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Cheeky Madagascan girl drawing process by LateStarter63 Cheeky Madagascan girl drawing process by LateStarter63

These 12 photos were taken after each day of work on my drawing.  The length of time that I worked on each day varied from less than half an hour to two sessions of perhaps up to 2 hours each; each day, not session, is represented by one photo.  I cannot talk you through the photos in detail as I did not keep any record of what I had done.

I draw onto Daler Rowney Airbrush Bristol board, which has a smooth, white surface.

The first photo shows the initial sketch and some general light shading/blending.  I do not use the grid method but instead mark some key positions (corners of eyes, mouth, nose, width of face, etc.) and base my drawing around these marks.  I initially work from a b/w laserprint of my reference picture to make things easier and generally now mark the key positions using the method in this link northumbrianartist.deviantart.…, but without cutting my reference into strips.

I made the initial sketch very lightly with a rather blunt 6H pencil (on its side for drawing lines) as it is very important not to damage the surface of the paper.

For the initial shading I used a hard pencil on its side using circular shading and then blended with a tissue to smooth the already smooth texture of the Bristol board.  I then used a 0.3mm 2B mechanical pencil with Pentel Ain Stein leads, again using circular shading and blending to darken this initial shading, building up in layers.  I do much of my shading with this pencil as it is very versatile - the lead blends very well and by turning it to get a sharp edge, very fine lines indeed may be made.

The following photos show how I increased the depth of the shading on the skin using circular shading as I gradually added the darker tones in layers, using 4B, 6B and 8B as necessary.  I was increasing the shading on the face, around the cheeks and especially on the cheek on the right of the picture, using up to an 8B pencil, right up to the time I finished the picture.  Unlike some on DeviantArt, who use the grid method, I gradually build up tone over the picture as a whole rather than completing one area fully before moving on to a neighbouring one.

From the time that I started on the hair I was drawing directly from the computer screen as the definition and contrast of the laserprint was insufficient for more detailed work.  I worked from both colour and b/y photos.

For the hair I started with 5B, lightly, to establish the direction of the hair strands, followed by blending to give a base for further layers (photo 6). I then started darkening with a 5B, except on the braids, which were very dark, where I went straight in with 8B. Hair texture was given by repeated blending, lifting out with kneadable eraser, adding more pencil, of increasing softness in the darker areas, and repeating the drawing - blending - erasing cycle until I was satisfied.  I used the TomBow Mono ultra-fine eraser, trimmed with a craft knife, to erase fine highlights.

For the fleece, I started with a somewhat blunt 5B drawing overlapping ‘squiggles’, blending and repeating in layers, reducing the blending as I built up the texture, adding darker shadows for seams and folds using 6B and 8B pencils.  I lifted out highlights with a kneadable eraser.

I owe my thanks to  Yves Picq , the photographer, who has made his photo   Madagascar_0577a available for derivative works, licensed under   CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Here is the finished drawing Pencil portrait of a cheeky Madagascan girl by LateStarter63  and here are links to two more of my 'drawing processes' Pencil portrait of Julia - Drawing process by LateStarter63  Sweet Hot Pie Drawing Process by LateStarter63

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:iconblackieyt:
BlackieYT Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Oh my god ! Your drawings are amazing !! (Excuse me, for my bad english, please, but I'm not from Great Britain).
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, Simona.
Welcome to DeviantArt.  I hope that you get as much pleasure and inspiration here as I have done.  Regarding your English, there is absolutely nothing to apologise for - it is perfect apart from the lack of capitalisation of the G in God and the E in English!
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:iconsachinkmr57:
sachinkmr57 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow! I am definitely going to use the key position marking idea in my next sketches! I had no idea about this and the two layer method you have used. Thanks for sharing Clap 
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I often add many layers, not just two, building up tone and texture.
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:iconanizza19:
anizza19 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow! thank you for this! this is such a great help!
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am glad you think so.
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:iconanizza19:
anizza19 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
as always, i love ur work soo much..now i am starting to upload new portrait drawing too :)
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:iconevlena:
evlena Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for detailed process of drawing. Very useful information!:) (Smile) 
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, Elena; I am glad you think so.
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:iconevlena:
evlena Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It to you thanks!
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:iconrts007:
RTS007 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you for posting this, and the info on your method and drawing basis. Impressive.
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much.
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:iconmonikatom:
monikatom Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow. Thank you. Indeed very interesting. It seems that everybody has his own technique. I start with face, then I draw hair, at the end cloths. From top to bottom. First the line sketch, then shadowing. Greetings, Monika
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I suppose I generally do much the same as you, but do not complete any part until near the end - I have to work on the whole picture towards the end.  I just cannot see how some people seem able to fully finish a section of a drawing before moving on to the next - I would never be able to get the relative tones right!
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:iconmonikatom:
monikatom Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It is true. Getting the right tone is probably the biggest challenge.
And what about smudging? I my case it is still a problem.
For all, when working  for many hours.
That's why I draw from top towards bottom and try to avoid soft pencils.
And then how you fix the drawing at the end?
I am using a special spray, but it does not not fix 100%.
Greeting from Merano, Monika
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
In addition to what I said below, another thing that reduces my chances of smudging my drawing, as I noticed today as I was working, is that I draw no larger than A4.  I can often in the later stages of drawing, when I am working on a table by the computer rather than on the floor where I do the early stages of a drawing, bridge my hand over the picture while resting my forearm on the edge of the table.
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:iconmonikatom:
monikatom Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot for all  your precious hints. I will need them now.
I am working on a picture of twin sisters.
Both children have black hair and beautiful big black eyes so
I will have to use some soft pencil this time. It is a A3 format.
I will post it when is ready :)
ps
Yes, Merano is indeed a nice city. It is surrounded by the Alps.
Southtyrol is in general a great place  for making holiday if you like mountains.

Thank you again and have a good day, Monika
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I will watch you so that I do not miss it.  I hope it goes well!

My wife and I used to go to to the Austrian Tyrol every summer for about 12 years. 
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I do not find smudging to be much of a problem, probably because I rely heavily on blending.  I apply some, usually circular, shading and then blend with a tissue very frequently, which removes surface graphite.  I gradually build up tones by repeated shading and blending.  Also I always work with a sheet of photocopy paper under my hand to minimise any residual possibility of smudging.  I generally use the darkest, softest pencils only towards the end of the drawing and only right near the end do I apply unblended, or very lightly blended (brush or cotton buds), graphite, which would obviously be more prone to smudging.   This way I can use very soft pencils and get good contrast.  The very last thing I do generally is to touch up again the very, very, darkest areas with an 8B or 9B pencil.
As for fixing, I use a very cheap unscented hair-spray.  Probably not a good idea, but it seems to work and slightly increases contrast and reduces graphite shine.  It is still possible to erase using a Faber-Castell Perfection eraser pencil if I subsequently find something that needs slight alteration.  I keep my drawings in clear polypropylene sleeves or mounted behind glass, so they are not subject to abrasion, so should not smudge after I have finished them.
Merano looks a very nice place to live, but I suppose you get a lot of tourists.  My nearest town is Cambridge, which is full of tourists in the summer!
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:iconazifri:
Azifri Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for sharing this! I really enjoy your drawings, and it is really interesting to see how they are made :)
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, María.
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:iconcinitriqs:
CiNiTriQs Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice technique! patience and some thinking goes a long way
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you.
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:icondora-alis:
Dora-Alis Featured By Owner Edited Jul 4, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
maravilloso
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, Dora.
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:iconkenfordstubbs:
kenfordstubbs Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very nice !
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, Kenford.
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:iconstraingedays:
straingedays Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like your method of doing all the shade layers in one shot, many times I've concentrated to long on one detail and to compensate have to go darker on other features than the reference. ... How you built up the fingers then add the highlight on the knuckles and thumb really make it poke at you !! ... And I have to give you an A+ for bravery, starting with 5 & 8B for the hair, and those nose wrinkles :) Once again you've captured that glow & life from your reference. Shiny Emote  

And thanks for your mention of squiggles to do the fleece jumper, anytime I've drawn cloth in the past and it turns out to look looking like the reference, or material, I never write down or can remember the combination that made it.  Like going from thin cloth, to coarse wool of an old tweed suit.---Thanks Again.:TipOfTheHat: 
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
When you gave me the A+ for bravery I looked back at the photos and realised than in the sixth photo I had actually gone over all the hair, braids included, lightly with 5B and blended to give a base and establish the direction of the strands for building up the hair texture. From there on the braids I then went directly to 8B.
I will change my description to include this.
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:iconstraingedays:
straingedays Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well I'll still give you top-marks for honesty, and it's almost impossible to describe how bit of each detail was done. What you have written is enormously helpful, direct, and for me is easy to follow. Often I get so lost in technical talk.
Now I see in photo #1-5. has the light outline, #6 there is a blend and also shows the direction of all the hair lines, with darker points where the hair will be darkest by the finish. ... Then you made magic with 5B to 8B ... The Mars lumograph would be good, as the higher the "B" the wider the lead. :) Pencil  
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:iconlatestarter63:
LateStarter63 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Although I often use the 7B and 8B Lumograph for dark hair, in this drawing I used the 5B Lumograph then for the darker tones I used 6, 7, and 8B Faber Castell 9000 series, for no special reason, just for a change.
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