(click on image to enlarge)
Graphite on Bristol smooth
I learned a lot from drawing Nathan and I’m glad that I stuck with this portrait to its completion. What I have learned is that there’s a fine line between drawing a button (nose) Benjamin and a Benjamin Button. Drawing this little guy took four attempts and to be honest I didn’t think I would ever get him drawn right. When rendering portraits I do not like any of the paper showing through on a face. And though it may seem funny, I draw as though I am applying make up. It just makes it easier for me to break down the shading elements. The only white (color of the paper) I have is the white of the eyes. I really don’t know how I would draw a man considering the few portraits that I completed were women, but I know this does not work for children, because it ages them too much. In my earlier attempts, I had an elderly man’s head sitting on top of a toddler’s body. GROSS! So, I didn’t know what to do…I knew that I couldn’t shade a whole lot, but I still felt that not filling in the space with graphite was just wrong because unless you were a zombie or a vampire a person’s face is not stark white. So, after much thought I shaded the entire face in a fine layer of graphite and used a tissue to wipe the graphite off the paper leaving a slight stain. Then, I used an old blending tortillian to do the rest of the shading on the face. Now he has a more youthful appearance. That’s what I love about drawing…it is never what you expect, you always find little surprises and you’re never bored.