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Pencil portrait of a young girl
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© 2013 - 2019 LateStarter63
Graphite pencil drawing of a young girl on A4 Winsor & Newton Extra Smooth Surface Bristol Board.
Equipment:  Various pencils from 5H to 8B, (Faber Castell, Mars Lumograph and some simply named 'Masters'); Blending by a small paper stump and paper tissues; Erasing / lifting off graphite by kneadable eraser and a sharpened electric eraser. A knitting needle was used to make lines in the paper to help with the negative space drawing of the hair at the top right of the picture.
Time taken - I really have no idea as it was done in many, often very short, sessions over a period of a week.

I extend my sincere thanks to Tracie76Stock for making the delightful photograph Eyes of Blue that I used as a reference for this drawing available for use as free stock.
Edit 2017:  th reference photo that I used has been removed as free stock by the owner due to misuse of her stock, but the photo can still be seen on her Flickr account
Portrait, but now with All Rights Reserved.
 
I chose to make this drawing not only because the reference photo is so lovely (hence its great popularity as a drawing reference) but also because I knew that the hair on the right of the picture would be a significant challenge.

Edited 5 October 2014:  Photo replaced by one having better definition.  This one shows my, not too successful, attempt at the fine downy hair on her forehead.  The previous photo was too blurred to show this.

I have made more drawings of girl children  Pencil portrait of Avery by LateStarter63  ;  Pencil portrait of Joan with a bow in her hair by LateStarter63  and  Pencil portrait of Anastasiya by LateStarter63
Image size
2233x3212px 1.71 MB
IMAGE DETAILS
Make
Panasonic
Model
DMC-FS10
Shutter Speed
10/300 second
Aperture
F/2.8
Focal Length
5 mm
ISO Speed
100
Date Taken
Sep 22, 2014, 11:15:59 AM
Software
GIMP 2.8.14
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Comments (209)
KosmoKOYOTE's avatar
KosmoKOYOTE|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Upon first glance I took this to be a photograph!
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LateStarter63's avatar
LateStarter63|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, Jacob, and thank you too for adding this to your favourites.
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KosmoKOYOTE's avatar
KosmoKOYOTE|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!:) (Smile) 
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https-peachy's avatar
Your pencil drawings are absolutely stunning! 
I'm only 14, but I have big dreams to be good at different art styles and realism would definitely be one of them! Do you possibly have any advice when it comes to realism? Other than practice, of course!
Reply  ·  
LateStarter63's avatar
LateStarter63|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, Mimi, and thank you too for adding this drawing to your favourites.
When I started drawing I used to sketch freehand from mostly small photos from the newspaper.  I had no Internet, nor any digital camera to allow me to enlarge the reference photos.  I used to use the exposed lead of a pencil to help me judge proportions.  This was excellent practice, making a drawing most days.  I improved gradually from shaky beginnings with only my own work to judge my progress.  When I got the Internet and saw what others achieved with pencils I was inspired to improve further.  Had I seen this at the start I think that I would have said to myself that I could never achieve such a level and would have given up.  As it was I saw how I had improved over a couple of years on my own so could see that with further practice (there's that word!) I might match the ability of others that I saw.
Practice is indispensable but technique is another thing that is most important.  I always work from a b/w print (from a laser printer) of my reference that is the same size as my drawing.  I used to judge proportions using a finger on a pencil and transfer the measurements to he paper for my initial sketch.  The last time I did this was for the earliest drawing in my main gallery Pencil portrait of Zhang Ziyi as Moon .  As I was finishing this I looked at it from across the room and noticed that her left eye was too high!  Working close to the picture I had not noticed this.  I was able to correct this, losing the erased lines of the eye in the shadow, but it taught me a lesson - for realism it is essential to get the initial sketch absolutely right before you start shading as it is the shading that really takes up the time and it will be wasted if the sketch is inaccurate.
Since that time I have always marked key positions, such as corners of eyes, mouth, width of face, etc. by some means or other.  For some time now I have been using a modified version of the THE SLIP AND SLIDE METHOD with intro to Embossing,  At first I was somewhat uncomfortable with this, feeling that I was 'cheating', but if I want true realism I must do it.
I use circular shading with soft tissue blending for skin tone, building up in layers.  A kneadable eraser is essential for lifting out highlights.  I could go on with tools and techniques for ages!  My Drawing Process folder might furnish some tips.  The materials I used are given in the description of deviations themselves (not the processes).
I have written all this, but I could have given you most of the information by referring you to my first Journal :I have been on DeviantART for one year.

Happy drawing!
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https-peachy's avatar
Thank you for the reply and wonderful advice and help!
I will certainly look into these techniques and try to practice more when it comes to realism.. primarily since I do have a mostly comic styled art style. (I've also been working into the disney art style, but it would seem realism and it's basics are actually very important when it comes to mastering his style, because of the things I've attempted, so seriously, thanks for the help!)
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hansgphotography's avatar
hansgphotography|Hobbyist Photographer
Wow This is beautiful work, magical.
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LateStarter63's avatar
LateStarter63|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks again, Hans, and for adding this too to your faves.
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Blueminatrix's avatar
Your work is absolutely amazing! I love it. <3  It is nice to see people, who can draw like this! You are my role model :)
Reply  ·  
LateStarter63's avatar
LateStarter63|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, Cosima, and thanks too for adding this and three more of my drawings to your favourites.
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Blueminatrix's avatar
Such a great work should be saved on my profile as one (or more) of my favorites ! 
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Zorrienne's avatar
Zorrienne|Student Traditional Artist
This is beautiful :)
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LateStarter63's avatar
LateStarter63|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much.  I owe everything to the beautiful reference photo.
Reply  ·  
Ronsware's avatar
Ronsware|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
amazing , great work :)
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LateStarter63's avatar
LateStarter63|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, Ron, and thanks for the faves.
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Flightfox55's avatar
Very realistic :3
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LateStarter63's avatar
LateStarter63|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, Jessica, and thank you very much too for the 'Watch'.
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mcgrath800's avatar
mcgrath800|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
beautifully done!!
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LateStarter63's avatar
LateStarter63|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, Eddie, and thanks too for adding this to your favourites.
Reply  ·  
mcgrath800's avatar
mcgrath800|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
you're most welcome, just one of many fabulous drawings you have here, most impressive.
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LateStarter63's avatar
LateStarter63|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks again.
Reply  ·  
tompok76's avatar
tompok76|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome, thank you for this show. And thank you for very detailed description of used materials. Its amazing to know a progress of this work too... This picture has its story. Thank you. It amazing work showing a lot of experience.
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LateStarter63's avatar
LateStarter63|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, Tomas.  This was an early success of mine, having been done at a time when my technique had developed to a level where it could do some justice to the reference photo.
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