home > drawing board > step-by-step pencil drawing: portrait 2

Portrait 2

step-by-step charcoal and graphite pencil drawing by faith te


Click on an image for a larger version.

Medium: Charcoal and Graphite Pencil
Paper: Canson Grain Paper
Size: 25 36 cm (10" 14")


Stage 1

The outline on Canson Grain Paper.

I try to make the outline as accurately and detailed as I can at this early stage so that I can concentrate more on tones, shadows, and highlights later on instead of the placement of features.

I am using the smoother side of Canson paper.
Portrait 2 - 1 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing
Stage 2

I make my own charcoal powder when I sharpen charcoal pencils and then I use brushes to apply the powder to my drawings.

Here, I've used a small, firm painting brush to apply charcoal powder to the skin. With this brush, I was able to achieve a slightly textured effect for the skin.

Graphite pencils were used for the eyes and the eyebrows.
Portrait 2 - 2 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing
Stage 3

Here, I worked on the lips.

I used a 0.5 mm 2B mechanical pencil to cover the lips with graphite. Then, with the same painting brush used earlier, I blended the graphite.

After which, I added some highlights using a kneaded eraser. Then I blended once again with the brush to produce gradual transitions of tone. This process is repeated a few times to achieve a realistic effect with random lights and darks.
Portrait 2 - 3 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing
Stage 4

Charcoal powder is applied to her neck and ear using the brush I used before and a soft tortillon for the dark areas.

A tortillon is a drawing tool used for blending and it is made simply by rolling up a piece of paper. It is somewhat more loosely rolled than a blending stump.

Using another brush, I applied light layers of graphite powder to the (viewer's) left part of her veil.
Portrait 2 - 4 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing
Stage 5

Some of the shadows were darkened.

Also, I drew her teeth using the mechanical pencil and blended it with the paint brush.

I started to work on the left part of her clothes using the same method I used on her veil.
Portrait 2 - 5 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing
Stage 6

Worked on her left ear and earring using charcoal powder, the paint brush and the tortillon.

The major locks of her hair have been more clearly defined using the mechanical pencil.
Portrait 2 - 6 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing
Stage 7

Concentrating on her hair in this stage, an 8B wooden pencil and the 2B mechanical pencil were used to draw the darker parts, following the direction of her hair in the reference photograph.

Graphite pencils in the H grades were used to draw some of the lighter locks of hair.
Portrait 2 - 7 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing
Stage 8

More work on the hair. The shadows were further darkened and more of the middle tones were added.

I have also finished drawing the rest of the clothes and veil.
Portrait 2 - 8 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing
Stage 9: Finished

After completing her hair, smoothening some of the skin tones and a few corrections, the portrait is finished.

I hope you have enjoyed the step-by-step demonstration of this portrait. Thank you for reading.
Portrait 2 - Finished - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing

Step-by-Step Pencil Drawing Summary

Portrait 2 - 1 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing Portrait 2 - 2 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing Portrait 2 - 3 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing Portrait 2 - 4 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing Portrait 2 - 5 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing Portrait 2 - 6 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing Portrait 2 - 7 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing Portrait 2 - 8 - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing Portrait 2 - Finished - Charcoal and Graphite Pencil Drawing