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Paul-Shanghai's avatar

Portrait of a Child

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I fell in love with this photograph [link] and had to try and draw it that very instant - of course it took me much longer than than that - probably around 50-60 hours to finish this one.  One of the reasons for the length of time, was the fact that its big - around 60cm by 50 cm the largest portrait i have undertaken, and probably the last portrait this size for a while also!! Oh and yes I did draw that large area of black to the left - nightmare!!

The reference is from a wonderful photogrpher called simply 'Robert' and you can see more of his work here [link] he is awesome, but please ask for permission before using his work - it isnt stock! 

Materials - large smooth locally sourced unbranded paper, my trusty 4B mechanical pencil, 8B Faber Castell for the dark areas, HB and 4H Faber-Castell pencils, blending stumps and buckets of eraser :)

I have managed to take dozens of photographs at each stage of the drawing, and eventually I will get around to creating a short animation to show how it was created - I will keep you posted :)

Thanks for looking - hope you like it as much as I do :)


As Promised you can find a short animation of how I drew 'Portrait of a child' here (just click the thumbnail below :))

Image details
Image size
3560x2735px 2.41 MB
Shutter Speed
10/400 second
Focal Length
24 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
May 18, 2013, 9:39:09 AM
© 2013 - 2021 Paul-Shanghai
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LittleWolf-Dreamer's avatar
This is truly amazing! The eyes are just so beautiful. Stunning work. :heart:   
Paul-Shanghai's avatar
Glad you like it - it is one of my personal faves also :)
LittleWolf-Dreamer's avatar
:nod: Very much so, you are such very talented artist. :heart: 

(Sorry for the late response, I've been away.)
tbonematrix's avatar
Unbelievable!!! So realistic!!!
Paul-Shanghai's avatar
Glad you like it :)
melissasantos1's avatar
PMucks's avatar
Your beautiful work has been showcased in this week's journal feature "Children in Art"! [link] :)
Paul-Shanghai's avatar
Thanks - appreciate the feature :)
Carryn's avatar
Paul, this is amazing. I loved looking over the original and yours and looking for the differences. You did a good job of creating the same thing while still "cleaning up" the photo. I love her hand and of course her eyes. Great work.
Paul-Shanghai's avatar
I love this portrait, and i wanted to draw it as soon as i first saw it. I dont really go for hyper realism, i just want my drawings to capture the essence of a photograph. Glad you liked this one and felt it necessary to comment - really appreciate it :)
Carryn's avatar
You're welcome.
PhotonLights's avatar
I think my fav part of this is the hand. It's excellent :) The whole portrait is fantastic, great work Paul!
Paul-Shanghai's avatar
Thanks Georgia, I'm really happy with how this one came out - my favourite bit is the dress, it was such a contrast with the rest of the drawing, thanks for commenting as always :)
Wolf-Smith's avatar

Those eyes are simply alive. I love how you've made her hair recede into the perfectly uniform background, that one touch gives the picture so much depth.

Paul-Shanghai's avatar
Thanks for to noticing those small details, I am always drawn to a picture through the eyesight and this was no exception, I also loved the delicate dress - such a contrast with the harsh black and white.
Glad you liked this one :)
DreamWeaver222's avatar
Paul, This is an amazing drawing. The detail and realism is astounding especially the highlights and reflections in the eyes.
The textures and tonal values of the skin are so beautifully done. You feel like you could reach out and just touch this child. The expression on the face touches the very soul and heart of the viewer.

Thank you for submitting this wonderful portrait to the Award Central's art show competition. It has been moved from our submission gallery to the competition gallery 1 for the first competition in June. (winners will be posted June 15th on the group's home page.

Tricia :)
Paul-Shanghai's avatar
Thank you Tricia - I really appreciate all of the kind words, and the fact that you have taken the time to comment in such a detailed and meaningful way.

Looking forward to entering more work over the coming months - thanks again :)
DreamWeaver222's avatar
your very welcome Paul. You are an extraordinary and very gifted artist.

You capture so much of the personality and emotions of your subjects in your work. I'm looking forward to seeing more additions of your work to your DA gallery.

Tricia :)
Paul-Shanghai's avatar
You are too kind - but I like it :D

Thanks for all your thoughtful comments :)
DreamWeaver222's avatar
Your very welcome Paul.

I would like you to know that all the comments I've made on your work are from the heart. You have a great talent for portraying and projecting strong emotional impact in your artwork. :)
ViZyN's avatar
As usual, I love your eyes. So striking.
Paul-Shanghai's avatar
Thanks - one of my favourite portraits :)
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