Alex Portrait Sketch Walkthrough

I wanted to do another portrait sketch, but I didn't want to draw another of me since I drew a page of me recently (will be posted soon!). So I decided to draw Alex! :D I had him pose for me, telling him to do whatever he wanted, haha. Surprise, he wanted to look all serious xD

1 - I initially started this sketch as I do any sketching, with the book flat down on the table. I did my best to keep loose, not aiming for perfect realism, but a more stylized version. (The end result ended up not being that, just looks like a sad attempt at realism LOL OOPS oh well)

Blocking in the basic shapes, mapping out where he'll be placed on the paper. Sorry it's so hard to see, I sketch really light, and it's hard to capture photos at night D: (I normally use sunlight when I can!)

2 - Still flat on the table, I got a little brave too early and filled in some features and defined the edges of his face. ("Brave too early" as in going straight for details instead of working on getting the proportions right. Often ends up having things looking more inaccurate later on...which this did XD)

After I took this picture, I realized quite a bit was off, and that I had the usually problem of stretching out the anatomy since I was drawing at an angle. I went and grabbed my mini easel and propped my sketchbook on that, then finished this sketch from there.

3 - I erased quite a bit and went back in again. This time I held the pencil like I was drafting, instead of writing, so it was held by my thumb and fingers, but was under my palm, instead of resting between my thumb and index finger. (I recommend this tutorial to see what I mean!)

I kept details pretty large and scribbly, figuring that I'd go in later on to refine it with some type of line work.

4 - Went with pen instead of pencil, and used my Micron 03 black to outline. (03 just because it was the closest, haha.) I was a bit more careful with my lines and tried to stay closer to the reference photo for the details. I let things be scratchy and shakey since I wanted a more textured and looser look. I wanted this to be sketchy and a bit rugged.

5 - Added his facial hair, pupils, and hatching in the nostrils and ear.

6 - I started shading with my pencil on his skin. (I didn't want to use the pen, thinking it'd clash with the facial hair and look awkward. For the way I drew it, I just didn't think it'd look good.) It's light, so kind of hard to see, but I generally followed the shadows that were on the reference photo. I used a hatching style, keeping the lines close together to be more even, fill in more space, and have a more fluid coat of shadow.

I also used my Tombow N95 marker on his suit jacket. (I was honestly making up these tool choices on the spot LOL)

7 - I smooth some of the graphite with my finger (only do that with art you don't care about, please use things like tissues or tortillons to blend artwork you want to look good!) and added a few touches of the grey marker to emphasize some shadows. (And his balding hair line, I'm sorry Alex. I love you XD)

Using my 03 pen, I used hatching lines to portray that his shirt was darker. I was a bit nervous about this part, since the area was so large, but meh, it's a sketch, and I'd been pulling stuff out my ass this whole time on this one, so I went for it. I'm glad I did! 

I used the Tombow marker to add in shading on the shirt which worked out really well! Then added the halo-ish shadow around his face to help him stand out and balance out the darker bits of his clothing with the lighter bits of his face. I didn't go all the way around him, thinking it'd be cool to leave an empty spot around where he was looking.

And ba-bam! Done! This turned out more fun than I thought and makes me wanna try doing more portraits mixing these three tools. I didn't get the end result I wanted, but it was worth doing. Gave me ideas for the future :D

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