It's time for a moment of truth. This is actually my second attempt at making this drawing.There were some aspects of the first drawing that I wasn't happy with and the only way I could improve it was to scrap the whole thing and start over.
I'm doing this entire drawing with a set of Faber-Castell graphite pencils, only bringing in carbon pencils for the darkest parts. I sketched my initial outline using a 2h pencil. I spent a lot of time and had to do a lot of erasures just to get the background right. It finally worked when I made a set of slanted vertical lines that got farther apart going to the right-hand side and another set of horizontal slanted lines, unevenly spaced, with the spaces getting smaller going up. I then drew square shapes in every other area, making them get smaller as I went up the page.
I drew the girl in over the background, erasing the it from the parts where she was.
The first thing I did after the initial outline was all drawn, was use a 2b and a 4b to go over the pattern in the squares on the left hand side.
Then I used a 7b and an 8b for the patterns on the right-hand side. The pattern always gets darker going up.
I used a 7b and an 8b to fill in the backgrounds of the decorations on the left hand side of the floor.
I used a 4b and a 5b for decorations on the right-hand side.
I used a 4b and a 5b for the areas between the decorations on the left-hand side.
I used a 2b and a 4b for the areas between the decorations on the right-hand side.
For the left-hand side of the carpet, I used a 5b and 6b to go over the areas between the decorations, being careful to let the color underneath show through. Again, the shades get darker going up.
For the right-hand side I used the shades 3b and 4b for the same areas.
I shading her hair using a combination of 2b, 4b, and 8b, being careful to follow the shapes I saw in my reference photo. I was not trying to draw in individual strands of hair, but rather to suggest the clumps that were there. After I was finished, I decided the 8b wasn't dark enough, so I went over it with a 2b carbon pencil and I went over the 4b with a 5b.
I rimmed her eyes with 8b and used shades of 5b for around the lids and the iris, 2b, for the corneas and a 4b carbon pencil for her pupils.
I used a 5b down the left-hand side of her nose and a 3b down the right-hand side, curving the shadow onto the bridge. I used a 2b to make light shadow lines going accross the bridge and used a 3b to fill in the majority of it leaving only a small white space where the light was hitting. I used a 4b for the outside edge. I also lightened my 3b marks with a kneaded eraser and did my best to make them follow the actual shape of the nose.
I first filled in her mouth a 2h and went over most of it with a 3b, leaving only a small sliver of the 2h showing. I used 6b to rim around the bottom of both lips. I later changed my mind decided to use a 2b for the highlight and went over the 3b I'd drawn with 4b.
On her face I used a combination of 2b, 3b, 4b, and 5b. I used a 2b on her cheeks, making half moon shapes, being careful to leave some white showing. I used a 4b around her right jawline and to define her left cheekbone. I used a 5b around the edge of her bottom lip, which gave her mouth a more three dimensional look.
i used a combination of 3b and 5b for the shadows on the edges of her right arm. Then I filled in her entire arm using a 2b, but I decided it needed to be really light, so I used a 2h instead. I used this same 2h pencil later to fill in her chest and used a 3b to make small shadow marks there. I used my kneaded eraser to lighten up a lot of the shadow marks. I also used my tombow mono eraser to bring back some of the white of the paper where it should be. I filled in her left arm entirely with a 2h pencil and blended it with a blending stump to make it smooth. I used 2b, 3b 4b, 5b, and 6b where they were appropriate, going from light to dark. This time I filled in all areas with my pencil accept for the parts that were going to be lighter than the shade I was using at the time. For example, when using my 2b, I put all over the arm, except for the parts where I still wanted the 2h to show, then put the 3b all over except where I wanted either the 2h or the 2b to show, and so forth. This is a change from the way I normally do things as I'd always just put a shade where I wanted it to be an nowhere else. I liked the results I got with this approach, though. As always, I was careful to follow the shapes I saw in my reference photo.
I filled in the top part of her dress using a 4b Wolff's carbon pencil, For the body of the dress I used my 8b. So far I'd been using only Faber-Castell 9000 pencils for this piece, with the exception of the occassional carbon pencil, but for the lighter shading on the dress, I decided to use my 9b woodless Progresso pencil from Koh-1-Noor. I used both a 2b and 4b carbon pencil for the darker shading within the 9b. I erased out some of the lighter areas with a kneaded eraser and filled them back in with a 6b. I also used a 2b to fill in the light area of her sash, being careful to leave small sideways "vs" of the paper showing.
I filled in both of her legs with a 2h pencil. I shaded down the sides of both legs with a 2b, being careful to leave some of the 2h showing for a highlight. 3b was used in touches on the 2b on both thighs and on her right calf. I used 4b for the areas where her thighs met her calves. Finally I used a tombow mono eraser to bring back some of the white of the paper for the brightest highlights. I used a 4b carbon pencil for the straps of her sandal.
Aaaand, the finished piece!
Now, I would like to talk about why I decided to draw this in the first place. The moment I saw the photo I used to make this drawing, I was drawn to the girl's slightly guilty expression. It looked to me like she had been caught doing something she shouldn't or maybe she was just being playful. In short, I thought the picture told an interesting story. I also thought the way she was looking up at the camera would give me a good challenge.
Painter of portraits and wildlife