When I saw the Father’s day Facebook post done by my friend Chris Curth commemorating his dad who would have been 100 years old in 2017, I knew I had to do his portrait! The photo was so striking and conveyed such character I wanted to know more about him. I asked Chris if I could have permission to do a pencil drawing of his dad for my second assignment in a drawing class I was taking online. He gladly agreed and I created this graphite painting/drawing using Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils, General’s Powdered Graphite, paint brushes, several different erasers and blending tools on Strathmore 400 Bristol Vellum paper. Here is a 2 minute YouTube speed video of the drawing:
If you would like to know more about Hank Curth, here is a short bio on his work. Thanks Chris for letting me do this for you and your family! I am planning to make several limited edition prints for family members.
After doing drawings and paintings for over 40 years, I sometimes wish I could remember how I did something that I find in my archive art bin! Sometimes it is to see if I can avoid what is a really bad effort and sometimes it’s because I really like what I drew or painted. Often I have no recollection of the steps I took to create the art! Anyway, with my current drawings I am really enjoying doing these blog posts and work-in-progress videos on my YouTube Channel so I can look back and remember what steps I took to complete a drawing. This is a drawing I did of my granddaughter Ava for her room. She is SUCH a sweetheart and the photo really captures her. As you can see on my last post of the portrait of Hurley, I have recently taken a course by Darrell Tank at fivepencilmethod.com in which he teaches realistic graphite pencil drawing using only five pencils – 4H, 2H, HB, 2B and 4B. It is a great course and I highly recommend it if you want to learn a very systematic and consistent approach to your drawing. While this drawing is by no means the best representation of his course or methods, I am pleased that it captured Ava so “gracefully!” The 2 1/2 minute speed drawing below represents about 7 – 8 hours of drawing time.
I hope this process is helpful to you. Here is the time-lapse video of the drawing.
Here roughly are are the steps I took that you’ll see in the video ( the layout method by Darrell Tank is different and quite accurate and doesn’t rely on step 1) – links to the products I used are highlighted in green and link to Amazon.com :
I printed an enlarged copy of the image on 9″x12″ paper using my HP 7610 printer (large format) on 11″x17″ copy paper using a backer sheet of graphite paper (not charcoal or carbon paper) to transfer a rough sketch of Ava’s features to Strathmore 400 2ply Bristol Vellum paper. This works great with a standard printer at 8″x10″ size too.
I work exclusively at the start with 4H and 2H pencils (I use Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils) to bring much of the drawing to life using a light touch. During this phase I check the original drawing using a set of easily adjusted Alvin 6″ dividers (not the type with the wheel adjustment).
Increase dark areas with HB pencils gradually reinforcing the deepest tones.
I’ve been taking a course by Darrell Tank on the Five Pencil Method using 5 different hardnesses of graphite pencils (4H, 2H, HB, 2B and 4B), a camel hair brush, a “pencil like” eraser called a TomBow eraser and a kneaded eraser. Using just these few tools you can do amazing things! He suggests a rather inexpensive paper – Strathmore 300 Bristol Vellum available in tablets or sheets. (I used Strathmore 500 on this) I was working through the course and posted this drawing I was doing of “Coda.” I was halfway through the 8 week course and was contacted by one of Carol’s childhood friends about me doing a portrait of Hurley, her daughter’s dog, for her birthday about a month away. I said I’d be happy to try! Here are the reference photos and the final drawing. All reference photos were captured from iPhone screen captures and texts.
This is the final drawing – 8″x10″ graphite pencil on Strathmore 500 Bristol Vellum paper.
In the mid-80’s I illustrated for several magazines published by Inside Publishing – Inside Gwinnett, Inside Cobb, Inside Northside and Inside Buckhead. I’ve found a bunch of the magazines and wanted to post a few of the paintings and drawings. It was a wild time working a full time job and doing this on the side. Magazine deadlines didn’t always line up with my work schedule! This was for the March 1986 issue in which an article was written on several Historic Homes of Norcross. Done in watercolor from a photo I took. I also did pencil drawings of 5 other homes for the article which I will try to dig up an post. (Can’t believe this was 30 years ago!!!)
This is the pencil drawing that was published with the magazine article. I created notecards and envelopes with this image on the front.
I had a lot of fun collaborating with my granddaughter Abigail to do this portrait for her mom for her birthday. Abigail took a “selfie” and sent it to me. Done with Caran d’Ache Grafwood Pencils and finished with Powder Blender (the powder) using foam brushes and paper stumps for blending. Paper used was Strathmore 500 Bristol Plate Finish (8″x10″).
I took this picture of my wonderful grandson Josiah a couple years ago as he was looking out his front window. I’ve been wanting to do a drawing from it and decided to do a quick sketch on some HP copy paper to get an idea of how I wanted it to look. I was using some new Caran d’Ache Graphwood pencils (2B, 3B, 6B and 8B) I got from Dick Blick last week. The drawing kept getting better and better and I couldn’t stop. I got to a point where I wanted to smooth out the background and skin tones and decided to try the Powder Blender system and it worked great. (brushandpencil.com). The system is designed for colored pencils – especially oil base pencils, but the texture and grit of the powder made a great vehicle to even out the textures. I’ll try it on a more robust paper (Strathmore 500 Bristol Plate) next time! Anyway, here’s the “sketch” and a YouTube video of the Powder Blender system and how I used it for this drawing.
A 6″x10″ pencil drawing of my wonderful daughter Christy and grandson Ezra taken last week at Jones Bridge Park with our family. I took the photo with my Sony A6000 camera and did a time-lapse video of the drawing on Youtube. Check it out below!
How many times have you wanted to capture that piece of art you created but it’s under glass and the reflections make it impossible?Or you want to catalog a bunch of images in your scrapbooks or art journals? Or perhaps you have some older drawings and paintings that you can’t seem to get cropped properly. Watch my tutorial on how to use your cellphone and Photoshop to capture, color correct and reframe your images so they are suitable for submission to shows, posting on your website or Facebook pages or send to clients for approval. Here’s a YouTube video I created with tips on how to showcase your work in all these situations.
For a tutorial on this drawing, please visit my YouTube Channel and watch a “speed drawing” of the creation of this portrait! Please leave me some feedback and share your thoughts on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/hoffmancreativemedia.