Graphite Portrait - Step by Step

Recently I completed a graphite portrait and wanted to share with the you the step by step process in a video demonstration.  Most of the videos on this site are short and explore the basic techniques involved in a specific medium or a particular art technique. This portrait took me a total of 15 hours, so it was not practical to record the entire process on video. Instead, I took snap shots of the process as I worked, and in the following video, I explain the steps and thought process behind the drawing.

The featured video chronicles the process of completing the drawing.

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In this drawing, I used a regular "HB" pencil and a "4B" pencil on cold press illustration board.  I began by choosing my reference photo and edited it in Photoshop by making some of the background areas darker.  I did this because I wanted to increase the contrast and make the image more dramatic.  Here's a look at the finished drawing...

Graphite Portrait

I experimented with a new technique in this drawing as well.  I have always chosen not to blend a graphite drawing with a blending stump.  I guess this is just a personal choice.  With this drawing, however, it became clear to me that using my typical technique would not translate as skin texture. I experimented with several techniques and arrived at using a vinyl eraser to burnish light layers of graphite to create accurate skin texture.  The actual tool I used is called an "erasil", which is comprised of a vinyl eraser material encased in a pencil.

Graphite Drawing Course

Pencil Drawing: The Guide to Graphite

Master the medium of graphite. Learn how to create incredible pencil drawings using a variety of techniques while studying a variety of subjects.

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