Recently, I have been attending a weekly figure drawing workshop. While the poses are focused on traditional figure drawing, I always go to practice on my portraiture drawing skills. In-between sessions, I take photographs of my progress. Thought I would share my most recent, and favorite, drawing sesh. In total, this was a 1.5 hour study.
Hope you enjoy!
I usually block in the large shadow values/shapes first. It helps me create a foundation for the head shape and where to layout my facial features.
Once I have the basic positive and negative shapes established, I then focus on where the individual features of the face align based on shape and value. I also make sure they are proportional to the model, and not generically placed.
During this stage, I am also looking at the cast/drop shadow shapes, as well as the reflected/bounced light. I want to make sure I have a clear understand of how the light source is building the structure and form of the model's head.
After doing some editing, and redrawing of values and features, I allow myself to build a range of values. This helps me create more structure and form, without have to rely on outlines and contours.
Throughout the entire process I am constantly going back-and-forth from one area of the head to another. This helps me render the portrait as a whole, instead of individual parts. By doing this, I feel it keeps the portrait as a complete study, instead of having some parts rendered while leaving others unfinished.
Finally, after building a range of values I apply cross-hatching to give my illustration more visual texture and a variety of tone. I then allow myself to include other elements of the model, so as not to have a floating head in the middle of my stage.