Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Drawing - Jack Nicholson's Eye

So as I've stated before, I am no self-taught artist. I have a teacher and while I haven't worked up to full portrait works just yet, I recently "passed" the final eye test. A rather intricate eye originating from the picture above.

My reference picture
This other picture is the reference my teacher provided me with. I added some guidelines to prepare for the actual drawing. When I was just practicing eyebrows this one was a tough one to do and I never got it down just right. This time I was much happier with the results.

My tools
So before I continue with the actual drawing, a little info on the tools I used. From left to right you will see a kneaded eraser, a cutter, a mechanical eraser, a blending stump, a couple 6B pencils, a pencil sharpener, tissue(for shading), and cotton.

Firstly, I add guidelines to help me find the main form. Some lines are so light that they should be added later when shading. But the most prominent lines and the outline of the eyebrow I sketch out lightly in pencil. I check, double check, and triple check with my reference picture to make sure the form is as close to perfect as I can get it.

This step can take longer than people would think. Unless you are very practiced at copying down a form perfectly, this step takes just as much time, work and patience as any other. If you fail here, it makes the rest of the process that much more difficult than it has to be.

One of my weaknesses when it comes to drawing is not making something dark enough. So when I start to shade I start at the darkest points and work my way out.

Some people start at one point and don't continue until they are satisfied that that section is finished. I work in layers.

More shading, added some eyelashes, and some wrinkles. On a technical note, you don't have to erase any of your guidelines. If they are drawn lightly they fade on their own as you continue to shade.

I procrastinated on the eyebrow on this one because I was really intimidated by it. I ended up focusing more on other details so in the end I think it was a good thing. Most of the softer lines were done with the blending stump and not the pencil.

The infamous eyebrow. The only thing missing is the single white hair you can see in the reference picture. I skipped over it but I think it is an important detail that I would try not to leave out of a completed portrait.

So this was the work I presented to my teacher and he just had a few tips for me to really complete it.

Reference picture with finished product
I darkened around the eye a bit more and elongated the eyelashes that were a little too short before. I smoothed out some lines and added slightly more detail. When we were both satisfied I added my signature!

And there you have it. My latest eye! I am quite proud of this one. Now I am on to noses which are a challenge all their own.

If you are interested in seeing progress pictures of my work as they happen you can follow me on Instagram, Tumblr and/or Twitter.

And as always, if you have any questions, comments, critiques or suggestions please leave them in the comment section below. I will answer them!

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