 18 inches by 15 inches x_X (Aretha Franklin)
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:iconl-spiro:
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2008
I feel your pain from having to blow up pictures to unreasonable scales, but I have seen the one you mentioned and I wouldn’t have guessed it came from such a small reference.
You managed it fine.


L. Spiro
Reply
:iconcarlotta-guidicelli:
carlotta-guidicelli Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2008   Traditional Artist
Critiques? Haha, I'm not even close to worthy enough to be giving you critique :giggle:

I'm just wondering, though...I see 100lb used a lot. What does that mean? Is it a term for the texture of the paper? Oh, and speaking of texture, I like how you use more rough paper. I see a lot of people thinking that it isn't as good, and looks more...unrefined? I guess they think that showing a little of the grain of the paper is a bad thing. I dunno why they think that, but whenever I try rough paper there's always some that say, "You should really try bristol, it'd work wonders for you." :lol: I hate bristol. Works for a lot of people, but doesn't work for me :P
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:iconl-spiro:
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2008
I know everyone uses bristol smooth but finding it is a problem in Thailand. Not many people know art terms so learning the Thai terms for them is not easy, so I have no idea how to request bristol smooth paper when I go to the shop.

What I did:
I went to a portrait shop in the same building and asked what they were using. They said 100 lb so I went upstairs and got that.
Since I never studied art I wouldn’t even recognize bristol paper if I was using it, unless it was written on it somewhere, but the labels in Thailand are in Thai and they have a different term for it so…

As for what it means to use 100-lb paper, I believe it is the texture, or more specifically how grainy it is. My 70 lb sketchbook seems less grainy than this 100 lb sheet, so the higher the number the more grainy.
It seems.
Someone may correct me if I am wrong.


L. Spiro
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:iconkellycdb:
KellyCDB Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually the weight of the paper (100 lb, 70 lb, etc) refers to the thickness. The number is how much 500 sheets of that paper weigh in its "basic sheet size." To make it more complicated, different papers have different basic sheet sizes, so different kinds of 100 lb paper can be different thicknesses.
It's possible to get more or less grainy textures in any weight.
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:iconl-spiro:
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008
Good to know.

Now how do I use that paper pencil my mother gave me?
And how do I recognize bristol smooth paper?
And what is this thing? It has a wooden back with a bunch of sheets of paper attached to the front, about 1 inch wide and 4 or 5 inches long, and an extra 4 inches on the wooden part make a handle. How am I supposed to use such a thing? Did it come from aliens?

I tried to sharpen that paper pencil thing and when that went horribly wrong I realized you shouldn’t try to do that. I feel like such a newbie.


L. Spiro
Reply
:iconkellycdb:
KellyCDB Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Is the paper pencil a sort of roll of paper with a pointy end? If so, it's a tortillon, used for blending. This should help with that: [link]

It's so hard to describe how to recognize bristol if you can't go and just look for the paper that says "bristol" on it... But it's a somewhat heavy paper, and if you feel it, it's very very smooth, so smooth it feels cool in temperature. One brand looks like this around here, but I don't know about Thailand! [link]
If you have a way to order it online, I guess that would be an option.

The alien object sounds like it could be a sandpaper block, perhaps. Are the sheets of paper rough, like sandpaper? Does it look like this? [link]
If so, it's another way to sharpen pencils - you sand them at an angle to make a point.

Hope that helps a little! :)
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:iconl-spiro:
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008
That helped, thank you.

So I sharpened my tortillion with a pencil sharpener and I almost used my sandpaper block on my drawing (thought it was for smudging).
Yeah, I guess you can tell I am not much into art.

Just one last thing.
Is bristol smooth paper so smooth it is shiny? What I got may as well be poster board. It is thick and sturdy. One side is shiny, the other less so. When I erase on the shiny side it ruins the texture and makes it undrawable. It is a very large sheet and can not be folded (well).


L. Spiro
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:iconkellycdb:
KellyCDB Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
No, bristol smooth isn't really shiny. It's just smooth. Sorry I can't describe it better!
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:iconurmotherwasahamster:
Urmotherwasahamster Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2008   Writer
Just...stunning! Wow!
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:iconvunitpeter:
vunitpeter Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2008
this picture is actually very accurate looks realistic hehe nice work i'm hoping to get that good any tips on drawing material that's a key big problem with my work
Reply
:iconl-spiro:
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2008
Materials are not my area of expertise really. I use what people have given me. As far as I am concerned any set of graphite pencils is as good as another.
As for paper, it really depends on the person I think. Many use bristal smooth drawing paper, but frankly I have no idea what that is. I used 100 lb paper for this which is rather grainy but that is all I know how to find.
A kneadable eraser is a must however. And keep a regular eraser around as well. Use a razor to cut it into parts so you can make pointy edges as needed and use the other end for big blunt erasing (for the lines in this picture).


L. Spiro
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:iconprincessgaara:
princessgaara Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2008   Traditional Artist
I bought a pad of bristol paper the other day...it's just really thick drawing paper. You might want to smooth out some areas of the skin a little more unless that's how you meant for it to look.
Reply
:iconl-spiro:
L-Spiro Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2008
The texture of the skin is 90% intentional. The other 10% is artifact from the photo of the paper, which sometimes reveals the texture of the paper more or less depending on the position of the sun when I take the shot.
So I just need to get a good shot to fix the roughness shown in some areas.


L. Spiro
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:iconprincessgaara:
princessgaara Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2008   Traditional Artist
Ah, well that makes sense. I thought it might have been intentional, but I wasn't sure.
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:iconvunitpeter:
vunitpeter Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2008
lols ohh man deosn't help oh wells ahaha damn anyways keep up the good work
Reply
:icontanjagotthardsen:
TanjaGotthardsen Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2008   Traditional Artist
I've never used the grid tecnique, but it seems to work for you :)
Lovely shading and the amount of detail is gorgeous. it shows that you work hard and for a long time on your pieces. I think the back of the hat needs a little more refinement, but after all it's a work in progress :)
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:iconachipps:
achipps Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1 I see the grid and it is fine, but I hope the dots for the lines was not to heavy.

2 Yes, I see smudging, and I think is is the easiest, and best way to get the picture to look good.

3 That is more of spot picking, than jumping around, I jump from one picture to another, and I draw areas I like to work on more. "This is a good spot to work next."

4 I find it better to not draw on areas where there is highlights. It is more important to do things that way with color pencils, than regular pencils. I have seen people use white chalk for highlights, but I don't like to use anything. If I get smuging in that area I use the eraser to clean it up.

It's always good to know you are still drawing, and your skills not going stale. As always nice work.
Reply
:iconkellycdb:
KellyCDB Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
I know it's a WIP, but I actually love the way it looks now, with her face coming in and out from the grid... I'm glad you posted this, 'cause I'm afraid it might be less interesting when it's done! Of course it'll be gorgeous, but it's so cool this way...
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:iconestrayastar:
estrayastar Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2008
Oh my gosh, this is gorgeous! It looks like a photograph!
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:iconhybridgothica:
hybridgothica Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
wow! :jawdrop:!
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Details

Submitted on
April 5, 2008
Image Size
695 KB
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1024×930
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