Drawing Brooke – Day 2


Besides looking at angles, line directions, and measurements, I look for shapes in the subject.  I look for triangles, circles, rectangles and even cones, spheres, etc.  In this case I found triangle relationships between the tops of the ears and the chin, the bridge of the nose and the chin, the pupils, the nose, and the chin.  I also see a cone in the nose.  I say cone, because it is a 3-dimensional shape and the nose is easily thought of as a 3-dimensional shape.  I’m a novice at Illustrator, however, so didn’t take the time to learn how to make the cone or the sphere for use here.  It’s on my list of things to figure out.

When my sketch is complete, I can begin to add detail.  I must say that, having the sketch as accurate as it is after doing the measurements and comparisons, I feel confident in adding shading and values.  As I described in the previous post I’m ready to MODEL this face.  I’m ready to make it look three dimensional by the use of shadows and highlights.


I’m starting with one of the eyes.  My reason – because I can.  I probably should have started high up on the left side of the drawing so that, as I work, I wouldn’t be rubbing my arm or hand across the graphite or charcoal.  I didn’t do that.  I wanted to start with an eye.  I at least chose the left eye.  I’m putting a piece of paper over areas to the right of where I’m working so I don’t smudge my lines or finished areas.

As I begin to add detail with shading my mind gets lost in the drawing and I no longer think of my drawing as a person.  I see it as shapes and edges, lights and darks.  I could be drawing a flower or a tape measure or a vase for all I know.  I have to pull back mentally to once again see that I’m working on an eye.

I started out with a General Brand 2H Graphite pencil for the lightest areas, but then switched to a General Brand Primo HB charcoal pencil.  For really dark areas, I used a General Brand Primo 3B charcoal pencil.  You don’t want to press very hard with a graphite pencil because it gives you a shiny, waxy looking bloom.  When the finished drawing is held up, light will reflect on different areas with more or less shine.  For areas that you want to have darker, use a charcoal pencil and clean up the edges with a graphite pencil.


As I’ve worked this evening, I spread out away from the eye.


I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the eyebrows.  The hairs are very white, but so close together that they’re difficult to draw individually.  I decided to draw in some of the white hairs and to come back later and add some slightly less than white ones in between the white ones.  If that doesn’t turn out the way I like, I’ll try painting some white Gouache over some of the hairs.  This would be the last step in the drawing.  I want to have all of my values laid out so I can add white to give the greatest value contrast.

6 comments on “Drawing Brooke – Day 2

  1. I love the explanation you gave of how to deal with the “shapes and edges, lights and darks”. That is probably where I run into so much trouble when I try to sketch faces – I find it difficult to leave alone the knowledge that it IS a face, that it IS an eye, and that eyes are supposed to look so and so.

    That book I just bought is all about leaving that knowledge behind though, so hopefully between your great explanations and the rest of the book I have to read, I’ll get it figured out soon enough 🙂 I can’t wait to be able to draw a portrait and have it not only look like the person I’m drawing, but also be expressive and interesting!

    • You hit the nail right on the head – expressive and interesting. You’re so right. That’s a great point. It’s about more than just capturing the likeness of a person. That shouldn’t be the end all, be all. It’s about capturing the spirit of the person, the personality that’s unseen as well as seen. Thank you so much for what you said.

    • I have a challenge for you. Copy the photo I used in my JUST ONE MORE post. Bring it into Photoshop and use the line tool to make some lines on it. See what you can find. Then post it on your site and let me know you have so I can take a look. I’d love to see what lines you find.

  2. Thank you.

    I learned so much from the hang out. Oh, my! It was fabulous. It’s going to save me so much time. We’re in the early phases of writing the first in a series of children’s books. It’s been really exciting. We’ve talked though all of the pages, but got hung up on the storyboard. We tried breaking it up so each of us does some of it, but we’ve been drawing out each page separately and in great detail. Seeing the way you all do your storyboards eases a lot of the burden from our shoulders. They don’t have to be so detailed and so large. They’re quickly done. Your guidance on what to do from there is helpful, too. I can hardly wait to get started. I have a meeting with the author in August and now I may be able to have a completed storyboard to take him.

    Mary’s words on scanning were very helpful as well. I took seven pages of notes on everything you all said. It’s very liberating to get help and advice on some of this stuff, because it’s our first time. We still have a million questions, but they’re things we have to research about publishers and queries and such.

    I’m feeling very much inspired and excited about going forward.

    Thank you!!!

  3. Great post Shelley, thanks for sharing your process. We also appreciate you dropping by the hang out. I’m sorry if we didn’t answer all the questions, but it was difficult to keep up and talk at the same time so I know many of them slipped by. Like I said, I don’t multi-task very well. 🙂

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