How to draw realistic graphite portraits from pictures

Kate Beckinsale graphite portrait

Art work I've done within these tools mention. tools: erase stick, brushes, Qtips, rubber eraser. mechanical pencil mm3, mm5, mm7 and some original derwent pencils. lead grades from h6 to b9 50 hours  "patient is the key to any great artworks"
Art work I've done within these tools mention. tools: erase stick, brushes, Qtips, rubber eraser. mechanical pencil mm3, mm5, mm7 and some original derwent pencils. lead grades from h6 to b9 50 hours "patient is the key to any great artworks" | Source

Basic tools to draw realistic graphite portraits

This is not aimed for an advance guide but only the basic fundamental of a realistic portrait drawing.

Tools I've used

H.J Domed Dry Stipple brushes, rubber erasers, eraser stick tuff stuff, Qtips, tissue but I don't use that but might be something to try.

The rubber eraser is an adjustable at any size, even as pointy as you want.Used that for adjusting the shading on the cheeks, nose, the forehead and the chin.Its very useful for lighting in the eye's and lips, specially when there's really small points of light.If at some point this rubber eraser is not working for you, use the eraser stick tuff stuff.This eraser stick tuff stuff

You can sharpen it in a pointy shape by erasing it on a blank paper like a pencil sharpener .Once this is done.Use that to make the white strip of blond/white hair or use it for small dots of light.

The pencil grade from H6 to B8.

Lets try to put this basic....Generally use H2 for lighter shades, B2 for mid tones and B8 for darkest part of the drawing.3 pencil can do a good average drawing.You need also mechanical pencil from 0.3 mm , 0.5, 0.7.

0.3 with HB or B if you like, is use for the thinner lines and small details and chopping the light inside the eye's pupil to make things sharper.Also sharping the outer outline of light.

0.5 with a grade H is use for adjusting shading and if the 0.3 mm doesn't work for the things you want. 0.5 can help

0.7 mm with H4 is used for adjusting lighter shades.Its also used for smudging the darker graphite shades so that the white spot between the graphite and paper is filled but you can use 0.3mm or 0.5 mm if the 0.7 mm is not working for you.

even if you use Qtips or brushes or tissues, they leave also some white "pores" and they don't fill all the "pores".Blend after the basic shading is drawn and then readjust the shading with the pencils.Every time you blend the shading,it creates different shades spot and patches.This needs to be adjusted with the pencils so that it become a smooth gradient shade.

Getting the basic outline of your portrait drawing

The grid method plus rulers to make things much more accurate.You can also buy transparent plastic grid paper already made and ready to use.Put the grid paper on your drawing and one on your reference picture.You can also draw the grid if you wish with a very light pencil (h6) on the drawing and picture.

You can also do, copy the outline directly from the ref picture(same size reference as the drawing size)then draw only the shades if your looking to just exercise and practice shading tones.By doing so, eventually you'll understand how the face works and how it should feel right.

Anything using the grid can be drawn bigger.The only thing you will have to do is to follow the respective size of the grid.

Like in the following video...

Basic understanding of the grid

The grid method

conclusion

all the basic tools and guides should be enough to get you started.

being patient with everything is the key.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask.I will be glad to answer any of your questions.

Graphite Artworks By Me

grade H4 to 9B(mechanical and regular pencils) eraser stick Q-tips and smooth brushes
grade H4 to 9B(mechanical and regular pencils) eraser stick Q-tips and smooth brushes | Source
same tools as always but grades are between H6 to B9 and 40+ hours this piece is the closest thing from a picture that I've done.It might have taken me a lot of time but Its almost equal to the reference picture!
same tools as always but grades are between H6 to B9 and 40+ hours this piece is the closest thing from a picture that I've done.It might have taken me a lot of time but Its almost equal to the reference picture! | Source
h6 h4 f hb b6 b8 b9,q-tip\brushes, eraser stick, rubber eraser
h6 h4 f hb b6 b8 b9,q-tip\brushes, eraser stick, rubber eraser | Source

Comments 4 comments

tom 4 years ago

look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgWL_b7HL2s

picture to portrait

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a boy 4 years ago

i think the perfect picture is the first girl


The Unlearner profile image

The Unlearner 3 years ago from Isle of Wight UK

Love this hub, I have wanted to get back into drawing for sometime now, so thanks you for the inspiration.


This one 3 years ago

They are amazing.

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